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Home remedies to remove the smell from my dog

Updated April 17, 2017

That dog smell ... whether it's dog breath, stinky ears or wet fur; there's a home remedy listed as a cure. Not all dog smells should be treated at home: Sometimes there's an underlying medical issue. While some dogs simply have oily fur, other stubborn dog smells can signify allergies, ear, mouth or skin infections, problems with diet, and other issues that require a veterinarian's diagnosis. Give home remedies a try to remove dog odours but if the problem is persistent or severe check in with your vet.

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Dog Breath

Bad breath may be a sign of plaque build-up on your dog's teeth. Have your vet do an occasional scraping, learn how to brush your dog's teeth, or give him chew toys and biscuits to help keep teeth clean. Feed your dog only dry food to prevent plaque build-up. Colloidal silver can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that leads to bad breath and tooth decay, reports Dog Health. Some dogs may have foreign matter lodged in the gums from chewing. Wood splinters and other debris may be at the root of infection and smelly dog breath. These require removal by a veterinarian, reports Pet Groomer.

Stinky Ears

Drop-eared dogs often have problems with ear infections and smelly ears. That's because moisture gets trapped and wax builds up, providing a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, ear mites and fungus. Your vet can prescribe medication for serious infections but you can help keep your dog's ears clean. Try diluted vinegar to remove ear wax but only if there is no infection or open sores. You can wipe out ears with colloidal silver or mineral oil. Hydrogen peroxide can help clean your dog's ears, and Native Remedies recommends trying a few drops of olive oil in which you've soaked a garlic clove overnight.

Smelly Coat

A naturally oily coat can trap odour-causing debris more readily than others, according to Pet Groomer, but too-frequent shampooing can dry your pet's skin and lead to allergic reactions and infections. Use an oatmeal conditioner, advises veterinarian Dr. Michael Richards on Vet Info. You can also rub baby powder, baking soda or diatomaceous earth into your dog's coat and brush it regularly instead of shampooing.

A thick undercoat can cause dog odour because it never really dries after a shampoo or soaking outdoors. Professional groomer Kathy Salzberg of The Dog Channel recommends investing in a "quiet dryer" to get your dog's coat completely dry and eradicate the musty wet dog smells.

Frequent shampoos can lead to dog rebellion. Dogs love to roll in excrement and decaying matter, warns Pet Groomer. In some cases, this may be due to fragrances and perfumes you use on your dog. Try using a fragrance-free shampoo to see if this reduces the behaviour.

Potty Smells

Keeping hair trimmed around your dog's privates can reduce urine-soaked fur and trapped excrement. Check with your groomer or vet about your dog's anal glands. When these sacs become backed up, foul odours can result. You can learn how to "express" these sacs yourself or you can ask a groomer or vet to take care of it. Fatty table scraps may increase the risk of backed-up anal sacs, warns Robbie's Kitchen.


A skunked dog can offend your sense of smell for weeks but consider what a dog with a greatly heightened sense of smell goes through. Rutherford County of Tennessee lists two home remedies for skunked dogs: a vinegar solution and a baking soda/hydrogen peroxide solution.

Sponge your dog with distilled vinegar to neutralise the odour and then use Dawn dish soap to break up the oily skunk spray. Shampoo and condition your dog. Rutherford County recommends using tomato juice or tomato sauce to clean your dog's mouth of skunk spray and then spraying a vinegar and water 50/50 solution up the dog's nose.

The second remedy involves 1 qt. of hydrogen peroxide, 1 box of baking soda, and 2 tbsp of Dawn dish soap. Sponge or spray this solution into your dog's coat and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse and shampoo. Pet Groomer recommends a tomato juice bath for skunked dogs.

Diet and Dog Smell

Dr. Michael Richards reports that many clients tell him that pet odours change when dog food brands are changed. Dr. Michael Fox says that dog foods high in starches and low in essential fatty acids can improve the condition of your dog's skin and reduce unpleasant odours. Fox, on his "Washington Post" blog, also reminds people to provide regular physical activity to improve overall health and lessen digestive-related dog smells.

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About the Author

Sumei FitzGerald has been writing professionally since 2008 on health, nutrition, medicine and science topics. She has published work on doctors' websites such as Colon Cancer Resource, psychology sites such as Webpsykologen and environmental websites such as Supergreenme. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Connecticut where she also studied life sciences.

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