How to Prevent Your Dog From Stinking

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Dogs try to keep their hair and skin in good condition by licking, scratching, dry bathing (rolling on the ground) or simply by getting wet. Their saliva contains natural antiseptics, while licking and scratching are normal activities when performed in moderation. Rolling and rubbing are ways in which your dog can massage their skin, remove debris from areas that they can not reach with their tongues or paws, and activates their sebaceous glands with a secretion that has antimicrobial properties.

However, a dog won't clean himself up as much as a cat would, which means your dog might still have a distinctive, funky smell.


Causes and Prevention of Dog Stink

Dogs do not sweat as we do. Dogs perspire from their paws and emit a light perspiration from their hair follicles. That perspiration has a chemical scent, individual to the dog. So even when all dogs may smell the same to us, they do not smell the same to each other. Additionally, a dog's healthy skin has microorganisms like bacteria and yeasts, which can be influenced by some external factors and may release odoriferous compounds. Also, particular situations like ear infections, anal sac infections, and bad oral hygiene may also be the reason why your dog stinks.

The best way to keep your furry friend odor-free is to bathe and groom them. However, too much bathing can be more harmful than beneficial. Therefore, you can prevent your dog from stinking by practicing some of the following methods:


Wiping Your Dog's Coat With Dog Wipes or Baby Wipes

Both dog and baby wipes are gentle enough for your dog's delicate skin. They are pre-moistened with gentle cleansers, conditioners, and deodorizers to freshen the skin and coat with minimal effort.

Many dog wipes contain natural ingredients such as aloe vera to supplement and condition the fur, are free of additives, and have adjusted pH. If you're planning on using them regularly, you should consider using wipes formulated for dogs, since their pH is different from ours.

Wet wipes offer an easy and quick alternative to a daily bath. Just make sure to avoid wiping the area around the eyes.

Brush Your Dog Regularly

Dirt, dander, and allergens from your dog's coat will contribute to a stinky odor. The best way to remove them is by brushing. And since dead hair and skin cells lead to bad odor, make sure to increase the brushing frequency during your dog's shedding period. You can ask your vet if you're not sure. And consider that not all coats are the same, so ask your vet about the best frequency and brushing products for your dog.

Use a Dry or Powder Shampoo

Dry dog shampoos are powdered products, designed to be rubbed into the skin. They help eliminate the grease and odor from your dog's hair without the hassles or risks associated with a traditional bath. They are easy to apply and remove. Simply rub the appropriate dose of powder into your dog's coat, wait for several minutes and brush the dry shampoo out of her hair. However, keep in mind that using too much dry shampoo may affect your dog's natural antibacterial skin barrier or even clog the hair follicles, which stunts the natural hair growth and can create a buildup of environmental toxins on your dog.

Use Vinegar for a Quick Rinse

A simple but effective solution to improve your dog’s smell is to rinse him with vinegar. Once this strong-smelling product dries, its odor is gone, along with many of the other unpleasant smells on your dog. If you want to try it, just combine 2 cups of distilled white vinegar with 4 gallons of water. Use plain water to wet your dog's skin, not just the coat. The saturate the coat with the vinegar mixture. Finally, dry your pet without rinsing off the vinegar.

Keep Your Dog's Bedding Clean

If your dog sleeps on a smelly bed, your battle against dog odors will be more difficult. That's why it is important to keep his bed clean by washing it at least every other week.

Make Sure Your Dog's Ears, Anal Sac, and Teeth Are Clean

A dog's smell can sometimes originate from the ears. To clean them, you can use cotton pads with an indicated ear cleaning product for dogs, or you can also use baby or dog wipes. However, you should never use cotton swabs since you do not want to go too far in and damage their ear canal.

A clogged anal sac can make your dog stink more than anything else. If you suspect your dog is having a problem with them, take him to the veterinarian.

Another source of stinky dog odor is bad doggy breath. Frequent teeth brushing will keep both teeth and gums healthy, and your dog's breath will be pleasant. You should use a small toothbrush, and you must only use dog toothpaste. Don't use your toothpaste. Brush in small circles to loosen plaque and eliminate bad odor. Once again, never use human toothpastes since they contain artificial sweeteners that can be toxic for your dog.


When In Doubt...

In some cases, bad dog odors may be a sign of a minor health issue such as gum disease or skin infection. In other cases, it may indicate a severe systemic illness such as diabetes or kidney disease. If your dog smells different or stinkier than usual, ask your veterinarian to examine him or her.