The undeniable truth of dog ownership is that your pup smells – and that smell can follow you around too. Whether its seeped into the carpet or clinging to your best clothes, it can sometimes be a nightmare to get rid of.
Because our dogs now spend most of their time indoors – and most will have a much more lavish lifestyle than the working dogs of old had – its likely that your home will suffer the consequences. Your dog, of course, pays you back with unconditional love, but getting rid of that smell is still beneficial.
So, we’ll talk you through some of the tips we’ve learned for getting rid of that smell.
Why does my dog smell?
Dogs aren’t much different from people in that if we don’t wash regularly, we’re going to smell. Of course, dogs can – and should – go a little longer than we can before needing a bath. But they still need them.
There are actually a number of factors that work together to help your dog smell its most pungent.
That first assault of “dog smell” when you walk into the house can often be attributed to their oily skin. This is particularly common if your dog has allergies, as their skin will produce more oil to compensate for itchiness or inflammation. For that reason, you can end up with a very stinky pup.
Bacteria is especially fond of your dog’s wet coat. Whether your dogs just ran through some sprinklers, gone for a swim or come out of the bath – it’s the perfect environment for bacteria.
You’re probably familiar with dogs “marking their territory”, but what you may not know is that they don’t just do this by peeing. In fact, their glands also secrete a distinct scent to help other animals know this is their territory. These glands are likely the cause of any “dog smell” on your furniture or their own beds.
An easy one to overlook, a dog’s ears can actually be quite smelly. They’re full of glands that produce wax. This wax is a fantastic breeding ground for microorganisms – and these can really stink. Some breeds are also very prone to ear infections, which will only increase the smell.
How to help your dog smell good
Dogs need pampering too, and there’s some things that you should definitely be looking to add into your dog’s routine where possible.
It’s easy to combat this with regular brushing. This will help remove any oils and dead hair that help create that “dog smell”. In fact, brushing your dog is one of the easiest ways to prevent bad odours. If you make it a daily routine, then your dog will be much better for it!
After your dog has gone swimming or come out of the bath, you’re going to want to dry them off as much as possible! So no more leaving them to air dry – make sure you get rid of as much moisture from their coat as you can. Sometimes this may mean more than one towel. If you opt for a blow dryer to quicken the process, please use the cool setting!
This isn’t just giving them a bath – which you should do once every three months (at least!) and more if your dog is prone to getting into dirty situations. It’s also paying attention to other areas, such as ears and mouth. Oral hygiene is as important in dogs as it is in humans so providing dental chews and brushing teeth a couple of times a week will go a long way. You should also regularly clean their ears. As mentioned, these can get very smelly, so it’s best to keep on top of it when need be. Your groomer and veterinarian can also help with this, especially in cases of infection.
Keeping your house free of dog smell
First, it’s impossible to be “free” of dog smell without being free of your dog. However, you can change your cleaning routines to accommodate your dog and make life a little easier for yourself, too.
Clean your furniture
This one seems like a no-brainer, especially if you have fabric furniture. Smell lingers on furniture, so you’re going to want to strip any soft furnishings – cushions, duvets, rugs, blankets – and put them through the wash. Anything you can’t strip, you’ll need to use appropriate products on (the more natural the product, the healthier it will be for you and your pup).
Wash your floors regularly
If you have tile, linoleum or hardwood flooring then you’re getting a better end of the deal than carpet – but you haven’t dodged the bullet entirely. It’s recommended that you wash and sweep your floors at least once a week – more if you have multiple dogs, or dogs that are prone to moulting. As for carpet, you’re going to want to clean this once a week and vacuum more regularly. Carpet powder goes a long way here!
Allow for fresh air
This is true whether you own pets or not. Letting fresh air into your home helps get rid of any unwanted smells. Open your windows and doors when possible for a cheap and easy way to combat your dog’s smell.
Wash your dog’s bed
Your dog’s bed is probably the smelliest thing in your house, if they use it a lot. So, washing it weekly or more can have a tremendous effect on the overall smell of your home – especially the room its located in.
Remember, your dog can’t help it…
Dogs are animals and we’ve chosen to allow them into our homes. You shouldn’t expect them to act any differently. A little training can help keep your dog from getting too dirty – but dirt comes with the territory of owning a pet.
It’s our responsibility to make sure they remain healthy – smell and all!
If you find that your dog has developed a more potent smell, then it’s possible they have an allergy or medical issue that you’ll want to talk to your vet about. But, otherwise, these tips should surely help keep that “dog smell” at bay.