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Why is it that dogs love terrible smells so much?
I once had a dog that could find the foulest smelling stuff and then would roll in it just for fun!
That same dog thought it was fun to play with skunks — even though every time she did it she got blasted with loads of stink!
Then again, some dogs just seem to have a natural “funk” to them all the time — not just when they’re dirty or sweaty. (Stay tuned… I’ve got dog deodorant tips below!)
Dog smell can be a lifelong thing that you have to deal with day in and day out — especially if your dog has a thick coat.
While you always have the option of giving your dog a good old-fashioned bath, sometimes you don’t have time for a dog bath.
Perhaps you’re just looking for a quick fix to remove random dog smells. Or maybe you simply want to try something different — like a dog odor remover that you can make yourself!
Following are the best ways to keep your dog smelling fresh and clean without having to give your dog a full soaking bath — including:
- Dog odor sprays
- Dog fur wipes
- Dog deodorants
- Dog ear cleaners
- Dog dry shampoos
- Dog tooth brushing strategies
- Dog foods that fight bad breath
- Dog deodorizing sprays
- Dog brushing strategies
… and other dog odor removers that will make your dog smell good!
#1 – Wipe Your Dog’s Fur With Baby Wipes
While they also sell dog wipes at pet stores, baby wipes are gentle enough for a baby’s delicate skin and your dog’s! (Just stay away from the eye area.)
Each wet wipe is pre-moistened with gentle cleansers, conditioners, and deodorizers.
Simply by using a baby wipe as a dog odor remover on the fur and paws, you will help your dog smell fresh and clean much longer.
TIP: Wet wipes are also great for cleaning your dog’s muddy paws and smelly bum on occasion. Plus, they’re perfect to carry with you when you’re out and about!
Here’s what you need to know before using baby wipes on your dog.
#2 – Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Sometimes the dog smell is coming from your dog’s ears.
To quickly clean your dog’s ears, take some mineral oil (or baby oil) and put 3 or 4 drops in each ear. Then use a cotton ball to massage the oil inside your dog’s ear.
Be very careful! Just as with humans, you can hurt the eardrum if you rub too hard or poke at the inner ear. Go slowly and gently when cleaning your dog’s ears.
TIP: Mineral oil and most other dog ear cleaners will not kill ear mites which are typically the cause of a dog’s smelly ears. So, if your dog is shaking his head a lot or his ears often smell bad and have small brown or black specs inside them, then you have to use a treatment product like Zymox.
Here’s a simple 2-step process to clean and treat your dog’s ears.
#3 – Add Fruits And Vegetables To Your Dog’s Diet
Doggie bad breath can be an ongoing nuisance.
It’s hard to find the right dog odor remover for the mouth though.
One tried and true remedy is to mix some dog-friendly fruits and vegetables in with dry dog food. (Start slow, gradually adding more fruits & veggies into your dog’s food over time.)
Your dog may not eat the fruit or vegetables at first — but if you keep adding it to their food regularly, most dogs will eventually start eating the new healthy foods.
Here are foods that will help with your dog’s bad breath.
#4 – Use Baking Soda Or Cornstarch As A Dry Shampoo
Baking soda and cornstarch are good things to keep on hand for a number pet predicaments.
For example, cornstarch can stop a dog’s toenail from bleeding if you trimmed it too short. Cornstarch can also help stop the itch often associated with hot spots and dry skin.
Well, cornstarch and baking soda are also useful at removing everyday dog smell!
Simply sprinkle some cornstarch (or cornstarch baby powder) or baking soda directly onto your dog’s coat — and use a towel to gently massage it into your dog’s skin.
This dog odor remover works amazingly well… just like a dry shampoo for humans!
TIP: Some people apply a small handful of cornstarch or baking soda directly on their dog’s paws and armpits to remove that sweaty smell after playing hard outdoors in the summertime.
Here’s a great tutorial for a dry shampoo dog bath.
#5 – Try A Homemade Dog Deodorizer
Lavender is a natural deodorizer that complements cornstarch and baking soda well.
Instead of buying a dog deodorant, doggie cologne, or dog grooming spray (basically, they’re all the same thing), you can simply add some Lavender to baking soda or cornstarch for a homemade dog deodorizer that’s lightly scented.
Or, you can add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to a spray bottle filled with water to make a lightly scented dog deodorizing spray.
TIP: A vinegar/water mixture in a spray bottle also neutralizes a smelly dog odor.
#6 – Brush Your Dog Regularly
Brushing removes dirt, dander, and allergens from your dog’s coat — and those are all the things that contribute to a stinky dog.
As a bonus, the more you brush your dog (outside), the more you’re preventing all that fur from showing up inside your house!
You won’t see immediate results after brushing your dog though. This one’s a dog odor remover that works over time.
TIP: The Furminator is quite possibly the best dog brush ever invented… Here’s why.
#7 – Wash Your Dog’s Bedding, Toys, And Gear
The longer the time in between washings, the more likely your dog’s stuff smells like “dog”.
And if the place where your dog spends much of his time has a doggie smell to it, then you can bet your dog smells too!
So if you want your dog to smell fresh and clean, make sure the dog bedding is washed regularly — every other week or so (at least once a month). The same is true for your dog’s toys, collars, leashes, etc.
This will go a long way towards eliminating doggie smells on your dog and in your home!
Here are some great tips for washing pet bedding, toys, dog clothes, and pet gear.
#8 – Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
The best way to eliminate your dog’s bad breath, is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. (If there’s a lot of plaque build-up already, then take your dog in for a professional doggie dental at your vet’s office.)
Here’s how to brush a dog’s teeth:
- At random times when you and your dog are both relaxed, start by rubbing your dog’s teeth with your bare finger (or your finger dipped in peanut butter).
- Later, add a small dab of dog toothpaste on your finger and rub your dog’s teeth with that. (Trust me, dogs love the taste of doggie toothpaste!)
- Eventually, switch from using your bare finger to using a finger brush. (A dog finger brush is less intrusive than a regular toothbrush.)
Personally, I think that using a dog finger brush is the easiest and most effective way to brush your dog’s teeth and keep his breath smelling fresh day in and day out.
You should brush your dog’s teeth once a week. But if you haven’t brushed your dog’s teeth regularly up til now, then once a week may be too much at first — so start with every 2 to 3 weeks instead.
If your dog simply won’t tolerate having a finger brush inside his mouth, then try rubbing your dog’s teeth with a washcloth. Every little bit helps.
Trust me, as someone who let the plaque build up with one of my dogs, you don’t want to pay to have the vet clean your dog’s teeth once they’re starting to fall out!
Here are some great tips for brushing a dog’s teeth yourself.
Other Ways To Remove Dog Smell
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other helpful resources with dog odor remover tips for your pet… and your home:
- How To Get Rid Of Dog Smell In Your House
- Ways To Make Your Dog Smell Better
- Here’s What To Do If Your Dog Gets Sprayed By A Skunk
My favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with pregnancy, weddings, saving money, living green, and life with dogs. When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my husband, read, create 3D artwork and Native American beadwork.