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Is it alright to spray perfume on a dog?

We like to smell nice ourselves and often extend that wish to our favourite pets.
Often, even after having given them a good bath, there’s still ‘a bit of a smell’.
We know that human perfume can be bad for them, but we can get perfume made especially for dogs.
This product, we are told, will not cause any skin, nose, or eyes irritation, and will be free of toxic chemicals while keeping them smelling fresh and sweet.

But is it fair to our animals? Often, just after having been shampooed, rinsed and dried, dogs will go and roll onto something gross, preferring that to the newly washed smell :laughing:

Do you think it’s alright to use perfume on dogs?


What would their mother have done?


We always spray our little dog with doggie perfume after he has had a bath just as the doggie parlour does after he has been clipped.

The doggie parlour our previous dog attended also did the same, but she loved to try to find some Bandicoot or other animal droppings to roll in up behind the rear of our previous residence.

At least our little dog only has a small area in our fully enclosed small backyard but he still managed to run around in the red dirt from the bandicoot burrows this morning after it rained overnight, much to my wife’s disgust.


They have adapted to be our companions but not to take up such social values as perfume. People do not need to be perfumed so why dogs? Do you spray perfume on your children? We need to decide if dogs are other-specie friends or toys.

Washing is OK, even essential as we and they have different ideas of what makes a good body smell (co-adaption has its limits). Sharing accommodation is common, where we inhale each other’s odours. You will understand this need more if you have cows or horses nearby.

But perfume? No. If you find a clean dog doesn’t smell good enough without perfume then give up dogs and get an animatronic doll instead.


A definite no. Why?..(with a flippant hat on)

Dogs have 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute smelling ability than humans. That means any smell will be magnified thousands of times compared to what we smell.

Any perfumes on a dog will drive them mad and possibly not be healthy (either physically or mentally) for them as they will be overdosed with a human preferred fragrance which is foreign to them.

If they experience similar smells on humans or the environment, they can at least walk away or go up wind for reprieve. Spraying it on them forces them to endure the perfume torture their owner inflicts on them.

Imagine if you had cotton wall balls taped under your nose dowsed with a very strong exotic perfume or say the smell of something terrible (thioacetone etc) for 24/7…this would be only 1/1000+ less the experience of the perfume sprayed pooch.


I’d ask my dog.

Spray some of the product purchased especially to cologne your dog on a mat or patch of lawn. Take dog to scented spot and observe.

If it was a great buy your dog will spontaneously roll delightfully on it. If not return the remainder of the product and get your money back.

If the patch of lawn selected subsequently goes a funny colour, is the product something that should be on your dog?

Top Tip?
On the farm there are a million fresh and not so fresh doggie delights next to every tussock. Ideally make the last stop after what ever you have been doing the farm dam for a swim. Apologies to urban dwellers who will have to improvise. Although those favoured loyal companions will have been well behaved at the end of a lead.

The American Kennel Club suggests the behaviour is instinctive and has purpose.


Hi Gaby :dog: my dog enjoys exotic smells just as much as I do!

Please remember that his nose has 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to 3 million in ours, and a dog’s nose and the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours. eg. It is so sensitive that dogs can detect the equivalent of a 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”

Here is a picture of my dog BEAR - a Belgian Shepherd Turvueren

The only trouble is that his idea of “beautiful smell” and my idea are totally different.

If he happens to dislike the fragrance of the ‘Doggy’ shampoo he has been washed in, he immediately finds something abhorrent to my delicate nostrils (like a bone that has been buried for weeks) and rolls in this wonderful smell until he is satisfied.

I think this behaviour alone is enough to answer your question in its totality!

Leave the perfume to those with similar olfactory senses as your own.
Hope this helps answering your questions Gaby :wink:


Ads on the Web about dog-grooming ‘salons’ using scents formulated particularly for dogs as the finishing touch of grooming caught my attention recently. And I thought it would be of general interest to the many pet owners reading this Forum.
But I must disclose that it is of no particular interest to me, although I love dogs, and all animals for that matter, I don’t own any pets. My excuse is that I live in an upstairs flat and also that I’m away traveling for long periods. I’m sure that there could be solutions, but I’m not really interested at the moment.

