How to make a dog smell good with vinegar

Written by bridie cavanaugh
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How to make a dog smell good with vinegar
Vinegar is a natural dog deodorant. (Dog swimming image by Kevin McGrath from

Anyone who has a dog knows that along with unconditional love comes some dog odour. Odour may just be the sign of a dirty dog, excess oils or a good roll in something smelly. Odour may also be a sign of a medical condition such as mange or an ear infection. A smelly dog may also need to have his anal sacs expressed. For a quick, inexpensive and easy solution to daily dog smells, consider applying a vinegar treatment.

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Things you need

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cotton ball
  • Bucket
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Pour equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to throughly mix the two ingredients. White vinegar may be used if apple cider vinegar is not available.

  2. 2

    Spray the mixture onto your dog's fur. Let the mixture dry naturally. Repeat if needed.

  3. 3

    Place a few drops of the vinegar onto a cotton ball. Squeeze a few drops of the vinegar into the dog's ears. Rub the ears to encourage the vinegar to penetrate the ear canal. This will help kill any bacteria present in the ears. Ear bacteria are a common source of dog odour.


  1. 1

    Mix one cup of white vinegar and two gallons of water in a bucket.

  2. 2

    Place cotton balls in your dog's ears. This will prevent water from entering the ears and causing discomfort or an ear infection.

  3. 3

    Wet your dog with clean water. Towel dry the dog and then pour the vinegar mixture onto the dog's fur.

  4. 4

    Towel dry again and do not rinse off the vinegar mixture. Once the dog is dry the odour should be gone.

Tips and warnings

  • A quick spray of apple cider vinegar, before and after a trip to the local park or woods, will help prevent fleas and ticks from hitching a ride home with your dog.
  • Spray the vinegar mixture on your dog's bed and any other areas in the house that may have absorbed dog odours. Test the mixture on an unobtrusive part of any manufactured product prior to applying vinegar to entire area.
  • Add minty mouthwash to the mixture to enhance the odour control. Or you can add a few drops of an essential oil.
  • If your dog has had an unfortunate encounter with a skunk, a soaking spray of full-strengh vinegar should cut down on the smell.
  • Do not get the vinegar mixture into your dog's eyes. It may sting.
  • If your dog's odour persists, see a veterinarian to determine if there is a medical issue.

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