Having your dog groomed or bathed regularly is the way to keep it clean and smelling good! But what do you do in between grooming appointments to keep them smelling fresh and welcome on the furniture, or even in the house!
It's important to know that certain breeds are simply smellier than others. A lot of the smooth short hair dogs, hound breeds in particular, excrete more oil than other breeds. This oil is what causes that “dog smell.”
Also, if you notice your dog is smelling really bad it is important to check for health conditions that could cause the smell. Examples include: ear infections, eye infections, skin infections, bad teeth, allergies and more. If you notice anything like this it is important to go to the veterinarian for help.
One thing that can make a big difference in the smell of your dog is its diet. Feeding a high quality diet can dramatically improve the smell of your dog. A good resource to check and make sure you're feeding a quality diet is www.dogfoodanalysis.com. Poor quality foods contain a lot of fillers and dyes that can contribute to a poor smelling pet.
If your dog is one who enjoys swimming or getting wet it is important to make sure your dog dries thoroughly after a swim. If it has a thick or long coat this is very important. Mold and fungus can grow in a dog's coat if it is left damp for very long and this certainly is a recipe for a smelly dog!
Brushing and combing your dog in between grooming appointments is a good way to help reduce regular pet odor. This process removes dead coat, dirt and dander. You can sprinkle corn starch on your dog, being careful that it doesn't get in its eyes and isn't inhaled, rub it in, and brush it out. This will help to absorb some of the oil on its coat. You can also use a talcum powder with a scent in it if you like as long as your pet doesn't suffer from allergies and may be sensitive to the scent.
If you feel you must bathe your dog in between grooming appointments it is very important to use a quality shampoo made for dogs, and to dilute it as instructed on the label if it is concentrated. A dog's PH is different from a human's PH so products are formulated differently. Human products, baby shampoo, and dish soap have the potential to dry your dogs skin out. This could cause problems with the skin and could cause them to produce MORE oil, and that oil is what is causing the “doggie” smell to begin with! Be sure to rinse very well as shampoo residue left on the dog can also cause skin problems and shampoo residue will attract and hold dirt and dust.
The best thing you as a pet owner can do to help keep your dogs odor to a minimum is to have it groomed regularly. For most pets it is recommended they be groomed every four to six weeks, although there is no harm in having them groomed weekly if you like.
Lara Latshaw is Chief Grooming Officer for HydroDog, the premier mobile pet grooming service and franchise. For more than 13 years, she has groomed and worked with animals professionally. She is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR, is a National Certified Master Groomer, and is an award-winning competition groomer. You can learn more about HydroDog at http://hydrodog.com or join the conversation on Facebook. You can reach lara by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.