All posts are valued but those directed at me are barking up the wrong tree…:laughing:


Only the best for a Belgian Shepherd! :grinning:

Amazing colours, does he have a Groenendael in his lineage?


Hi Mustang I believe he does - he was bred by Johanna Lynch in Melbourne and has the Registered Name of “Johdam the Wizard at Astabron” and he certainly has plenty of magic tricks too :wink:

He was born a much lighter colour and gets gradually darker as he ages (just another one of his tricks) lol
Do you have a Belgian?

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I personally react very badly to many perfumes in a mildly allergic way, like bad hayfever.
I need to choose washing detergents, soaps and anti-persperants based on their ‘lack’ of smell.

When I find myself crossing paths with someone who has over-ambitiously applied their favourite scent, I need to vacate the area immediately. If their objective was to repel others around them, then job done.

I feel for any pet put in that position without the luxury of being able to escape it.


I only use perfume for dogs & the one I got from pet barn smells so nice :grin: just don’t use human perfume

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This is truly in the ‘first world problem’ category. And for me, quite appalling but indicative of the way people are now treating their animals.

If you have a smelly dog that bathing does not sort out, then you need to be looking at their diet, their teeth, their general health, their bedding and their environment. Not attempting to cover the smell with some spray (the way smelly people often do to themselves) that is neither natural nor effective.


Dogs like to have their own smell - and bathing obviously dilutes it. How will other dogs in the neighbourhood know where they’ve been without that smell?

I do not think pets should be perfumed, pomaded or pampered with a patina of pansies. Humans only started the perfume craze when cities began to stink from our waste; why inflict the pain on our pets when they merely want to smell good to their friends?


You are spot on Karen. A first world problem if we have to perfume our pets to like them. Most smells come from poor diet, teeth not having correct chewing foods, feces staying on their tail hair, their bedding not being washed and changed. Use a good shampoo and vet check for any skin infections and forget about perfume. Helen


It’s NOT OK.


Welcome @pov!
It’s interesting to see that you have chosen this thread for your first post.
To me it shows that you feel very strongly about this subject and would invite you to add further comments? :slightly_smiling_face:

As you might have read in one of my posts above, I’m not a dog owner, although I love them very much and think they are very intelligent and affectionate pets, I haven’t had the experience of ‘perfuming’ them.

Reading from the Web I learned of Dog Grooming Parlours which not only wash, condition, trim, and disinfect the sensitive areas of the animal (ears and so on) but also, for the final touch, spray them with a ‘Dog Perfume’ which is appropriately non-irritant and non-offensive to the animal. Made me wonder how much all that grooming was approved by dog owners.
From the response so far I would say: not much :laughing:

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Hi Gaby, yes I don’t comment much anywhere, and as you saw my reply was very brief lol.
And I hear that you were asking from a general sense of enquiry. My little dog died last year, he was very old and it was his time. Basically a lap dog but I always honoured the ‘wolf within’, kept him fit and healthy, watched his weight because of dodgey hips, dealt with itchiness etc. Never had dental problems, rarely needed a vet other than an annual jab and ampooing my check-up.

My response is the same as grooming my own hair I guess. I gave up shampooing my long hair about 10 years ago, set about exploring options which came down to brushing. Brushing removes dust, loose hairs, draws natural oils through the hair length. Animals self-groom, roll and rub around on grass. Mostly I liked his mild doggy ‘lanolin’ smell. If my little guy got a bit more smelly than suited me indoors, gentle low-poo washes and brushing did the trick, and a trip to the groomer for nail clipping and haircuts now and then. So, to reiterate, NO perfume necessary for a dog. Many other good points from others in the thread.

cheers Gaby :slight_smile:


Thank you for sharing @pov
Sorry for the loss of your lovely and loved pet.

Hope to see you again soon :blush:

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Brief maybe, but unambiguous - that’s a good thing.

If people don’t like the aroma of a dog, maybe dogs are not for them? I had a lovely maremma, she went to the groomers a couple of times and came back smelling awful. Coats like that are tricky to say the least, but a wash was found that was not perfumed and didn’t destroy the integrity of the dual layer/lanolin/etc coat she had (I don’t remember what it was, she’s sadly long gone). A ‘clean dog smell’ is far better than an artificial perfumed dog smell in my book …