Using Perfume for Dogs: Is it Dangerous? [Comprehensive Guide!]

Your dog has had a lot of fun playing outdoors. Seeing him happy makes you happy. And, as you bring him closer to home, you begin to sense something. As the space around you closes, you can witness it better. Past the backyard and the hallway, you’re in your living room; there’s no denying that your dog has a body odor you might not be able to tolerate. But, can you grab your perfume and fix this?

It is dangerous to spray your dog with perfume if you pick one randomly. But if you use dog perfume and apply it away from areas your dog can lick, the practice is pretty safe. You should also reconsider the perfumes you wear as they too can affect your dog.

In this article, you’ll learn more about perfumes and dogs. You’ll discover how to reconcile the fact that your dog can smell over 10,000 times better than you but is blissfully aware of his own odor yet may mind human perfume!

By the end of this post, you’ll not only know a lot about the subject, but you’ll also find the perfume you may want to buy your best friend – your dog!

Can You Use Human Perfume for Dogs? Is it Safe? 

You cannot use human perfume for dogs consistently because it is likely to dry out the dog’s skin and may even cause skin irritation based on the alcohol contents of the fragrance. Even alcohol-free perfumes meant for humans can have the wrong pH levels for a dog’s coat or skin.

That’s why it is safer to avoid human perfumes for dogs. Aside from alcohol’s effects on your dog’s coat, the actual blend of oils and vaporizing agents in a perfume can have quite a drastic effect on your dog.

Depending on whether you’re using a dog-friendly scent or not, your dog might be positively or negatively impacted.

Does Perfume Affect Dogs?

Perfume affects dogs in a few ways: it can either moisturize or dry out the dog’s coat and skin; it can either put your dog in a pleasant mood or annoy him, and it can make the dog nauseous. Some dogs lose their appetite because the fragrance overpowers dog food’s smell.

Sometimes, people use this as a strategy to slim down obese dogs. However, there is no guarantee of the safety of using such as strategy. It is best advised to take the opinion of your veterinary doctor before proceeding with this method.

Is Baby Cologne Safe for Dogs?

While human perfumes are generally not safe for regular use for dogs, baby colognes are relatively safer as they’re moisturizing and don’t have a high concentration of fragrance. As a result, the smell is just light enough not to overpower your dog’s sharp sense of smell.

The more important point, however, is that baby colognes don’t usually have alcohol. This means your dog’s skin and coat are safe from alcohol-driven irritation and dehydration.

Still, if upon spraying perfume, you notice that the dog isn’t very happy, dry shampoo it away. And avoid using the same perfume again. Dogs can have problems with alcohol-free perfumes as well.

Are Fragrance Oils Safe for Dogs? 

Because perfume alcohol is a universal irritant for dogs, many online resources focus on it being the problematic component of the perfume. Consequently, many people might assume that alcohol is the only problem with perfumes, and any alcohol-free fragrance like a fragrance oil is okay for a dog.

Fragrance oils aren’t safe for dogs if they have contents that are poisonous for dogs. Many essential oils feature such contents, and fragrance oils might also consist of substances that can harm your dog. Avoid oils that feature eucalyptus, cinnamon, pine, citrus, and tea tree oil.

Some fragrance oils are dog-friendly though, but this is far from the general case. Most essential oils, on the other hand, can be poisonous and toxic for your dog and shouldn’t even be used in diffusers as the per might get affected by just inhaling essences like ylang-ylang, wintergreen, or peppermint.

Read this post to learn more about essential oils and how they differ from fragrance oils.

Do Dogs Like Perfume? 

Whether you’re a dog owner who would like to freshen up his dog with a light dap of perfume or are someone fond of cologne about to visit a friend who owns a dog, knowing whether dogs react to perfumes positively or actually hate fragrances can help.

Dogs don’t like perfume in general because the scent can overpower their senses. With the canine sense of smell being over 10,000 times more acute than the human equivalent, one can see how a few pumps of perfume can turn off your dog, who will seem to suddenly lose interest in being around you.

If you actually spray the dog instead of yourself, the results will be worse because he’ll not have a solution to being drenched in a fragrance that doesn’t feel pleasant.

In other words, it isn’t about the perfume’s effects on the skin but also about how the dog perceives most human fragrances. So, you must not use perfume heavily on yourself if you live in an enclosed space with a dog.

And you surely shouldn’t spray your dog with it when dog perfumes are safer and easily available.

How to Spray Perfume on Dogs? 

Choosing the correct perfume is important when using it for your pets such as your dog. However, it is also equally important to know how to spray perfume when using it on dogs!

