Homemade Waterless Solutions for a Smelly Dog

Can that smell really be coming from me?
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

A traditional bath with shampoo and water is good for removing dirt and odors from your dog. However, bathing too often can remove necessary oils and lead to dry skin. If your favorite pooch likes to get himself dirty on a regular basis or just has a natural unpleasant odor, waterless shampoos offer an alternative and can be made at home with a few basic ingredients.

Consult a Vet

If your dog is constantly producing a foul odor, consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying skin conditions that may be contributing. Yeast infections of the skin or ears and seborrhea are conditions that can cause a foul odor. Causes can include hormonal imbalances, allergies and dietary problems. Treat these conditions first before trying to mask the odor with regular cleaning.

Waterless Solution Basics

A dry waterless shampoo solution for your dog begins with a combination of cornstarch and baking soda. Cornstarch promotes a shiny and healthy-looking coat while the baking soda helps to eliminate odor, just as it does in your refrigerator. The amount needed will depend on the size of your dog. A basic mixture uses a box of cornstarch and 1 ½ cups of baking soda. Mix these ingredients together and place in a sifter to remove large lumps before applying. If you do not have a sifter, place the powder mixture into an old Parmesan cheese container or something similar to shake out for application.

Additional Ingredients

To add a hint of smell or to address other issues, there are additional ingredients you can include in your mixture. Baby powder adds a nice aroma and you can easily add it to the mixture. A few drops of tea tree oil add a nice smell and may help with itchy skin. Lemon grass or lavender oils are also options for adding pleasant aromas. If fleas are a problem, adding a few drops of citronella oil can help repel the little bugs.

Applying a Waterless Solution

Before applying your waterless solution, thoroughly brush your dog to remove any dirt and dead hair. With the sifter or shaker bottle, apply the powder all over your dog’s body. Massage the powder into your dog’s coat as you apply it to make sure it reaches down to the skin. Avoid shaking the powder near his eyes. For this area, sprinkle a little onto your fingertips and work in to the fur by hand. Leave the powder on for 10 to 20 minutes. Brush your dog again to remove the powder. Because the powder is light, you may want to do this bath outside to avoid covering your carpet and furniture with powder.