How to Keep a Dog Beard From Smelling? [5 Ways That Work]

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.

As a dog owner, you know all about the joys of having a furry companion by your side.

But as anyone with a dog will tell you, that joy is often accompanied by some pretty unpleasant smells, especially if your dog’s fur has been wet or dirty for any length of time.

More so if you have a bearded dog! You know what I mean.

If you want to know how to keep a dog beard from smelling, then this post is for you.

Quick one: Keeping your dog clean is the best solution, and you can do so by being armed with a great shampoo, wipes, and odor spray.

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Why Does My Dog’s Beard Stink?
Dear Dog Owner

Why Does My Dog’s Beard Stink?

The most common culprit for pooch stank is bacteria, which can start multiplying when your dog’s beard gets wet or dirty.

The reason why this happens is simple: bacteria love moisture.

So if there’s moisture around them, they will happily grow and multiply until they reach a critical mass that causes them to release their scent into the air.

Most likely, this is due to your dog’s beard being soiled by food or water, which can cause bacteria to grow on it (more so if you are feeding it a raw diet).

Doggy says, you might like this too: Can I Use Fairy Liquid to Wash My Dog? Mistakes to Avoid

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Another potential source of smelliness is food residue, especially if you feed your dog anything with a strong odor.

This may include anything from meat to peanut butter, to even human food, and if left unchecked, will develop a nasty odor very quickly.

And lastly, the skin that grows under the fur has glands that produce oils and other secretions.

These oils and secretions are what make up your pet’s natural scent, which is why some dogs smell more than others.

However, if your dog’s beard smells bad or seems to be getting smelly faster than usual, there could be a medical issue at play.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Ingrown Dog Whisker [Evereything You Need To Know]

How to Prevent My Dog’s Beard From Stinking?

There are a few things you can do to prevent your dog’s beard from becoming smelly.

Bear in mind that it takes time and consistency for these to work, so you gotta be patient and put in the work!

1. Clean up after meals

It’s important to clean up after your dog eats.

Make sure that any food particles or other messes do not get stuck in their beard.

This will help prevent bacteria from building up on the skin and causing it to smell bad.

After they eat, wipe away any crumbs with a damp cloth or wet wipe, then give them a quick rinse with warm water before letting them go about their business again.

You should also dry its mouth area after it drinks water too, as a moist environment will soon become a home for bacteria.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog Cough After Dental Cleaning [Solutions]

2. Wash where it sleeps

Dogs can be messy creatures, which means that they will often get things on themselves and into their bedding.

As you can imagine, this will soon become a place where nasty stuff grows and gets onto your dog’s skin.

This is why it’s important to wash your dog’s bedding regularly, especially if it’s an older or sickly dog who tends to have accidents more often.

Make sure to wash your dog’s bedding at least once a week.

This includes their bed, crate, and any other place they spend a lot of time.

If your dog has a bed or crate then you should clean these at least once or twice every week.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Can I use perfume on my dog?

3. Trim its beard

Yes, I know. We all want our dogs to look amazing.

Like, I can’t imagine what a Schnauzer would look without its beard.

However, if the smell is getting out of control, shaving away your dog’s beard could be a good solution for now.

You can clear away all the offending hair and anything that is stuck in there.

Without the beard (at least for a while), there is a lower chance that food will get stuck and lead to bacteria growth.

It will grow back soon anyway, so just take it as a temporary makeover.

4. Check its mouth

Are you sure that the smell is coming only from its beard? I would recommend that you check its mouth regularly too.

After all, a dog needs to have good dental hygiene to maintain good health too.

Here are a few things that you should constantly keep an eye out for (this will be easy as you should be brushing its teeth daily):

  • Smelly breath
  • Reddened gums (signs of gingivitis)
  • Swollen gums
  • Yellow or brownish material growing on teeth (possible build-up of tartar)
  • Broken or missing tooth

If you notice anything abnormal, a trip to the vet should be arranged soon.

5. Brush regularly

Keeping your dog’s coat clean is a responsibility that cannot be neglected.

Not only does it keep your dog and your home clean, but it also allows you to notice any changes in its coat that may indicate health problems.

If you brush at least once every couple of days, more often if needed, then you’ll be able to spot problems early on when they are easier to fix.

Brushing helps reduce shedding and keeps your dog’s coat looking good, so, just do it!

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog Licking Its Paws After Grooming? [5 SOLUTIONS]

How to Wash a Dog’s Beard Without Soap? 5 Natural Substitutes

Some dog parents avoid using soap when cleaning their dogs, instead, they look for natural substitutes.

Well, I have a few methods for cleaning your dog’s beard without using soap that you can try out right away.

1. Baking soda

One of the most amazing things you can buy for your household. It should be named super powder instead.

Here, it can act as an all-natural cleaner that can be used in place of soap.

Simply combine baking soda and warm water to produce a paste that will remove dirt and smells when applied to your dog’s beard.

Be sure to completely rinse with warm water when you are done.

Another thing you can do is lightly sprinkle the powder on your dog’s coat and rub it in.

You can integrate this into your brushing routine, so do this step and then brush it out.

2. Oatmeal

Again, I turn to something that is readily available at home, oatmeal.

Turns out that this breakfast food has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [1] that are beneficial to the skin.

That explains why some of the best dog shampoos are using oatmeal as their base ingredient.

