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How to Make Your Dog Smell Better

Bathing your Dog

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    Buy some dog shampoo. For a dog that has rolled in something smelly, hasn’t been bathed for a while, or looks dirty, a bath is a good start to fixing the odor issue. Buy a shampoo that is formulated to get rid of odors rather than simply trying to cover them up with artificial scents.[1]
    • Conditioner is optional, depending on the type of coat your dog has.[2]
    • If your dog is suffering from a skin condition, such as yeast overgrowth, ask your vet for an appropriate medicated shampoo to use.
     
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    Wet your dog completely. Starting from the top of the head and working your way down to the end of the tail, apply warm (but not hot) water to your dog.[3]
    • Your dog should be wet all the way to the skin before applying shampoo.
     
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    Shampoo the dog. Squirt some shampoo into your hands. Start to lather from the top of your dog’s neck to the end of its tail.[4]
    • Shampoo the outside of the ears, the legs, the chest, belly, featherings (if any), and the rest of the body.
    • Be careful to avoid your dog’s eyes and ears.
     
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    Rinse the shampoo. Use warm water to wash the shampoo out of the dog’s coat. Again, avoid water entering the eyes, ears or nose.
     
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    Repeat this process for conditioner, if you choose.
     
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    Let your dog shake the water off. Stand back and let your dog shake out as much water as possible.
     
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    Dry your dog as soon as possible. Using a towel, dry your dog as much as you are able. Some dogs may let you use a hair dryer set on low to blow dry their fur.[5]
    • The wet-dog smell that people complain about is mainly caused by bacteria that feed on a dog’s natural skin oil. Like so many other types of bacteria, they thrive in a warm, moist environment.
    • The best way to control the wet-dog smell is to give your dog regular baths and to keep your dog dry as much as possible between baths.
    • Keep in mind that bathing your dog too frequently will remove too much skin oil, leading to health problems. Ask your vet for advice, according to the climate, length of your dog’s hair, etc.[6]
    • It’s best if you can prevent your dog from rolling until he has dried completely, as its wet fur will easily absorb scents.