Skip to Content

How to Get Rid of Dog Smells in the House

How to Get Rid of Dog Smells in the House

A funky-smelling house is not only uncomfortable to live in but it is also bound to affect your social life. The thought of having guests over when your house smells like your dog can be unnerving.

Keep reading to learn how to remove dog smell from the house fast.

Why does my dog make my house stink?

Below are some reasons why your house smells like your dog;

  1. The main cause of dog odor can be skin issues, dental problems, bacteria, or ear infections. These infections can have bacteria or fungi that may give off a bad odor. However, secondary yeast or bacterial infections on the skin or inside the ears remain the most common medical reasons dogs might smell awful. Bacteria can easily grow on your dog’s skin, ears, or other areas.
  2. Dogs sweat when they’re hot. However, they only sweat in areas that aren’t covered by fur, such as the paw pads. So, as your dog’s paws sweat, they’ll spread it around the carpets, the floors, the sofa, the bed, and so forth.
  3. Some dogs drool a ton. This can leave the smell of their saliva on their bed, your carpet, toys, and furniture. As well as saliva, some dogs have inherently bad breath, which can stink up a room.
  4. Your dog is in heat. Don’t be alarmed if your dog has a new smell about her while she’s in season. If you have a female dog, you may find her smell repulsing at certain times of the year.
  5. The main reason your dog is stinking up the house is that they’re dirty. Dogs are explorers, so they get dirty when they’re in the back yard or at the park.
  6. Your dog’s diet may be causing him to stink. Just like you would if you ate a ton of garlic. There might be something in their food, causing them to smell funny.
  7. Dogs fart, and this is normal. However, if your dog’s gas is so severe and frequent that it’s stinking up your house, we recommend a trip to the vet.
  8. Dogs like to roll in poop. It’s gross, but it’s pretty normal. It’s like perfume to them! So if your dog rolls in poop, and you don’t bathe them afterward, it’s no surprise the house is starting to smell.
  9. Dogs have anal sacks on their bottom, which is healthy and normal. But if these sacs become impacted, a smelly secretion is released and can get stuck on the dog’s fur. You’ll need to see a vet for this issue.
  10. Dogs have a weird smell when they start losing their teeth as puppies. Because the gums bleed a little, there’s a slightly metallic smell.
  11. Lastly, dogs love to mark their territory, commonly known as scent marking. Dogs produce odors that let other dogs keep off. This scent-marking smell is the classic ‘dog smell’ and can easily be absorbed into your soft furnishings.

How do you get rid of dog smell completely

Follow these tips to get rid of dog smell fast;

Keep your dog clean

If you want to keep your house from smelling like a dog, one of the first steps is to ensure your pet is clean. Regular baths at least once a month, plus trimming their nails and brushing their fur, which helps them smell better and helps reduce the amount of hair they shed around the house.

Check this too: How to Clean Dog Poop Out of a Carpet

Keep your floors clean

Scrubbing and brushing your pup is a good start, but if you want to prevent your home from smelling like a canine kingdom, your next step is cleaning your floors regularly.

For wood, tile, or laminate, sweeping is the first step. Invest in the best vacuums for dog and cat hair if you have rugs. Although Dyson vacuums are expensive, most people who have them think they’re worth every penny. Dyson makes a line of vacuums specifically for pet owners, and having a cordless stick vacuum that converts to a handheld makes it easier to do quick clean-ups before the dog hair, and dirt get out of control.

Keep your furniture clean

Some dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture, but many sneak up when we aren’t looking. Others aren’t officially allowed but are invited on the couch for an occasional cuddle. Keeping furniture covered with blankets helps because it’s easier to clean blankets than the whole sofa, but if the furniture smells like your dog, use an odor eliminator to freshen them.

Keep pet furniture clean

Want to know how to get rid of dog smell? Here’s a big tip: Be thorough. That means cleaning everything your dog interacts with—including its bed.

Wherever there’s a dog bed, there’s increased potential for smells. You can maintain both your furniture and theirs with pet hair removers. Regular washing of pet beds is key.

Pet experts recommend washing beds every week to eliminate odors in your home. When washing dog beds and blankets, add a half cup of white vinegar to your washing machine to get rid of the dog smell.

If you have large dog beds and washing them weekly is too hectic, you can spray a mix of vinegar and baking soda on the bed and then use a vacuum to suck it up.

Wash your dog’s toys

Washing plush dog toys is almost as important as washing pet beds, but many people overlook it. After the initial puppy stage, dog mouths aren’t known for being the best-smelling places, and because their saliva gets all over their toys, it can make your home smell like dog breath. But, you can throw them in the wash weekly with the dog beds, and they’ll come out looking new.

