Dogs are notorious for having "doggy odor" or "doggy breath," but just like us humans, dogs will each have their own unique scent. Dogs recognize each other from their odors, which is why they sniff each others' rear ends in greeting (and stuff their noses into strangers' crotches, much to their owners' chagrin).
While your dog has his own peculiar odor, it should not be strong enough to be offensive. Strong doggy odor can signify that something is physically wrong with your dog. He may have ear, dental, anal gland or skin infections that need to be diagnosed and treated. Take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up if his odor is so overwhelming that you want to banish him from your presence!
You can buy doggie deodorant shampoos to reduce your dog's natural odor, but they're an unnecessary expense. Bathing your dog too often can dry out his skin, which leads to itchiness, excessive scratching, and smelly skin infections. A dry bath can be just as effective at giving your dog a fresh, clean smell without the temporary wet-dog odor that bathing leaves behind. Unless your dog has rolled in garbage, feces or other disgusting substances, and definitely needs the hose turned on him, give him a dry bath with cornstarch.
Cornstarch is an excellent choice for giving any dog a dry bath, since it is very inexpensive, absorbs excess oil on dogs with oily skin problems, and soothes the itch of dogs that have dry skin. It is also non-toxic, although you should be careful not to let the powder get into your eyes or your dog's eyes when you are using it.
Put some cornstarch in a sprinkle container, and grab the dog brush. Begin by brushing your dog's fur against the grain to loosen dead hair, dirt and debris. Lightly sprinkle some cornstarch on the ruffed-up hair, and gently rub it into your dog's skin. Be sure it gets all the way down to the skin, not just in the fur. Brush the fur back down in the direction that it grows, until you have brushed out any excess cornstarch.
Regular grooming sessions between baths will help keep your dog's coat healthier and free from dirt, debris and excess oil that create that tell-tale doggy odor. Your dog will love the attention, and regular grooming sessions will reduce the amount of dog hair in your home while giving you a chance to assess your dog's skin condition. While you're brushing your dog, check his skin for sores, redness, lumps, fleas or flea dirt, and other problems. Catching skin conditions and parasites before they have a chance to create serious infections can reduce bad doggie odor and save you a huge amount in veterinary bills and pet medications.
For a quick fix, say company's on the way or you're otherwise pressed for time, baby wipes can come to the rescue. Use the thick wipes, and rub them through your dog's fur before brushing his coat down nice and neat for company!
Don't forget to brush your dog's teeth daily, to help eliminate "doggie breath" and to keep his teeth and gums healthy!