Regular bathing and grooming are essential for dogs of any size or breed. Not only does it keep them grime-free, but bathing helps to get rid of nasty odors that linger on your pup's fur. Canines thrive on strong smells! If they see an opportunity to roll around in trash or dirt, they'll take it!
While bathtime has its perks, it will only do so much to mask that signature dog smell. You know the one we're talking about!
It's that musky smell that always seems to come back after a few days no matter how hard you try to wash it out!
Most dog owners get olfactory fatigue and learn to ignore that smell. But what if it starts to become overbearing? Instead of bathing your dog every few days, you can turn to a cologne or deodorant.
The best dog colognes and deodorants can provide a pleasant smell that's perfect for cuddle time. Some can even neutralize odor-causing bacteria, keeping your dog's coat smelling fresh for much longer.
Want to find a cologne or deodorant for your pooch? Check out our favorite picks below!
7 of the Best Dog Colognes and Deodorants
1. Hyponic De-Skunk Pet Mist, 8-oz bottle
Have a dog that likes to tussle with skunks? If so, this deodorizer has you covered. It's specifically formulated to get rid of skunk spray odor, which is notoriously difficult to wash out. When applied correctly, it can eliminate about 90 percent of the smell in just one use.
The formula is natural and hypoallergenic. It doesn't contain any harmful chemicals, sulfates, or anything else your dog won't agree with. The cleansing and deodorizing agent is safe to use. But, it's powerful enough to remove that awful odor once and for all!
2. kin+kind Lavender Calm Dog Odor Neutralizer Spray
Here's a hand-mixed fragrance that you can use on a wide variety of things. Spray it on your dog between baths for an aromatic pick-me-up. Or, use it on your dog's blanket, bed, and kennel. Either way, the spray helps to neutralize odors and leave behind a pleasant flowery smell.
The spray utilizes USDA-certified organic ingredients. It's also ethically produced and made in small batches. Thanks to its gentle ingredients, it won't cause any problems with most dogs.
3. Skout's Honor Probiotic Honeysuckle Daily Use Deodorizer + Pet Shampoo & Conditioner
Check out this odor-busting bundle from Scout's Honor. Not only are you getting a deodorizer, but you're also getting a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. Both items contain similar ingredients. The deodorizer is designed for daily use and perfectly complements the shampoo.
The unique thing about these formulas is that they use natural probiotic technology. They help to combat common skin issues and balance the pH level on your dog's skin. Ingredients like avocado provide omega fatty acids that nourish the skin and offer a nice kick of moisture.
4. CHI Deodorizing Dog Spray, 8-oz bottle
Chi is a juggernaut in the human haircare world. This deodorizing fragrance spray is the brand's foray into the pet market. We're happy to say that it doesn't disappoint. The formula is well-made and features a similar high-quality fragrance as human products.
There are no harmful parabens. But, the spray does feature odor neutralizers. These neutralizing agents tackle smelly oils to leave your dog's fur smelling fresh. Give your dog a spritz and work the product into the fur. It's that easy!
5. PetAg Fresh 'N Clean Dog Tropical Scent Cologne Spray
The Fresh 'N Clean cologne from PetAg is a good choice for dogs that don't like to sit still! It comes in an aerosol can that helps to disperse the product quickly and efficiently. The spray is strong enough to get to the root of the fur where it will stick around! It's safe enough to use all over the body.
The cologne features an aroma that's inspired by the tropics. Notes of citrus, flowers, and more can mask those unpleasant odors.
6. Earthbath Wild Cherry Puppy Spritz, 8-oz bottle
Next up, we have this all-natural spray from Earthbath. Made for rambunctious puppies, this spray works wonders at eliminating odors. But, it does so much more than that.
The spray contains several nourishing ingredients. It utilizes aloe vera, oatmeal, and Vitamin E. Not only do they leave behind a nice smell, but those ingredients moisturize the skin and help to detangle fur!
This spray is paraben and phosphate-free. It's completely safe for puppies and will not cause any irritation.
7. iGroom Bliss Dog Perfume, 100-ml bottle
Perfect for the pampered pooch, this iGroom cologne takes the idea of dog fragrances to a new level! It comes in a glass bottle and is quite potent. The formula is as long-lasting as many human-grade fragrances and has the packaging to match!
In terms of smell, this one has notes of lemon and citrus. It has a sweet-smelling aroma. However, the fragrance isn't super overbearing. Thus, it's a good choice for sensitive dogs.
