4 Simple Ways to Make Your Dog Smell Better

Want to make your dog smell better? Here you'll find some tips to make life with your pet smell a little sweeter.
4 Simple Ways to Make Your Dog Smell Better

Last update: 20 October, 2019

Love for a pet is unconditional, but sometimes that doggy smell can be a little hard to ignore. To help make life with your four-legged friend a little more pleasant, we want to tell you some simple things you can do to make your dog smell better.

Every animal has its own particular smell, and their natural body composition and grooming habits give each species a unique scent.

Adopting a dog means learning to respect its innate qualities and characteristics, both good and bad. However, an abnormally bad odor could be a sign that your pet is suffering from some underlying condition.

So, while there are a number of ways you can help keep your dog smelling great, it’s also important to be aware of any other potential symptoms that could indicate a more serious issue. If you’re ever in any doubt, be sure to consult with your vet.

Why does my dog smell bad?

Many people believe that bad odor is primarily caused by a poor diet. However, while this often is the case, a particularly foul smell can be a sign of a variety of different health problems, especially if the smell is emanating from one specific area. In these cases, the only way to combat the bad odor is to treat the underlying problem.

A dog in the bath.

4 reasons your dog smells bad


A foul smell emanating from the ears could be caused by inflammation, known as otitis. The main causes are viral, bacterial or fungal infections, allergies, and foreign objects trapped in the ear canal.

Otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear) is a fairly common condition in dogs. Long-eared breeds such as Cocker spaniels, Labradors and Basset hounds are often prone to otitis.

Otitis usually progresses rapidly, and often develops into more serious conditions if left untreated. If it reaches the ear canal, it could cause irreversible damage to your dog’s health.

Skin conditions

Bites, wounds, inflammation, and a variety of skin conditions can cause a dog to smell bad. Bacterial infections and allergies are among the most common skin complaints.


A build-up of gas can be a sign of a poor diet, over-eating, or a variety of respiratory, gastric and intestinal complaints. If your dog is suffering from prolonged flatulence, it’s important to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Oral hygiene

Bad odor can also be a result of poor dental hygiene, usually caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth and gums. Halitosis (bad breath) often results from a poor diet, digestive issues, or lack of oral hygiene.

How to make your dog smell better

If you’ve ruled out the possibility of an underlying health condition, you can then go on to try one of the following simple methods to make your dog smell better:

1. Brush your dog regularly

Over time, the build-up of loose hair can cause your dog to smell bad. To combat this, we would recommend brushing your pet at least once a week, choosing the brush that best suits their coat type.

2. Baths

Although it might seem like the obvious solution, bathing your pet too often can actually remove the natural oils that protect their skin and coat.

Instead of improving their hygiene, excessive bathing can make your pet smell worse, and leave them vulnerable to skin conditions. Experts recommend bathing your dog once or twice a month.

It’s important to make sure you dry your pet’s fur thoroughly after every bath. Damp can contribute to the growth of fungi, causing an unpleasant, musty smell. The best thing to do is to use a hairdryer, allowing them to get used to the noise beforehand so that they don’t freak out.

3. Ear and dental health

A dog’s mouth and ears are constantly exposed to dirt from the environment, and come into contact with a variety of different microorganisms on a daily basis. Poor hygiene can lead to unpleasant odors, and can increase the chance of your pet developing other health conditions.

Brushing your dog is a great way to make them smell better.

4. Balanced diet

A bad diet can lead to malnutrition, halitosis, and a variety of serious diseases. It’s important to give your pet a balanced diet, tailoring it to their age, size, and weight. Avoid giving them processed or junk food at all costs.

In short, if you want to make your dog smell better, you need to pay close attention to their health and diet. Good hygiene is also essential, helping to maintain good coat, ear, and dental health.

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