Homemade Dog Cologneby Rob Harris
When you don't want your dog to smell like, well, dog, there's an easier solution to daily baths. Most dogs have skin that dries out quickly when bathed too often, so trying making your own cologne to give his fur luster as well as a fresh scent that encourages cuddling.
Essential oils offer the key to unlock that clean, fresh scent in your pup's fur. Essential oils are different from fragrance oils often used in products such as shampoos. Essential oils are direct derivatives from natural sources, usually plants, and are super concentrated -- fragrance oils often contain inorganic chemicals to develop the scents. Pour 8 to 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice in a cup of water, then use a spritz bottle to spray some on your pup. You can also spray a cloth and give your dog a good rub-down. Essential oils are often thought to have aromatherapy properties, with scents such as lavender used for its calming properties and eucalyptus to help repel fleas. Other safe oils include peppermint, orange and ginger.
If odor elimination is your main concern but you don't necessarily want a lingering scent on your pooch -- your bulldog might not be too happy about smelling like flowers -- go for vinegar instead of essential oils. Use distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar mixed as 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water to spritz your dog. Used every couple of days, this can help his fur release odors between baths.
It's not just your pup that can smell a little ripe. Places he spends a lot of time and where he loses a good bit of loose hair, such as his bed -- or your bed, as the case may be -- can quickly start smelling like the worst of him. Washing his bedding often can be a hassle and can wear out the fabric quickly. Instead, spritz it daily with the same cologne you use for his fur.
What Not to Do
When spritzing cologne on your canine companion, always keep it away from his eyes, ears and nose. Although essential oils and vinegar aren't toxic, they can burn his eyes and nose if sprayed directly into them, and any kind of liquid can lead to ear infections or other issues. Consult with your veterinarian if your dog develops itching or dry skin after using your cologne -- the oil conditions the skin on most dogs, but you might need some help determining which oil is best if your dog has skin allergies.
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