Can I Use Perfume on My Dog? [From Stinky to Sweet]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Now, before you go spritzing your pup with your favorite fragrance, let’s take a moment to explore the dos and don’ts of doggy scent etiquette.

Look, I would love it if my dog smells great and better if she sometimes smelled like me, but can I use perfume on my dog?

It’s not recommended and it’s important to remember that dogs have sensitive noses and delicate skin.

In this post, I’ll share my experience with dog perfumes (spoiler alert: it didn’t end well), some useful tips for keeping your pup smelling delightful, and a nifty alternative that’ll have your four-legged friend wagging their tail in appreciation.

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Can I Use Human Perfume on My Dog?

Can I Use Human Perfume on My Dog

After a fun-filled day at the dog park, your furry buddy may start having that unmistakable doggy smell.

Seeing your perfume bottle in your bag, you might think, “A few spritzes can’t hurt, right?” 

However, using human perfumes on your pet is not recommended. They’re not formulated to be kind to your furry pal’s skin and nose, and using them can lead to a host of problems that are simply not worth that temporary fresh scent.

Can I spray perfume on my puppy?

Spraying your adorable pup with perfume, whether it’s meant for humans or dogs, might not be the best idea. 

Puppies have more delicate bodies than adult dogs, and their skin is super sensitive. 

Using perfume on them requires extra caution.

Your poor pup might end up with itchy or painful skin, and we don’t want that! 

Plus, let’s not forget about their noses.

The perfume’s strong scent can make them sneeze and feel uncomfortable, and that’s exactly what happened when I got too close to my young Bella when I was prepping to head out.

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Is Human Perfume Safe for Dogs?

In general, human perfumes are not safe for use on your pet.

The formulations are specifically designed for human use, and they can contain substances that might spell trouble for our furry friends. 

Some of the ingredients such as ethanol can lead to uncomfortable skin irritation, pesky allergies, breathing difficulties, and tremors.

And don’t forget, dogs have an extra sensitive sense of smell.

What might seem like a mild scent to us humans could be downright overpowering for them.

What Will Happen if I Spray Cologne on My Dog?

Spraying cologne or perfume on your pet can lead to different health issues because of their sensitive nature.

To grasp their surroundings, dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell.

If you overwhelm them with a strong fragrance, it can cause confusion and become agonizing for them.

Dogs have a natural inclination to groom themselves, and if they lick the fragrance off of their skin, it could lead to the ingestion of these potentially dangerous ingredients.

Some perfumes contain essential oils which can be toxic to dogs and cause adverse reactions like stomach problems.

Alcohol is another example of a dangerous perfume ingredient. This can dry out your pet’s skin leaving it itchy and prone to irritation.

Plus, some additives present in human perfumes could trigger allergic reactions or other health problems.

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Is Human Perfume Bad for Dogs?

In general, human perfumes are not recommended for use on dogs because they are formulated for our skin and our sense of smell.

The ingredients and fragrance concentrations in human perfumes may not be suitable for canine use. 

While some dogs may not have adverse reactions, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid using human perfume on them altogether.

What to Do if My Dog Ingested Perfume?

Your furry friend might have spilled your perfume and taken a few curious licks, or they might have licked it off their skin after a spritz. 

No matter how your pet managed to ingest the perfume, the next step should be to prevent them from licking more.

Perfumes are typically unpleasant to taste, so your furry pal may not have ingested a significant amount.

Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to let your vet know what happened.

Give them important information like the type of perfume, the approximate quantity ingested, and your dog’s weight.

If the perfume box contains an ingredient list, you should forward that to the vet too.

Your vet will provide you with further instructions on how to monitor your dog and what signs of adverse reactions to watch out for.

How Can You Put Perfume on a Dog?

How to Put Perfume on a Dog

To put perfume on your dog safely, the first step is to choose a dog-friendly perfume or cologne that is specifically formulated for canine use. 

When applying the perfume, hold the bottle at least 6 inches away from your pet to avoid overwhelming them with a strong scent. 

Spray sparingly, being careful to avoid sensitive areas such as the face, eyes, mouth, and ears. 

After spraying, gently brush your dog’s fur to evenly distribute the scent. 

Remember, using too much perfume can be overpowering for your dog, so it’s best to start with a small amount and see how they react. 

What Are Dog Perfumes and Colognes?

Dog perfumes and colognes are specially designed to be safe and gentle on your furry friend’s sensitive skin and nose. 

