Can You Spray Perfume on Dogs? (Explained for Beginners) 

Dogs can be loveable creatures that bring a lot of joy and hugs to your life. Hugs are wonderful when your dog smells nice. Unfortunately, their furry coat can also carry a stench, even with regular grooming. The stinkiness can lead you to wonder how to make your dog smell better. But will your Burberry Brit do the trick?

Your perfume collection is not a good option for your pet. Not to worry, though, you can still freshen up your four-legged friend with perfume. Just avoid spraying perfume made for humans onto your pooch. Only spray your dog with perfume specially made for canines.

You’ll learn more about the reasons why you should avoid spraying human perfume on dogs as well as the best perfumes made for dogs, if you keep reading.

Can You Spray Perfume on Dogs

Why Shouldn’t You Spray Human Perfume on Dogs?

You spray perfume on yourself to enhance attraction, exude confidence, or simply to smell nice. But you want your dog to smell more like a bed of fresh flowers than the mud he rolls in after his morning walk.

When it comes to dogs, the goal is to cover up stinky odors or keep the dog smelling nice post-grooming. Although their stench might be stronger than that of a human, the perfume concentration being sprayed on them shouldn’t be as strong as your perfume is.

Not only do dogs have more sensitive skin, their olfactory system is more complex than that of humans. By comparison, humans have over six million olfactory receptors, dogs have up to 300 million, according to the Phoenix Veterinary Center.

And although the part of the human brain that processes fragrances is complex and highly sensitive, that part of a dog’s brain is “40 times greater than humans.”

Dogs can breathe and smell independently whereas humans do so simultaneously.

Human perfume would send your dog’s sensory cells into overdrive, and it might even cause a physical reaction, like nausea, an irritated respiratory system, like wheezing, loss of appetite, or even fatigue.

Regarding the loss of appetite, dogs need to be able to smell and identify what they’re eating in order to develop an appetite for it. Perfume dampens their senses and their ability to locate and identify what they’re about to eat.

So while a perfumed canine might smell good to you, it’s possibly more of a hindrance than a help from your dog’s perspective.

Can Dogs be Allergic to Perfume?

In addition to causing sensory overload, perfumes can become an annoyance for your canine pal.

If you notice your dog biting or scratching his coat, he may be reacting to skin irritation. When redness is present, then you know for sure that the fragrance triggers some type of allergic reaction. 

These responses might result from exposure to human or canine perfumes, so you’d have to keep an eye on your pooch to verify which one it is.

Here are some additional symptoms to look out for:

  • Swelling
  • Coughing, sneezing
  • Hair loss; bald spots
  • Excessive scratching
  • Excessive licking

Dogs aren’t able to communicate exactly what they’re feeling. So it’s up to pet parents to monitor their behavior and help alleviate their pain or irritation.

Does Perfume Annoy Dogs?

Humans use their five senses to engage life but dogs primarily rely on their sense of smell to guide them throughout the day. 

Whether it’s to locate food, a mate, threats, or their territory, canines rely on their nose to direct and warn them.

And this helps explain why dogs try to rub or lick off the fragrances that are sprayed on them. It’s because they want to smell their own scent and the fragrance presents a barrier, so they try to remove it.

This may sound silly but your dog’s own scent is a strong part of its identity.

It’s no coincidence that as soon as you or the groomer sprays canine perfume on, the dog is wanting to locate its own scent instead.

Do Perfumes Benefit Dogs?

Dog perfumes are formulated to effectively cover up dog odor while being gentle on your pet’s respiratory system, skin, and eyes. In this way, they’re way more beneficial than human perfumes.

There are some scents that are less irritating to your furry pet. For instance, lavender and chamomile are aromatherapy treatments known to be of benefit to dogs.

These herbs are known to reduce levels of anxiety and stress in humans, but they’re equally effective for dogs.

For instance, my mother’s dog always seems to know when they’re about to take a trip to the groomer. Spraying a little lavender or chamomile makes for a less stressful transition from home to the groomer’s care.

Keep in mind that you’d want to use a pet-friendly herbal spray due to its lower concentration. 

All in all, though, canine perfumes benefit human dog owners more than they benefit the dogs themselves.

Best Perfume Sprays for Dogs 

The canine fragrance market is vast. Juicy Couture and Renee Ryan are two of the higher end options available on the market. But there are far less expensive selections, as well as moderately priced options in between.

Just because a perfume is specifically formulated for dogs, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to the ingredients list.

If you know that your dog has a specific allergy, then be sure to avoid buying perfumes that incorporate those ingredients. Even if a canine fragrance is top of the line, it’s not the best for your pet if you know off hand that it will cause irritation. 

As best you can, you want to make sure that the dog perfume you choose is

  • Free of unnecessary additives
  • Free of parabens, dyes, or sulfates
  • Alcohol-free
  • Formulated for your dog’s skin
  • A fragrance that both you and your dog would enjoy

With that said, here are some dog perfumes you might want to consider:

Burt’s Bees Deodorizing Dog Spray

This is a 99.7% natural formula that doesn’t add a ton of fragrance to your dog’s coat. Instead, it helps eliminate the source of the odors.

There aren’t any dyes, chemicals, or sulfates.

Apple and rosemary extract give a subtle scent to your pet’s coat.

PAWFUME Premium Grooming Dog Spray & Deodorizer

Another alcohol-free, deodorizing option that’s also hypoallergenic, PAWFUME can be used on dogs with dry skin without a problem.

Three scents are available:

  • Blue Ribbon
  • Show Dog
  • Royal Lavender

Its grooming benefit is that it moisturizes and detangles your dog’s coat as you brush it.

Bodhi Dog Natural Pet Cologne

In addition to naturally conditioning your pet’s coat, this formula can be used on all skin types from very sensitive to dry to normal.

It comes in nine different fragrances. A few of them are: Baby Powder, Lilac, Sugar Cookie, and Patchouli.

Arm & Hammer for Pets Super Deodorizing Spray for Dogs

This water-based formula also includes sodium bicarbonate, which can neutralize the source of doggy odors. No harsh chemicals or parabens; it’s safe for sensitive skin.

Wahl Cornflower Aloe Pet Deodorizer for All Dogs

Another natural, pH-balanced, alcohol and paraben-free formula that conditions as it freshens. Wahl is a favorite of groomers and veterinarians.

These are only a few suggestions. Be sure to do your due diligence and research more about the ingredients and companies making these products.

Even when taking precautions, each dog will respond differently to a particular perfume in a way that’s specific to them. Always keep an eye on your pet, especially if you’re testing out a new product. If symptoms worsen or become severe, promptly contact your veterinarian.

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Hello and welcome to Fragrance Advice! My name is Grace Young, and I’ve been drawn to fragrances since I was a little girl. There's just something about scent that brings me so much joy! 

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