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How to get rid of 'THAT' wet dog smell...

How to get rid of 'THAT' wet dog smell...

As a dog owner, there's nothing quite like the feeling of coming home after a long walk in the rain with your furry friend. However, one downside of those soggy outings is the notorious ‘wet dog’ smell that clings to your pup and creeps throughout your home. But why do dogs get *THAT* distinct smell when they're wet, and how can you get rid of it? In this article, we'll dive into the science behind that damp dog odour and offer some tips on how to banish it!

Why do dogs smell so distinctly when they're wet?

To start with, we need to understand the structure of a dog’s fur. A dog's coat is made up of two types of hair: guard hairs and undercoat. Guard hairs are the longer, coarser outer hairs that provide protection from the elements, while the undercoat is made up of finer, more densely packed hairs that provide insulation. When a dog gets wet, water penetrates both the guard hairs and the undercoat, trapping moisture close to the skin. This creates a warm, humid environment that's perfect for bacteria to thrive. It’s that bacterial growth that causes the distinct "wet dog" odour and as the water evaporates off your pet, the stinky compounds are released into the air.

How can you eliminate the ‘wet dog’ smell on your pooch?

So, how can you get rid of that stinky smell on your dog? The first step is to give them a good bath using a high-quality dog shampoo, this will help penetrate deep into your dog’s coat and kill the bacteria that’s been causing that stinky smell as well as cleansing your dog’s fur and skin. When washing your dog, be sure to pay extra attention to their undercoat, as this is where most of the bacteria will be lurking. Try to get your dog as dry as possible following their bath to avoid lots of moisture transferring to your home and adding more smell! We’d recommend a microfibre towel as they’re super absorbent.  if your dog will tolerate it, get the hairdryer out too!

If your dog's coat is particularly smelly, or you don’t have time for a full on bath, it’s worth using a spray on no-rinse shampoo like Dirty Dawg which deodorises and cleanses the dog's coat, or a deodorising spray like Stink Bomb that neutralises odours on contact. Simply spray them onto your dog's coat, brush through and allow it to dry naturally – no rinsing required. These products are particularly great if you’ve had a wet walk and then going somewhere other than home straight after and don’t want to stink out your car, a local dog-friendly pub or a friend’s house!

How can you remove the ‘wet dog’ smell from your home?

Even if you've successfully banished the wet dog smell from your pup, you may still find that your home smells less than fresh, just as the moisture trapped in your dog's coat creates a breeding ground for bacteria creating that smelly odour, the same can happen within your house – whether that’s from the pet hair, dust and debris that’s already in your home or freshly added from your newly wet stinky dog!

If your house is starting to smell like wet dog, it's time to clean! Firstly, vacuum everywhere, your goal is to pick up as many pet hairs from your floor and soft furnishings as possible. You then want to use a cleaning solution to remove any odours – we’re particularly fond of using a natural solution like baking soda on soft furnishings as it’s a natural deodoriser! Make sure your dog is out of the room and sprinkle baking soda over your carpets/sofa. Let it sit for as long as you’re able, ideally overnight, and then vacuum up and your house will be smelling much fresher! You can also finish off with a home deodorising spray like Febreze or a room spray for an extra fresh scent.

If your home still has a lingering wet dog smell, a likely culprit will be your dog’s bedding – it’s time to give that a good wash! Wash with gentle detergent and at a temperature over 40 degrees to ensure that all lingering bacteria is eliminated. Make sure it’s fully dry before letting your dog use it again, or you run the risk of creating even more wet dog smell and being right back where you started!

Lauren Grainger
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