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How to Keep Dogs From Stinking? 14 Dog Hygiene Tips

how to keep dogs from stinking?

Wondering how to keep dogs from stinking? Stinky dogs are no fun!

 If you are looking for ways to keep your dog smelling fresh and clean, then these tips can help.

In this guide, we will cover:

  •  14 simple and effective tips to keep dogs from stinking.
  •  Possible reasons behind dogs’ stinky smell.
  • And a lot more…

How to Keep Dogs From Stinking?

To keep dogs from stinking, use the following steps:

  1. Bathe your dog regularly
  2. Brush it with a grooming brush
  3. Rinse your buddy with diluted vinegar
  4. Give it a dry bath with baking soda
  5. Feed it good diet
  6. Wash and clean its bedding regularly.

Let us dive deeper into this.

14 Tips How to Keep Dogs From Stinking?

How to Keep Dogs From Stinking

Use the following steps to keep dogs from stinking.

1. Bathe your dog regularly

Bathing dogs is the best way to keep them from stinking. According to the (CSPCA) California Society and Animal Rescue Organization, bathing dogs can be a once a month activity.

 However, if your dog is stinking, you can bathe it more frequently. Also, in warmer months, bathing more than once a month can eliminate the stink as well as parasites.

Know how often to bathe according to dog coat type

You can also use the following criteria for knowing how often to bathe your dog:

  •  Dogs with oily coats like Basset hounds can be bathed once a week or once every 15 days.
  •  Dogs with water-resistant coats like Retrievers and long-haired dogs can be bathed once every month or even once in two months. Over-bathing can dry their coats out. These dogs need plenty of brushing on a daily basis.
  • Dogs with silky coats like Yorkies need brushing before bathing to remove and prevent tangles mats. They also need de-tangler products to prevent matting of their silky hairs.
Paper House Productions 3.5" x 2.25" Die-Cut Silky Terrier Dog Shaped Magnet for Refrigerators and Lockers

Choose a good dog shampoo

Here’s how to choose a dog shampoo based on the tips from CSPCA:

Natural Dog Company Sensitive Skin Dog Shampoo with Oatmeal and Aloe Vera, Cleans, Moisturizes and Relieves Dry Itchy Skin, Hypoallergenic, All Natural Ingredients, 12oz Bottle

Your vet can also guide you in choosing a dog shampoo. Never use human shampoos for bathing dogs as they are very harsh, are not balanced for the dog’s skin pH, and can strip its natural oils.

Steps for bathing

  • Brush your dog before you bathe it. This will remove shed hair and prevent your drains from clogging.
  • Use warm water – never hot. Always test the water temperature before wetting your dog’s fur.
  •  Use the right shampoo as described above. Take a sizable amount in your hand and add some water. Massage the coat thoroughly with the shampoo. Pay attention to areas with thick fur, under the ears, and on the belly region.
  • Rinse completely to remove all of the shampoo.
  • Towel or air dry your pet.
  • Reward and praise your dog so it looks forward to baths.

2. Brush your dog

Brushing helps prevent dogs from stinking in the following ways:

  •  According to Dr. Tammy Hunter of VCA Hospitals, regularly brushing your dog can reduce conditions like seborrhea which tend to cause a stinky odor in pets.
  • Brushing and grooming also remove loose hair, mats, knots, and tangles which tend to trap germs and bacteria that could cause dogs to stink.
  • The activity also helps distribute the natural oils under the dog’s skin.
HERTZKO Self Cleaning Slicker Brush – Gently Removes Loose Undercoat, Mats and Tangled Hair – Your Dog or Cat Will Love Being Brushed with The Grooming Brush

Choose a good grooming brush:

  • Slicker brushes – These help remove mats in medium to long-haired or curly haired dogs. They are ideal for Cocker spaniels, retriever breeds, Yorkies, St. Bernard, etc.
  •  Rakes – These are ideal for dogs that shed heavily. Use them for de-shedding thick coated dogs like German shepherds, Huskies, Malamutes, and Chow Chow.
  • Bristle brushes – These are ideal for grooming short, smooth coated dogs like pugs, greyhounds, and some terriers.
  • Pin Brushes – These are great for removing the shed hairs and can be suitable for most coat types.

