Getting Rid Of “Dog Smell” Between Baths

We don’t bathe Topher very often. However, even when we do bathe him, he finds some way to get smelly as soon as possible. I think that’s just the nature of dogs—they constantly trend towards smelliness.

I decided that I would try out some measures towards getting rid of that dog smell in between baths. Just wiping Topher down with a damp cloth didn’t really do much, so I looked into dog-safe ingredients that I could make into some kind of spray, and found a few options. Now, Topher smells as fresh as a daisy! Well, a lavender-scented daisy.

Here’s what I used to get rid of Topher’s dog smell between baths.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
  • 8-10 drops lavender essential oil (or another oil of your choice)

Combine all your ingredients into a spray bottle, and you’re good to go. This cleansing spray leaves Topher odor-free (except for a mild lavender smell), shiny, and feeling very soft. I just spritz his coat and then rub it in with a microfiber towel, usually right after we come in from dog classes or longer walks.

Make sure to store your spray in a warm, dry place. If your home isn’t too warm, the coconut oil may harden! You can avoid this by quartering or halving the batch you make, combining it in a smaller spray bottle, and using it in one to two sittings. I wouldn’t recommend making more than a 1 cup batch, as the shelf life of the coconut oil may be affected by its suspension in water.

You can make your spray with a variety of essential oils, depending on what scents you like. Here are a few options that are safe for dogs. Even though these are safe for your pets, never spray your dog directly in the face, ears, or other sensitive areas.

  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon

What do you use to keep your dog (and his stuff) smelling fresh?

Lucy Bennett

Lucy is a writer, artist, and Hufflepuff currently living in Atlanta, Ga. When not making things, she enjoys costuming, tabletop games, and digging in the dirt.



  • Tiffany

    I used fractionated coconut oil. No need for melting and it doesn’t harden. Also, it’s perfect as a carrier oil for whichever essential oil you use in the spray. I have an Australian Shepherd and we live on the gulf coast. So as you xan imagine, she gets pretty stinky between baths. I used peppermint. She loves it and I love how she smells afterwards. Love this idea. Totally recommend it!!

    August 24, 2015 at 3:47 PM
    • Ivana

      I’ve never heard of fractionated coconut oil! Will have to look it up. Thanks for the tip!

      August 29, 2015 at 8:43 AM
  • Taylor

    My dog has a weird fear of getting sprayed. But it’s summer and after her walks she gets stinky. I only have one oil that we use to make the house smell good. So instead, I used a little vanilla extract. She smalls like a bakery now!

    June 4, 2016 at 5:28 PM
  • Kim J

    Dogs tend to hate lemon, so avoid using lemon EO. I’ve tried making my own concoction with vinegar and water and lavender and my pup HATES it. I’m going to try this recipe and see if she likes it more.

    September 30, 2016 at 1:05 AM
    • Yvette

      I use vinegar as a deterrent for those little accidents.

      December 29, 2016 at 7:42 PM
  • Erika

    Does this help as a flea repelent

    September 30, 2016 at 11:03 PM
  • Kimberly

    I have a beautiful 4 yr old black lab (my first large dog) and he’s amazing. So smart, obedient, loving, graceful, etc. At about 1 yr old he started to have an odor that smell a bit like sour clothes..but it’s gotten so bad that I’ve taken all carpets out of my home. My small dog has begun to smell also. I bathe them fairly regularly and they’re indoor dogs. It’s not earmites..I have no idea. Help!!!

    December 7, 2016 at 1:05 PM
    • Kristen

      I’ve noticed grain free food (I use Sam’s brand) has really helped our dogs odor issues. Good luck!

      December 21, 2016 at 7:02 PM

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