How To Stop A Cocker Spaniel From Smelling

All dogs smell, there’s no getting away from it but most dogs have what you would describe as a typical ‘dog’ smell. But what do you do if your dog has a particularly bad and different odor? It’s a process of elimination time.

So how do you stop a Cocker Spaniel from smelling? You need to figure out where the smell is coming from. Is it his ears? His Mouth? Is it coming from the other end? You need to figure out what you are dealing with before you can start to beat the condition.

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Common Causes Of A Stinky Cocker Spaniel

In order to deal with your smelly Cocker Spaniel, we are going to have a look at the most common areas that usually cause a Cocker Spaniel to smell rather unpleasant.

I will address the typical issues and then suggest the usual solutions to each one.

Problems With The Ears

This one is hardly surprising when you think about. Those big ears may be the cutest things ever but they are a breeding ground for all things smelly.

Dry Food / Dirt Stuck To The Ears

This is a very common problem with all types of Spaniel. Food gets stuck to the bottom of his ears and becomes encrusted and matted and goes stale, letting off an unpleasant smell.

When your Cocker gets his ears wet the smell of the stale food can worsen. He can also pick up dirt as he sniffs around and his ears drag along the floor but the most likely culprit is the days-old food.


There are two solutions to this problem. First of all, you need to thoroughly soak your Cocker’s ears then wash the with the appropriate shampoo for dogs. You may also need to trim away any matter bits of his hair but please be careful you don’t nip him.

The second part to remedy smelly ears is to make sure you have proper feeding bowls for your dog. Check out this selection if you are unsure of what I mean.

Feeding and watering bowls made specifically for Spaniels and other breeds of dog with large ears are designed to be taller and narrow so that a dog’s ears naturally drop over the side rather than into the bowl.

Ear Infection

Unfortunately, Cocker Spaniels can develop ear infections very easily. I will add though that I feel it’s a myth that Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections.

If you take proper care of your Cocker’s ears and clean them on a regular basis then you shouldn’t really encounter any problems.

Neglecting to clean your dog’s ears increase his chances of him developing an ear infection due to their size and design.

If your Cocker picks up an ear infection, you should be able to tell simply by the smell. Their ears are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, unfortunately.


You need to give your Cocker Spaniels ears a thorough cleaning but fist make sure he will allow you to touch him. An infection could make his ear painful to touch so please test the waters first.

You may even need drops or a course of antibiotics from your vets. Please refer to this post about how to keep a Cocker Spaniels ears clean.

Mouth Problems

This is similar to the first ear issue and the smell is usually caused by food. If you have ever heard the expression ‘Cocker Mouth’ then this could be the issue.

What Causes Cocker Mouth?

Cocker Mouth is caused by a build-up of food that develops over time. Cockers naturally clean their own mouths but sometimes a build-up of food can occur and once it starts, the only way to get rid of it is if you intervene.

A mixture of food, water, and moisture builds up and gets trapped in the fur and folds around the mouth and lips.


Simply wash and wipe away any food and dirt from your dog’s mouth area. If there’s any obvious food that’s hardened and encrusted, you may need to give it a good soaking before you can clean it thoroughly.

Is The Problem Your Cockers Bottom?

Quite often, a foul-smelling Cocker Spaniel has a problem with their bottom and usually, that problem is their anal glands.

The easiest way to tell if they have blocked anal glands is that their bottom area will have a ‘rotten fish’ type smell, not very pleasant at all.


Your Cocker Spaniel needs their anal glands expressed. It’s quite an easy job although not easy on your nose.

If you have never emptied a dog’s anal gland before then I highly suggest you book an appointment with your vet. They will be happy to talk you through the process as they do it then if you Cocker ever needs his anal glands emptied again, you will know what to do.


I have highlighted the main issues that cause your Cocker Spaniel to stink and the treatments you can use to stop him from smelling.

If you are in doubt or you feel that the smell is caused by something else, then please get your dog booked in for a check-up with his vet. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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