Smelly dog with Owner holding his nose
Pet Health

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in Your House: 10+ Easy Tips

In our society, it’s common for individuals to enjoy spending quality time snuggling with their dogs. Today, they happily cozy up with us in bed, sharing tender moments while we relax in front of the television. They accompany us on long car rides and are even part of our outings to our favorite restaurants.

Of course, this also means that our furnishings can soon hold the distinct dog smell, which even the most avid pet lovers can struggle with. No one wants their house to always smell like it needs a good wash, especially when guests are coming over.

So, how do you get rid of dog smell in your house? First, try to free your house of pet hair—check out our guide on the best vacuums for dog hair or robot vacuums. Once you’ve tackled the hair, you can start removing pet odor in your house. To find the best strategy, we must ask an important question: what makes dogs smell?

Dog and Owner laying on the bed

Why Do Dogs Smell?

The reason dogs smell more than other household pets is that the areas that create their distinct odor are larger. These include the regions around their nose, paw pads, and ears.
That said, there are three main reasons why healthy dogs smell:

  • Sweat: Like human beings, dogs sweat when they’re hot. However, they 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 Get Rid of Dog Smell From the Floor?

To remove pet odor from your floors, especially if your dog frequently comes inside from the yard onto tiled or linoleum kitchen floors, consider more than just brushing. While brushing may remove hairs and mud, it won’t eliminate the odor.

Use a premium direct-to-floor cleaner and follow the product instructions carefully. These cleaners are easy to use, dry quickly, and are safe for homes with pets. Additionally, thoroughly clean your home to remove dirt, bacteria, and germs that may have been transferred from the garden.

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell From Your Couch?

When it comes to removing pet odor from your couch, several solutions can 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.

  • Compatibility: Ensure the fabric is compatible before using baking soda on any of your furnishings. It usually doesn’t hurt or stain rug or furniture fabrics, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sprinkle a little baking soda in an inconspicuous corner of the room before vacuuming and wiping it clean.
  • Usage for Urine: 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 it in the area where your dog sleeps.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Using apple cider vinegar in your wash can go a long way in helping eradicate pet odors.

  • Laundry Use: Whether you are washing laundry, your bedding, or a towel you just used to dry your wet dog, add a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar to the regular detergent. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, plain white vinegar works just as well, though it doesn’t smell as nice.

Odor and Fabric Neutralizing Spray

This remedy is effective because it doesn’t have any smell but does a great job of eliminating pet odors.

  • DIY Neutralizing Spray: To make your own 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 a fresh state.

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.

  • Usage for Urine: Dogs tend to pee in the same place over and over again because they can smell their original scent. Using a neutralizer reduces the chances of your pup urinating in the same spot, thus eliminating the odor for good. Remove any traces of urine from the area, then apply the neutralizer on the couch. 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. Use a quality, pet-specific neutralizer for optimum results.

Others Tips for Getting Rid of Dog Smell in the House


Installing a HEPA filter, as well as changing the A/C and furnace filters, can help eradicate pet odors in your home. HEPA filters generally cost about $100, but prices can increase to thousands of dollars depending on the capabilities and size needed.
A small purification system should suffice for removing odors from several rooms. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep it working properly. Changing or cleaning your filters at least once a month not only helps eliminate bad smells but also increases the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Regular House Cleaning

Start by sanitizing your dog’s dishes just like you do for family dishes. Ensure your dog’s water bowl is always clean and filled with fresh water. Clean your pup’s toys in the washing machine, if they are machine-washable. Check for tears that could let squeakers or stuffing into the washing machine and discard ripped toys to avoid choking hazards.
If the toys aren’t machine-washable, clean them gently with waterless pet soap. Regularly clean the areas in your home where your dog loves to hang out or sleep with an appropriate surface wash. Check these areas for odors at least once a week and clean them if necessary.

Treat Dog’s Oral Hygiene

Bad dog breath can make your whole house smell. Start an oral hygiene regimen by brushing your dog’s teeth at least once or twice daily. At a minimum, brush your dog’s teeth twice a week.
Invest in special dog breath treats that dogs love and work great to reduce bad breath. Consult your vet before giving your dog anything to ensure there are no serious issues like periodontal disease.

Maintain a Healthy Dog Diet

Your dog’s health is directly correlated to what they eat – just like humans! A poor diet can result in bad smells. Consult a professional about the best diet for your pup. Stop feeding your pet unhealthy food to ensure they remain healthy and smell pleasant. Owner Feeding Their Dog

Anal Gland Care

The anal glands secrete a nasty-smelling substance along with feces. If these glands become excessively full and don’t discharge properly, it can result in serious dog odor. This problem may require professional help.
Ear infections can also lead to dog odors. Consult a professional veterinarian to effectively express the anal glands and treat any infections that may be causing a bad smell.

Final Thoughts

Being a dog owner also means dealing with dog smells. 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.