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What is the best/easiest way to make a dog smell fresh without giving him a bath? Our dogs go to daycare every week and they have a bad "daycare smell" when they get home. Some days it's not so bad, but other days it's nasty! I don't have the time to bathe them every time they get home from daycare, not would I want to bathe them that often.

I have tried the pet freshening wipes, which help a bit, but they dry out too easily and are so small (our dogs are both big). I have also tried sprinkling the dogs with baking soda, but it doesn't absorb well and when they shake, there's baking soda all over the floor.

I looked up dry dog shampoos, but apparently they have a lot of toxic ingredients in them and aren't really that safe for dogs. I've thought about making an essential oil spray, but Kane likes to just lick that stuff off as soon as there's any kind of oil in it. Maybe I could use distilled water or witch hazel instead of a carrier oil?
 

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White vinegar and water in a spray bottle set on mist. Avoiding the head and face, lightly mist the fur. Let air dry. Wipe any slobber spots with damp wash cloth if needed (slobber that dries on the fur can be really stinky). The vinegar scent dissapates while neutralizing other scents.

Many essential oils and witch hazel too can be toxic if ingested.
 

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I really dislike the daycare smell too! What I do is a thoroughly wet a bath towel, wring it out, then give my dog a full body wipe down. It gets his fur damp but not dripping wet. That and the friction really gets the smell out. I do it first thing when we come back from daycare.
 

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Try Espana Silk waterless bath! Its a spray-in with a lightly fresh smell (I have a sensitive nose and don't mind it)...it's super gentle and all natural. Makes my dogs smell fresh and feel clean. Just spray in, rub around a bit, and air dry or wipe with a dry towel :) Only problem is, I don't think its sold in many retail stores, so you might have to get it online.
 

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Corn Starch. Decades ago, we would dust with corn starch and then brush it out. You can also try baking soda, but I think it may dry out their skin too much. Corn starch can also dry out if you use it daily. Weekly may be OK, and try not to use it immediately after a bath, b/c you want to give the dog a week or two to rebuild the natural protective skin oils.
 

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I was thinking something dry as well that you could sprinkle on, dust in the coat, then bristle brush out. My Chinchillas and all my chickens are big into dry bathing.. was thinking the baking soda cause it didn't take anytime at all to freshen up an old apartment size fridge that had been closed up in storage.
 

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I know its not a magic bullet or anything, but when Lila gets her monthly bath, I used to go with the mildest puppy shampoo. Last time I used a strong scented 'tea tree and eucalyptus' shampoo (or something like that) - I take her to a place where you wash your dog and use their supplies. Using a shampoo with a stronger scent did not seem to bother her, but wow that nice smell lasted almost two weeks! It made a big difference.
 

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am curious what could cause the smell? is a disinfectant smell? And to attach so strong to them. I rotate my dogs in pairs every 5 days from being with the livestock back to the house for one on one time.. And yes you can smell the barn on them for laying around with the other animals, but it airs out since they enjoy being able to come and go from inside to outside in the back yard ..

so am wondering if it airs out quickly once they have come home?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
am curious what could cause the smell? is a disinfectant smell? And to attach so strong to them. I rotate my dogs in pairs every 5 days from being with the livestock back to the house for one on one time.. And yes you can smell the barn on them for laying around with the other animals, but it airs out since they enjoy being able to come and go from inside to outside in the back yard ..

so am wondering if it airs out quickly once they have come home?
I'm not quite sure what causes the smell. It's not a disinfectant smell at all. You know how certain breeds like Labs just have a strong smell sometimes? That's what it smells like.

My dogs (especially Pepper) are very physical players. They bodycheck, mouth, roll around, etc. when they play. So it could just be that others dogs smell really bad and it's getting transferred to mine? Maybe it's the other dog's drool getting in their hair? I'm not sure what it is, but some days it's a lot worse than others so I want to say it's the other dog's smell getting transferred, but I don't know for sure.

It does air out after a while, it's not as bad the second day. But our dogs are allowed on our furniture and on our bed so everything ends up smelly. Some days it's so bad I can't even sit beside one of them on the couch. Usually when it's that bad I will just give them a bath.
 

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Not speaking for all breeds, but many Retrievers have a high-oil coat that can repel water and dirt ... when clean. But, when dirty, the coat smells, and the feet (sweat) can smell like what they have been eating. And, you don't want to wash them more frequently than every week or two, if needed ... and every month or two if they don't roll around in the dirt - good luck with that! ;-) . After you wash them, it can take about 2 weeks to re-establish the protective skin and coat oils. Brushing helps.
 
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