How to Make Your Dog Smell Good Without a Bath

how to make your dog smell good without a bath

How to make your dog smell good without a bath? The key lies in deodorizing your pet using good products as well as deodorizing remedies.

If you want to keep your dog from smelling bad between baths, then there are a number of things you can do.

In this guide, we will tell you exactly how to deodorize your pet and make him smell better after a bath and in between baths.

How to Make Your Dog Smell Good without a Bath – 10 Easy Tips

Here are some easy ways to make your dog smell good without a bath:

1. Brush its coat out

In between baths, brush your pet’s coat using a natural bristle brush or a slicker brush.

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

While this will not stop it from smelling bad, it will certainly stimulate the oil glands under its skin to secrete natural oils making its fur softer and healthier.

The practice will also prevent dead hairs and fur from falling on carpets and rugs which can raise a stink or doggy odor in your house.

Brushing keeps shedding under control and also eliminates parasites like ticks and fleas.

Step 1: Brush your pet starting from its head to the tip of the tail. Go in the direction of hair growth.

Step 2: Do not forget to brush the tummy area, the chest, back of the legs, and gently over the face. For long-eared dogs, gently brush the ears as well.

Step 3: Finally, brush against the direction of hair growth. This will remove mats, tangles, and stray hairs.

Treat and praise your pet so s/he looks forward to these grooming sessions!

Practice this brushing routine at least 2-3 times a week for maintaining your pet’s coat.

2.  Use a dry shampoo

A dry shampoo is a great alternative to bathing your pet.

You can go in for Wahl Pet-Friendly Waterless Shampoo.

Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals – Oatmeal & Coconut Lime Verbena for Cleaning, Conditioning, Detangling & Moisturizing Dogs, Cats & Horses – 7.1 Oz

It is paraben-free and has a mild coconut-lime scent which will keep your pet fresh and clean before its next bath. You can also safely use a dry shampoo to deodorize your dog that has just had surgery.

Step 1: Thoroughly brush your pet before using the dry shampoo. You can use the steps give above. This will remove dead and stray hairs.

Step 2: Take a liberal amount of the foam of the dry shampoo in your hands. Rub it over your pet’s fur to distribute it evenly throughout the skin.

Step 3: Make sure to cover all of your pet’s coat and allow it to air dry. You can also towel dry your pet.

Step 4: Once your dog is dry, give its fur a nice brushing once again all over.

Repeat as needed or when your pet starts giving out that doggy odor between baths.

Also Read: Vets’ Answer to the Question ‘Can You Use Baby Shampoo on Dogs‘?

3.  Use pet wipes

Do not use baby wipes on your dog as they could contain alcohol which is drying. They are also not pH balanced for your pet’s skin. (Check out our guide on why experts recommend not to use baby wipes on dogs).

Instead, use dog wipes to clean your pet between baths.

This will clean your pet’s fur and leave a mild scent which is pleasant and refreshing.

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

Step 1: Using clean hands, remove one wipe from the box.

Step 2: Rub the wipe all over your pet’s fur, concentrating on heavily soiled areas: anus, paws, eyes, face, etc. Use a clean wipe for every body part.

Repeat as often as needed to groom your pet between baths.

4.  Clean out your pet’s ears

Many times, dogs stink because their ears get ‘gunky’.

Long and floppy-eared dogs have this issue more often because the moisture inside their ears does not dry completely.

This creates a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, etc.

Therefore, you must clean your pet’s ears from time to time.

Once your dog’s ear wax buildup and other ear debris are out, it will smell fresher and cleaner too.

There are a number of ways to clean out your pet’s ears:

Hydrogen peroxide

We recommend using 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide . You can easily find this at the pharmacy.

Step 1: Dilute the peroxide with water in 1:1 ratio. Dip a clean cotton pad in the solution and wring out the excess.

Step 2: Gently wipe out your pet’s ears. Do not go too deep, as dogs have very sensitive ears and they might not let you clean inside the ear canal.

Repeat the procedure on the other ear using a fresh cotton pad.

Treat and praise your pet so s/he will look forward to these grooming sessions.

Baby oil

Use mild-scented baby oil to clean your pet’s ears. You can also use olive oil in place of baby oil.

Amazon Brand - Solimo Baby Oil, Mild & Gentle, Dermatologist Tested, 14 Fluid Ounces (Pack of 4)

Step 1: Dip a clean cotton pad in the oil. Squeeze out the excess.

