How Often Should You Bathe a Cavapoo?

When you bring home your new puppy, it will have many needs which you need to take care of, cleanliness being one of them. Being a pooch, they aren’t overly great when it comes to personal hygiene. Yes, they’ll give themselves the once over with the odd lick here and there, but is it sufficient to do the job of keeping them clean and odor free?

You will need to bathe your Cavapoo every few weeks unless their antics mean that you need to do it more often. Rolling in dirt or any sort of stinky detritus is a primary cause for them needing to be bathed. It’s important to use dog specific products and make bathing a positive experience.

What trouble can your Doodle get into to that will require a thorough wash down? Do their coats self-clean or do they need some human input? Are there any nooks and crannies that you need to take particular care of? Keep reading to discover how often you are actually going to need to bathe your Cavapoo, why its required and what other hygiene needs they have that you will need to meet.

What Type of Coat does a Cavapoo Have?

The coat can differ from dog to dog and will be impacted by two main factors. These are:

  • Their parents.
    • The Poodle is known for being a low shedding dog. This is because they only have a single-layer coat. They have thick, curly fur and are considered to be hypoallergenic. Whilst this doesn’t guarantee that they will not cause issue for an allergy sufferer, it does radically reduce the risk. It is because of their coats that they are such a popular breed for cross breeding.
    • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is double coated. They have a soft, dense undercoat and a topcoat of longer hair. They require plenty of brushing to keep the coat in a good, silky condition and they shed, a lot.
  • Their generation.
    • An F1 Cavapoo is first generation with their parents being the Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
    • An F1b Cavapoo is a first generation back bred with one of the original breeds, this is generally the Poodle.
    • Breeding two Cavapoo’s will result in an F2 dog.
    • F2b’s are produced when an F1 or F2 Cavapoo is bred with an F1b Cavapoo. This makes them genetically 37.5% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and 62.5% Poodle.

This leaves many options for your Cavapoo’s coat. F1b’s are generally considered to be the best generation for allergy sufferers because back breeding with the Poodle ensures that they have more of those coat attributes. Your Cavapoo is likely to shed more if their coat is more like their Spaniel side than their Poodle heritage.

Most F1 Cavapoos will have loose and wavy curls. They do sometimes have tighter curls, but this is more commonly seen in the F1b. The F1b has a higher success rate of being low shedding.

For more information on generations, see our article Cavapoo Generations Explained – F1, F1b, F1bb, F2, F2b, F2bb, F3.

Edison has inherited the Poodle coat

Do Cavapoos Smell?

Whilst the Cavapoo requires a thorough grooming regime in order to maintain a healthy coat, they are not known for being smelly dogs. Therefore, should you notice an unpleasant whiff emanating from your pouch then there’s going to be a reason behind it that it’s likely to result in bath time.

There are many reasons this could be. Maybe they are just overdue a bath, check back to see when they were last bathed or showered. General day to day dirt from their time spent outside builds up in their coat along with bacteria. If this isn’t taken care of then it’s going to start to smell. If it’s been more than a few weeks since your pup was in the bath, then now is the time to get them back in there.

Have they been rolling in something they shouldn’t have? Fox poop, dog poop, mud, sand, dirty puddles. These are all things much more appealing to a Cavapoo than a human, but it goes without saying that only a good wash in the tub is going to remove all that nastiness from their coat.

If their breath is smelly (we’ve all heard the term ‘dog breath’) then you need to ensure that you are meeting their dental hygiene needs. Ideally, their teeth should be brushed daily but if they have a nice healthy mouth then a few times a week is sufficient.

If there is an unpleasant smell coming from their ears this could be a sign of an infection which will need investigation and treatment from your vet. Cleaning their ears should be a part of their grooming routine and it’s important to note that these long and floppy ears are prone to infection and parasites.

Other than dirt and overdue bath time, there are some other reasons why your Cavapoo may smell which may mean a trip to the vet for treatment or advice. These can include diet induced flatulence, skin infections and allergies which have caused your pooch to scratch and break the skin leading to infection.

How Do I Groom my Cavapoo?

