Smelly Labrador

Learn How To Get Rid Of Dog Smell  - Smelly Odour Remedies

Is your pup’s natural aroma invading the house? Are you wondering how to get rid of dog smell in your home? Don’t despair!

Having a clean, fresh home might be difficult with a pup in your life, but it’s not impossible. After years of living with dogs, we’ve got a few tips and tricks under our sleeve.

Here are our top recommendations:

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How To Get Rid Of Dog Smell In The House

If you’re wondering how to get rid of smelly dog odour, we’ve got your back. With some easy cleaning tips and a few changes to prevent the smell from getting worse, the dog smell will be manageable and even disappear!

Step 1. Open the windows

What to do if the house smells like dog? It might sound too basic, but many people fail to air out their home. Without pets, this just makes your home smell stuffy. But if you add one or two dogs into the mix, your house will soon smell like your dog’s kennel. Not good!

Make it a point to open the windows every morning as a preventative measure, and try to do it regardless of the weather. Once your home already has a strong dog smell, this will only help slightly.

Step 2. Keep on top of the regular cleaning

This means vacuuming daily and mopping the floors at least twice a week. Make it a point of cleaning the spaces where your dog spends more time slightly more often than the rest of the house. This means their kennel, the living room and the place they eat should be on your daily rotation.

Related: Best Vacuum For Dog Hair.

Step 3. Wash everything you can

From dog bed covers to cushions, pillowcases and even sofa covers, if it can be unzipped, take it off and wash it. it’s the easiest way to keep the house smelling clean and fresh. For best results, use a couple of tablespoons of baking soda alongside your regular soap. The baking soda neutralizes smells. For a double-whammy, add half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will finish off the odour and help freshen the colours of the fabric as well.

Related: How To Wash A Dog Bed.

PRO TIP: Wash the dog bed covers on their own, and don’t put them alongside your pillowcases, sofa cover or anything else. Even if they are getting clean, your dog’s bed is the main source of the smell and it will still somewhat stink even after a thorough wash. So do separate loads even if it will take you longer to wash everything.

Step 4. Steam-clean the furniture

If you’re wondering how to remove dog smell from carpets, steam is the way to go. Get yourself a steam cleaner and thoroughly clean the furniture that doesn’t have a removable cover. If you have carpets that can’t be thrown in the washer, steaming will help with the smell as well. For best results, use this deodorizing technique:

First, sprinkle your surfaces with a generous dusting of baking soda. Then, let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Take off the excess with the vacuum, then steam clean. If there’s any baking soda residue, use a soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth to take it out. Let it dry thoroughly before letting your dog in again!

PRO TIP: If you have a serious odour problem, you might need to repeat the deodorizing baking soda a couple of times. I have 2 dogs and I do it twice at least.

Step 5. Make yourself some deodorizing spray

Mix vinegar and baking soda on a spray bottle with a wide nozzle, and spray down anything that smells. For furniture, do a patch test first to avoid damaging or staining the fabric. Then, use it as a dry-cleaning product: spray it on, then brush it off. It will remove the smell fast.

Step 6. Change all the filters and clean the air

This includes the vacuum, but also the dryer and your home’s air conditioning system. At this point, your house should be smelling pretty fresh since you cleaned the furniture, carpets and floors. Now is the time to invest in an air filter with HEPA filters. These trap dandruff, dirt and hair, effectively banishing dog smell. Of course, keep an eye on it and replace the filters as soon as they look dirty or as instructed on the manual.

Step 7. Call the pros

If all else fails, call expert cleaners. They might charge more, but they have enzymatic products that won’t damage your furniture and tend to work really well. If you have a serious odour issue that doesn’t get better with the steps above, you might need their help.

How To Avoid Dog Smell In The House

As with most things, it’s easier to prevent a strong dog smell in your home than fix it. So save yourself the trouble of in-depth cleaning and using odour neutralizer everywhere by preventing the smell from happening in the first place. Of course, like people, all dogs smell, but you can keep it to a minimum following these simple steps:

  • Don’t bathe your dog too often. This might sound counterintuitive, but bathing your pup too frequently can do more harm than good. Bathing strips your dog of their natural oils, and doing so too often tends to cause rashes, increase allergies, make their coat dull and overall worsen their skin health.
    From a smell perspective, it will also make them smell more since your dog’s skin will go into overdrive and try to make more sebum to compensate. Keep it simple and only bathe your dog once every 6 weeks at most.

