How to Minimize the Smell of Beagles

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Beagles smell more than other dogs based on the fact that they were bred to hunt — specifically rabbits. This is why, to this day, beagles have a more, shall we say, "aromatic quality" than other dogs. Let's face it: Beagles stink.

While you can't wash all of the odor off beagles and smelly dog breeds, you can control their scent and keep your home fresher and your family and friends breathing easier.

Why do beagles stink?

Like other dogs bred for hunting, beagles worked in packs to track, chase, corner and tree animals. Because all dogs are descended from wolves, they are pack animals. When they are in groups, they are controlled by a pack leader. When they are on the hunt, the pack leader needs to know where his followers are, and this led to hunting dogs, including beagles, to start emitting a stronger scent so they could be detected by their pack leader's strong beagle scent receptors more easily. In fact, hunting dogs have become so well-known for the smell, their aroma has been named — "hound smell" or "hound odors" — according to BeaglePro.com. Some people even say their beagle smells like fish.

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Can you eliminate the odor?

No, you can't get rid of a dog's natural smell. It emits this odor through natural chemical processes, similar to a human's body odor. You can minimize the smell of a beagle, however, with body cleaning and oral hygiene.

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This will require that you develop a proactive process and routine for regularly cleaning your dog, rather than reactive attempts at trying one-off washes, scents, sprays or other methods each time your pet smells particularly offensive.

Learn to bathe a dog

No matter what the breed, many dogs hate baths. They don't want to be immersed in water, they don't like water on their fur, they might react badly to new cleaners you keep trying and they want to get the water off their coats, so they shake while covered in water and soap.

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Dogs like familiarity. The trick to getting your dog used to bathing is to create a routine. This means using the same tub, in the same room and using the same cleaners, brushes, towels and other items each time. Use a container with a non-slip surface, recommends Preventive Pet.

To avoid your dog shaking water off and spraying it all over your kitchen or bathroom, get your dog used to bathing outside, if possible. Set up a kiddie pool or other large container so your dog can get used to being in a container of warm water. Let your dog play in the container while it's empty so that it becomes a fun, familiar place. Do this with whatever bathtub or indoor container you end up using.

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Next, slowly pour warm water over your dog's back, using your fingers to give your dog a nice, comforting massage. This will make future baths more inviting. Practice pouring water over different parts of your dog's body to see her reaction.

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Once your dog enjoys warm water — poured and sprayed — while you massage it, begin to introduce your shampoo or other cleaner. Let the dog smell the shampoo on your fingers to get used to it. Begin to lather your dog using the massage technique you've been using and that the dog is used to.

After a good rinse, let your dog shake itself off. That's natural and if you scold the dog for doing so, you can begin to confuse, stress and depress it. If your dog is still too wet to let it roam the house or jump in the car, use a towel or hair blower to dry the dog.

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What cleaner should you use?

Talk to your vet about the best shampoo for beagle smell issues. Your vet should know if your dog has had any skin problems. She can also warn you about commercial products that might be popular, but might have side-effects. Be careful not to get shampoo into the dog's eyes and ears, which can happen when you rinse or if the dog starts shaking it off. Avoid putting any scents on your dog to hide its natural odor. This can interfere with a dog's important sense of smell, confuse the dog and eventually irritate its skin.

Frequency of cleaning

You don't need to wash your beagle each day. If your dog has been running, playing and involved in other activities that caused it to pant, this might be a good day for a bath. If the dog has been socializing with other dogs, it might have started producing and emitting more hormones, pheromones and other scents. If it's been in dirt or other dogs' leavings, you'll obviously need to clean it.

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Of course, bad breath can add to a beagle's natural malodorous condition, so brush your dog's teeth regularly. You can also try dog chews specifically made to help with bad breath.

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