How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in Your House in 10 Easy Steps

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in Your House in 10 Easy Steps

We live in a world where most people love cuddling with their pets. Gone are the days when dogs were nothing more than just working companions. Today, they snuggle with us in bed (even though we might get them the best dog beds) and cuddle together when we watch TV. They go on long trips in the car with us, or even out to dinner at our favorite restaurants.

Of course this also means, our furnishings will soon hold the distinct dog smell that even the most avid lovers of pets have troubles with. No one wants their house to always smell like it needs a good wash, especially if you’re having guests around.

So how do you get rid of dog smell in your house?
Well, first of all, you should try to free your house of their hair – check out our guide on the best vacuums for dog hair or robot vacuums. Once you have done that, you can start removing pet odor in your house. However, in order to find the best strategy, we must ask an important question: what makes dogs smell?

Why do dogs smell?

The reason why dogs smell more than other household pets is that the parts that create a dogs distinct odor are bigger than those of other pets. Such include areas around the nose, paw pads and the ears.

That said, there are three main reasons why healthy dogs smell:

  • Sweat: Like human beings, dogs sweat when they’re hot. They, however, sweat only in areas that aren’t covered in fur, with the paw pads being the largest area. As your pup’s paws sweat, he will spread it all over the floor, carpets, sofas, bed or anything he stands on.
  • Scent marking: If you thought dogs only mark their territory when they pee, think again. They always produce odors to let other dogs know that they are around. The scent marking smell is the classic dog odor and can be spread to the whole house.
  • Waxy ears: There are plenty of sebaceous glands in dog’s ears that produce high levels of wax. This creates a great breeding ground for micro-organisms, which don’t necessarily cause harm to your pup but stink plenty.

See also this video to learn more about dog smell:

How to remove pet odor from your floors

If your dog comes from the yard onto the tiled or linoleum kitchen floor, this could explain the reason for dog smell in your home. Simply brushing the floors may remove the hairs and mud, but it certainly won’t get rid of the stink.

Consider wiping the floor with a premium direct-to-floor cleaner, and be sure to follow the product instructions. Such cleaners are easy to use, dry quickly and are safe for homes with pets. You can also opt to thoroughly clean your home to remove dirt as well as bacteria and germs that may have been transferred from the garden.

How to remove dog odor from your furnishings

When it comes to removing pet odor from your furnishings, there are several solutions that will prove effective. It’s important to note that what works for your couch may not work for your bedding or carpets.

Baking soda

A natural odor absorber, baking soda is a pet owner’s best friend for removing dog smells from the house. In addition to being used as a natural air freshener, baking soda can also be used for removing odors from litter boxes, furniture, and fabrics.

However, it is important to make sure that the fabric is compatible before using it on any of your furnishings. It usually doesn’t hurt or stain rug or furniture fabrics, but better safe than sorry. Simply sprinkle a little baking soda in an inconspicuous corner of the room before vacuuming and wiping it clean.

If your pup pees, soak up the urine with a towel and sprinkle baking soda over the wet area. Allow it to dry, pat the area with a clean towel then vacuum once the area has dried completely. Another way to use baking soda to remove dog smell is to sprinkle the area where he sleeps.

Apple cider vinegar

Using apple cider vinegar in your wash can go a long way in helping eradicate pet odors. Whether you are washing laundry, your bedding or a towel you just used to dry your wet dog; add a quarter cup of apple cedar vinegar to the regular detergent. Don’t worry if you don’t have the apple stuff as plain white vinegar works just as great. It just won’t smell as nice.

Odor and fabric neutralizing spray

The best thing about this remedy is that it doesn’t have any smell, but does a great job of eliminating pet odors. To make your own neutralizing spray, place one tablespoon of white vinegar and one teaspoon of baking soda into a spray bottle with a fine mist. Add two cups of water after the foaming stops and shake well. Spray the air and any other water-safe furnishings in the house to get rid of dog smell and return them to smelling fresh again.

Neutralizing odor remover

While scented candles can help mask odors, the only effective solution is to get rid of the pet odor once and for all.

Being animals, dog tend to pee in the same place over and over again because they can smell their original scent. Using a neutralizer or ionizer reduces the chances of your pup urinating in the same spot, thus eliminating the odor for good.

Simply remove any traces of urine from the area then dump the ionizer or neutralizer on the furnishings. Consider using an extractor or wet vacuum to remove any traces of urine. Be sure to check underneath the carpet as urine permeates to the material or pad underneath. You want to ensure that you use a quality, pet specific neutralizer for optimum results.


Installing a HEPA filter, as well as changing the A/C and furnace filters can go a long way in helping eradicate pet odors in your home. HEPA filters generally cost about $100, but the price range can increase to thousands of dollars depending on the capabilities and size you need.

A small purification system should be enough to remove odors from several rooms and regular maintenance may be necessary to keep it working properly. Changing or cleaning your filters at least once every monthly will not only help eradicate bad smell, but it will also increase the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Clean up the house​

Start by sanitizing your dog’s dishes the same way you do for family dishes. Always ensure that your dog’s water bowl is clean and filled with fresh drinking water.

The next step is to clean your pup’s toys in the washing machine, or at least the ones that can be machine-washed. Be sure to look for tears in the toys that could let squeakers or stuffing into the washing machine. Discard ripped toys as they could be a choking hazard. If they aren’t machine-washable, clean the toys gently with waterless pet soap.

There are also those areas in your home where your dog loves to hang out or to sleep. Such areas should be cleaned thoroughly with surface appropriate wash regularly. Check them for odors at least once a week and clean them if you don’t like what you find.

Treat dog breath

If it is bad enough, your dog’s breath can make your pup and the whole house reek. The good news is that there are several things you can do to treat this kind of odor. The most important thing is to start an oral hygiene regimen. This means brushing his teeth at least once or twice daily.

At the very least, make sure you brush your dog’s teeth twice a week. You can also invest in special dog breath treats. Dogs love these and they work great. This makes treats one of the easiest ways to get rid of bad dog breath. Before giving your dog anything however, it’s important that you take him to the vet to ensure that nothing serious like periodontal disease is affecting him.

A healthy diet helps

It is no secret that your dog’s health is directly correlated to what he eats. Lack of a good diet means that he may not be as healthy as he should be; something that may manifest in the form of bad smell. Imagine how you would smell if you ate nothing else other than fast food burgers. So stop feeding your pet unhealthy food and talk to a professional about what’s best for your pup.

The anal glands

These glands are found in the anal area and secrete a nasty smelling substance along with feces. If the anal glands are allowed to become excessively full and don’t discharge properly, what you get is serious dog odor.

This is a problem that you may not be able to get rid of on your own. Ear infections can also lead to dog odors. Whichever the case; consult a professional veterinarian. They will effectively express the anal glands and make sure to treat any infections that may be causing a bad smell.

Being a dog owner also means that you are dog smell owner. And while that is unavoidable, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep your head down and live in a smelly home. That won’t end well for someone who loves being in the company of other people. That said, implementing the above solutions will help you eradicate dog smell from your home.

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1 thought on “How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in Your House in 10 Easy Steps”

  1. It’s very true that Gone are the days when dogs were nothing more than just working companions. Today, they snuggle with us in bed, cuddle with us when we watch TV, go on long trips in the car, and even out to dinner at our favorite restaurants. Very informative post helped a lot.


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