Here are 5 simple steps to brush your dog:

  1. Find a comfortable place to brush.
  2. Start from the neck and brush the entire back. Do not apply too much pressure.
  3. Comb in the direction of hair growth.
  4. For rough coated dogs and dogs that are shedding, brush in both directions of hair growth to remove the loose and dead hairs.
  5. Use a comb with wide teeth to brush the face avoiding eyes and mouth.

3. Rinse with vinegar

There are several studies that have proven the efficacy of vinegar rinses as an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent. These studies show that vinegar washes can eliminate harmful bacteria like e.coli and staphylococcus from all kinds of surfaces.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With the Mother– USDA Certified Organic – Raw, Unfiltered All Natural Ingredients, 16 ounce, 2 Pack

Vinegar washes can therefore help deodorize your dog by eliminating odor causing germs. They can be used to keep pets fresh in between baths.

You can use either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Both are equally powerful deodorizers and can keep dogs from stinking.

Here are the steps for using vinegar:

  • Dilute the vinegar using 3 parts of distilled water and 1 part of vinegar. Add both ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
  • Spray your dog with the solution avoiding the eyes and mouth.
  • Comb or brush your dog to distribute the vinegar evenly.
  • Let the coat air dry.
  • Repeat as often as needed.

4. Give it a dry bath with baking soda

According to  Professor Robert L. Wolke, baking soda is amphoteric in nature. Amphoteric substances are those substances that react with both alkali and acids but are 20 times more effective in their reactions with acids.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 15 Pound (2 Pack)

Since all odors are acidic in nature, baking soda effectively absorbs odors and neutralizes them. It is no wonder we have been placing soda boxes in our refrigerators since decades!

Sprinkling soda on your dog’s coat works in the same way: it is an effective and natural remedy to prevent stinky, fishy odors from pets coats.

Here are the steps to use baking soda to freshen up your smelly dog:

  • Take a cup of baking soda. Make sure it is fresh.
  • Sprinkle it liberally all over your dog’s coat.
  • Brush your pet thoroughly to distribute the soda evenly.
  • Repeat as often as needed, between baths.

5. Feed it a healthy diet

According to the experts at Animal Medical Center, Appleton, one of the common causes behind a smelly dog is the food it eats. Food allergies can result in indigestion and flatulence and also give rise to skin issues.

Poor-quality commercial dog foods often contain fillers like corn, soy, wheat, and other preservatives that can result in allergies characterized by dull coat, itchy skin, and a foul odor.

Switching to a high-quality food can help overcome this stinky problem. Your vet can guide you in the matter. It is best to select a brand of food that is hypoallergenic, grain-free (if your dog is allergic or sensitive to grains), and balanced in proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Also Read: 11 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Smells like Fish?

6. Wash pet bedding

Dogs often pick up smells from the surfaces they linger upon. Most dogs spend their entire day sleeping and if their bedding stinks, their coats can pick up that foul odor.

Simply wash all pet bedding as well as your own bed linen if your dog takes its naps there. This can reduce foul odors. 

You can even add detergent boosters or fabric conditioners to impart a fresh fragrance and also soften the fabrics.

7. Use pet wipes to wipe down pet

Nature's Miracle NMI07009 Deodorizng Spring Water Wipes, 100 Count

Pet wipes are one of the best inventions for pet parents. You can use them to keep your pet smelling clean and fresh between baths.

Many pet wipes also contain antifungal and antibacterial ingredients. Some are hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, and have a mild lingering fragrance.

Pet wipes not only keep dogs from stinking between baths; they even help eliminate pet dander, dirt, dog eye boogers, ear gunk, tear stains, etc. You can even use them to wipe your dog’s butt after pooping. 


  • Use a fresh wipe to thoroughly clean your dog’s coat – back, legs, anal area, and face.
  • Use fresh wipes to clean out the ears.
  • Repeat as often as needed.

Also Read: 10 Surprising Reasons Why Dogs Sniff Buttholes

8. Try waterless dog shampoos

Begley’s Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo, Bathless Cleaning, Deodorizing, and Odor Removal for a Shiny, Fresh Smelling Coat - Effective for Dogs, Puppies, and Cats - Fresh Lavender Scent

Water-less dog shampoos are a safe and effective remedy to keep dogs from stinking between baths. They help you save time and water and can effortlessly keep your dog’s coat shiny and free from odors.

