How to Make Your Dog Smell Good After a Bath

When a dog baths, it always results in having a clean and fresh pet. However, this pleasant scent may fade away quickly if you do not take the necessary precautions to maintain it. This post will look at all the strategies and ways to guide you on keeping your dog smelling good after a bath. By doing so, you can improve its overall cleanliness and well-being and make your dog smell nice. Therefore, let us begin.

how to make your dog smell good

Regular Baths are Key

Like Human beings, animals also require regular bathing. In order to remain safe from diseases and eliminate odors, as well as preserve the overall health of our lovely pets, we need to keep them clean. Therefore, it is important to know their breed and body type before washing your dear dog. Few dogs have oily skin, while others may have water-resistant coats; some have double coats. Consequently, each type has its way of bathing. Furthermore, it is important to consider the heat and intensity of the season when you want to bathe your pet. During hot weather conditions, dogs should be bathed more frequently to cool down their temperatures, thus making them feel less anxious about themselves. On the other hand, bathing too much in cold seasons can expose your dog to risks like colds, coughs and other illnesses.

Moreover, bathing them in clean water and a peaceful environment will save their skin from irritation, not forgetting that it also enhances their wellness at large. In addition, some animals possess sensitive skin, which neither resists ice-cold nor boiling water nor accepts shampoos or other products. As such, it would be prudent to pay attention to the advice of a local vet on what methods are most suitable and soft for keeping your dog over a longer period.

Bathing schedule for different coat types:

  • Short/Smooth Coat: 6-8 weeks
  • Medium Coat: 4-6 weeks
  • Long/Double Coat: 2-3 weeks

Why Does My Dog Smell So Bad After Being Washed?

Before talking about how to have a nice-smelling dog even after bathing it, let’s explain why it could still smell bad sometimes.

  1. Just like people, dogs have their own natural body scent. This arises from oils in their skin and fur that help protect and moisten their coat. While this smell is normal, it can become more apparent following a bath because the soap washes away some of these oils.
  2. Sometimes when you use perfumed shampoo or soap on your dog, some of the fragrance might remain behind despite washing off. This results in a strong artificial scent that doesn’t go down well with your pet or yourself.
  3. If there is already an infection or problem with the skin, then it might be causing this bad smell. If so, consult a veterinarian immediately.
  4. Wet dog fur smells different than dry hair and sometimes this isn’t pleasant at all. Dry your dog completely after its bath so that any moisture based smells will be removed also.

For more insights on building a bond of trust with your new canine companion quickly, explore our guide on how to get a dog to trust you fast.

How to Make Your Dog Smell Good After a Bath

Here’s how to ensure your dog smells great once they’ve been washed:

Step 1: Select The Right Shampoo

For maintaining the health of a dog’s coat and skin, it is important to use high-quality dog shampoos formulated specifically for that purpose. It leaves dogs smelling good after baths. Look for shampoos that are made of natural components without harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances. These maintain your dog’s optimal PH levels and are designed especially for gentle cleaning without removing natural oils. This will give your dog a good scent after being washed and shield the animal’s skin from infections or irritations, especially those from bacterial invasion. Moreover, hypoallergenic or oatmeal-based shampoos are advisable, especially for animals with sensitive skin, because they soothe them, reducing the chances of rashes or inflammations due to allergies. Keep in mind that these human hair products disrupt this balance leading to odors as well as dermal issues.

Precaution: While washing the dog, avoid getting shampoo into its eyes, as this might lead to irritation because of the discomfort they may feel.

Step 2: Select an Appropriate Conditioner

Use a dog-specific conditioner after a thorough rinsing of the shampoo. High-quality conditioning moisturizes the dog’s coat and protects it from damage. This step helps detangle your dog’s fur, offering moisture and a pleasing scent. Restoring your dog’s coat’s natural oils with a high-quality conditioner will leave it silky, smooth, and dirt-resistant. Conditioners with natural deodorizers, such as Aloe Vera or lavender oil, and not containing harsh chemicals, dyes, or parabens are the best options for optimal results. Apply the conditioner according to the package instructions, then rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue that could cause itching or build-up.

Reminder: Don’t use human hair conditioners because they are too heavy for their coats and might lead to smelly skin or irritation.

Step 3: Rinse Well

During the process of giving your dog a wash, it is of the utmost importance that you thoroughly rinse your dog. If you fail to do a good rinsing job, then some residual product may be left behind which can cause matting, skin irritations or making the bad smell come back faster than expected. To ensure no more conditioner on your pet’s body, utilize either handheld showerheads or pitchers and let the water run until it is clear. Please ensure that you reach all areas, like under the tail or belly, where the moisturizing agent could have stuck. If your dog has a double coat or particularly thick fur, take extra time to part the fur and rinse down to the skin. This will leave your dog coat feeling clean, shiny, and pleasant.

Note: The temperature of water should be warm such that it feels pleasant for a dog; not hot nor cold.