Homemade Dog Deodorant Recipe
If you'd rather take a more natural route, here's a homemade cologne recipe that does the trick. It uses all-natural ingredients, so there's no worry about chemicals or irritation. To make it, you'll need:
Start by bringing your water to a boil. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. The oils and fragrances will infuse the water, creating a fragrant spray. Meanwhile, the apple cider vinegar will act as your deodorizing agent.
Let the water cool completely and remove any leaves and herbs. Pour it into a clean spray bottle, and it's ready to use!
Should You Use Dog Colognes or Deodorizers?
Nothing can get your dog clean like a bath. But, fragrant sprays are a must-have that can complement your standard bathing routine. No one likes to have that wet and dirty dog smell wafting through the air! Colognes help to avoid it and prevent odors from lingering.
Sprays are great for touch-ups here and there between washes. Use them to freshen up your dog's fur after a walk or vigorous play session!
Canines don't sweat the same way as humans do. However, their hair follicles can produce oils that wreak of that signature smell.
Fragrances mask the smell and prevent it from getting all over the place. Oftentimes, dog smells can stick to porous surfaces like blankets, carpets, and car seats. Give your dog a spritz beforehand, and you won't have to worry about any of that.
Many dog owners also like to use colognes after a bath. It offers that finishing touch and leaves behind a pleasant aroma everyone will appreciate.
Colognes vs. Deodorizers
You'll see the terms "cologne" and "deodorizer" used interchangeably. While they serve the same purpose, these two products go about the task in different ways.
Colognes and perfumes are just like the fragrances you apply to your own skin. Carefully formulated to produce pleasant smells, colognes stick to the skin to provide plenty of freshness. The smell can fade after a day or two. But, that's nothing that another spritz won't solve!
Deodorizers are a bit different. They, too, have formulated scents. But, most also come with some kind of neutralizing agent. The specific agent varies from formula to formula.
Either way, it helps to prevent volatile sulfur compounds, which are the molecules that cause smells. They attack the smell at the source rather than just covering it up.
Things to Look For
Dog fragrances are a dime a dozen these days. There are tons of great scents to choose. Before you grab the best-smelling one you see, there are a few things to consider.
The most important thing is to get a pet-safe formula. Don't make the mistake of using your favorite perfume on your dog! Canines have specific skin needs that you have to address. Some breeds are particularly sensitive to chemicals and fragrances.
To avoid any irritation, always stick to products that are specifically made for dogs. That way, you can rest easy knowing that it's safe.
Strength of Scent
The go-to for many is to find a strong perfume that sticks around. While good for your nose, your dog might suffer.
Some dogs simply can't handle super-strong scents! You may have to do some experimentation here. Start with a lighter scent and work your way up to something stronger. In many cases, dogs just need some time to adapt.
Having a strong scent on their body at all times can be a bit jarring at first, so be gentle and do your best to not overwhelm your pooch.
Finally, try to get a fragrance with nourishing ingredients. Many dog-friendly products utilize essential oils and moisturizing agents. Those are a big plus!
Fragrances with a ton of chemicals tend to dry out the skin and throw pH levels out of wack. Avoid all of that with a gentle and natural formula that improves the skin while providing a gentle smell.
What Kinds of Scents are Available?
There's no shortage of scents out there. You can find a myriad of natural aromas that rely on essential oils. Or, you can go with one that has an exotic and unique smell. The choice is yours!
Whatever the case may be, consider how your dog will respond to it. Believe it or not, some scents can impact your pup's mood and trigger different kinds of behaviors. Here are some common fragrance bases you might see.
Cedar and Woodsy Scents
Offering up a rugged and masculine scent, wood-based fragrances are wonderful for dogs. Beyond the pleasant aroma, fragrances made with cedar oil may help naturally repel fleas and ticks.
Not only that, but the smell is thought to make dogs more focused. Thus, it's a good option for working dogs or young pups you're training.
Lemongrass is an aromatic plant with a tangy smell. It's often praised for its medicinal purposes. Some say that the plant can soothe abdominal muscles. Additionally, it can repel pests and keep your dog focused like cedar.
Chamomile-based scents are a great choice if you have an anxious puppy or a dog that suffers from separation anxiety. Not only does it smell good, but the oils from the plant have a calming effect.
Lavender is another common scent that's said to promote calm. It eases nervousness and may help bring some peace to an anxiety-ridden dog. The best part? The effects of lavender work both ways, so you can enjoy some tranquility, too!
Orange and Citrus
Citrus-based scents like orange are good for the summer season. It's sweet, but not super sugary or overbearing. In terms of effects, citrus is thought to help settle digestive problems in dogs.
You don't have to settle for a smelly canine! Dog colognes and deodorizers won't replace bathing completely. But, they can help mask nose-turning odors and keep your pup's fur fresh enough for those loving cuddles!