Dogs are notorious for being stinky. Whether they are running around outside and rolling in the dirt or getting into things they shouldn’t, it can be difficult to help your pooch smell fresh. With so many dogs becoming indoor-dwellers, smell is an important part of ensuring that your relationship with your pup is a happy one. Check out these ten tips to help your dog smell better, and Fido (and your nose) are sure to thank you!
1. Grooming and Bathing
Frequent grooming and bathing sessions can really help to improve the way that your dog smells. Not only is grooming beneficial for the health of their fur, but it helps to keep them smelling and looking nice. Especially for dogs with undercoats, grooming is important to help their skin ‘breathe’. Well-maintained fur is the basic step to keeping your dog’s scent pleasant. As a general rule, most dogs should be bathed once a month and groomed professionally every three to five months depending on the length of his or her fur. Long haired and poodle breeds should be professionally groomed more frequently to prevent uncomfortable tangling and mats.
2. Use a Proper Shampoo
You’ll want to ensure that you are using a shampoo that helps your dog’s fur and doesn’t harm it. Some breeds (like the French Bulldog and Chinese Crested) have sensitive skin so they require a gentler shampoo. Also, if you bathe your dog more than once a month, you will want to make sure that your shampoo does not dry out their skin and cause dandruff and itching.I prefer using Mane ‘N Tail with a minty conditioner. I find that the mint smell lasts longer than fruit or flower smells.Whatever you choose, make sure it is specially made for your pet.
3. Brush Your Dog
Especially for canines with longer hair, brushing and combing their fur is imperative to the health of their fur. Long-haired breeds should be brushed daily or every other day, while short-haired breeds should be brushed out every week. This helps to keep gross debris and dirt from clumping into their fur. It also helps get the dead and loose fur out off of them, helping with the health of their skin. A Furminator is a great professional-quality tool that I use on all my pets. It really helps to keep their coats healthy.
4. Make Coconut Oil Your Friend
While coconut oil doesn’t have too strong of a scent, it is extremely beneficial for a dog’s coat. Winston, my French Bulldog, has issues with dry skin, so I rub coconut oil on him if he is having a particularly dry day. It helps to keep their fur shiny and healthy, and I’ve also noticed that it does help to neutralize some smells.
5. Enlist the Help of Homemade Sprays
I tend to avoid using sprays and colognes on my animals because they are not always completely safe for them. While they may temporarily mask unpleasant odors, it’s more of a temporary cover-up than a long term solution. However, if you are looking for a quick spritz of freshness, try making a homemade spray. The base of these sprays is typically warm water mixed with whatever natural things you want to put in it. Apple cider vinegar, lemon, lavender, mint, and rosemary are just a few additives you can choose to try. I prefer to use warm water, a little bit of white vinegar, and a few drops of lavender essential oils to create a calming and nice-smelling spray that is safe for the pups.
6. Clean Your Dog’s Ears & Express their Anal Glands
If you decide to skip the professional groom, you will still want to make sure to clean your dog’s ears and express their anal glands.
- Cleaning the ears: First, wipe the inside of your dog’s ear with a warm cotton ball. Then, add the ear solution and rub around the base of your dog’s ears. Finish it up by taking a clean cotton ball to wipe away any dislodged dirt or debris. Not only does this help keep your dog’s ears healthy, but it can help with some unpleasant smells as well. Note: do NOT use q-tips on your pet’s ears, as an unskilled hand can easily damage the ear.
- Expressing the anal glands: You will want to have a vet or a groomer show you how to properly do this, as it is difficult to explain over the internet. Expressing anal glands in pets is imperative to their health, as it can help prevent build-up and infection. It also keeps them from rubbing their butt across the floor.
7. Feed A Good Diet
So many dog foods are filled with unnecessary additives like corn and grain. While good fillers and not particularly harmful to pets, this can cause plenty of flatulence, loose stools, and not-s0-healthy fur. Make sure that you are feeding your pet a quality diet, preferably a grain-free, high protein kibble or raw diet. You will also want to make sure that they are exercising regularly to help promote healthy gut movement. For dogs with easily disturbed digestive systems, they also make plenty of probiotics to help them out.
8. Brush Their Teeth
Just like humans, it is important for dogs to maintain their dental health. You will want to brush their teeth weekly, using a special doggie toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste or baking soda. Human toothpaste can have the additive Xylitol which is harmful to dogs. You can find a flavored toothpaste at your local pet store that will both taste good to your pooch as well as entice them to getting their teeth brushed. You will also want to make sure that they have plenty of quality chew toys. If you lack in the teeth-brushing department, you can also add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to their water bowl.
9. Maintain Your Home
Unfortunately, dog smells can linger. If you have an inside dog, it is even more important that you keep your house clean to keep away unpleasant odors. Clean up messes as soon as they happen, have a good pet-friendly cleaning solution (vinegar and warm water works great) on hand, and wash yours and your pet’s bedding regularly. If you have carpets, you will want to steam clean them every now and then, though a shop-vac plus cleaning solution can help get rid of smaller stains.
10. Use an Air Purifier & Other Tools
One of the most beneficial things my husband and I did for our animal-filled home was buy an air purifier. With a filter inside, this system circulates the air in our home, helping to permanently rid the pet odors out of the air. This is an easy way to keep your house smelling nice. Another thing we do to keep our house smelling clean is using Airwick plug-ins. We keep them out of reach of the dogs, and we replace them monthly. You can also use wax warmers with your choice of scented cubes, but make sure that the warmers are secure so your pets can’t knock them off by accident.
By following this guide, you can help both yourself, your dog, and your home. Ensuring that your dog smells nice and is healthy makes it easy to want to cuddle them and give them lots of love. After all, nobody really enjoys laying next to a smelly dog.
Do you have any tips and tricks to helping your pooch smell great? Let us know!