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Loving our pets is easy; dealing with our four-legged friends’ odors isn’t such a walk in the park! While they make for snuggly companions, dogs don’t always make the easiest roommates. They leave their toys spread out for us to trip, on and their fur gets all over our furniture. Sometimes their oh-so-funky smell stays in a room long after they’ve left. So what do we do when our dog’s smell starts to take over the house?
Unfortunately, dogs — puppies especially — may have accidents inside the home. Dogs may also suffer from skin or other conditions, like ear infections, that are a result of smelly bacteria. Many pups just have their own doggy smell, which humans have come to tolerate.
If your dog is especially odiferous, you may want to check with a veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions. You may also want to see if something in your pet’s diet is the culprit. If you’re just wondering how to get rid of regular dog smell, though, there are some tried and true ways to alleviate the stink that seeps into carpets and upholstery.
Once you’ve eliminated the medical possibilities, how do you get rid of dog smell in your home?
Start With A Clean Pup
Bathe your pup regularly, like once a month, with a mild shampoo. In between, you can brush fur and trim nails to help prevent odors from being tracked around the house. You can also give your dog a water-only shower occasionally. Consider washing and drying paws after a day of outdoor play.
Next Tackle The Floors
While a standard broom will do, a quick floor mop or a Swiffer will help keep wood, laminate and tile clean from debris and odor. Regular vacuuming for carpets can work wonders to keep dog hair under control and to pick up any dirt left behind. Use portable upholstery cleaners to clean up larger messes on rugs or couches.
If you don’t have a carpet cleaner, try soaking up the stain with paper towels or rags. Then treat it with vinegar or vodka. Yes, vodka! Both have deodorizing effects after evaporating. Just pour either in a spray bottle and spritz the spot. You can also sprinkle baking soda to absorb odors and then vacuum it up. Pet owners also swear by commercial products like Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Remover.
Freshen Dog Toys
Anything that gets coated in saliva is going to wind up smelling worse than dog breath. Yuck! So here’s another tried-and-true method that will show you how to get rid of dog smell: Simply toss their toys in the laundry or a bucket of hot soapy water. Plush toys do well in the washing machine; just set them out on a rack to air dry. Kongs and other hard rubber toys can get their own sudsy bath. You might want to add a cup of vinegar to the mix for an extra deodorizing effect.
Wash Blankets and Use Furniture Covers
Some dogs obediently stay off furniture, but others like to cozy up on couches, beds and chairs — with or without their owners’ permission. Some owners like to cover sofas with simple blankets, but others opt to install water-resistant sofa covers specifically designed to keep hair, dirt and other pet messes off upholstered items.
Regardless of what blankets or coverings you’re using, though, you’ll want to make sure you wash all fabrics that your pet touches, whether bed sheets or bathroom mats. If you snuggle up to watch a movie but catch a whiff of your dog when he’s not in the room, you know it’s time to run a load. To prevent this from happening, you could wash these sofa covers weekly to get in front of the funk.
Maintaining A Smell-Free Abode
Regularly cleaning spots where Fido likes to hang is a great way to keep on top of odors piling up. When possible, wash dog beds and blankets regularly to get rid of that dog smell. Use air purifiers to get rid of bacteria, keep up with changing the filters on your heating and cooling systems and keep the windows open when possible.
Because smells in your house are hard to detect, it can be difficult to spot them, especially if you’ve gone nose-blind, but guests will notice right away. That’s why if you’re placing your home on the market, it’s a good idea to freshen it up — just in case. You may wish to use a bit of Febreze or place pleasant aromatic things around the house. Please note that scented candles and essential oils can be dangerous to pets, including peppermint, pine, wintergreen, tea tree, ylang ylang and cinnamon.
If you live with a dog (or multiple pets), it’s just not realistic to think it will never get smelly. It just comes with the territory, but a little upkeep can go a long way in keeping a handle on things.