So what you can do here is to turn 1 cup of your uncooked oats into a powder form using a coffee grinder, and in a large bowl, mix it with half a cup of baking soda, and 1 quart of warm water.

You now have a homemade oatmeal shampoo!

3. White vinegar

This is yet another ingredient that you can easily find at home, and it’s the perfect way to neutralize any odors your dog may have.

White vinegar is an ingredient that is used in many dog shampoos, and for good reasons.

It can act as a disinfectant, which means it can kill bacteria and viruses that can cause skin infections.

You can also use this as a natural conditioner to improve the texture of your dog’s coat while removing dirt and dander.

A tablespoon mixed with a cup of water will do the trick and not leave any lingering smells behind.

4. Castille soap

This is technically a soap product, but it is made from natural ingredients with olive oil being the main one.

We actually make our own hand soap with it and it works perfectly!

For your dogs, you can create a spray by combining half a cup of Castille soap, a quarter cup of coconut oil, and a three-quarters cup of water.

You can add a few drops of essential oils, but my dog didn’t seem to like it that much. Experiment.

5. Soap substitutes

There are a number of naturally occurring soap substitutes suitable for use on dogs’ skin, including soapwort and shagbark.

These include saponin-rich plants that may be cooked and filtered to create a handmade substance that works as soap for both people and animals.

Most natural food or health food stores as well as internet retailers carry soapwort and shagbark.

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Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

What Dog Shampoo Should I Use to Clean My Bearded Dog?

A word of caution here: Do not use human soap or shampoo on your dogs. They have a much higher pH level that can be harmful to them.

For our dogs, we have tried many different brands out there and found that oatmeal-based dog shampoo has consistently given us the best results.

And by that, I mean that it is effective at cleaning our dogs, removing doggy smells, and don’t burn a big hole in our pockets.

I don’t advise you to use the shampoo for cleaning your dog’s beard daily though as it can strip its skin of essential natural oils.

That said, this is my recommendation for the best dog shampoo.

Key Benefits

  • Colloidal Oatmeal and Organic Aloe Vera help combat skin irritation, promote healing, and re-moisturize sensitive, dry skin
  • This luxurious shampoo is soap-free and pH-balanced to clean and deodorize safely and thoroughly, leaving your pet’s coat and skin plush and smelling better than ever before
  • Will not wash off topical flea applications. Safe for all animals over 6 weeks old
  • This product contains no soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or phthalates, and is cruelty-free, for a better bath every time

Tips for Grooming Bearded Dogs

I have a few tips that you might find useful in grooming your bearded dog.

Try them out if you want to keep your dog’s bear tangle free and looking marvelous!

  • Hold your dog so that his face is out and lifted. Ideally, you will use a neck restraint on a grooming table. Additionally, you can ask a helper to help you arrange your dog’s leash by holding it around his head.
  • To get rid of dirt and surface knots, brush your dog’s beard using a bristle brush. A bristle brush applies pressure evenly and begins by working on the surface, making it milder than a comb.
  • A metal comb should be gently inserted into your dog’s beard and worked through the beard. Use your fingers to untangle any tangles that are difficult to remove using a comb.
  • Use disposable wipes to keep the beard clean, or wet a microfiber cloth in white vinegar, wring it dry, and rub the beard to remove stains. If you use vinegar, rinse it off by wiping it with a towel that has been dampened with warm water.
  • Your dog’s beard should be dusted with baking soda before being brushed out. Baking soda will clean your dog’s beard and absorb dirt.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Does Pine Sol Kill Fleas on Dogs?

What Can You Spray on Dogs to Make Them Smell Better?

Need a few more tools to help you make your dog smell good?

Besides making your own homemade soap, there are a few other things you can use to keep your pooch clean and smelling like a peach too!

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Puppy Shivering After Bath? [How To Stop It]

Dog Breeds With Beards

Wanna know which dog breeds have beards? Here is the list!

  • Schnauzers
  • Airedale Terriers
  • German Wirehaired Pointers
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bearded Collie
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Wirehaired Jack Russells

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my dog’s beard always wet?

The main reason why your dog’s beard is always wet is that it is drinking water! It is as simple as that. A dog that constantly hydrates itself is good news. Ensure that it has access to fresh water at all times. If the beard is wet with drool though, it could be a sign of hypersalivation, which needs to be checked by a vet.

How often should I shower my dog?

You should shower your dog once a month, but you need to adjust this based on how dirty she is and the breed type. Shorter hair dogs can go a long time between baths while others will have their own unique traits that will determine if they need one regularly.

How often should I brush my dog?

No matter how long his coat is, you should brush your dog every couple of days. Most of the time, though, you’ll be brushing or combing for general purposes, such as removing hair mats or assisting your dog in shedding his seasonal coat.

In Conclusion: How to Keep a Dog Beard From Smelling?

The steps listed in this post should be plenty to help you sort out your troubles, but if you suspect something else is wrong, don’t be afraid to contact your vet and let them know.

Try out the homemade shampoo or just get yourself this Oatmeal shampoo for dogs to keep your pooch smelling nice and clean!

Be sure to browse around our site for other dog care tips such as can my dog jump on the couch after heartworm treatment, why is my puppy such a light sleeper, how to get rid of Doberman dandruff, and many more!

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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 Canine Care Central!

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