This is my second post on dog smells. It is about ears. Our dog Betty has infections in her ears most of the time. These infections are one source of the many offensive dog smells that she creates. I know people that ask how do you get rid of dog smell. For me it is one smell at a time. Betty has a list of them going on. Some ask is there a shampoo that will get rid of the dog smell. We have found a few good shampoo’s for this but to shampoo the dog does nothing for the infections in her ears except perhaps irritate it and make it worse. So our Vet has given us a solution that is used to irrigate the ear canal. This solution you squeeze a little stream (plenty the Vet told us) of it into the ear and rub the ear and then take a cotton ball and wipe the ear out again. Then secondly there is a separate medicated ear drop that we put in. A few drops in the ear last thing and leave it. She hates this process but is happy when it is over. We were recently told by a dog expert that you can do the same thing with rubbing alcohol. She said it is virtually impossible to get the alcohol deep enough into the dogs ear to become a problem. She used to take care of many dogs in a dog show and rubbing alcohol is what they used. Especially with Basset Hounds. This process eliminates this particular dog smell for most of the day. It is a daily task that needs to be done. I know the infections are suppose to clear up but with Betty it just seems to keep it from getting worse.
This post is about dog smells. This blog deals with dog urine smell in many posts so I am not going to discuss that topic in this post. My wife and I have Pugs, Betty and Rumble. Specifically our female pug named Betty. Some of the dog smells (and they are not pleasant smells) that come from her are her breath, smells from the folds or wrinkles in her skin, smells from her ears, and smells from the opposite end or the back end of her body. Finally the general overall wet dog smell that most of us are familiar with. Some of these smells come from bacteria. Some are from infections. Some dog smells just come from the dogs playing in the yard. And rolling around in the grass and the dirt in the same area’s they go to the bathroom. They play with each other constantly and cover each other with saliva and dirty paws.
In this post I am going to talk about the dog smell that comes from the folds in her excess skin on her mask (face). Many dog breeds have this excess skin condition. Moisture gets into these folds and no air can get to it so it just stays damp most of the time. Bacteria begins to grow in this moist damp environment. The bacteria gives off gasses that create one of these offensive dog smells. Her mask needs to be cleaned every day and still it the smells return soon after the cleaning. As soon as she gets a drink or plays with another dog or goes outside. We wipe these folds with a Que tip and a pre-moistened hygienic cleansing pad. Then she has a pleasant smell for a few hours. My thought is if these pads are pre-moistened they will still leave the folds in the dogs face damp. Not only does she have the bacteria growing but it is not long until she has a skin infection in there also. This itches and torments her.
The solution: Keep Cleaning her face daily, especially in the folds with the cleansing pads. Also once a month clean her mask with a Que tip and alcohol. And the trick is to put a little Goldbond powder in the folds after each cleaning. This will absorb the moisture and keeping her dryer and soothing her skin. This then stops the bacteria and possible skin irritations which will virtually eliminate this particular dog smell. I will address some of these other dog smells in future posts.
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Here I want to describe a little about the sense of smell (olfaction). When you understand these principles you will be much more effective when it comes to purchasing and using odor removal products and getting the results you are looking for. If you smell urine or any disagreeable odor there has to be 4 conditions present. If you eliminate any one of these things the smell is gone. At least as far as your nose is concerned, it is gone. These four things are:
1. Molecules of the odorous (smelly) substance must be volatile enough to get into the air, or evaporate and get into the air, and enter our noses. If we stop the molecules from getting into the air they then will not enter the nose and you will not smell the odor. Some of the odor products that are available use this principle to eliminate the smells.
2. These molecules must be slightly water-soluble in order to pass through a mucus layer in our noses and reach our smell receptors. Again you will not smell urine if these molecules cannot reach your olfactory (smell) receptors.
3. These molecules must be lipid soluble because olfactory cilia are composed primarily of lipid material. Once again the same theory if the molecule cannot reach the sensors to trigger them and detect the smell then it is gone.
4. There has to be a sufficient number of these odorous molecules and they have to come in contact with the receptors for a minimum length of time for our noses to detect them.
You can see there are opportunities with each of the conditions to stop the smell. It should be said, that with smells there is also a possibility of a psychological issue to deal with. Our minds will play tricks on us and it can bring back smells to our memory that are as real as any smell that actually comes through the receptors in our noses. In these cases changing or stopping the molecules will not stop the smell. This then has to be approached from the psychological angle. I am not going to go into that here.
There are several very good chemicals on the market that stop or eliminate odors at different points in this process and they do it in different ways. You can read about the different methods these chemicals use to do this here. Types of chemicals.
1 photo credit: bradleygee