How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in House

We all adore our furry friends, but let’s be honest – sometimes they leave behind some not-so-pleasant smells. If you’re dealing with that distinctive dog odor in your home, here are some tips to help you get rid of it.

Dogs make fantastic companions, but they can also be a bit messy and, well, smelly. And let’s face it, they’re not the best at tidying up after themselves. If you share your home with a dog (or more than one), you’ve probably wondered how to tackle that doggy smell. But before we jump into solutions for eliminating pet odors, let’s first understand why your furry friend might not smell so fresh.

What Causes Dogs to Smell?

Dogs tend to absorb scents from their surroundings. For instance, smaller dogs that spend a lot of time indoors, such as on our laps or furniture, may start smelling like our homes. On the other hand, dogs spending more time outdoors can pick up natural scents.

Several factors contribute to a dog’s smell, including their breed, age, type of fur, overall health, drooling tendencies, outdoor activities, and, importantly, how often they are bathed.

Dealing with that distinctive dog smell might seem overwhelming, but there are simple ways to tackle pet odor. Surprisingly, there are also proven methods for cleaning up dog messes, like poop, from carpets.

How Often to Clean Dog Smell

When your dog brings in a strong smell or has an accident, it’s time for a cleanup. But don’t wait for these incidents to pile up. You need to tackle dog smells regularly.

Instead of waiting for a monthly or quarterly cleanup, make cleaning up after your dog a part of your routine. This means cleaning and treating smells regularly to prevent them from becoming a problem.

Here’s a tip: Vacuum your entire house every few days, including your dog’s favorite spots. Wash their bedding and any other textiles they use weekly or every other week.

Things to Consider Before Treating Dog Smells

Before you deal with those dog smells, give your furry friend a good bath. If your dog isn’t clean, those odors will just come back soon, making all your efforts pointless. Regularly giving your dog a bath is key to keeping your home smelling nice.

Also, consider taking your dog out of the room or house while you clean to avoid spreading cleaning supplies or exposing them to anything harmful.

Tip: If your dog’s smell has suddenly gotten much worse or seems unusual, it might be a good idea to visit the vet along with trying these cleaning methods. There could be an underlying health issue causing the odor.

How to Eliminate Dog Smells Entirely?

Dog owners often joke about how dog hair and smells seem to be never-ending, but there’s some truth to it. If you have dogs, it’s not really realistic to completely eliminate the dog smell from your home, just like you can’t completely get rid of the scent of your laundry detergent, the smell of wood smoke from your fireplace, or the aroma of cooking if you’re someone who loves to cook at home.

However, you can definitely reduce the smell. Here are eight steps you can take to make your home smell fresher and less like a dog kennel.

Keep Your Dog Clean

To keep your home smelling fresh and avoid that doggy odor, it’s essential to keep your furry friend clean. Dirty coats are a common culprit for the doggy smell. This dirtiness can result from a lack of hygiene or from your dog rolling around in unpleasant things outside.

Giving your dog regular baths with a gentle shampoo—at least once a month. Additionally, keeping their nails trimmed and brushing their fur helps them smell better and reduces the amount of hair they shed in your home.

After outdoor playtime, wash your dog’s paws and drying them off if they’re wet. This simple step can help minimize the smell in your house. Tools like the Mudbuster make this task easy and efficient.

Keep Floors Clean

Once your pup is clean, it’s time to tackle your floors to prevent your home from smelling like a dog haven. For wood, tile, or laminate floors, start by sweeping. Many pet owners swear by Swiffer products for picking up dog hair effectively.

Use a dry sheet to attract hair like a magnet, then follow up with a wet Swiffer or mop for a thorough clean.

If you have rugs, investing in a high-quality vacuum designed for pet hair is a game-changer. Dyson vacuums, although pricier, are highly recommended by pet owners for their effectiveness.

Having a cordless stick vacuum that converts to a handheld makes it easy to do quick cleanups before dog hair and dirt accumulate.

Keep Furniture Clean

Keeping your furniture clean is crucial in managing doggy odors in your home. While some dogs may not be allowed on the furniture, many sneak up when we’re not looking, or they’re occasionally invited for a cuddle session.

Covering furniture with blankets can help because it’s easier to clean the blankets than the entire sofa. However, if your furniture starts to smell like your furry friend, a spray bottle filled with four parts white vinegar and one part water.

Regularly spraying this mixture on carpets and upholstered furniture to tackle tough odors, including urine smells. Before applying it, though, be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric.

For accidents, like a puppy’s mess or an older dog’s urine leakage, Soak up as much liquid as possible with paper towels (not dish towels). Then, treat the spot with either full-strength vodka or white vinegar to neutralize the acids found in urine.

Tools like the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser and Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover are also highly effective for cleaning up accidents and removing dirt and grease stains from furniture and rugs. Apply these products after treating the area with vinegar or vodka and allowing it to dry completely.

Clean Pet Furniture

Additionally, it’s essential to keep your pet’s furniture clean as well. Regularly washing dog beds and blankets is crucial to eliminating odors in your home.

Adding half a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine when cleaning pet beds and blankets to banish odors and keep materials fresh and fluffy.

If washing large dog beds weekly is impractical, you can spray a mixture of vinegar and baking soda on the bed and then use a vacuum to remove it.

Clean Your Dog Toys

Clean your dog’s toys regularly to keep your home smelling fresh. Just like washing your pet’s bed, washing plush dog toys is essential.

Dogs’ mouths aren’t exactly known for their pleasant scent, especially as they grow older. Their saliva can make their toys smelly, which can affect your home’s odor.

You can toss their toys in the wash along with their beds every week. If it’s been a while since you’ve washed them, or if they’re particularly smelly, adding a cup of vinegar or an enzymatic deodorizer to the wash can help freshen them up. Products like Rocco & Roxie or Nature’s Miracle are recommended for this.

Clean Air

To improve the air quality in your home, clean your air filters regularly. This helps remove odors and enhances the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.

Investing in an air purifier can also make a big difference. There are different sizes available depending on the space you need to purify.

Ensure Healthy Dog

If your dog still smells even after regular baths, it might be a sign of an underlying health issue. Excessive odor could indicate skin irritation, bacterial infections, or other medical problems. In such cases, it’s best to consult a vet.

Keep an eye out for signs like excessive licking or changes in appetite, as these could be indicators of a more serious issue.

Regular dental care is also important for combating doggy odor. If brushing your dog’s teeth is a struggle, you can use dental chews designed to help keep their teeth clean.

Don’t Forget Stairways and Closets

Remember to include closets and stairways in your cleaning routine to tackle pet odors effectively. These spots are often overlooked but can harbor odors if pets like to hang out there.

For instance, my dog enjoys napping in my closet occasionally, and some pets like to lounge on the stairs. Be sure to vacuum and clean these areas regularly to keep unwanted odors at bay.

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in House

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