We love our little bundles of fur, but lets be honest – they sure can smell. Smelly pets are a universal problem among pet owners. Whether it’s the litter box, or the pet themselves, we have some top tips for banishing pet odor. While any one of our tips below can help, keeping pet odor under control requires the full approach. All these tips utilized together should have your home smelling like a house again!
House Cleaning Tips For Smelly Pets
- Bath them often. This applies mostly to dogs, though an outside cat may benefit from a bath occasionally too. It is generally recommended to bath your dog once a month. This may vary based on their breed and level of outdoor activity, but it’s a good base time. Regular bathing helps get rid of bacteria that can build in your pets fur and on their skin, causing odor. If your pet is prone to dry skin, use gentle soaps and a conditioner. Pro-tip: If your pet is shedding, give them a good brushing before the bath!
- Clean your carpet. Even a well trained pet can have accidents on the carpet. Steam clean your carpet at least once a year. Quarterly if your pet is a repeat offender. Even if potty issues aren’t a problem smelly pets can leave behind odors in areas they frequent. Don’t have the time or money for a full carpet steaming? Invest in a handheld steam cleaner to spot treat areas.
- Don’t ignore furniture and pet beds. If you picked yourself up a handheld steam cleaner, or rented a large carpet shampooer for the weekend, don’t forget to hit the furniture. Couches, mattresses, and pillows used by your pet can all benefit from a good cleaning once in a while. Make sure its safe to use the steam cleaner on your fabric, then steam that odor of smelly pets away! Don’t forget to wash dog or cat bed covers and give them a good steaming too!
- Clean the air. Some people like to use products such as Fabreeze to control odor, but we suggest getting an air purifier instead. They have benefits beyond eliminating pet odors and when used in unison with the other tips, keep your home fresh and free of potential allergens for you and your pet!
Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash
Overexcited Dog Grooming Tips, Continued!
Did you try out last weeks tips but felt like you needed a couple more? We’ve got you covered! Here are two more tips for helping you groom your overexcited dog!
Burn Off Excess Energy Before Grooming Your Dog
Some dogs are naturally more energetic than others. For example, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers have a go-all-day stamina and, if bored, can turn to destructive behavior. Spinning in circles, jumping up and down and excessive, unreasonable barking are all signs the are overexcited. The only way to lower your dog’s excitement is to have them spend its energy physically.
A well-exercised dog is much more easily groomed than a well-rested dog. It is a good idea to exercise your dog 1-2 hours before you want to groom them. Running with your dog can be a great way to burn off any excess energy, and we also recommend you introduce other physically and mentally demanding activities like a game of fetch or a playdate with other dogs.
Reward Your Dog for Good Behavior
The good news about overexcited dogs is that they are overly excited about food too. Use this to your advantage by offering your dog several small treats during the grooming session, and one big treat at the end of the session. This will teach your dog that if it obeys you, it will get rewarded.
If you don’t always want to reward your dog with food you can also use other positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and play, whatever your dog enjoys doing. The aim is to help your dog associate the grooming session with a positive experience.
These strategies may not work for all dogs. Some dogs need professional training for keeping calm while being groomed and pampered. However, before seeking professional guidance, try implementing the previously described tips.
To round up:
- Make the grooming session a routine. Let your dog get used to the idea of being frequently handled and groomed.
- To establish this activity as routine, introduce grooming when your dog is a young and easily adaptable puppy.
- Be calm and serious. How you feel reflects and transfers to your dog.
- Never yell nor use physical punishment during the grooming process. This is not only abusive but counterproductive too.
We hope the tips included throughout this post will help you groom your overexcited pup more effectively.
Just remember to take things slow and be patient with your dog. In time, they will learn that grooming and play are two separate things and the whole experience will become a lot more enjoyable for both you and your pet.
Contributed by Jenny Nolan
photo credit: nickobec border collie in bath via photopin (license)
Some dogs are laid-back and calm, while others are energetic and overly excited about everything. The problem is that no matter their character, at one time or another you will need to groom your dog and there is no doubt that handling energetic and overly excited dogs is much more challenging and overwhelming. For many dog owners, we’re sure it won’t take a lot to imagine grooming an energetic dog. In fact, it’s no doubt something you may have experienced firsthand already. If this is the case, then this post might be able to offer some help.
