Nobody likes a smelly pup, particularly when they’re trying to snuggle up in your fresh new blankets. But sometimes bathing a dog too frequently isn’t a good idea either. Not only do you have the headache of actually washing your pup to worry about, but over-washing can also cause problems like stripping your dog’s skin of its natural protective oils.
The question is, what do you do in-between bathing sessions when your dog doesn’t quite smell their best? Spraying them with perfume isn’t a good idea, so you’re going to need another strategy.
Fortunately, we’ve got some top tips you can follow to keep your dog looking and smelling great – no matter how long it is until their next bath.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
First, the best way to make sure a dog smells clean, is to ensure they actually are clean. This means regular bathing is a must – but not too regular.
Unless your dog has a skin condition which means they need extra bathing, or they end up getting themselves into a mess at the park, you really only need to bathe your pup once a month. You can consider bathing your pet less frequently, but most groomers recommend making sure they at least get a bath every three months.
Since you’re only going to be bathing your dog every so often, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re doing it right. Take the time to invest in a good set of bathing tools for your pup, including a towel to help absorb all that moisture (and prevent wet dog smell), and the right shampoo. Remember, a good shampoo and condition doesn’t just get your dog smelling good, it can also protect them against skin conditions and other problems which might cause smelliness later.
Keeping your Dog Clean Between Baths
In between bathing sessions, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of a smelly pup. Do keep an eye out for any particularly bad smells though, as this could be a sign your dog needs a trip to the vet. Here are our top tips for keeping your pooch smelling fresh.
1. Brush and Chop Regularly
First, brushing your dog’s coat should be a standard part of your regular grooming routine. Brushing your dog with the right tools will help to remove any of the dirt, debris, and allergens your dog’s coat might collect over time. When these substances build up on your dog’s fur, they can often contribute to a less than fresh scent.
Brushing also helps with shedding, by removing dead and loose hair, while distributing natural oils to keep the coat healthy and clean. While you’re brushing your dog’s hair, keep an eye on when he or she might need a little trim. When a dog’s fur gets too long, it’s easier for various pieces of dirt and debris to get trapped in there, which means your chances of a smelly pup go up.
If you have a long-haired dog, regularly committing to trimming his hair and nails will keep him feeling great and smelling fab too.
2. Wash Your Dog’s Bedding
Even if your dog has just had their monthly bath, when their bedding is still dirty and smelly, they’re going to pick up some bad odours. A dog’s bed can easily soak up a lot of smells over time, particularly if the pooch runs straight in from a trip outside and snuggles up for a nap.
When buying your dog’s bed, make sure you look for something you can safely, and easily wash on a regular basis. Every so often, throw the whole bed in the washing machine, along with any blankets and snuggly items your dog might sleep with. This will remove some of the dirt that can cling to your dog’s coat.
It’s even worth regularly cleaning the drying bags you use to keep your pooch warm and protected after they get wet outdoors. These can soak up smells as well as moisture if you’re not careful.
3. Try No-Rinse Shampoos
If your dog gets particularly dirty after a long walk, or they’re just not smelling their best for any reason, you could always consider using a no-rinse bath-less shampoo. These foam shampoo products are a little like dry shampoos for dogs, and they’re great for refreshing your dog’s coat.
There’s no water required, so you can apply the shampoo anywhere. We think the foam version of these shampoos are usually better than the powder versions, but you can always do a little experimentation of your own to see what you like best.
4. Commit to Good Oral Care
Let’s face it, the chances are that a lot of the smells you actually pick up on from your dog aren’t from his fur or coat. Rather, you might notice your pooch doesn’t have the best smelling breath. If you care for your teeth every day, you should be caring for your dog’s gnashers too.
Dogs can get a lot of the same dental problems as humans, including plaque build-up and gum disease. Doing things like regularly brushing their teeth or buying dental dog treats is usually a good idea. You can also get substances to add to your dog’s drinking water which can help to flight plaque and keep your dog’s breath smelling fresh.
5. Look After your Dog’s Digestion
While a dog’s bathroom habits are never going to smell great, the last thing you want is for a digestion problem to be contributing to a bad smell. A poor diet and low-quality dog food can often contribute to flatulence, and even body odour for your dog.
In general, it’s best to follow the recommendations of your vet when you’re purchasing a dog food and do your research into the kind of ingredients that are good for the breed. Probiotics for dogs are also a good investment for promoting healthy digestion and better nutrient absorption.
Keep Your Dog Smelling Fresh
While your pooch might not always smell as though they’ve just had a bath, the tips above should at least mean you’re not worrying about the scent driving away your friends. Follow our advice and your furry pal should stay smelling fresh and huggable for longer.