To use:

  • Spritz the shampoo all over your dog’s coat.
  • Make sure that the product reaches deep under the fur and on the skin.
  • Keep it away from your dog’s eyes. To clean the dog’s face, spray the shampoo on a damp cloth and gently clean around the eyes and mouth.
  • Let the coat dry naturally.
  • Groom/brush your dog as usual.

9. Brush its teeth regularly

Vet’s Best Dog Toothbrush and Enzymatic Toothpaste Set | Teeth Cleaning and Fresh Breath Kit with Dental Care Guide | Vet Formulated

According to AKC, a common cause behind stinky, smelly dogs is dental disease.

 Some breeds are also prone to periodontal diseases. However, most of the time, lack of oral hygiene is to blame.

Simply brushing your dog’s teeth regularly can prevent stinky and foul odors. Always use a vet-approved dog toothpaste and toothbrush .

Use the following steps to clean its mouth:

  • Take a sufficient quantity of toothpaste on the brush.
  • Gently touch your dog’s mouth. Pull its upper lip and brush the upper front teeth.
  • Next, brush the lower teeth by pulling down the lower lip.
  • Brush the sides and inside of the teeth if your dog allows it.
  • Do this once a day at least.

10. Clean its ears

According to Dr. Leigh Burkett DVM of PetMD, dog ear infections caused by yeast growth can raise up quite a bit of stink.

Yeast infection occurs when your dog has an overgrowth of Candida. This gives rise to a musty, stinky odor and can even result in a smelly coat.

Pet MD - Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes - Otic Cleanser for Dogs to Stop Ear Itching, and Infections with Aloe and Eucalyptus - 100 Count

Pet ear wipes help eliminate the gunky smell by reducing bacterial and fungal ear growth and also preventing ear mites.

Steps to use:

  • Take a clean wipe and gently clean the outer visible portion of the ears.
  • Do not go too deep to prevent hurting your dog’s ear canal.
  • Repeat the procedure on the other ear with a clean wipe.

11. Use doggy perfume/deodorants

Pet Odor Eliminator Spray for Dogs - Dog Spray For Smelly Dogs and Dog Calming Spray with Lavender Essential Oil - Pet Deodorizer Spray plus Dog Freshener Body Spray and Top Pet Supplies for Dogs

Freshen up your dog between baths using fragrant dog deodorants .

These products eliminate odors and some even contain ingredients like aloe vera and essential oils that soften your dog’s fur.

Steps to use:

  • Spray your dog with the deodorant.
  • Use a towel to rub the product all over and into the dog’s fur.
  • Let the coat dry naturally.
  • Groom/brush as usual.

12. Clean your home 

Dogs lay anywhere they like and pick up scents from surfaces. So, do use the following steps to clean your home:

  • Make it a point to wipe urine leaks (in incontinent dogs) and pick up dog feces from the yard.
  • Vacuum your home thoroughly to eliminate the shed hairs which too can make a dog stink. You can use some baking soda on the carpet to freshen it up. Carpet conditioning powders are also a great way to eliminate foul odors.
  • Wipe down hard floors or tiles with antibacterial chemical-free floor cleaners.

13. Deal with flatulence

If your dog is gassy, then too it is bound to stink.

Check with your vet as to what the cause of flatulence may be.

Sometimes, simple dietary changes like adding more fiber to the diet, or administering probiotic supplements can help reduce gas in dogs.

14. Eliminate underlying medical issues

According to experts, certain medical issues can also result in a stinky dog despite bathing and grooming. These include:

  • Anal gland problems
  • Dental issues or oral tumors
  • Yeast infections
  • Diabetes
  • Skin problems like pyoderma in heavily wrinkled dogs
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Parvovirus
  • Kidney disease

 If your dog is showing other signs and symptoms in addition to a smelly coat, please see your vet to rule out the above problems.

Don’t forget to check out 8 Surprising Reasons Your Dog is in Pain After Anal Glands Expressed 

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