Grooming, bathing and dental care should all start as early as possible so that your Cavapoo gets used to all these different routines. Grooming in particular is a great way to bond with your new puppy. Using treats when first starting the grooming process will encourage your Cavapoo to see it as a positive experience and ensure they look forward to the next time.

If their coat is more comparable to their Poodle parent, then it will be more prone to knotting and matting due to the tighter curl. You should aim to be brushing your Cavapoo’s coat daily to prevent this. You should be able to get away with a little less if their coat is soft and wavy like the Cavalier King Charles.

Paying attention to trimming particular regions of their fur at home alongside a full professional cut is something that you need to factor into their grooming sessions. The hair around their ears can grow quickly and if becomes too long, can heighten their risk of ear infections and dirt clinging and accumulating.

If their beards get too long this is going to make mealtimes messy. Dripping water all along the kitchen floor or half their kibble stuck around their chops isn’t going to be a pleasant experience for either of you if they are left to look like Chewbacca.

Their bottoms will also attention if the hair is too long and begins to hoard dirt. If this is something that you really don’t want to do, then you can leave it to the professional groomer but it’s not a difficult task to learn.

For more information on grooming, see our article Best Brushes for Cavapoos: Grooming Tips.

As we have already discussed, you also need to be brushing your Cavapoo’s teeth. Ideally this should be done daily and with either a specialized dog toothbrush or child’s brush in the absence of one. Not brushing your dog’s teeth is the same as not brushing your own and will lead to a buildup of plaque. This brings with it the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. There are chewable products available to buy which can help reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar.

Your Cavapoo also needs their nails trimming. This is something that you can have done professionally or learn to do yourself. Like with all aspects of their grooming routine, start them young so that they get used to the process and work hard to ensure that it’s a pleasant experience for you both.

Whilst it may be something you don’t wish to do yourself, squeezing the excess liquid from their anal glands could be something that is required if this doesn’t happen naturally. Your vet and possibly even your groomer can take care of this for you. Look out for them dragging their bottoms across the floor or licking the area excessively as both are signs that their glands need a helping hand to be emptied.

Arnie has had his ears and beard trimmed

How Do I Bathe my Cavapoo?

We will reiterate here that it’s important to start them young. You don’t want bath time to become a major issue, and the earlier you start the sooner they will get used to it. A stressful bath time is no fun for you or your Cavapoo. 

Most dogs actually love water and being part Poodle is even more likely to mean that your Cavapoo has a natural love for it.

Ensure that you don’t overfill the tub, a couple of inches of water is more than enough. We recommend using a non-slip mat to avoid any accidents. Once they are happy and settled in the water, start washing them using warm water. Be mindful of their eyes and face. You will know yourself that it’s not a pleasant experience. You don’t want your pooch to be scared or worried should their sight be temporarily compromised by the water or have it gushing up their nose.

Don’t forget to wash their legs and their bellies. Always use dog specific shampoos and soaps. The human variety are not made for their skin or coats and can be harmful. Ensure that you rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.

A meticulous towel dry not only stops them from getting cold but can be extra bonding time for you and your Cavapoo whether this be their first bath or their hundredth. Lots of praise and even a treat is the perfect way to conclude a successful bath time.

Watch Olive take her first bath


We have mentioned a few times that the best time to start bathing your Cavapoo is as early as possible. Establish a good bathing and grooming routine from the get-go and it will be a positive experience for you both. The more positive it is, the less likely you are to forfeit it in fear of a worrisome outcome.

Grooming and bathing can all form part of the special time spent between you and your Cavapoo and you should be aiming to bathe in particular once or twice a month.

Related Questions

Is it Bad to Bathe your Dog Every Week?

In short yes, unless they have rolled in something that needs to be washed off. Over bathing can compromise the natural oils that your dog produces in order to encourage a healthy coat. It can also lead to dry and irritable skin.

Why do Dogs Roll in Poop?

It’s a very clever evolutionary throwback to the times when dogs fended for themselves rather than being fed by us humans. If a dog rolls in someone else’s poop, then they smell of someone else. Disguising their own scent makes creeping up on lunch a whole lot easier.