How to Eliminate the Smell of a Wet Dog

A wet dog is a stinky dog.

A wet dog is a stinky dog.

If the revolting stench of a wet dog has assaulted your nostrils so severely that you actually considered disowning your faithful canine companion to escape it, you are not alone. Luckily for you and your stinky pooch, you can eliminate the odor without having to get rid of the dog.

Eliminate Foul Odors From Your Dog

Get the facts about the factors that contribute to the dreadful wet dog smell. Your furry friend’s skin naturally contains bacteria and yeasts that produce smelly molecules called organic acids, which stink even more when wet. Moisture on your dog’s fur dissolves the acids, and a potent, nasty odor is released as the water evaporates.

Dry your stinky pooch by hand first. Working from head to paw, use a clean towel to soak up as much moisture as possible from your dog’s fur.

Pamper your pooch with a blow-drying session. Merely towel drying your wet dog is not enough to eliminate the funky odor, because towel drying doesn't remove the offending bacteria. The heat and air from a blow dryer, on the other hand, can help remove the bacteria from the fur. This is the best way to ensure that your dog’s coat is bone-dry.

Mist your dog’s coat with a scented grooming spray. Although a grooming spray doesn't eliminate the smell of wet dog, it can mask it rather effectively and give your nostrils some reprieve.

Eliminate Foul Odors From Your Home

Keep your dog smelling fresh and clean. You can’t eliminate the smell of wet dog from your home until you first eliminate it from your dog. Bathe your dog at least every other week, and dry his coat thoroughly before letting him roam the house. Wet dogs love to rub their stinky wet coats on rugs and furniture, so be sure to completely dry your dog’s coat any time it's wet.

Use an all-purpose cleaner to wash down all of the hard surfaces in your home. Pay special attention to areas where your pampered pooch tends to lie. Scrub the surface well and give it time to dry.

Use a steam cleaner to suck the odor out of rugs and furniture. Carpets and other fabrics trap odors that can make your entire house smell like one big, wet dog. The wet-dog stench is a formidable opponent, but steam cleaning can help you level the playing field.

Purify the air using white distilled vinegar. Fill a large bowl with white distilled vinegar and set it directly in front of your air-conditioning filter. As the fumes from the vinegar evaporate, they are sucked into the filter and purify the air that circulates throughout your home. To avoid rusting components of the air-conditioning system, use this air purification method sparingly.

Items you will need

  • Clean towel
  • Blow dryer
  • Scented grooming spray
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Steam cleaner
  • White distilled vinegar


  • Keep the blow dyer setting on warm and hold it several inches away from your dog's skin, to avoid burning him.

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About the Author

Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

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