Clear the air

Clean your home’s air filters to make them more efficient in purifying the odor from the air, aid in improved heating and cooling systems, and maximize airflow circulation.

You should also invest in a good air purifier for your home. There are small tabletop air purifiers for bedrooms or offices and larger units that purify up to 2,500 square feet.

Ensure your dog is healthy

There may be medical reasons why your dog smells. For example, if you’re bathing your dog regularly and it still stinks, it could have an underlying condition causing it to produce more odor than usual.

The persistent doggy odor may signify a more serious health concern. So if your dog is licking itself excessively or has a sudden change in appetite, it’s time to see a vet.

Vacuum regularly

If you have a dog, your vacuum will be your best friend. Not only does this lift dirt and pet hair, but it can also eliminate odors from the dirt. If you have a HEPA vacuum, even better. These devices can eliminate bacteria and small odor-causing particles in the home.

Vacuum every three days if you have a dog. It may seem like a big task, but nobody said owning a dog was easy!

Mop Often

As well as vacuuming, you should often mop, too. For example, our dog sits in the hallway until she’s dry from her rainy walks, so we need to mop the hallway every couple of days to keep on top of the smell.

You can also use a steam mop. This kills bacteria, too. You can also use it for carpets, which helps tackle odors there.

Neutralize the Odors

Use vinegar solution. Not only does it neutralize odors, but it’s non-toxic and easy to make at home. Mix a 1:1 ratio of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray it throughout the house. This includes the air, bedding, furniture, floors, and anywhere else your dog’s smell may have touched.

You can also use this as a surface cleaner when you’re not using it to neutralize odors.

Clean Up Pet Accidents immediately

Your house will smell bad if your pet is still having accidents. It can take months to fully house-train a dog, so don’t be alarmed. To clean up pet accidents, clean up as much of the excess dirt with a paper towel. Then spray the area liberally with an enzyme cleaner.

Let this sit on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it up again. Repeat. Go over with a mop or steam cleaner.

Change the Air Filters

Changing all the air filters in your home is a good idea. If it’s been a while, your airflow isn’t as good as it should be to help circulate and eliminate pet odors.

You can buy replacement filters at your local hardware store. If you aren’t sure which ones to get, remove your current filter and bring it with you. The staff will know what to recommend!

Use essential oils

You must be careful with using scents in the home with a dog since many essential oils are toxic to dogs. Synthetic oils seem to be safe but check with the manufacturer. They should know whether their product specifically is safe for pets.

You can find candles, air fresheners, reed diffusers, and essential oil blends that are safe for dogs. For instance, lavender is a dog-friendly essential oil, so try diffusing that in the room that stinks the most!

How do I keep my house from smelling like my dog?

Do this to eliminate dog smell permanently;

Aerate your house

Opening the windows can air out your home and remove some bad odors. Next, run your air conditioning system to circulate air while filtering it. You can also use an air purifier to circulate fresh air further.

Air Purifying Plants to Your Home

If you have a green thumb, adding plants to your home is a great option for keeping the air in your home fresh and healthy. However, keep your dog away from the plants, as many can be poisonous.

Some great plant options include English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Aloe Vera, Peace Lily, Spider Plant, and Mass Cane/Corn Plant.

Use Odor Eliminators and Disinfectant

If you do not mind non-natural products, OdoBan is a miracle at removing odors and disinfecting. Spray the solution on problematic areas, but let it soak before blotting it dry with a clean rag. Be sure to test the solution on an inconspicuous portion of your carpet to ensure it won’t cause discoloration before using it in the middle of your living room.

To make a pet odor eliminator, mix 2 cups of white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and four tablespoons of baking soda in a clean, empty spray bottle. Then, add enough water to fill the bottle and get to work (you want to use this spray while it’s still bubbling — once it stops, it’s salty water). You may need to experiment with different ratios of baking soda to vinegar to find the best one.

You can also create a solution of equal hydrogen peroxide and plain water. Then, add a couple of drops of dish soap to your hydrogen peroxide water mixture in an empty spray bottle.

Get an odor-resistant bed

One of the places smells lurk in your dog’s bed. Buying a bed that has anti-microbial properties and resists orders is a good way to start. Odor-resistant beds have easy-to-clean, machine-washable covers and can be used with odor trappers to keep the scent in the pouch and out of the air in your home.

Between bath freshening

Don’t forget the dog! You can clean your house until the cows come home, but if your dog smell, your house will too. Waterless shampoo and bath wipes can help keep your pup fresh between baths. Also, project Paws® Aloe & Oatmeal Grooming Wipes will feed shelter dogs while keeping your buddy smelling sweet.

Use an enzymatic cleaner

Enzymes in cleaners attack the particles that cause staining and odors, helping to rid your home of both. Sunny & Honey brand use a natural bio-enzymatic formula for urine, feces, vomit, and drool that is safe for kids and pets. You can use it on practically anything: carpets, floors, furniture, etc.

