A weekly bathe, followed by a thorough brushing should suffice to ensure your cavapoo doesn’t become too smelly. You may wish to increase the frequency to twice a week in the winter months when your cavapoo is more likely to get muddy, depending on where you take your daily walks.
Dogs smell! They have a natural, faint doggy aroma that, if they’re nuzzling in close, you will smell this distinct Eau de Pooch. Sometimes, Fido will smell really bad. Especially if he got caught out in the rain, jumped in mud or, worse still, rolled in poop. But dogs don’t care if they pong. Most owners, however, do!
Enter the often mildly stressful ritual of bathing your dog. The cadence for this activity can vary from every few days to “whenever Fido’s stench becomes unbearable”. The cavapoo breed, with its gentle nature and small stature, is easier to bathe than its larger, more boisterous counterparts. As such, owners may be more inclined to wash their cavapoo more frequently. In my experience, a weekly bath for your cavapoo is perfect.
Washing your cavapoo puppy
It’s the happiest day of your life. You’ve taken home your tiny cavapoo pup and it’s the cutest thing ever. The likelihood is your puppy has never been bathed. As such, your puppy may smell a little and you may be tempted to give him or her a little wash. It’s important that you don’t do this, at least for a few days. Being separated from its mother and being in a new environment is quite enough trauma. Introducing an inaugural bath into the mix isn’t fair to your puppy. Not least because its fur probably still smells of its mother, which should be comforting for him or her.
Once your pup has settled into its new home, it’s time for its first bath. This could be done in your actual bath or the kitchen sink (or outdoor sink if you have one). Similar to a bathing human baby, the water should warm (around 99 degrees Fahrenheit), rather than cold or hot. The pup will be scared as you place it carefully in the water and may clamber to try and get out. Giving them plenty of reassurance and a few treats helps calm them.
The water level shouldn’t come up higher than the pup’s stomach and you should use a cup to wet the puppy’s head and body. Use a small amount of dog shampoo and massage this gently into the fur. We use a shampoo and conditioner two in one made especially for poodle-mix breeds. Remember to rinse thoroughly!
Drying your dog
You cavapoo will hate being wet. Wrap a towel around your dog as you lift them from the water. Gently rub its fur with the towel until he or she is partially dry. Next comes the dreaded hairdryer. As puppies, the sound alone will scare your dog. As before with the bath, lots of stroking and a few treats may be needed. Start with the hairdryer on a cool heat. If your dog gets cold then switch to a medium heat but remember to hold the hairdryer further away so as not to overheat or burn the skin.
Wet dog acting crazy
There is something about getting wet that sparks something in a cavapoo’s brain that causes them to act a little loopy. Let’s say you have been on a walk and the grass has been wet or you got caught in a downpour. As soon as you return home, your dog will start darting around the home looking for a carpet or a rug to rub itself up on to get dry. The sound of my cavapoo Aflie stampeding up the stairs upon returning from a walk where he’s gotten wet is a familiar one. It’s confusing but apparently normal behaviour that will pass after ten minutes or so.