All About Marie

Animal Files columnist of the Orange County Register from 1992-2016; Emmy Award winning producer of Educational Television Programming; Host of "The Pet Place Radio Show" heard world-wide at; click the player below to listen. Producer/Director/Editor/Co-host of "The Pet Place TV Show" during the 19 years it ran on KDOC TV in Los Angeles and Orange Counties; Wife, Mother of five kids, Grandmother of two baby boys and one baby girl, and pet parent of two cats, one dog, many fish, and a cockatoo.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dog Deodorant?

Dear Marie,
Our family has a two-year-old Boxer. The dog is an indoor/outdoor (80/20) pet, who spends most of the time indoors. We currently bathe the dog every 3-4 weeks. Our vet recommended that we not bathe her more then every 21 days. This schedule works out well because the flea medications that we use routinely need to be reapplied at about this same interval. My question is this, is it OK to deodorize the dog between baths with something like baby power, once a week? Being that the dog is indoors so much we want
to keep her smelling fresh. The spray products that I have found at the pet stores seem to be very expensive and only come in small cans. If Baby Power is not safe is there something else that is reasonably priced that is safe and acceptable for dogs?

Dear Kevin,
I have always used baby powder on my pets between baths. However, you should know that the use of baby powder might cause respiratory problems for some dogs, and occasionally skin irritations. Every dog is different so try it out in small amounts and watch your dog for any signs of a problem. If you do notice anything abnormal, I would discontinue use. Sometimes if there are difficulties with scented baby powder, just switching to plain old cornstarch corrects any negative issues. Again, play it by ear and see how your dog does.

I have heard of a variety of homemade dog deodorants that readers have written to me about. One that I have not tried, though sounds interesting, is a spray that is made out of one part original Listerine, diluted with 8 parts water. A number of Basset Hound owners I know have tried this and have been extremely happy with the results. And if you know Basset Hounds (and their smell) that is quite an endorsement.

If your dog has especially oily skin, you can probably get away with more frequent bathing. However, if your dog seems to be unusually foul smelling, there may something going on that needs to be addressed that has nothing to do with grooming. For example – do you brush your dog’s teeth regularly?

A dog whose dental care is largely ignored until it becomes a health problem can be a very stinky dog indeed. It is not too late to get you pet accustomed to having her teeth cleaned once a day. Visit your local pet supply store and take a look at the various products available. There are meat flavored tooth pastes, a variety of scrubbing utensils, and everything else you may need to keep your pet’s teeth and gums in tip top shape.

Unfortunately, certain dog treats and dog foods are often the culprits behind dog stench. Take some time to experiment by eliminating one item at a time from your dog’s daily diet. For example, if you treat her with biscuits, or pig’s ears, or rawhide, etc., stop these treats for a while and see if there is improvement. You may also try switching to a higher-end food, as some of the less expensive foods are made with ingredients that are difficult for dogs to digest, and that leads to unpleasant smells.

Some dog owners have had success eliminating pet body odors by adding chlorophyll to their pets’ diets. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of that, but it might be worth the effort.A number of veterinary conditions give rise to unpleasant odors such as thyroid conditions, allergies, ear infections, parasites, etc. If your dog develops a strong odor soon after bathing, it is advisable to look into these possibilities.

Finally, some dogs prefer to have an offensive odor; for them, it is quite nice. I had a dog who immediately after baths would find - at her first opportunity - fecal matter or something dead or rotting to roll around in. Nothing made her happier than smelling like the county trash dump. Of course, that didn't go over well with all of us – so back into the bath she’d have to go, much to her dismay.

The bottom line is every dog is unique in that way. Find what works best for your dog and your family, and your noses will all be happy.

Best of luck.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't get any good product for my pet dog. what other products you want to suggest for animal's deodorants?