Chris Sherwood is a project manager by day and avid home and garden scholar by night who loves to share his trials and success with others.
Any dog owner can tell you that every dog has their own unique smells, some with more potent smells than others. Dog's have a unique, natural scent that can stick to rugs, carpets, blankets, and most anything else they touch. If you're a pet owner with a more sensitive nose, here are a few tips on how to make your dog not smell as much.
The most obvious solution to a smelly dog is a bath. However, there are a few important factors to keep in mind when bathing your dog. First, dog skin is a lot more sensitive than human skin, especially for short-haired breeds like pit bulls and black labs.
You really should limit dog baths to once a month, unless you run into unavoidable bathing issues, such as your dog getting sprayed by a skunk or rolling in their own excrement. When you do bathe your dog, use a specifically made dog shampoo with the most natural ingredients possible. Look for shampoos that utilize baking soda for extra odor control. Oatmeal and aloe are also helpful, active ingredients that can benefit and soothe your dog's skin.
Getting your dog into the bath can be tricky. Try to make the bath more pleasurable by adding a non-slip mat to the bottom of the tub and making sure the water is warm but not hot. Always avoid the eyes and ears and work from the back of the ears towards the tail. Dry the dog thoroughly with a towel to prevent additional dirt and odors from attracting and sticking to their coat.
With very few baths recommended for your stinky dog, a great alternative is a dry shampoo. Dry shampoos can either be fully dry powders that you shake on and brush through your dog's coat or sprays that you can spritz on your dog and comb through. As always, look for natural products whenever possible.
Along with using a dry shampoo, you may want to also invest in a dog deodorizing spray. With more companies focusing lines on grooming products for dogs, never has there been so much selection in smells and side benefits ranging from itch and hot spot relief, to flea repellents and skin conditioners. Simply spray on your dog periodically for added odor control.
Natural Dog Odor Removers
Dog grooming products can be expensive in the store, so you can also make your own dry shampoos and deodorizers by combining baking soda, cornstarch, and a dog and skin-safe fragrance oil in scents like vanilla, cedarwood, or lavender. Combine in a salt shaker or recycled baby powder bottle for easier application.
Smelly Dog Ears
Something that may surprise you is that many times your dog's unpleasant odor may be coming from their ears, especially if they are a breed with ears the naturally flop down as there's less airflow to prevent infections.
- You can clean your dog's ears using a dog-specific ear cleaner from your local pet shop.
- Simply apply the solution on the inside of the flap near the ear opening using gentle pressure.
- Remove the excess gently with a cotton ball. Do not go further into the ear than what you can see. For deeper cleanings, rely on a professional groomer or your veterinarian.
When cleaning your dog's ears, opt for a tub or outside, and be aware that when your dog shakes his head, the solution and any of the not so pleasant things it cleans out may go flying.
How to Keep Dog Breath Fresh
Bad dog breath can be a serious problem, especially if your dog loves to snuggle or sleeps with you. Treating dog breath is rather simple when you target its source, typically plaque or bacteria buildup on the teeth. Dog treats specifically claiming to help with plaque control, and fresh breath are easy ways to help with dog breath maintenance while spoiling your dog a little bit at the same time.
Regularly brushing your dog's teeth can also help prevent not only bad breath odors, but common tooth problems like decay. Always use a doggy toothpaste as dogs don't know how to spit the toothpaste out, making human toothpaste potentially toxic.
Home Dog Odor Control
Now that you've controlled odors on your dog, what do you do about the remaining odors in your home? First, the vacuum is your best friend. Vacuum your carpets regularly as well as your furniture to remove dog hairs and skin cells that trap dog odors. Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda or other commercial deodorizing carpet products and let sit for a few hours to further help remove odors before vacuuming. Wash all dog bedding and soft toys regularly.
For air odors, consider a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. While your room will initially smell like vinegar, the smell dissipates quickly as it dries taking other room odors with it. You can combine this method with a few drops of your favorite essential oil for additional deodorizing capabilities.
Remember, while many odors are just natural to your dog, more serious odors can be a sign of underlying health issues. If your dog is exhibiting a new odor or a particularly foul odor with no obvious cause, take them to your vet as soon as possible to prevent potentially serious health issues.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2017 Chris Sherwood