Best Perfume and Cologne for Dogs (Buying Guide) in 2018

For the avid dog lover, grooming also entails spritzing its favorite scent so that it will smell fresher and cleaner all day long especially if you’re thinking of taking it somewhere where other people might want to pet it. The good news is that there is perfume for dogs as well as deodorant for dogs that can do such a great job of keeping your hound smelling nice. A dog fragrance should work not only to give your pet a pleasant smell, but also not put it in harm’s way by causing allergies and other possible health concerns. That’s why choosing the best dog cologne, deodorant spray, or perfume is a must. Thankfully, we’ve got that covered.

Best Perfume and Cologne for Dogs Buying Guide & FAQ

What to Look for in Dog Perfume and Cologne

One of the most important things you really have to look for in a dog perfume, cologne, or deodorant is its safety. This is best exemplified in the list of ingredients used in the formulation. As much as possible, stay away from products with very harsh or harmful chemicals such as sulfates, parabens, phosphates, and the like. As for dog colognes, choose one that is water-based, not alcohol-based. Most alcohol-based fragrances tend to turn the skin dry and more prone to irritation than usual.

Since dog fragrances are essentially a mixture of a variety of chemicals – natural or synthetic – it is crucial to perform a test application first. Even a perfume for dogs that has all-natural ingredients can cause allergy in susceptible dogs. As such, it is better to be safe than later on be sorry. You can apply a little spritz of the pet cologne onto a small area of your dog’s body. Leave it on for about 24 hours before checking on it if redness or any other sign of skin irritation appears. If there are signs, you may want to get another dog perfume spray.

You may also want to check the scent of the product. Different folks have different preferences. Some love the scent of lavender while others are repulsed by it. Most love fresh baby powder scent, although you may not really have an idea if you like the smell if you don’t have the slightest idea of how a baby powder smells like. Choose one that both you and your pet will enjoy.

Generally speaking, if your dog is diagnosed with skin allergies or highly sensitive skin it is often wise to steer clear of any fragrances whether it is cologne, perfume, or deodorant.

Perfume, Cologne, and Deodorant for Dogs

Why Use a Pet Perfume, Cologne, or Deodorant on Dogs?

There are two fundamental reasons why people use fragrances on their dogs. First, it can be made as part of regular grooming. Having trimmed the fur, taken a bath, clipped the nails, and cleaned the ears, applying fragrance is like second nature. This is to further extend the purpose of grooming which is to make sure that your dog smells nice, fresh, and clean.

This is especially true for dogs that don’t require very frequent baths. The scent of a freshly-bathed dog doesn’t really stay for long. Depending on the activities of the dog, the fresh and clean scent afforded by bathing can easily dissipate within the day or perhaps a few days. Between this period and its next scheduled bathing, you’d also want your dog to retain its nice and pleasant smell. This is where perfumes and colognes can come in.

Second, in instances when your dog has gotten really smelly because of its adventures outdoors having a dog deodorant spray can really come in handy. For example, your dog may have gone out walking in the rain or ran through the brush. You have the option to give it a bath, of course. But if this is not feasible, then you may want to use a deodorant for dogs instead. This should help eliminate or control the odor emanating from your pet’s body. It’s a temporary solution until you can bathe your dog again.

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Colognes vs. Perfumes vs. Deodorants

We’ve been talking about dog colognes, dog perfumes, and dog deodorants. But what exactly are they and are there any differences among the three.

Colognes and perfumes are fragrances designed to mask or hide the nasty odor or bad smell from your pet. It’s like replacing the bad odor with something more pleasant to the nose. These don’t address the problem that is partly causing the nasty odor in dogs. Instead, they mask it.

The difference between cologne and perfume is the strength or concentration of the key fragrance ingredient. Generally, perfumes contain anywhere between 15 and 40 percent of the pure fragrance or perfume extract while colognes will only have about 2 to 5 percent. Perfumes also have an oilier or thicker consistency since they contain more essential fragrance oils. Colognes will usually have a more watery consistency.

Dog deodorants, on the other hand, address the problem of nasty odors in dogs. These are often formulated with enzymes or other substances that can break down the bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause bad odors.

FAQ

Q: Is dog perfume safe to use?