Step 2: Gently wipe inside the ears to remove the reddish brown gunk. As before, avoid going in too deep.

Repeat the procedure for the other ear.

Pet-ear cleaning pads

Ear cleaning dog wipes have special ingredients like aloe vera gel along with essential oils.

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

They clean ear gunk with ease and make your pet’s ears smell clean and fresh.

Step 1: Using clean hands, pull out one cleaning wipe from the box.

Step 2: Gently use the wipe inside your pet’s ear. Make sure you clean gently yet thoroughly.

Repeat the steps using a fresh wipe for the other ear.

5.  Clean its paws

When your pet comes home from its walks, make sure you clean its paws.

Doggy paws tend to trap a lot of dirt and moisture creating a harboring ground for pathogens.

This ends up giving them a musty and moldy odor over time.

You can use waterless paw cleaner solution to keep your pet’s paws healthy, clean, and fresh-smelling.

PUPMATE Paw Cleaner, No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo Dogs Cats Feet Cleaning Silicone Pet Grooming Brush, Rose Scent, 6.8 oz, Unique Design Pet Shampoo

Step 1: Wipe off the excess mud from your pet’s paws. You might have to wash your pet’s paws with water if they are too muddy.

Step 2: Spray the paw cleaner all over your pet’s paws and allow them to air dry. You can also wipe with a towel.

6. Clean your dog’s teeth

Doggy mouth odor can also make your dog stink between baths.

Step 1: Regularly treat your pet with dentals chews like Dentastix. They clean your dog’s teeth of plaque and tartar and reduce bad breath.

Step 2: Once or twice a week, brush your pet’s teeth using dog toothpaste and brush.

Arm & Hammer for Pets Dog Dental Care Fresh Breath Kit for Dogs

You can feed your dog crunchy foods that eliminate plaque and tartar and freshen up its breath.

Also, schedule vet exams and regular dental cleanup for your pet.

7.  Use baking soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer. To make your dog smell good without a bath, rub some baking soda in its fur.

ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda 8 oz (Pack of 6)

Baking soda will absorb all odors leaving your dog smelling fresh and clean.

Step 1: Sprinkle the soda liberally over your pet’s coat. Allow it to stand for a few minutes.

Step 2: Brush your furbaby’s coat using a natural bristle brush or a de-shedding glove. This will distribute the soda all over its fur.

Repeat once a week to keep your dog odor-free between baths.

8. Make a simple homemade Dog Deodorizer Spray with vinegar and aloe

You can also use this simple pet fur cleaning gel for a clean smelling dog between baths:

  • ½ cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • A few drops of lavender essential oil and tea tree oil
  • 1 cup distilled water

Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Shake the bottle well.

Step 2: Spritz the solution all over your pet’s fur.

Step 3: Allow your pet’s coat to air dry.

Repeat once a week to keep your pet odor-free between bath times.

9.  Use dryer sheets

Fragrant dryer sheets are a great way of making your dog smell great between baths.

Step 1: Using clean hands, remove one dryer sheet from the box.

Step 2: Rub the sheet all over your pet’s fur from head to toe, its underside, paws, etc.

Use more sheets as needed.

Dryer sheets will leave your pet smelling fantastic between baths.

10.  Clean your floors, rugs, and sheets

Last but not the least, clean your house.

Dogs often spend a lot of time sleeping on floors, rugs, dog beds, and sheets.

Their dead hair falls in all these areas contributing to doggy odor in the house and on your pet as well.

Clean and wash your pet’s bedding with mild detergent and vacuum carpets/rugs/linen/and upholstery thoroughly and regularly.

Be consistent in following this step as it can make a huge difference in the way your dog smells.

How often do dogs need a bath?

Vets recommend bathing dogs once a month.

However, if your dog loves to roll in puddles, you might want to schedule baths more frequently.

Do not bathe your pet too often as doing so can strip off the natural oils, making its fur dry and itchy.

Always use a vet-approved dog shampoo to clean your pet. Never use human shampoos as they are not pH balanced.

Why Does my Dog Smell so Bad even after a Bath?

The following reasons can contribute to your pet’s stinky odor after bathing

A. Wet fur

Most dogs develop a terrible wet dog smell after bath.

