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Do Cocker Spaniels Smell? Sometimes but here’s what you need to know

The short answer is yes. These fluffy, adorable could smell, but, well, all dogs can smell. If you are thinking of getting a dog that only ever gets stinky once in a while, you will not succeed. That said, some dog breeds smell more than others, amongst them are the cocker spaniels, beagles and the basset hound. We will tell you all about why your cocker spaniel smells, how to get rid of the odour and everything you may need to know. Let’s delve right into it.

Why do cocker spaniels smell?

A Working Cocker Spaniel retrieving dead game
A Working Cocker Spaniel retrieving dead game

Cocker spaniels are specifically bred for hunting and retrieving game for their owners. As any working dog, this means the are outdoors quite a lot. When a cocker spaniel plays outdoors in the dirt, they will collect a lot of it in their coat. If this gets wet, it could be a lot smellier. Other than gathering dirt on their coats, here are other areas that could be the source of your cocker’s nasty smell.

Why your cocker spaniel has bad breath

Is your dog’s mouth is one of the sources of a nasty smell? Bad breath is caused by a build up of food remains in your dog’s mouth. If these food remains get stuck between the teeth, it could smell. This build up of food, in turn, could lead to nasty bacteria growing in your puppy’s mouth, which will then worsen the odour situation.

How do you deal with a cocker spaniel’s bad breath?

The simplest way to deal with a cocker spaniel’s bad breath is by clearing the build up of plaque in their mouth. You can do this by simply brushing their teeth. You can brush your cocker’s teeth with a small toothbrush and some dog toothpaste. This should clear any build up and get rid of any odours.

Cocker spaniel with well care for clean teeth
Cocker spaniel with well care for clean teeth

If you can’t brush their teeth for some reason, you can also give them some food that naturally clears away the plaque. Fresh raw bones or a fresh carrot will be ideal as when your dog chews on these, the food stuck in between their teeth will get dislodged as they chew. 

Read next: Why does my dog have white spots on its nose?

How do I get rid of the smell in my dogs ears?

Another source of nasty smells could be the ears. Due to their large flappy ears, cocker spaniels can suffer from nasty ear infections from time to time. From the nature of their floppy ears, their ear canals don’t get enough air circulating and this can create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.

A wax build up in the cocker spaniel’s ears could also be another source of unwanted odours.

How do you care for a cocker spaniel’s ears?

If you want to keep your cocker’s ears healthy then you will need to be vigilant. Always remember to regularly check their ears to make sure there isn’t any signs of infection. It is also important to frequently check that there aren’t any foreign bodies lurking in the ears, especially after the cocker has been playing and rolling around on the grass.

Checking cocker spaniels ears
Checking a cocker spaniel’s ears

Your cocker’s wavy hair around the ears as if it is left to grow too long it could also block the ear canal and further limit air circulation. Always clip excess hair around their ears.

If you notice any strange foul smells in your cocker spaniel’s ears, you will need to have a vet look at them more closely and treat any potential ear infections. If you notice your cocker spaniel shaking their head or rubbing against surfaces, check their ears.

You can also read this detailed guide on how to clean your cocker spaniels ears correctly here

Why does my dog’s skin smell so bad?

The sebaceous gland under the dog’s skin could be the culprit. The sebaceous gland produces oils to keep a mammal’s skin from drying up and cracking. A build up of these oils, when mixed with sweat, dander and dirt could be a source of the any unwanted smells.

Cocker spaniel having a bath using quality shampoo
A cocker spaniel having a bath using quality a shampoo

You can deal with this by giving your cocker spaniel regular baths and we recommend picking up a good quality shampoo for your cocker spaniel as well.

Feeding your cocker spaniel a lot of starchy foods could also be making them produce more oil than they usually do. This could also be the reason they are stinking even when they are having regular baths. You might need to adjust their diet to a protein-rich diet instead. Also, avoid feeding your furry friend a lot of processed food all the time. Try including some raw natural foods into their diet.

Anal glands could be causing your cocker spaniel to smell

Every dog has a pair of anal glands that produce a unique scent when they poo. These glands could also be a source of nasty odours. Now, whilst these glands often get cleared naturally, sometimes they can get blocked and stink and they may need to be expressed.

How do you know when your dog’s anal glands need to be expressed?

If you suspect that your dog’s anal glands are blocked, you can often tell this for sure if you see your dog dragging their bottom on the grass, ground or the carpet. This means you need to express them. You could do this at home, but it is a very nasty job and not one we would recommended if you get easily grossed out. If you cannot do it yourself at home, you could take your dog to the vet and you can also have them do it for the first time so you know how to do it the next time.

Read next: Why Does My Dog Keep Shaking Its Head?

In conclusion,

Do cocker spaniels smell? Yes, they do, but then so does every dog, some breeds more than others. If you notice a foul smell coming from your cocker spaniel, the most common causes are bad breath, their ears, anal glands and their skin.

The good news is that all these can be solved by simple grooming techniques as we have discussed and you can continue enjoying your furry friend’s company.

Check out this guide on how often cocker spaniels should be groomed

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