A: Perfumes or fragrances that are specifically designed or formulated for dogs should be safe, especially if they meet the standards set by reputable organizations such as the International Fragrance Association. It should be understood that perfume for dogs can have the same ingredients as those products used by humans. However, the chemical formulation will be different especially in terms of the concentration of essential oils and other substances that constitute the fragrance of the product. This is to make sure that allergies and skin reactions are kept to a minimum, if not optimally eliminated. While the macroscopic anatomy of dog skin is somewhat similar to human skin, there are several differences at the microscopic level. Taking this into consideration, the perfume for dogs should have a different formulation to ensure its safety.

Q: Can I use my regular perfume on my dog?

A: Owing to the different strengths of fragrances used in the formulation of human perfumes compared to a perfume for dogs, under no circumstance should you spritz your own perfume or even cologne onto your dog. You may think it is mild or gentle for you, but it could very well be harsh on your pet causing allergies and skin reactions.

Q: How do I apply dog perfume?

A: Applying a dog perfume is essentially similar to how you spritz perfume or cologne on yourself. The spray nozzle should be positioned at least 6 inches from your dog’s coat. Care should be taken not to spritz any perfume or fragrance into your dog’s eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Put a couple of spritzes on your dog’s back and chest. If your pet has a thick or dense coat with long fur you may want to put extra. Alternatively, you can spray the pet cologne onto your hands before gently gliding your hands over your pet’s coat. For some pet parents, this is a lot more effective since they can easily control the amount of perfume as well as the exact placement of the fragrance on the dog’s body.

Deodorant for Dogs

Q: What if my dog has an allergic reaction?

A: Even if the best dog perfume is made of the safest possible ingredients, idiosyncrasies between and among dogs can still produce an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity reactions in susceptible dogs. That is why sometimes a test application is conducted first before using any particular product, especially if your dog has a history of allergic reactions.

In the event that an allergic reaction occurs you can wash your dog’s coat with warm water followed by the lathering of an appropriate dog shampoo. Make sure to rinse it well and dry it thoroughly. However, if the irritation persists it is important to consult with your veterinarian. He may be able to provide anti-inflammatory medications or even antihistamines to help in the alleviation of the allergic manifestations.

Q: Can I use it for myself?

A: Perfumes, colognes, and deodorants for dogs are especially formulated for your canine friend. While you’re more than welcome to try, it is best not to. It’s not that it will be harsh on your skin, but rather we don’t want you smelling like the very pet you are carrying in your arms.

Q: How long will the scent last?

A: Depending on the formulation of the dog fragrance, the scent can last as short as 4 to 8 hours to as long as 20 to 24 hours. One also has to consider the type of coat that dogs have. Short- or smooth- haired single-coated dogs will have fragrances that last longer. Dogs with long hair and dense double coats will usually require more frequent application of the perfume since this dissipates a lot faster.

Q: Can I spray this on my new puppy?

A: Even if the product says it is a puppy perfume, you’re not supposed to apply any fragrances on puppies younger than 6 months of age. Their immune system is not yet fully mature at this time so nobody knows how a puppy will react to the application of a generally-mild substance. These formulations may be mild in the general context of dogs; however, the implication is that their bodies are already fully capable of processing the various chemicals that may be inherent in such products.

Our Top Pick

With chamomile and lavender providing the core of natural ingredients alongside aloe vera, Vitamin E, pro-vitamin B5, lanolin, and oats, the Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Freshening & Shining Spray for Pets got our nod for the best dog perfume in our list. Its pH-balanced formulation and amazing blend of all-natural ingredients make it a safe and effective formula to get rid of your dog’s odor, provide a fresher and cleaner smell, nourish  and hydrate its skin and coat, and prevent and / or manage skin inflammation, itching, and other signs of skin irritation. It also has a calming, soothing, and relaxing effect, too, making it a great choice as an aromatherapy for stressed-out dogs.

Choosing the best deodorant for dogs, perfume, or cologne means looking at the overall safety of the product, especially in terms of the safety of its ingredients. It may smell nice and pleasant, but if it is going to cause severe allergies or skin irritations on your pet you can definitely forget about it. Your pet’s safety should always take primacy over any attempts to make your pet smell good.

Sources:

  1. Does Human Perfume Affect Dogs?, Cuteness
  2. Smelly Dog? Keep the Dog, Lose the Stink, Care
Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!
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