Is your dog in heat and attracting the attention of male dogs? Are you wondering how to cover the scent of a dog in heat?
Then we have powerful, effective, and easy remedies that show great results in masking your dog’s estrus odor.
In this article, we will cover:
- 15 Effective ways to cover the scent of a dog in heat.
- And other tips to help your female and/or male dogs when the former is in heat.
How to Cover The Scent of a Dog in Heat?
To cover the scent of a dog in heat, you can wash her private parts with water or dog shampoo. You can also use chlorophyll supplements to mask her odor, or some menthol sprays or perfumes. Doggy diapers help catch her discharge and trap the scent. Keep your dog crated as well.
15 Ways To Cover The Scent of a Dog in Heat
1. Wash and clean her rear end frequently
The easiest way to mask or cover the scent of a dog in heat is to wash away the discharge from her vulva.
Take your dog into the bathroom and splash some warm water on her rear end and private area. You need not bathe her completely, simply wash her genital area.
Just washing with warm water is enough but if you want to go a step further, you can use some scented dog shampoos to wash her vulva and bottom.
A ph-balanced scented shampoo will not only mask the odor of her heat discharge, it could also prevent skin infections that could occur from frequent licking of genitals.
Only use a shampoo meant for dogs and not human shampoo since they are not pH-balanced and could irritate your pet’s delicate skin.
Make sure you dry your pet completely with a clean towel afterwards. You don’t want her skin to remain wet as that could create a harbor ground for bacteria and pathogens.
You might also want to repeat the washing process 2-3 times a day depending on the amount of discharge she has.
Also read: Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs? – Surprising Reasons!
2. Use dog diapers to catch discharge
This method will not exactly cover the scent of your dog in heat but it can keep the discharge minimum and contained within the diaper. Dog diapers can also prevent staining of your bed-sheets and sofa linen if you allow your dog on them.
Types of doggy diapers
- Disposable diapers are a blessing if you want to travel with your dog during her heat cycle. On the downside, they can be expensive as they are one-time use.
- Reusable dog diapers are washable and reusable over and over. They even come with some pretty prints on the outer side! Naturally, you need to wash them – which could be a hassle. Alternatively add some panty liners inside them to catch the discharge.
- Each diaper comes with a hole for the tail so your pet will feel comfortable.
How to measure your dog when selecting dog diaper
It is important to ensure a snug fit when you place the diaper around your pet’s waist. Here are the steps to measure your dog when selecting the diaper:
- Measure your dog at the narrowest point around her waist.
- Next, measure it from the base of the tail to along the back to her waistline.
- Finally, measure from the bottom of the base of the tail underneath to the private parts.
If your dog’s waist circumference is between 10-12 inches, choose XS size. If it is between 11 to 16 inches, choose S size, for 14 to 20 inches, choose size M and for 16 to 24 inches, choose L. This can vary from brand to brand – so use the brand’s directions when measuring.
Change the diaper frequently
Check your pet’s comfort levels. If she appears irritated with the diaper, remove it. Always check the diaper for discharge and replace with a clean one once the diaper is significantly soiled.
3. Use strong menthol spray/balm
This is a great tip from dog owners. It is especially handy for masking the dog’s scent when you take your pet out for her walk to do her business.
Menthol is an organic compound found in mint and peppermint plants. It is also synthesized in the laboratory. It has a strong scent and is available in the form or balms, lotions, sprays, foams, and rubs. Male dogs won’t be able to smell your dog as menthol‘s strong scent covers your dog’s scent.
- Most dogs hate the strong scent of menthol – so your pet might try and wipe it off. That is why, it is best to keep her leashed before applying menthol and take her out for her walk right after application.
- Apply a thin layer of menthol balm/spray/ foam to your dog’s tail at the base.
- Do not let the product get in her eyes or on her irritated genital area. Do not use menthol products if your dog has broken or irritated skin, open wounds, or blisters.
- You can repeat the application 3-4 times a day or before each of her walks.
4. Coat the base of her tail with some Vicks Vaporub
Like menthol, Vicks® Vaporub has a strong scent that can mask your dog’s scent.
Use the same steps as above to cover your dog’s scent when she is in heat.
5. Use doggy deodorants or pet colognes
A better alternative to menthol sprays and Vicks Vaporub is doggy deodorants or pet colognes .
These help mask your dog’s strong scent and can keep male dogs away from her. Some products also leave your pet’s coat smooth and conditioned.
- Hold the product 6-8 inches from your dog’s body
- Spritz your pet lightly using short bursts.
- Make sure you do not get the spray in her eyes.
- Brush her coat afterwards to dispense the cologne throughout her body.
6. Add chlorophyll to her drinking water
This is a method that breeders use to mask the scent of a dog in heat. It is especially useful when you have both male and female dogs that are un-fixed.
