Healthy, happy dogs will often get into all sorts of mischief...
...dust, dirt, mud. You know what we’re talking about.
Play is a good thing for his health, but not so much your nose. Fortunately there are some tricks for keeping your dog fresh in between bathing that your dog will probably mind less than the hose. For dogs who aren’t the easiest to bathe but get into their share of dirt and grime, here are some easy solutions for a clean, fresh-smelling dog.
Vinegar and Water
It can be as simple as a 50/50 solution of organic apple cider vinegar and water. If your dog doesn’t mind a spray bottle, spray him with the mixture and wipe the excess with a cotton wash cloth. If he isn’t fond of getting sprayed, use a natural sponge to apply the solution. This will help get some of the dirt out, neutralize odor, and give his coat a nice shine. If your dog has any open sores or irritated skin, avoid using this solution because it may sting.
Lemon Water Spritz
Lemon water can help deodorize and add a nice shine to your dog’s coat. Cut up a lemon into thin slices and place them into water that is almost boiling. Let the concoction sit overnight and spray or sponge it on your dog the next day. Place it in a container for refrigeration and later use. When the spritz has dried, your dog’s hair may have a little crunch to it. Gently brush his hair out and his coat will look freshly bathed. This mixture is also a flea-killer and skin soother. Note that if your dog has a dark coat, the lemon spritz may lighten it.
For dogs who need a light deodorizing, moisturizing, and added shine, grab a small amount of food-grade organic coconut oil and massage it down onto the skin. Use a cotton wash cloth to gently wipe off any excess.
Finding a natural dry shampoo for your dog is another option. Nava Pets Natural has an organic dry shampoo that not only helps deodorize and freshen up the coat without water, but also has flea—and tick-repelling properties.
Baking soda’s deodorizing and cleansing capabilities can extend to your dog’s coat. Well-known veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker recommends sprinkling and rubbing some into his coat and then brushing for a quick freshening up.
If you don’t want to bother with powders or making your own spray, you can also look for nontoxic, dog-safe cleansing wipes. Earthbath has some Grooming Wipes that can come in handy for less-than-fresh dogs. They’re great to keep in the car for when he steps or rolls on the wrong thing.
Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.