How to Make Your Dog Smell Good Without Shampoo

Your dog is your best friend, your beloved family member, and your closest companion. She's also a bit stinky sometimes, and that smell can gradually work its way through your home if you don't clean her up ASAP. Although dogs may not be inherently smelly, they do tend to get into things like ponds and mud and appear to have an incredible talent for finding dead animals and other olfactory delights and rolling in them. If this sounds like your dog, don't worry. Even if you haven't got shampoo on hand, there are a number of ways you can get your sweet-smelling pup back again.

Close-Up Portrait Of Dog
How to Make Your Dog Smell Good Without Shampoo
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Use bath alternatives

With a bit of creativity and elbow grease, you can have your dog smelling great in no time without actually having to bathe him. Baby wipes or pet grooming wipes can help to refresh your pet, remove stinky smells, and leave him smelling better without the time-consuming chore of giving him a bath.

Short on water and time? You can still "bathe" your dog by giving him a dry bath. Use cornstarch in place of dry shampoo. Just massage the cornstarch deeply into your dog's coat and then brush it out. Cornstarch can help to pull some of the smell out of your dog's coat, leaving him much more pleasant to be around.

Clean your dog’s ears

Your dog's ears can get particularly smelly if they aren't cleaned on a regular basis. Put a little baby oil on a cotton ball and gently wipe the inside of your dog's ears, working from the inside and to the outside of the ear. Be very gentle with this process, since your dog's ears are sensitive. Your vet can teach you how to properly clean your dog's ears.

If the smell persists or it seems like your dog's ears are unusually irritated, make an appointment to take her to the vet.

Clean dog beds and blankets

If you think about it, your dog spends a lot of time lying on his dog bed or blankets. Keeping these areas clean can help to keep your dog smelling better too. Wash these items regularly, especially after your dog comes back from playing in the yard and gets them filthy. Your dog will stay cleaner and fresher smelling as a result.

Groom your pup

Regular grooming won't just leave your dog feeling and looking better, but she'll also smell better. Spend some time brushing her daily and finish by applying a grooming spray. The brushing will reduce the amount of dirt in your dog's coat, while the grooming spray will help to condition her coat. Plus, most sprays smell good, so you're almost giving your dog a spritz of perfume.

Grooming your dog has another great benefit. It gives you a chance to spend some quality time with her and allows you to inspect her for ticks, wounds, and other potential issues. The sooner you find these issues, the better, so make grooming a part of your daily routine with your dog.

Cope with skunks

When your dog encounters a skunk, your entire house, car, and any other area he enters will smell almost as bad as he does. Canine shampoos do little to remove skunk smell from a dog's coat, so you'll need another method. If your dog gets skunked, try to keep him out of the house while you prepare this mixture:

Combine 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap. Don't have these ingredients? You can dilute vinegar with water and use it instead. Scrub your dog down with your mixture of choice, but absolutely do not get it into his eyes or his mouth, since it can induce vomiting. Rinse him thoroughly. If you have dog shampoo available, following up with that can help to more completely remove the skunk smell.

Unlike traditional shampoos, the hydrogen peroxide mixture works by oxidizing the thiols, the compounds in skunk spray that make it stink, into compounds called disulfides. These compounds aren't nearly as smelly as the thiols, so rather than trying to remove or cover the scent, you're actually breaking it down as you wash your dog.