There are a few things that you should keep in mind –

You must spray perfume farthest away from a dog’s nose. Applying a little dog perfume on your dog’s tail can help him smell good without making him feel nauseous. The fact that you use a dog perfume further reduces the risk of an adverse reaction.

Some human perfumes can be applied with the method described above because of how far from the nose the fragrance is applied. Even so, don’t use more than 1 spritz.

If you choose to apply perfume on your dog’s body or behind your dog’s ears, make sure that you use only a dog perfume as the area of the application is warm enough to vaporize the perfume and is pretty close to the dog’s nose.

How to Remove Perfume from Dogs?

If you ever end up in a situation where your dear pet has been sprayed with more perfume than you intended, there are a few things you can do to remove perfume from your dog!

To remove perfume from dogs, you must use dry shampoo as it is effective at removing substances that stick to organic matter without involving water. This is ideal if your dog is the kind that shouldn’t be bathed often. It is also instant and effortless compared to giving your dog a bath to cover a small area.

Removing perfume from dogs is also possible with bathing, using a wet rag, or simply letting him play and letting the scent fade away on its own. However, most of these methods have complications of limitations.

For example, you can’t bathe your dog too often. Similarly, a wet rag might not be something your dog will patiently allow you to use. As for letting the scent fade, it isn’t really an option if your pet is having trouble with the perfume you’ve applied on him.

In situations like these, it is best to go with a dry shampoo method.

Here’s what you need to do to remove perfume from your dogs using the dry shampoo method –

  1. Get a dry shampoo meant for your dog such as the Begley’s Natural Shampoo (on Amazon)
  2. Spray some dry shampoo on the area that you have excess perfume. Keep in mind, using more of dry shampoo is not necessarily going to yield better results. So, use the dry shampoo in moderation.
  3. Use a brush (possibly a rubber brush) to brush off the dry shampoo from your dog’s fur.
  4. Brushly thoroughly and consistently until all the contents of the dry shampoo get out of your dog’s fur and skin.
  5. Once you’re done brushing, use a clean wipe to wipe down the area in order to remove any leftover shampoo or dog hair.

3 Dog Perfume Spray Options to Use

By now, I’m hopeful that you’ve realized that using fragrances meant for you and I are not suitable for your dog. It is usually best to give your dog a bath to avoid body odor.

However, if you do need to use some perfume on your dog, here are a few safe dog perfume options that you can go with –

1. Out! Body Mist With Odor Control

This is a body cologne for dogs that is subtle enough to be friendly to your dog’s acute sense of smell. At the same time, it is prominent enough to smell nice to humans.

Lightly misting your dog with this spray can temporarily hold odors at bay. Of course, this isn’t a perpetual solution to a dirty dog. Sometimes a dog that needs a bath needs a bath. But most often, the body odor of a dog can be controlled by this mist. That’s why it has over 650 reviews that result in a collective average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.

2. CK-9 by Designer Doggie

This perfume’s title and packaging alone can be a reason to buy. CK-9 is a wordplay that brings together K9 and Calvin Klien, but the perfume isn’t made by Calvin Klien.

Designer Doggie has made it to convey designer perfume service proposition to dog owners. It is patterned after designer scents for humans and actually lasts a surprising amount of time, none of which your dog will mind. 

This perfume is best applied on shoulder blades or behind ears because even though it isn’t harmful when applied to the dog’s body, it is harmful when ingested. So avoid areas your dog can lick. With over 730 reviews, it has more total feedback than the option above but a lower average rating (4.4 out of 5 stars).

3. Bodhi Dog Pet Cologne

This option is great because it’s a meta option featuring over eight options to shop from. You can buy the cologne that smells like baby powder or have your dog smelling like Orange Sherbet. The wide range of scent profile choices makes Bodhie Pet more lucrative for dog owners who like to switch around how their dog smells. 

Other options among the notes available include Lilac, Holiday Cider, Patchouli, Sugar Cookie, Pumpkin Spice, and Winter Wonderland. I would recommend Patchouli as the note is prominent in many human fragrances as well, so you have a chance to match perfume notes.

Its variety of choices, dog-friendly hydrating contents, and made in USA proposition make it the most popular option on this list. This is also reflected in over 8,000 reviews and ratings on Amazon, where the product stands at 4.4 stars out of 5. Its ease of use is rated 4.7 stars, which is evident from its pre-diluted packaging. 

You don’t have to worry about adding a precise amount of diluting medium. It is also rated 4.4 stars for scent and value for money. The product’s lowest specific rating is for its odor elimination. It has 4 stars for odor elimination because it doesn’t contain excessive amounts of perfume.

And that’s good because you shouldn’t aim to use dog perfume as a replacement for a bath or shampooing. Instead, use a doggy dry shampoo first and then apply dog cologne.

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