Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in the House

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From the many different pets people choose to keep, dogs are by far the most active and playful ones to have in a home. From running around inside the house to playing in the grass and mud in the backyard; even their daily walks or playtime in the park can leave your dog sweaty and smelly! Obviously, this foul smell starts to take over your home until you do something to get rid of it. This, of course, is in addition to other dog smells that stem from “accidents” on your carpet or floor that also need your attention. All in all, these dog odours make for a very unpleasant home environment and must be addressed sooner rather than later. 

There are a number of things you can do to thoroughly eliminate a bad dog smell in your home. Typically, you should start with the basics before tackling more specific household areas, and addressing other factors that are contributing to the dog smell in your home. To guide you through the process of successfully ridding your house of a dog smell, follow the sequential tips below.

Deep Clean Your Hard Floor
man using red mop to clean hardwood floor

Bad smells, whether they are caused by pet mess or dog body odour, can linger on tiled or other hard flooring. Oftentimes, not even daily sweeping/vacuuming and mopping is enough to get rid of a persistent dog smell because the floor cleaner merely masks the odour temporarily. If you truly want to eliminate dog odour from your hard floor, you need to neutralise the smell with vinegar first. To do this, remove dust, pet hair and other debris from the surface, and then mop with a natural cleaning solution made from water and white vinegar (60:40 ratio). Thereafter, you can give the floor a once over with your regular pet-safe floor cleaning solution. Repeat this deep cleaning method daily for at least a week or until the smell is no longer recurring. 

Vacuum & Deodorise Carpets

woman with green spray bottle of vinegar applying vinegar and baking soda to large gray shag rug

You’ve probably noticed that your carpets tend to absorb bad dog smells more than anything else in the house. If the smell is limited to just normal (yet unpleasant) dog odour, it is fairly simple to get rid of it. On the other hand, dog mess or urine smells on your carpet will require special cleaning methods in order to do away with the bad odour once and for all. For the former, cleaning experts advise daily vacuuming to remove pet hair, dander, and bacteria that fuel the dog smell. You should also take measures to deodorise your carpet which can easily be done with a commercial carpet deodorising product, or a natural alternative such as baking soda. Regardless of which option you choose, for best results, we advise sprinkling a generous amount of the product over the carpet and allowing it to absorb the dog smell for at least six hours or overnight. Thereafter, vacuum the carpet thoroughly and repeat the process if needed.

When dealing with dog poop or pee smell on your carpet, use an appropriate carpet cleaning product to spot treat the area and then apply your chosen deodorising method at least 2 or 3 times to get rid of the dog smell entirely.

Wash/Deep Clean Upholstery

man using steam cleaning to deep clean a gray upholstered couch

If you allow your dogs to sleep on your couch or sofa, the upholstery will eventually start to smell like them. This is true even if you have special dog covers for the couch; the only difference is that it may take a little longer before the dog smell makes its way to the material underneath. The most effective way to remove dog smells from your sofa or couch is by deep cleaning the upholstery. If you have removable cushion covers, start by washing them in hot water (if suitable for the fabric); this helps kill bacteria effectively. For non-removable upholstery, deep clean the cushions with mild soap and water, or a material-specific product that is specially made for cleaning and neutralising odours.

Keep Your House Well-Ventilated

white swaying curtain due to wind next to a large open window

You’d be surprised by how helpful fresh air can be in eliminating foul odours like dog smell from your home. The more ventilation you create inside your house, the more fresh air that circulates, thus pushing out stale or smelly air. Additionally, bringing in more sunlight also helps to kill bacteria in your home, and will aid in getting rid of a lingering dog smell. As you may have guessed, the best way to increase ventilation in your home is by opening up all the windows, running ceiling fans (at least in the rooms that contain the dog smell), and opening the front/back door for a few hours daily (if possible). Installing exhaust fans for your bathrooms and kitchen is also helpful in eliminating bad smells in your home.

Wash Your Dog’s Bed

jack russell terrier licking his paw and lying in a blue coloured dog bed

The bedding your dog sleeps on is prone to sweat, fur, dander, and saliva, all of which mix together and emit a foul odour from the material. Apart from this, it is important to keep your dog’s bed clean and sanitary for the benefit of their own health and hygiene. While some types of dog bedding can be cleaned in a washing machine, others may require hand-washing. If the bed has a removable cover, you can machine-wash it by following the washing instructions on the care tag. 

To clean a dog bed by hand, we advise vacuuming the material thoroughly, inside and out, before scrubbing it with a sponge/soft scrubber and a cleaning solution consisting of warm water and mild (pet-safe) laundry detergent. Be sure to rinse the material thoroughly with either a damp cloth or under running water if the stuffing permits saturation (check the cleaning instructions for this information).

Bathe Your Dog Regularly

man washing his labrador with a chrome shower head

Obviously, the main source of the dog smell in your home is the dog itself! Again, for health and hygiene-related reasons, you must bathe your dog regularly (weekly or once in two weeks) with a vet-approved soap or shampoo to keep their coat and skin healthy. This will also keep bad odour at bay which ultimately solves the problem of dog smell in your house! If your dog has been playing in the mud or gotten dirty after spending time outdoors, bathe him/her immediately to prevent a foul smell from developing. It is also important to inspect their coat and skin routinely for bacterial infections which can lead to bad odour as well. 

There are many responsibilities that come with being a dog owner; it’s not all fun and games, especially when you’re left with a funky smell in the house! Of course, that needn’t discourage you from getting a dog; it merely means having to learn these few easy ways to get rid of dog odour in your home. In addition to the above tips, our regular cleaning service will help you stay on top of things, which will make your home feel and smell better. 

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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