Dr. Liz Hanson, veterinarian practicing in California, recommends chlorophyll for dogs to mask bad breath as well as body odor. The same principle can be extended to dogs in heat. Chlorophyll supplements are known to help mask the strong scent that female dogs give off when they are in season.
Many breeders are known to start adding a teaspoon of chlorophyll powder to their bitches’ food before they are due to come in heat.
Chlorophyll is also available in tablet and liquid form. You can add chlorophyll drops/liquid to your pet’s drinking water or crumble the tablet over her food. The great thing about this remedy is that chlorophyll is made from parsley and alfalfa – so it is quite safe and you don’t have to worry about overdosing your pet.
The important thing is to time this supplementation properly: you have to start dosing your pet with chlorophyll before she actually comes in heat and continue throughout her heat cycle. This way, her odor will be greatly minimized when she is in heat.
7. Try diluted essential oils
Essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, and frankincense are safe to use on dogs and their strong aroma can cover the scent of a dog in heat.
However, you must only use them diluted with some carrier oil like coconut or olive oils. Here are the steps for this remedy:
- Mix 4 to 5 drops of eucalyptus oil with a teaspoon (5ml) of coconut oil/olive oil.
- Rub the mixture in between your dog’s shoulder blades and also at the base of her tail. This way, your pet won’t be able to wipe off or lick it.
- Repeat application before her walks to mask her scent from neighborhood male dogs.
As a dog owner, it is important to know which essential oils are safe and the ones that are toxic to your dog.
Essential oils that are harmful to dogs include, but are not limited to:
- Sweet birch
- Tea Tree
- Ylang Ylang
When in doubt check with your vet whether the oil you choose is safe for your dog.
8. Bathe your dog
Typically, most vets recommend bathing dogs once a month. But if your female dog is in heat, you can bathe her a little more frequently – about 2-3 times a month – and especially while she is having discharge during her heat.
Bathing also helps wash away stains caused by discharge on the fur around your dog’s private parts (in case of long-haired dogs). And when you use a dog shampoo for bathing, its fragrance can also temporarily mask her scent.
9. Avoid taking your pet for walks and secure your yard
The best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy in your female dog is to avoid taking her for walks during her heat. You can let her out to do her business in an enclosed yard where there is no danger from other male dogs.
If possible, raise the height of your yard’s fence and also make reinforcements at its bottom. This is very important since crazed male dogs will go to any extent to reach the female in heat.
If you do take your dog in heat outside for her regular walk, keep her leashed at all times.
10. Crate your dog
This is very important if you house both male and female dogs that are not fixed and wish to avoid pregnancy.
Keep either or both pets crated or in an enclosed room far away from each other. This will prevent unwanted contact between the two.
11. Use enzymatic odor removers
Invest in some strong enzymatic cleaners which help break down tough odor-causing molecules in the air and on surfaces.
These are also available in sprays and you can spray around the house, outside your pet’s room/crate to discourage your male dog from approaching.
You can also use these cleaners to remove stains caused by the dog’s discharge on sheets, furniture, floors, and carpets.
12. Pour ammonia around your house
To deter neighborhood male dogs coming into your yard, simply spray some ammonia around your fence.
Ammonia has a strong smell and it helps masks all other odors and scents.
You must also pour or spray ammonia solution in the areas where your dog pees. This will break down the urine and estrus scent and keep the male dogs away from your pet.
13. Deodorant tablets
There are special deodorant tablets made especially for female dogs in heat. They help mask her heat scent and keep male dogs away. You can follow the dosing instructions given on the product.
Many pet owners have successfully used these tablets in combination with anti-mate sprays to ward off male dogs from the female in heat.
14. Tips for your male dog when there is a female in heat nearby
If you have both male and female dogs or a neighboring female dog is in heat, then your male might literally go crazy trying to get to her.
Many male dogs stop eating and even scratch at the door, drool excessively, or display other bad behaviors like whining, crying, and trying to escape.
Products like Lust Buster balms and Animal Deterrent sprays can help in such cases. You simply spray or rub the balm on your male dog’s nose to mask the odor of the female in heat. In lieu of these products, apply some vanilla essence on your dog’s nose to mask the female’s scent.
Always keep your male dog safe in an enclosed area as no amount of sprays or balms are guaranteed to stop a determined dog. This is very important for your pet’s safety.
15. Spay your dog!
There is no way around it. The only way to keep your dog safe – male or female – is to have them fixed.
The neutering/spaying surgery not only prevents unwanted behaviors like crying, whining, and trying to escape, it also prevents messy discharge and odors that arise when female dog comes in heat twice a year. The ASPCA also recommends sterilization surgery for dogs as it is proven to prevent many types of cancers and deadly infections in both genders.
Please speak to your vet and have your dog neutered/spayed at the right time.