You might even notice that foul odor in the bathroom where you bathe your pet.

The water remains logged in their fur causing a moldy scent.

You can prevent this smell by drying your pet thoroughly after bathing.

Step 1: Use several towels to dry your pet, especially if you have a large breed dog or a dog with double coat.

Step 2: You can also use a hair dryer to dry your pet’s fur completely.

The wet dog odor should disappear within a few hours post-bathing.

B.  Using mild or Unscented shampoos

You could also try changing your pet’s shampoo.

Many vet-recommended shampoos are fragrance-free since some pets are allergic to harsh fragrances and scents.

If your dog isn’t too sensitive, you could go in for an aromatherapy shampoo with essential oils.

These will help your pet smell fresh and clean.

Step 1: Rinse your pet’s coat well with water. Lather using the shampoo. Cover the entire fur with the lather.

Step 2: Leave it on for 5-10 minutes then wash off with water completely.

C. Not using a conditioner

Conditioners seal the scent and fragrance of dog shampoos and also detangle and soften your dog’s fur.

Step 1: Use a good dog conditioner having a mild scent that will reduce that wet dog odor.

Step 2: After shampoo, apply the conditioner to wet fur. Leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing clean.

Also Read: Expert Answers to Can I Use Human Conditioner on my Dog?

D. Underlying health issues

Some health issues can also contribute to your pet’s stinky odor despite bathing.

If your dog starts smelling bad within a few days of bathing, then it could be linked to liver or kidney disease.

Your pet also might have a skin-related condition with dandruff or dermatitis.

All these conditions can cause stinky odors on your dog.

Please see your vet and evaluate the root cause. A simple blood test can indicate the cause of the odor.

Once you start the right treatment, your pet’s odor will reduce.

E. Poor diet

Poor diets with chemicals, preservatives, low-quality ingredients like fillers, soy, corn, etc. can also cause your dog’s body odor despite bathing.

Many human foods can also cause stinky coats in dogs.

Please work out the right diet for your pet under the guidance of your vet.

Look for foods with omega 3 and omega 6 to nourish your pet’s coat from the inside out leaving it soft, healthy, and odor-free.

Also Read: How to Make Dog Fur Shiny

How do I keep my house from smelling like dog?

1. Vacuum rugs and carpets regularly

Clean and vacuum carpets 2-3 times a week.

Vacuuming will remove dog hairs which tend to leave odors around the house.

Use a vacuum cleaner that is specifically made for pet hair removal.

You can sprinkle carpet deodorizer or baking soda before vacuuming to further minimize odors.

2.  Mop tiles and floors

Dogs spend a significant amount of time on hardwood floors and tiles as well.

Pet urine leaks, saliva dribbles, and other body fluids can also cause doggy odors inside the house.

Mop your floors regularly using a mop and appropriate floor cleaning solutions.

3. Leave the windows open

If the weather permits, let in the fresh air.

That will carry out much of the pet odors with it.

4.  Use air purifiers

Air purifiers with HEPA filters can remove doggy odors as well as pet dander which cause allergies in humans.

Use a high-quality filter to remove the odors.

5. Use pet-friendly essential oils

Use an essential oil diffuser to freshen up your home. Please make sure the oils are safe to use around your pet.

Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set - Ultrasonic Diffuser & Top 10 Essential Oils - 300ml Diffuser with 4 Timer & 7 Ambient Light Settings - Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils - Lavender

6.  Wash dog beds and mats

Clean all bed sheets and dog beds once a week or as needed.

This is where your dog spends a significant amount of time and urine leaks and saliva can cause them to stink.

This simple step can greatly reduce doggy odors.

7. Groom your pet

Brush your pet and bathe it once a month. In between baths, use a dog dry shampoo or a dog deodorizing spray .

Nature's Miracle Supreme Odor Control Spring Water Spray, 8 oz

Clean out its ears to prevent ear infections which can cause significant odor.

Also brush your pet’s teeth 2-3 times a week for preventing bad breath.

You must also clean your pet’s paws to remove musty smells from this region.

These simple steps can help prevent doggy smells around the house.


How to make your dog smell good without a bath is achievable using some simple tips and products.

The main thing is to do is use dog wipes, dry shampoos, ear cleaning products, follow oral hygiene, and clean its paws after every walk.

We hope this guide helps you make your dog smell good in between baths.

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