How Can I Get My Dog to Smell Clean?

Real Simple answers your questions.

Monica BuckMonica BuckQ. How do I keep my dog smelling fresh?
Cindy Mullis Hampton, Virginia A.

If repeated trips to the groomer don't keep the stench away, smelly fur may not be the problem; a medical condition, such as an ear infection, could be the cause. Unlike our straight ear canals, dogs' L-shaped canals are hard to clean, says Janet Tobiassen, a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Floppy-eared dogs, like cocker spaniels, are even more susceptible to infection than those with pointed ears. Be sure to check these breeds regularly. When you look at your dog's ears, observe the color. You should see a natural pink pigmentation. If the ears are red or look inflamed, call your veterinarian. Once a medical issue has been ruled out, turn to the bathtub. Use a gentle soap and a conditioner that is made specifically for your breed. In between washes, use an all-natural dog body spray, such as Lani Body Spray ($15, lanidigyourdog.com). Bonus: The spray doubles as a detangler, so your pet will smell and look fresh, too. ―Ashlyee Hickman


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