Step 4: Let Your Dog Shake Off Water

Once the last rinse has been completed, it is only normal for your dog to want to shake off any extra water. This shaking is instinctual and helps them shed water from their coat. It’s wise to stand back during this process to avoid getting drenched. For instance, let your dog shake off in an enclosed space or outdoors to prevent the splashes from turning your home into a puddle zone. Pets tend to shake themselves dry, and the wetter they are, the more aggressively they will do so. After shaking out the majority of the water, towel them dry before proceeding with any other grooming operations. Allow your dog to shake off the excess water.

Tip: Encourage your dog to shake off the water by gently patting their sides. This will trigger their instinct to shake and is an effective and efficient way to start drying before you even reach for a towel.  

Step 5: Use a Towel

Once your furry buddy shakes off the excess moisture, gently dry him with a towel designed for canines. These towels are usually more absorbent and gentler on his fur than regular towels. Instead of rubbing, which can mat the fur, opt for patting as the preferred method for drying your dog. Focus on areas that retain more water, like the lower legs and underbelly. Multiple towels may be necessary for dogs with very long or thick fur. This will keep your dog healthy and fresh for a longer period. Do not rub too hard because it may cause their fur to tangle or mat up.

Note: Never use dirty towels on your dog; always use new ones

Step 6: Optional Hair Drying

If your dog is comfortable with the dryer, it is best to use it. It also helps keep your dog warm, especially in cooler climates or throughout the winter months. Ensure the hair dryer is at a low temperature when used for the final step in drying to avoid discomfort or burns. While it’s recommended to use a dog-specific dryer. If you want to use a human hair dryer, ensure it is safe and use it from a safe distance. Observe your dog’s body language—if they appear stressed or overheated, stop drying immediately to let them air dry naturally. Introduce your dog to the dryer gradually to acclimate them to its sound and feel.

Reminder: Keep their coat at least six inches away from the dryer at all times for safety reasons. Rotate it constantly to avoid overheating, and keep an eye on your dog when using a hairdryer.

Step 7: Gently Brush or Comb

To begin with, brushing your pet’s coat after bathing is vital. This process aims to eliminate mats or tangles and ensure that the amount of skin oil distributed on the body is even for a soft, fluffy coat. If you want to buy a brush or a comb, consider what fur your pet has. For example, long-haired dogs may need slicker brushes, while bristling brushes best suit short-haired ones. Start by softly brushing and going along hair growth patterns; remember some areas, such as the eyes, ears and tail, where sensitivity might occur. While doing so, one has to focus on any signs of skin irritation during brushing, as it may happen under or over the fur. Regular combing not only avoids matting with its bad odour but also reduces excessive hair loss.

Reminder: Always remember that soft attentiveness during combing suits the majority of young dogs.

Step 8: Add Some Fragrance (Optional)

It`s nice to know that no amount of scented sprays can replace bath time, but it’s another way to ensure they still smell good. If you notice a slight smell on your dog even after taking a bath, then use a scented spray specifically made for dogs. Opt for natural products with essential oils that have a nice scent without causing any irritation to the skin. Apply these lightly to their backs only, avoiding the face or genitals. Though some pets may not require this step, it adds some final touch. Just note that human perfumes and colognes contain chemicals which are harmful when used on animals like dogs.
Reminder: Always try out new product brands that claim to be pet-friendly in small amounts to prevent getting an allergic reaction from your dog.

Step 9: Maintain a Clean Environment

Your dog’s living area must be clean and well-groomed, just like the dog itself. Clean your pet’s bedding, toys and feeding area to prevent dirt, bacteria and bad smells. Beddings should be washed with hot water, while bowls and toys should be cleaned using pet-safe disinfectants. An unclean atmosphere also reduces the appealing scent long after grooming and helps maintain good health for your dog. Maintaining the hygiene of your dog and its living place promotes overall wellness and helps to prevent any health issues.

Remember: To keep your dog’s skin healthy and free of illnesses, clean his items on a regular basis.

Step 10: Schedule Regular Grooming Sessions

The dog is now washed, smelling fresh and looks good. Regular grooming sessions are important for maintaining the dog’s appearances. It can be done once monthly or as per your schedule depending on breed and fur type. Regular grooming will not only keep your pet clean and healthy, but it will also help you create a stronger bond with him or her. Furthermore, grooming regularly makes everything easier and faster for both you and the pet. Always remember to use only what is safe for pets as well as how you go about it while being patient during this positive experience for your dear one.
Final Reminder: Grooming is not all about maintaining your dog’s appearance but also integral to their overall well-being.


In conclusion, this may seem like a huge task, but bathing your dog can be manageable by following these steps. Using the correct techniques and products, it might even become a fun experience for both of you. When selecting hygiene items for your pet, be sure they are pet-safe. Be gentle with its sensitive body parts and make grooming a pleasant bonding experience. This practice not only keeps your dog smelling fresh but also promotes their general health. If at any time you realize that your dog has begun to smell differently, do not hesitate to give them a bath following this guide for a thorough and pleasant grooming session. Your beloved animal will be forever grateful! Happy Bathing!

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