Dog gear smelling a little ripe? These 4 pro tips will help keep it clean and fresh


Always check the labels on dog gear and use canine-friendly products

Dogs relish stinky things, and they don’t let a little dirt slow them down. We humans, on the other hand, find most dog-pleasing odours repulsive. We also prefer things to be clean. Here’s a potpourri of tips for keeping your dog gear free from foul odours and grime.



Dog gear is made from a variety of different materials, including leather, cotton, synthetics and down, making it important to read the washing instructions on the label. Regular laundry detergents may not be suitable for some items, for example, while others must be hand-washed.

Dog beds, in particular, can be tricky to clean. Many of these unique odour traps have a cotton fill, while some include technical fabrics for waterproofing. The folks at Nikwax specialize in PFAS-free products that clean, waterproof, deodorize and enhance modern natural and synthetic materials. They warn that regular detergents can impede the effectiveness of delicate fills such as down, or gear with a durable water repellent, or DWR, coating. Some cleaning products, on the other hand, can doubly serve to revitalize a DWR coating



Removing strong odours requires a different approach. Nikwax, for example, makes deodorizing products that improve moisture-wicking and help prevent odours. Still other brands offer scent killers for hunting apparel, which also works well on dog gear. As well, you can rinse items in water and baking soda to help deodorize them before washing.


Gun dogs rely on their noses to find prey, but strong detergent scents can impede that ability. Unscented, dog-friendly cleansers are best.


High-end technical materials benefit from periodic cleaning with specialty products that promote water repellency. This helps protect the underlying fabrics from body fluids and the resulting wet-dog smell. And when the time comes for a deep clean, the job will be that much easier.