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Dogster Reviews: Can Reviver Pets Freshening Swipes Handle This Stinky Dog?

In lieu of bathtime, we test these new swipes on smelly Ace and her smelly blanket.

 |  Aug 6th 2013  |   1 Contribution


I know a thing or two about smelly dogs. Ace spends her weekdays at San Francisco’s Fort Funston, an expansive coastal off-leash dog playground. As the week progresses, her smell transitions from the scent of a light sea breeze to the stink of something decomposing. She submits to a mandatory Sunday evening bath, which includes digging half of the beach’s sand out of her ears.

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Things get pretty stinky pretty quickly for Ace.

Because Ace and I recently traveled across the country to visit our family, she missed her weekly bath. I decided this was the perfect time to test Reviver Pets Freshening Swipes ($2.99 each), sold exclusively at Petco. As this video demonstrates, each swipe comes individually packaged in a resealable pouch. You slip your fingers through a loop on the swipe and pet your dog (or cat, or yourself), freshening her coat and eliminating odors with the swipe’s 100-percent nontoxic ingredients. These include vitamin E, aloe, and “a proprietary blend of organic odor neutralizers and hypo-allergenic fragrance.” The swipe can be stored in the pouch and reused later.

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The dog swipe's packaging is colorful and cute.

I received a set of three swipes to test: one for dogs, one for cats, and one for “pet parents,” like Ace’s Mama. Each swipe is identical in shape and size, but differs in color and scent.

I decided to try out the dog swipe first (blue). This swipe smells like a dryer sheet, and the scent is quite strong though not unpleasant. I was surprised by the strength of the scent, and I think Ace was, too. Upon first sniff, she gave the swipe a good licking (the ingredients are nontoxic!). I found it difficult to use the swipe on Ace because she was so distracted by the scent of the swipe. She kept turning around and getting up to sniff it. After using the swipe daily for a few days, Ace continued to have difficulty sitting still while I petted her with the swipe. Instead of blending in with my petting, the swipe disrupted it. 

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Ace had trouble relaxing while I pet her with the swipe.

In terms of odor control, the swipe did not seem to reduce Ace’s smell, but instead added a perfume in addition to her odor. I started out with a very stinky Ace, so the swipe might have different results on a less gross dog. 

The pet parents swipe fared much better. The scent seemed less strong than the dog swipe. Again, the smell reminded me of a laundry detergent perfume, which I think is more appropriate on a pet parent than on a pet. To test this swipe, I set up a mighty obstacle: Ace’s blanket. When we travel, I bring along the blanket that usually lines her crate at home. Unwashed, the blanket carries familiar scents with it wherever we go, to comfort Ace. I lay it across a hotel bed, on the floor when watching television at a friend’s house, or on my lap at the airport gate. The blanket smells like dog and a hundred other stinky things. It was the smelliest thing I could find besides Ace.

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Ace's stinky polka dot blanket helps her relax while traveling because it smells like home.

I used the pet parents swipe heavily on half of the blanket and then smelled the blanket eight hours later. The perfume scent was mild, which I appreciated. More importantly, compared to the untreated side, the doggy odor was reduced. Score! I imagine using the swipe on a jacket or pants seasoned with dog would be equally successful. 

I think it is important to note that scent is a highly personal preference, so sniff out the swipes yourself if you are curious about them. While I did not test the cat swipe, I did smell it, and found this swipe’s scent to be the least appealing to me. The scent is somewhat floral, sweet, and very strong.

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I am not a cat!

Overall, a person’s satisfaction with the Pet Reviver swipes will depend upon that individual’s expectations of such a product. If you hope to completely remove strong odors with the swipe, you’ll probably be disappointed. However, if you like the swipe’s scent and would rather smell that scent than whatever your dog rolled in, this product may be for you.

Dogster scorecard for Reviver Pets Freshening Swipes

  • Quality: The swipes appear designed to withstand multiple uses and are stored in resealable pouches to lock in their fresh scent.
  • Style: I like the colorful, whimsical design of the swipes and pouches. 
  • Function: The pet parent swipe reduced doggy odor with a light scent, but the dog swipe was no match for a stinky Ace.
  • Creativity: Deodorizing your dog while you pet her is an ingenious idea -– if your dog isn’t too distracted by the swipe’s scent.
  • Value: Each swipe is $2.99 and strongly scented to keep freshening over multiple uses.

Bottom line

I like the convenience and novelty of Reviver Pets Freshening Swipes, but their scents may be better suited to freshen pet parents’ clothing rather than dog fur. 

Yo, Dogster readers! We want to hear how you manage dog odor. Do you spray, wipe, or wash it away? Do you prefer dog smell over perfumed products? Share your tips in the comments!

Read more reviews by Ace's Mama:

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