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How to Get Rid of Wet Dog Smell in 5 Easy Steps

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By Nicole Cosgrove

man and his dog sitting on sofa

If you are a proud owner of a dog, you are probably familiar with the unpleasantly pungent smell of a wet dog. Maybe you have experienced it on a hot summer’s day after taking your pup for a refreshing dip at the lake. The drive home may have been agonizingly long as you inhaled the smell of your wet pooch. Or perhaps you detect the wet dog smell after every doggie bath or when they come in from being out in the rain.

Regardless of when you smell it, the odor of a wet dog isn’t very nice. So, how do you get rid of that awful stench? Keep reading to find out why dogs smell this way when they’re wet and how to combat it.

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Why Your Dog Smells Bad When Wet

Dog swimming with ball
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay

The not-so-nice aroma associated with a wet dog is caused by tiny microorganisms like yeast and bacteria that live in your dog’s fur.

These tiny organisms leave behind excrement that, when mixed with water, really stinks! On top of this, dogs have a natural oil on their coat called sebum that prevents the skin from drying out and that also smells when combined with water.

The next time you bathe your dog and want to plug your nose afterward, do not blame your pooch. Rather, blame the little creatures that make their home in your dog’s fur.

Below are some easy steps to help you get rid of that awful wet dog smell that nobody likes.

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The 5 Steps to Get Rid of Wet Dog Smell

1. Give Your Dog a Thorough Bath

Never rush through bathtime, even if your dog hates it. If you do rush, you will likely leave behind lots of dirt, debris, and bacteria. Every time you bathe them, use a quality dog shampoo and thoroughly wash the body parts that are most likely to stink, like your dog’s rear end and paws.

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2. Use Lots of Towels

One towel is not enough to thoroughly dry your pup. When you are prepping the bathroom for your dog’s bath, be sure to have several dry towels on hand so you can get them as dry as possible once they come out of the tub. Start at the head and work your way down to the body, legs, paws, and tail.

Happy dog in a towel sitting at the groomer table after bath
Image Credit: Kasefoto, Shutterstock

3. Use a Blow Dryer

Once you finish towel drying your dog, use a handheld blow dryer on a low setting. Hold the dryer a few inches away from them so you don’t burn their skin, and never be tempted to ramp up the heat. If your dog isn’t used to a blow dryer, take your time and speak quietly to your dog to keep them calm.

4. Take Your Dog Outside to Air Dry

If the weather permits, allow your dog to go outside after you have finished blow-drying their coat. A long walk should do the trick, especially if it is a warm, sunny day. Plus, you will both get some exercise and fresh air.

dog standing on the grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

5. Use Deodorizing Spray on Your Dog

The next step for eliminating wet dog smell involves using some deodorizing spray. We’re not talking about your cologne or perfume but rather a dog-friendly spray designed to eliminate intense, unpleasant odors. These sprays come in various scents, so pick one that you like and follow the directions on the package to help combat the stench.

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Tips to Make Your Dog Smell Good

Now that you know how to easily get rid of the wet dog smell, we’ll give you some helpful tips for keeping your dog smelling good.

These tips aren’t designed to replace regular dog baths. However, they’re things you can do to keep your dog smelling good for as long as possible. That is, until the next time they go outside and roll in something funky.

  • Brush Your Dog Regularly: You should get in the habit of brushing your dog several times a week. When you brush your pooch, you’ll get rid of loose hair, dirt, and debris, and distribute the natural oils produced by the skin.
  • Feed Your Dog a High-Quality Food: Don’t opt for the cheapest dog food you can buy. Your dog deserves the best, so feed them high-quality dog food that will keep their skin and coat healthy. Good quality dog food will also aid in digestion, reduce gas, and maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you don’t know what food is best for your dog’s breed, ask your vet for some recommendations.
  • Keep Their Bedding Clean: If your dog’s bedding stinks, they will stink too. Get in the habit of washing your dog’s bedding regularly to keep them smelling nice and clean.
dog owner with her pet
Image Credit: Piqsels

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Nobody likes the smell of a wet dog. If you just can’t take it any longer, follow these simple steps to get rid of the wet dog smell so your canine friend smells fresh and clean on a regular basis.

Featured Image Credit: Krakenimages.com, Shutterstock

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