Dogs add a lot of joy to a household — but, unless you work carefully, they also add something much less pleasant: pet odor. If you’ve ever wondered how to keep your house from smelling like dog, you’re not alone. Many pet owners find that their pooches fill their homes with an unmistakable smell that feels impossible to remove or mask. It gets in everything: your carpet, rugs, upholstery, curtains, you name it.
Thankfully, you don’t have to accept the odor and live with it. Today, there are many steps you can take to keep your home smelling good, even when you have pets. In fact, with the right strategies, it’s entirely possible to keep a fresh, clean-smelling home while there are dogs inside.
Below, consider some of these home remedies for smelly dog odor:
Air out the space. Believe it or not, the simple step of circulating fresh air around your home can do wonders for improving odors. Whenever possible, crack a window to encourage smells to flow out and away from the interior of your home.
Attack accidents immediately. If your pet has an accident in the house, always clean it up as soon as possible. The quicker you clean the mess, the less the smell can spread and/or stain.
Vacuum weekly — with the right vacuum. Because dog odor likes to lurk in fabrics and fibers, regular cleaning is key to keeping a fresh smell in your home. For best results, make it a practice to thoroughly vacuum all carpets, cushions, sofas, furniture, etc., every week. Invest in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum if possible. While normal vacuums allow some particles to pass through filters (and thus may leave lingering smells), HEPA vacuums are made to trap even fine dirt and dust. Another good choice is a charcoal filter for the vacuum, which can absorb odors while you clean.
Get your dog groomed monthly. From stinky saliva to waxy ear build-up to body sweat, dogs have plenty of places where stink resides. To keep your home clean, go to the source of the smell. When it comes to how to make your dog smell good, grooming is crucial. While it is possible to overdo the washing and dry out your dog’s skin, a monthly cleaning can work wonders.
Wash dog beds weekly. The place where your pup sleeps is a prime location for stubborn odors to thrive. Wash beds weekly, and, if they have removable covers, machine-wash them to get them super-clean. Bonus tip: Get your dog an odor-resistant bed that has anti-microbial properties. This can also help stop odors before they start.
Ditch carpeting. Carpets offer comfort, but they also trap all kinds of bacteria and debris. For this reason, if you’re eager to clean and sanitize your home from pet smells, hard-surface floors are a better way to go. Swap your carpets for hardwoods, tile or other allergen-reducing surfaces, and enjoy the fresh, cleaner feel that comes with it.
Deodorize carpet regularly. If you decide to keep carpeted floors, make it a regular practice to deodorize them. You can do this with an everyday household product: baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda over your carpet, letting it sit for a bit before vacuuming. This can help pull up odors lurking in the fibers.
Mop hard-surface floors regularly. If, on the other hand, you have easier-to-clean wood or tile floors, make it a regular habit to mop for maximum cleanliness.
Buy an air purifier. Last but not least, get an air purifier. While an air purifier can’t substitute for the power of a good, old-fashioned cleaning, it can amplify your sanitization efforts significantly. Look for one with a carbon filter, and make sure to replace the filter often to avoid clogs that can block the mechanisms.
Whether you’re thinking about adding a dog to your family or have had pups for years, the above tips to keep your house from smelling like dog are sure to come in handy. You can also check out our posts on 10 pet-safe cleaners or smelly dog paw tips to learn more!
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.