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savvy shopping

The best dog colognes and deodorants

Updated June 23, 2020

Created By

Madison Blancaflor, Andy Bowen
When you pick the right option, the benefits are bigger than smell

How we picked our favorites

We looked for results — We built a list of the 20+ most popular deodorizing sprays. We checked the comments, read the reviews, and focused on the products with good marks that actually beat the stink.

We focused on all-natural brands — We analyzed the ingredients labels for synthetic ingredients and dies, phthalates, enzymes, and unnecessary fillers. Then, we handpicked the cleanest, healthiest options.

the essentials

  • Dog colognes and deodorants are a great way to eliminate doggy smells between washes. When you choose the right type of spray, you can use it as often as needed or wanted.
  • The most important things to consider are ingredients and scent. Make sure you’re buying a product with high-quality, natural ingredients with subtle fragrances that won’t irritate your pup.
  • Dogs can develop a smell for many reasons. While a dog cologne or deodorant is perfect for between baths, chronic smells should be addressed with your vet because they may point to an underlying health concern.

Choosing the right dog cologne

It’s just a fact of being a dog parent — sometimes, your doggo stinks. No matter how much we bathe them and love them, sometimes our pups still smell. Whether your dog has chronic body odor issues or you want to tide them over between baths or trips to the groomer, a dog cologne or deodorant is a great option.

There are so many options out there for choosing dog deodorants and colognes, and it’s super important to know how to choose the right one for your furry family members. The two most vital things to consider when shopping for the right spray for your dog are the ingredients and the scent.

Focus on natural ingredients —Chemical-based products can irritate your dog’s skin and are more likely to cause allergic reactions and skin infections. Stay away from alcohol or alcohol-based ingredients when possible, specifically ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, methanol, and denatured alcohol. These ingredients are bad for both yours and your dog’s skin because they are drying agents.

Not all alcohols are dangerous for your pup. Benzyl alcohol is considered an allergen, but many organic and natural skincare products will contain benzyl alcohol as a preservative to keep bacteria at bay. If you see Cetearyl, Stearyl, Cetyl and Behenyl alcohol on the ingredients list, those are fatty alcohols that are actually fine for hair and skin according to Healthline.

Focus on the scent — Dogs have sensitive senses of smell, and the type and strength of the fragrance used on your pup can have an effect on their mood and behavior. Look for calming scents that aren’t overpowering. When it comes to dog colognes and deodorants, less is more.

Here are just a few examples of beneficial dog cologne scents and their effects on pups:

  • Lavender. This scent is calming and can be stress-reducing for your dog.
  • Orange. Citrus smells such as orange are great for calming upset stomachs.
  • Lemongrass. This scent can help keep dogs focused, and it can also help repel fleas.
  • Chamomile. Like lavender, chamomile is a calming scent that can ease irritability and impatience.
  • Cedar. This is a stronger scent, so you’ll want to make sure it’s not overpowering, but it can help repel ticks and fleas.

Why do dogs smell?

Most of the time, your pup will start to smell when it’s time for a bath, in the same way humans or other pets will smell. Dogs may not sweat as humans do, but physical activity and rolling around outside cause normal body odors that can be unpleasant if your dog goes a while between baths.

However, dogs can also have conditions that cause strong body odors. For example, some dogs are more likely to get ear infections, which can cause a pungent smell. Skin infections, skin irritations, and allergies can also cause your dog to smell.

Another potential reason your dog may smell is because of their anal glands. You’ve probably noticed that dogs like to sniff each other’s butts when saying hi. That’s because healthy anal glands release a slight scent unique to them, which can be used as an identifier with other dogs. But when anal glands are blocked and unable to drain, this can cause malodors and eventually infection.

Of course, if there is an underlying issue for why your pup smells, you’ll want to address the root of the problem with your vet. But no matter the cause of your pup’s smell, the right doggy deodorant or cologne can help.

FAQs

Can I use human perfume on my dog?

👉Always use formulas specifically made with animals in mind.

Human scents are often strong and may irritate your dog. Human cosmetic products are also commonly filled with drying alcohols and chemicals that may cause a reaction in your pup. If you have an all-natural spray that has high-quality ingredients and a simple scent, you won’t be harming your dog by using it. But the best policy is to get a dog cologne or deodorant that is made specifically for dogs.

Can I make homemade dog perfume?

Yes! If you have a clean spray bottle and a calming essential oil on hand, you can combine water with just a drop or two of essential oil to create a homemade dog perfume. Just keep in mind that too much essential oil will be too strong a scent for your pup.

Just like the dangers of using human cologne on your pet, you’ll be better off getting a product created for pets if you plan on using it on your dog frequently.

How often can I use dog cologne?

If you are choosing the right kind of dog cologne or deodorant with high-quality, natural ingredients, you can use it as often as you want without harming your pet. Want to spritz your pup between grooming sessions or at-home baths? Spritz away. Do you have an overactive dog that needs help calming down at bedtime? A spray with lavender or chamomile is perfect. Have a doggie date planned with a pretty pomeranian down the street? Give them a quick scent pick-me-up.

Just remember that if your dog constantly smells bad, even with regular baths, there is likely an underlying issue to the stink. It’s a good idea to take your pet to the vet to double-check there isn’t a health condition that is causing your dog to smell.

What if my dog is allergic to dog cologne?

Every dog is different, and there is always a potential that your dog will react to a dog cologne or dog deodorant. While it’s certainly less likely if you use all-natural ingredients and calming scents, a pup with sensitive skin or a specific allergy to an ingredient may have a reaction to a product.

If irritation does occur, stop using the product and consult your vet.