They are made with natural ingredients and have milder scents compared to human perfumes. 

Some dog perfumes even have added benefits, like helping to reduce pet odors and promoting a fresh and clean scent.

Is Dog Perfume Safe for Dogs?

Dog-friendly perfumes are specifically formulated for canine use, so they are considered very safe for dogs when used as directed.

These perfumes have undergone testing to ensure they are gentle on your dog’s skin and won’t cause any adverse reactions. 

However, it’s still a good idea to check the perfume’s ingredients just to see if it contains anything that your pet is particularly sensitive to.

How to Find the Best Dog Perfume or Cologne?

On the quest to find the ideal doggy perfume for your furry companion?

You will find below some key considerations to keep in mind before adding that bottle to your shopping cart. I have also added my recommendation too.

Natural ingredients

To minimize the risk of skin irritation, I suggest that you choose products that are made of natural ingredients.

Avoid harsh chemicals that could harm your dog’s skin and nose. 

Look for formulas that contain botanical extracts like chamomile or aloe vera. These extracts are known for their soothing properties. 

Mild scent

Opt for perfumes with subtle, mild scents that won’t overpower your dog’s sensitive sense of smell. 

A gentle fragrance can add a pleasant touch without causing discomfort or confusion for your furry companion.

Safety testing

Look for indications that the perfume or cologne has been tested for skin compatibility and confirmed safe by reputable animal care organizations. 

The box should have a label indicating that the product passed some form of testing.

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How to Make My Dog Smell Good?

No one likes a smelly dog, and I get it, not everyone wants to use dog perfume, so follow these tips to keep your dog smelling nice and fresh:

  • Regular Bathing: Bathe your dog with a dog-specific shampoo to remove dirt and odors at least once a month.
  • Brushing: Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and prevents matting, which can trap odors.
  • Dental Care: Dental hygiene is crucial, so make sure you brush your dog’s teeth regularly and offer dental chews or toys to keep their breath fresh.
  • Grooming: Keep your dog’s coat trimmed and groomed to avoid trapping smells and reduce shedding.
  • Fresh Bedding: Wash your dog’s bedding regularly to prevent odors from building up.
  • Proper Diet: A healthy diet contributes to a dog’s overall scent. Consult your vet for a balanced diet.
  • Regular Check-ups: Ensure your dog’s health is in check by visiting the vet regularly to address any underlying issues that may cause unpleasant smells.

Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: Best Poodle Detangling Sprays

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can dogs smell perfume?

Yes, dogs can definitely smell perfume, thanks to their exceptional sense of smell. Dogs’ noses are thousands of times more sensitive than human noses and can detect even the faintest whiff of perfume.

Do perfumes bother dogs?

Yes, perfumes can bother dogs, especially those with strong scents. Dogs have sensitive noses, and overpowering fragrances may cause discomfort or even irritate their respiratory system.

Can perfume kill dogs?

In most cases, perfume is not lethal to dogs. However, certain perfumes containing toxic ingredients could be harmful if ingested in large amounts.

Why does my dog go crazy when I spray perfume on myself?

​​When you spray perfume on yourself, the strong and unfamiliar fragrance can captivate your dog’s senses. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and the new scent can stimulate their curiosity or excitement. 

Can you use body mist on dogs?

It’s generally not recommended to use body mist or any scented products intended for humans on dogs. Even though body mist may have a milder scent compared to perfume, it can still contain chemicals and ingredients that may not be safe for dogs. 

What is the safest place to put perfume on a dog?

Your dog’s back is probably the safest place you can put perfume. It’s away from sensitive areas like the face and ears. Hold the perfume bottle at least  6 inches away from the back then spray sparingly. After spraying, you can gently brush your dog’s fur to distribute the scent evenly.

Can perfume cause respiratory issues in dogs?

Yes, strong fragrances can irritate a dog’s respiratory system, causing issues like breathing problems. That’s why it’s advised to use perfumes in moderation and only use dog-friendly options.

In Conclusion: Can I Use Perfume on My Dog?

Remember, when it comes to scent, our furry companions have their own unique aroma.

Instead of dousing them in our own perfume, opt for dog-friendly solutions like specialized shampoos or sprays.

Your pup will appreciate smelling like their natural, lovable selves, and you’ll enjoy a happy and healthy canine companion.

Keep those tails wagging!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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