Saturday, April 25, 2015

Minimizing Smell With Daily Grooming Routines

The fresh and squeaky clean smell of bath soap only lasts so long. After a week or so, the refreshing scent will wear off and your dog will go back smelling like they usually do. Most of us owners refer to this as the "dog smell". Your dog's scent can be smelled on your hands, carpet, furniture or anything your dog comes in contact with. The longer it has been since you brushed or bathed your dog, the worst the smell will be.

Brody snuggled up on the furniture.
Where does this stinky smell come from?

Dogs don't have liquid perspiration or armpits. According to petMD, dogs perspire through their paws and hair follicles. The chemical scent a dog gives off is uniquely their own.

In addition, oils and scent glands give off odors. Several oils are in a dog's coat. Dogs with longer fur typically have oily coats. Scent glands also referred to as anal glands release a small amount of secretion  and give off a musky smell. A dog will typically let off their scent gland after they poop. The secretion is silent but deadly.

All odor causes that have been mentioned are completely normal. If your dog has an infection or blocked anal glands, the odor is significantly more potent and needs to be treated by a vet.

How do you get rid of the smell?

Cleaning sprays may mask the smell on the furniture but as soon as Fido rests his head on the couch cushion you are back to square one. You can't possibly give your dog a bath everyday either. It wouldn't be healthy for their skin anyways. The best solution is to treat the one giving off the smell. Brushing your dog weekly and spraying them with pet friendly deodorizer works miracles!

What type of brush do you use on a dog?

Brushing a dog's coat several times a week will keep your dog clean and minimize the number of hair clumps you find around the house. The length of your dog's coat will help you decide what brush to use.

For dogs with longer hair it's best to use a bristle brush with widely spaced wire bristles and a undercoat rake. An undercoat rake will remove access hair from a dog's second coat.

Grooming rakes are commonly used on golden retrievers and labradors.

For dogs with shorter hair it's better to use a bristle brush with tightly spaced wired bristles and a slick brush with fine small bristles. Slick brushes can untangle mats of fur.

You can buy brushes with tightly spaced bristles on one side and wider spaced bristles on the other  side. The tightly spaced bristles work better on Brody's short fur.

A very hairy tightly spaced bristle brush.

What wipes and sprays are most effective?

Grooming wipes and dry shampoos are good to minimize odor. Whether its wiping their paws off before they come inside or adding some shine to a dry coat, these products come in handy. Once a week, I will spray my dogs with a dry shampoo to temporarily eliminate odor. These products will help your dog stay fresh and clean smelling between baths.

Avoid buying wipes or sprays with a strong fragrance. Try to look for all-natural products because they are gentle on a dog's skin.

All dogs have their own unique smell which is completely normal. We can't bath them everyday so daily grooming routines are a necessity. Making a habit out of brushing and using fragrance-free wipes will minimize your dog's smell and give them a healthier coat.

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