If your house smells like your dog, there are many ways to reduce or eliminate the odor, which stems from a natural oil produced by your dog’s skin and then spreads throughout your home. In the battle against pet odors, cleanliness matters most.
Grooming and Brushing
Your first step is to maintain a bathing and grooming routine for your pet. Regular brushing, every other day, will help minimize the amount of hair your dog sheds inside your home, along with the oil on that hair.
Sweeping and vacuuming are your second lines of defense. Sweeping up stray hair will help eliminate dog odor in your carpets and on your floors. Dander and hair can also find its way onto other surfaces, so dust regularly.
Also, be sure to vacuum (weekly) any furniture your dog is allowed to use, including their dog beds. If your dog is allowed on furniture, consider adding a washable cover and laundering it weekly. This will protect your furniture and make it easier to minimize odors.
Wash your dog’s bed after washing your own linens, along with their toys.
If odors still linger after cleaning your home, try one of these inexpensive and pet-friendly approaches:
- Baking Soda – This natural deodorizer is safe for pets. Sprinkle it on your carpets or upholstery before going to bed, let it sit overnight, then vacuum it up in the morning. (By the way, baking soda is also a primary ingredient in homemade pet toothpaste!)
- Vodka – Placed in a spray bottle, vodka can be spritzed on surfaces. As the alcohol in vodka evaporates, odors are lifted too. Vodka is safe for linens, dog beds, and most upholstered furniture. If in doubt, test a hidden area before using. And remember to “spritz” (do not “soak”) with vodka.
- Windows – If the weather is cooperative, open your windows. A fresh breeze and sunshine will help improve your indoor air quality and reduce pet odors.
- Air Filters – Pet fur and dander may have migrated through your house and gotten trapped in your HVAC filter. Change it regularly to help keep odors at bay.
Beware of using chemicals to remove pet odors, which may not be a healthy choice for you or your pets. Also, keep in mind that natural doesn’t always mean safe. Some essential oils, for example, are dangerous for pets if ingested or exposed to their skin.
According to the American Kennel Club, the following essential oils can be poisonous to dogs: cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang-ylang.
Keep in mind that dogs have a much keener sense of smell than humans. You may enjoy scented products that help mask household odors, but they can be overpowering to a dog’s nose. For your pet’s health and your own, it’s best to eliminate the source rather than covering it up with stronger scents or chemicals.
Finally, you may want to invest in a high-quality air purifier to help minimize pet odors. A purifier won’t eliminate the need for regular cleaning, but it will help tame any smells that remain after cleaning.