Wipe those paws

Keep a super absorbent door mat and towel by the door and clean off your dog before he enters, minimizing dirt being dragged into your house. Soggy Dog mats and towels are perfect for this.

Dry your dog completely

Are you prone to just toweling your dog off and then letting him air dry? While your dog may prefer that, he is bound to develop a wet dog smell. Which will then get transferred to your carpets, air, couch, and anywhere else he goes while drying. So it’s best to completely dry him using a cool hair dryer or lots of toweling.

Wash everything with vinegar

Wash any furniture coverings, pillows, curtains – basically anything that can be washed that your dog comes in contact with regularly with a combination of oxy-powered laundry soap and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar.

Find and fix point-source problems.

If there are still lingering odors, they are probably the result of isolated issues, such as a particularly bad pee spot on the carpet. Or a place where your dog barfed on the floor after digging through the trashcan.

You’ll need to locate and identify any problem areas to treat, which may require you to put your nose close to the ground and sniff around a good bit. After finding the areas of concern, please treat them with a homemade or commercial odor eliminator to neutralize the pet smell.

Use a black light to spot pet secretions

Urine, saliva, and other body fluids will glow when exposed to a black light, so you can use one to help you find trouble areas that have previously eluded your attention.

Turn off the lights in your home before scanning with a UV dog urine detection light, and you may need to experiment by moving the UV black light closer or farther from your carpet to get the stains to show up best.

Be sure to scan your furniture and the lower portions of your walls to ensure you locate all the tricky spots.

Note: black lights will also cause a variety of things besides bodily fluids to glow, including spilled drinks and the residues left behind by cleaning products. However, most of these things glow bright white, while urine and saliva tend to glow pale yellow to green.

Use an odor-sealing paint to address any stubborn spots on walls.

From time to time, you may find that the urine stains in your home aren’t limited to your floors – they can even adorn the lower portions of your walls. If you thought eliminating bad smells from a carpet was tough, you’ll find that getting these smells out of drywall is even more difficult.

Replace the affected portion of the drywall or repaint the area with a stain- and odor-sealing paint primer designed for these problems. And although the latter is hardly a quick-and-easy solution, it is much simpler than the former approach.

Use air fresheners

You’ll never completely obscure serious pet odors with scented or odor-neutralizing sprays, but they can be very helpful for combatting minor odors and helping to keep your home smelling fresh between top-to-bottom cleanings.

You can also use these sprays to give your home a quick spritz before the company comes over to dampen the pesky smells. Ensure you select a safe spray for pets, and it is probably a good idea to put your dog outside for a moment while the spray settles out of the air.

Potpourri baskets, scented candles, pet-safe air fresheners, and similar products can also be helpful. Keep them in places your canine can’t reach.

Deodorize your Carpet Naturally

Many commercial deodorizers contain harsh chemicals that may harm your dog. Think about it. Your dog is walking on your carpets barefoot all day long. And when he licks his paws, he is ingesting whatever is on your floor.

Skip the toxic carpet deodorizers. Instead, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet before vacuuming. Baking soda will soak up any odors lingering in the carpet fibers.

Note: test a small hidden area on your carpet before doing your entire house, just in case.

Potty Accidents Cleaning

If you have a puppy or rescue dog, you most likely experienced a potty accident at least once. Wipe up potty accidents immediately with an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle.

Steam Clean the Carpet

To eliminate dog smell in your carpet, professionally clean the carpet yearly or steam clean yourself. If you keep your dogs clean (see grooming below), you may not need to clean the carpets yearly, but watch for signs your carpet is looking dingy.

Check this too: How to Clean Vomit from a Carpet

When we are done remodeling our new house, we won’t have any carpet (can’t wait). But all my other houses did have at least some carpet. We had a Bissell carpet cleaner that I used on the occasions that the carpet started looking dirty. Then once every several years, I’d call Stanley Steamer to have them professionally cleaned.

Use a Doggie Lawn

Avoid potty accidents by using Doggie Lawn. Hydroponically grown grass is designed to work perfectly as an indoor puppy potty, a porch potty for your dog, or outside on your balcony as a fresh potty patch.

Furnace Filters

Changing the filters in your furnace is important to keep the air in your house clean. Filters are rated with a MERV number, and getting at least a MERV rating of 8 or above is recommended. The right filter will help with pet dander and allergens.

Use Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags

Charcoal bags will help to remove dog smell and other household odors. Bamboo Charcoal is activated by changing its structure to increase its surface area. This makes it very porous. More pores mean better absorption. With millions of microscopic pores, Bamboo Charcoal easily traps odor, pollutants, and moisture from the air.