Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network

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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

What’s more fun that splashing in the water with your favorite furry companion on a hot day? Nothing, yes, that is correct. Although, there is one thing that tends to put a bit of a damper on the day. We’ve all experienced that horrid odor that fills that house after a fun day at the beach or swimming in the pool. It’s that awful smell that snakes its way from your dog’s fur to your nose.


So, why does your pup smell so bad?

Some dogs, typically hounds and retrievers, have a certain oil on their coat called Sebum. This oil collects on the hair shaft and follicles in order to protect your dog’s skin from dehydration. However, when the dog gets wet, the oil and the water combine to form a foul smelling bacteria. For most dogs though, the cause of the smell are tiny microorganisms that live on their skin and fur. Well, not the microorganisms themselves. The smell is actually the result of their excrement. When dry, the microscopic pieces do not emit any odor but, once you pup gets wet, the water breaks apart the the chemical bonds holding the excrement together, releasing the foul smelling molecules into the air.

Wet Labrador dog in towel lying on gray carpet, closeup

How to mask or prevent this smell?

One key to preventing this awful smell is drying your dog thoroughly however, just using a towel won’t do it. Blow drying can get past your pup’s thick coat down to their skin where the real problem is. If you have a jumpy or nervous dog, then you can even get low power, quieter blow dryers so that they stay calm. Brush through your dog’s fur as you dry them to make sure that you get down to the skin. If you are worried about the smell after bathing your dog, you can also consider purchasing a grooming spray to help make your dog smell better.

Little baby boy with boxer dog on a couch at home

The smell may also linger around your dog’s living environment or be stinking up the couches. One natural cleaning product you can use a white vinegar. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water and spray it over your furniture or floor. It’s a fantastic disinfectant that isn’t harmful to animals.

Another pet-safe household product you could use for your carpet is baking soda. But don’t just go tossing around the white powder like it’s confetti. The way to go about this is to first vacuum your carpet and then sprinkle the baking soda over it. After you let it sit for a few minutes you can vacuum again and leave your carpet finally free of wet dog smell!

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