There are specific methods that can help you keep your dog’s grooming session as straightforward as possible, helping your pet to remain calm and relaxed throughout.
Here are this weeks top two tips for grooming overexcited and boisterous dogs:
Have a Strategy in Place
The first step towards a smooth and comfortable grooming session is having a good strategy. A grooming strategy should include keeping the session short – long sessions only exacerbate your dog’s energetic state of mind. Keep them, preferably, no longer than 10-15 minutes. Some dogs may even need short breaks to calm down.
Prevent your dog from wanting to escape. This is especially important if your dog is an escape artist! Energetic dogs think that grooming is a game and by escaping they are actively participating in it. So, unless you are in an enclosed area, chances are your dog will find a way to make a run for it.
Have a firm hold of your dog. If you have to work alone, it is best to restrain your dog by looping one arm around your dog’s midsection. It is essential to be firm enough to hold your dog, but gentle enough to avoid hurting them. Avoid using sympathetic or baby voice during the grooming. By being calm and serious you discourage excitement.
Carry out the grooming process in a calm environment. Overstimulation induces energy rushes in overly excited dogs. The calmer the situation is, the easier it will be to keep you your dog relaxed. We recommend finding a quiet corner of your home and making that your go-to grooming spot. Ideally, you should look to avoid grooming over playful pets outdoors as this only increases the number of distractions nearby.
Think outside the box
For this tip, we suggest trying to get in the mind of your dog. Now we know this is a lot easier said than done but with a bit of practice you should hopefully be able to master this trick!
For example, if your dog does not respond well to being lifted on to the grooming table, try to do the grooming on the floor. If they don’t like the slippery surface of your bathtub, cover it with soft towels, or look into purchasing a specialized dog tub. If your dog doesn’t like getting their face wet, avoid washing this area entirely and use wet dog wipes to clean their face instead.
Any of these tiny details could be the reason your dog doesn’t enjoy being groomed and decides to play up instead. By trying to get in the head of your pet and thinking about what they like and dislike you will create a grooming routine that they enjoy instead of loath!
Come back next week for two more of our top grooming tips!
Contributed by Jenny Nolan
photo credit: ginnerobot say it with me now: awwwwwwwwwwww via photopin (license)
The term “wet dog smell” is so universally relatable it’s used to describe things other than a wet dog! No grooming, bath, conditioner or scented oils are powerful enough to make it go away entirely. Where does it come from? What can you do about it?
The Source of Wet Dog Smell
Dogs may be furry but their skin is very similar to ours. Underneath all that fluffiness their skin excretes oils (called sebum) that help to moisturize and protect it. When this oil builds up around the hair follicles of your dog’s fur bacteria can start to grow. This growth is spurred by the addition of water. The bacteria create the smell that we (not so fondly) refer to as “wet dog smell”.
Treatment & Prevention
That sounds a little dramatic. This isn’t a dangerous or life-threatening situation, but it is mighty unpleasant. Here are some ways you can deal with and prevent a return!
- Humans have to wash regularly to keep sebum from building up and wash away dead skin cells. Your pup needs this service too! Regularly removing build up can be a big help! Don’t go overboard though – remember that oil serves a purpose. How often should “regular” washing occur? Try a couple times a month. You may reduce this down to once a month in the winter when skin tends to get drier.
- Regular deep (but gentle) brushing can be helpful in between baths to loosen and remove buildup from the hair follicles. This may be more effective on short-coated pets than long ones.
- Wash all their things regularly! Imagine if you never washed your bed sheets or clothes? You’d be pretty smelly too, no matter how many baths you took. Toss all things washable through a wash cycle every time you bathe your pet. If something’s not washable, spray it down with some white vinegar, wipe it down, and air it out in the sunshine regularly.
photo credit: carterse Dusty Loves the Water via photopin (license)