Why Does My Springer Spaniel Smell So Bad?

I recently adopted a springer spaniel.  This dog is my first pet, and we are having a great time getting to know each other.  I love this dog’s personality and energy, but what I don’t like is how my dog smells.  I don’t know much about the breed yet, and I know that dogs can sometimes smell if not appropriately bathed, but I want to know more.  My dog smells bad at times, and I am curious if this is being a dog, or if it is my dog in particular.  I also would like to know what I can do about this smell since family and friends comment on this when they visit my house.

Why does my springer spaniel smell so bad?

Why does my springer spaniel smell so bad?  Springer spaniels smell bad because of the genetic makeup of a dog.   All dogs, at one time or another, have a doggie odor.  The springer spaniel also has a unique coat of hair that is different than some other dogs.  This smell isn’t only the typical doggie odor that some dog breeds will have but also an entirely different smell. 

The springer spaniel was historically bred for hunting. Their coat of hair can be considered waterproof for the type of work they perform.   This type of coat of hair can cause them to smell bad, and different from the usual dog smell. 

Add this to the doggie smell and other health issues, and it can be a recipe for one stinky dog.  For dog owners who are willing to experiment, and make time for care and grooming, this breed of dog makes an excellent furry companion.

All dogs have a scent, that doggie scent that reminds us in a loving way that we have a fur baby in the house.  Some of us may have no problem tolerating this smell and may barely even notice it exists. In contrast, others may find it offensive and go to great lengths, bathing, and trying to rid the dog and household of the scent.

For those dog owners with a springer spaniel, the doggie scent can be more than just doggie.

Bred as a working dog to assist in hunting the springer spaniel is genetically different on multiple levels.  Their hair is different, designed to repel water when necessary.  This unique coat of hair helped during hunting when the springer spaniel could be found in muddy, murky, wet and marshy terrain.

Assisting their hunting companion often takes them to different geographical areas, depending on the game being hunted.   Their coat of hair is designed to repel water, which keeps them healthy and safe during the long hours they might keep beside their companion.

Like a duck or waterfowl that have feathers with a waterproof oil slick coat, the springer spaniel’s hair has the same oily slick coating.  This oily coating on their hair can cause them to have an added stink sometimes if they get dirty and are not bathed. 

This dirtiness depends on the individual dog, not just the breed itself.

When this is combined with the other naturally-occurring odors that a dog has, it can be challenging to handle for some owners.  If the springer spaniel is dirty, this oily coat can hold onto the smell and become more noticeable.

Take a hunting dog that has spent a long day in the field with a dirty coat, along with the fact that they ate a poor diet and are suffering from an ear infection, and you have a recipe for some pretty bad stink. 

What are some reasons why a springer spaniel smells so bad?

As mentioned above, their coat of hair has an oily covering that can cause them to smell bad when combined with the usual doggie odor that most dogs sometimes have.

Other areas that can cause stinky problems for the springer spaniel include ear infections and secretions from their glands found in their ears and anal regions.

Dr. Ochoa says you can add fiber to your dog’s diet to help their anal glands be able to be expressed much easier.  There is also a product called Glandex that you can buy to help your Springer Spaniel be able to express their glands easier. 

A poor diet can also make them smell bad from flatulence, and if they suffer from undetected food allergies.  Another common culprit is their breath if they have eaten something unsavory or haven’t had their teeth brushed.

What can be done to get rid of the springer spaniels’ bad smell?

There are a significant number of things that can be done to help get rid of or minimize the doggie smell for the springer spaniel.

The first step is having a ritual or schedule for bathing and grooming.  This schedule includes brushing the dog’s teeth or providing treats that help keep their choppers clean.

It should also include checking their ears and other body parts where they might have hidden infections, debris, or foreign objects.   When this is done, it will help keep their coat of hair and skin beneath, healthy.

For the springer spaniel, their coat of hair can benefit significantly from regular brushing.  Brushing will help distribute the oils through their hair; this will keep it healthy and looking beautiful.  Brushing should be done a minimum of a few times a week, more if they appear to have debris and dirt in their coat of hair, or if they spent the day in the field.

Dr. Ochoa says — TropiClean Deodorizing Spray: “This is my favorite spray to use on dogs when they are about to go home from the vet clinic.  It smells so good, and all pet owners love that their dog does not smell like a vet clinic.”

This schedule should include feeding them a diet that is nutrient-dense and healthy for them and plenty of water.  This can affect the dogs’ coat of hair and smell if they are dehydrated or not adequately fed.

It is best to consult their veterinarian before making any diet modification.  They can determine brands of dog food and treats are healthiest the springer spaniel.  Many foods on the market today contain excessive additives, which can create poor health.  This situation can reveal itself in a bad odor.

For the springer spaniel that has visited the pond, it is crucial to take the time to dry them thoroughly, including skin folds, ears, paws, and other areas.  Wet dog, while adorable and popular, isn’t a smell anyone wants in their home.

Drying them prevents the potential for other skin and hair issues.

Bathing is vital for keeping doggie smells away. How often bathing is scheduled into their week, month, or year will depend on the individual dog and their lifestyle.

Suppose they are a hunting companion or spend a lot of time outdoors in the thicket, marsh, and another terrain. In that case, they will need bathing more often than other breeds of dogs.

For those springer spaniels that are companion dogs that visit the local park and play in their backyard but don’t do much else, bathing will be less often.

Generally, the Springer Spaniel will need a bath every three months, but this varies depending on how dirty they are. 

For the outdoors springer spaniel, bathing them once a month might be more appropriate.   The springer spaniel that spends much of their time playing in their yard will require a bath every three months.

If, after following this plan, a springer spaniel dog owner finds that their dog still smells bad, a veterinarian trip is necessary.

Certain health conditions can cause odors that can be anything from mild to offensive.  Their veterinarian can assess their overall health and uncover if there is a real health problem causing the stink.

One such health condition that is common for the springer spaniel is primary seborrhea.  All dog’s skin produces oil that naturally distributes throughout the dogs’ coat of hair.  The springer spaniel that suffers from this condition will have scaly brownish-yellow patches that can usually be found around their elbows, ears, and hocks.

For the springer spaniel that suffers from this condition, the veterinarian will usually recommend a special shampoo.  For these springer spaniels, they mustn’t be bathed too often.  This excess bathing will cause the skin to produce more oil, exasperating the issue.

What can be done about the springer spaniel that loves the dirt?

Some dogs love to roll around in everything in sight, the animal droppings they find, the dirt pile in the backyard to the grass at the dog park.  These dogs appear to adore the stinky scent they collect on their coat of hair, unaware of how offensive they can be to those around them.

If this springer spaniel or other breed does this, often, this will increase how often they are bathed and groomed.  For this doggie, gentle shampoo is best to combat filth while gently cleaning.

Frequent bathing can be harmful to a dog’s coat of hair if harsh shampoos are used.  Gentle shampoos make it easier to clean the springer spaniel more often without causing other health issues.

In Conclusion

While all dogs smell from time to time, a lot can be done to ease the stench.  A healthy diet and regular grooming schedule can go a long way to keeping their coat of hair healthy and minimizing au de doggie smell.

If all else fails, hanging a Christmas tree freshener from their collar might be tempting, but it may be better to bath them and call it a day!

Ella Grey

Ella loves all pets, big and small. She has a passion for learning and sharing through the written word and has contributed to Embora Pets since 2018.

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