    Related: How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
  • Brush your dog frequently. Of course, keeping baths occasional doesn’t mean you won’t groom your pup. Frequent brushing keeps your dog’s skin healthy, but also helps to manage the smell. Since brushing will get rid of loose hair, dandruff and oils, you’ll be taking a good chunk of the smell culprits with every session.

PRO TIP: If you can, try to brush your dog outside. This can be in the backyard, or even at the park. Since brushing will remove loose hair, doing it inside can be detrimental to your home’s smell since hair will get everywhere.

  • Clean their ears. Ear wax build-up is one of the causes of dog smell. Checking your dog’s ears regularly is necessary to keep them healthy, as any changes in smell or amount might indicate an underlying issue. However, if your dog’s been cleared by the vet, keeping their ears clean is a great way of reducing the odours around the home.
    Grab a soft clean cloth and dampen it with lukewarm water. You might want to use a few dollops of baby oil for dry build-up. Then, softly use it on the outside of the ear canal. If your dog has floppy ears, use the cloth to wipe down the underside of the ear and the hair that probably has some dried goop.
  • Use removable covers. This is a given, but it’s so easy to forget that we should remind you every once in a while. Choose dog beds with removable covers! It’s the best way to keeping the smells to a minimum. On top of this, try to use removable covers on every piece of furniture your dog uses frequently. Of course, this means their bed, but also the couch and the pillows if they sleep there. This is a great time to reconsider whether or not you want to allow your pup to get on the couch at will. It just means you’ll have to keep it clean at all times!
  • Wash your own clothes. Some people can use the same clothing item several days in a row. If you have dogs, it’s best to avoid that. Since dog smell tends to hang on the furniture and carpet, it will get into your clothes. While it might not be noticeable on day 1, by the second or third day it will definitely be a problem! Plus, once clothes are smelly you have to do more intense treatments to fight the odour. Avoid the problems and just wash them after every use, they’ll smell fresh and won’t retain any dog aroma.
  • Vacuum often. When you have dogs, vacuuming is a necessity. It will get rid of the hair, dandruff and most of the smells, and help keep the actual cleaning to a minimum. In our experience, daily vacuuming is the best way to keep the smell at bay. During shedding season in spring and summer and especially if you have more than one pup, some people even vacuum twice a day. Do what feels best, and get a powerful vacuum that can handle the work.

PRO TIP: Remember to change the vacuum filter! It needs to be fresh to be able to trap all the dog hair and dandruff. Plus, old filters won’t be as efficient and could eventually start throwing old hair and dandruff back into your home.

How To Remove Dog Smell From Cars

This is very similar to the process we mentioned above, but on a much smaller scale. Of course, cars have more nooks and crannies than a room, so you might need to be more thorough to get rid of dog smell.

Step 1. Check for poop

It might seem gross, but many times the easiest way to remove dog smell from a car is checking under the seats. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found mysterious dog presents -AKA a little dried poop- in there. Dogs can be sneaky on long road trips and sometimes we’re not watching them closely enough. Accidents happen!

Step 2. Take out every carpet and removable items

Take your car’s carpets out, and remove anything else that can be taken out. This includes cup holders and car seats, but also covers if at all possible.

You will then wash these items on the wash or with a power washer. Follow the same guidelines we mentioned above for washable covers and carpets, including using baking soda to absorb the smell.

Step 3. Thoroughly vacuum your car

While the carpets are on the wash, vacuum your car the best you can. This will take care of most of the dirt, hair and dandruff, which are the main culprits of the strong smell. A steam vacuum might also work here.

Step 4. Use baking soda

Generously sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for half an hour or so. Then, brush it off and vacuum again. Your car should be smelling fresh again!

Final Thoughts

Figuring out dog odour remedies might feel overwhelming, but with a good plan, it isn’t so difficult! Of course, it’s easier to prevent the smell from getting into your furniture in the first place, but our cleaning tips should help get your home back in tip-top shape!

Do you have any great tips for getting rid of dog smell at home? Let us know in the comments below!

  1. Home Made Simple. 14 ways to get rid of the dog smell.
  2. The Humane Society of The United States. How to remove pet stains and odours.
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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