What To Do About A Smelly Dog


In my mind the only thing worse then a smelly dog is a buck goat in rut. Both are strong odors that are offensive to my human nose and while I respect my critters need to these odors as part of their culture I will have no smelly dogs in my house! Over the years I have devised and collected several different ways to deal with common odor problems associated with my Labradors who seem to find the smelliest of things no matter where we go. I hope you find some of these helpful and will share with me any others you have found successful.

Skunks are one of my favorite wild critters around our farm, until they spray an inquisitive Labrador in self defense. For those who might not know, a skunk has a scent sac at the base of its tail that holds an oil-like substance used when they are scared for their life. They will dip their tail in the sac and spray the oil in the direction of the predator or threat. This oil is very difficult to get out of the coat of a dog. However, I found in Chemical and Engineering News (October 18, 1993, page 90) the perfect recipe for dealing with this oily, smelly mess made from peroxide. The peroxide oxidizes the odorant to materials that can react with the weak base NaHCO3 to form water-soluble products that are more easily removed with a good doggy shampoo follow up and thorough rinsing.

Skunk deodorizing pet peroxide recipe:

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of baking soda (NaHCO3)
1 teaspoon of liquid detergent
Follow bath with a tap water rinse.

If you have ever taken your dogs to the beach or by a fishing pier they will be the first ones to find all the dead fish and fish parts. I know mine have rolled and spread the “perfume” around quit a bit before I can get to them to stop it. Well, they are Labs after all and fish are part of their heritage, but yuck what a horrible odor. Again, the culprit seems to be in the oils which are hard to neutralize. Of course the wet dog smell doesn’t help either.

I have tried lemon juice, home remedies, herbal rinses and good ole’ baking soda to get fishy odors out of dog fur but nothing seems to be satisfactory. Baking soda is a good, natural way of removing fish odors from the surface of anything other than your dog’s coat.

To treat things other then the dog’s coat that have a fishy smell, wash the odor offensive area with clean water. Then sprinkle baking soda over the area. Then rub the baking soda into the wet area. Let it dry. Then brush or vacuum the area to remove the dried materials. That still leaves a smelly dog. In my quest to be safe, natural and environmentally friendly, I could not find any combination of herbs to help in this situation. However, I did find a safe, environmentally friendly product that does seem to work well on several doggy odor problems. It is called Nature’s Secret Weapon™. The company lists in its literature that the “secret” behind the product’s success lies within a 2-stage odor-destroying technology. First Stage instantly micro-encapsulates odor molecules from any biological source, including dogs, cats, skunks, garbage, kitchens, bathrooms and mildewed basements, so you can’t smell them. You may have to clean up the source of the odor, but you won’t have to put up with the stink while doing it. In the second stage, the odor (an organic carbon source) is converted into harmless carbon dioxide through an organic process called Organic Bioremediation. This is a process created by nature and perfected by years of microbiological research. The second stage permanently eliminates odors.

Nature’s Secret Weapon™ is “certified natural,” 100% biodegradable, and meets “green” certification by independent certification agencies. Its products are shipped from their factory in “PetSafe™” biodegradable foam safe for children, pets and the environment.

I don’t usually endorse specific products but for those hard to deal with smelly dog problems, this is one you might want to check out. The company has a toll-free number, (800) 930-7949, and a number to call to talk to an Odor Expert, (517) 579-9557. In keeping with my full disclosure, I am in no way affiliated with this product, producer or agency.


By Debby Kay. All rights reserved.