14 Ways To Get Rid Of The Dog Smell In Your House Once And For All

14 tips to remove that dog smell from various surfaces without damaging them, or your dog’s ego.

Does your house smell like a kennel? Would you even know if it did? You’re probably used to that dog smell, so you need to outsource an olfactory second opinion.

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If the verdict is yes, it’s time for a deep clean. Those puppy selfies of you guys snuggling in bed and on the couch are adorable, but that pooch perfume seeping into your upholstery isn’t so cute.

Why do our precious dogs smell so bad?

Your dog is undeniably proud of its scent. It’s their identity, their mark on the world. Think about that stinky hot dog breath, saliva on everything from their toys and bed to your face and neck. Dogs have oily skin and waxy ear build-up, just like humans. And did you know they sweat through their feet? That’s a lot of dog body odor to contend with.

How to get rid of dog smell in your house

Fortunately for you, there are a ton of ways to get rid of that dog smell in your house. We won’t lie to you: Depending on how bad the smell is, you may have a lot of work cut out for you. Reference our deep cleaning guide below for the best practices to freshen up your puppy palace.

  • Vacuum everything, repeat. Repeat again. Hair, dirt, and dander require that your sweep, mop, vacuum, repeat. You need to be doing this routine regularly. Like, probably more often than you think you should be. And vacuum everything: carpets, curtains, furniture, rugs, floors. Be sure you’re cleaning and changing your vacuum filter often, as well. Then vacuum some more. We know your dog hates the vacuum, but it’s a basic and essential chore to keep your house from being overrun by fur and such.
  • Invest in Swiffer pet-specific cleaning tools. Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet products are a total lifesaver. Not only can the Swiffer Pet Heavy Duty Duster extend to reach those awkward places where hair might be hiding (think: ceiling fans), but its special fibers trap and lock in dust and allergens (think common inanimate allergens from dog dander and dust mite matter – yuck).
  • Call a professional. Steam clean your carpets with pet-friendly chemicals or hire a service to do so. Be warned that sometimes the change of carpet odor may actually confuse your pup, resulting in an unproductive marking of territory all over again. It’s a vicious cycle, but hey. That doggo is your bestie, so you’ll deal.
  • Simply sweep. Sweep your floors with Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet Dry Sweeping Cloths, which are perfect for quickly sweeping without having to mess with a dustbin. The dog hair sticks directly to the disposable cloths, which you can then remove and toss straight in the trash when you’re done.
  • Better yet, mop. Mop finished floors with Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet Wet Mopping Cloths, which will save you the trouble of having to haul out buckets of water and detergent. The wet mopping cloths are also disposable, leaving your floors hairless and your hands-free when you’re done.
  • Neutralize smelly furniture. Deep clean upholstered furniture by washing all removable covers in the laundry, scrubbing any curious mystery stains with baking soda. You think dogs are a man’s best friend, but it’s actually baking soda. Baking soda is odorless but absorbs other odors — making it the perfect deodorizer. If your furniture doesn’t have removable covers, you can use a soft-bristled brush to dust hair and dander off before wiping it with a damp cloth. Leather furniture can be wiped with a mixture of vinegar and water, but be careful not to oversaturate the fabric.
  • Better yet, neutralize smelly everything. For further deodorizing, you can whip up a little cocktail of vinegar and baking soda to spray on fabrics such as curtains, carpets, or even the dog’s bed. Don’t be afraid to add a pinch of apple cider vinegar to your laundry detergent when washing bedding, linens, duvets, slipcovers, or towels.
  • Speaking of the dog’s bed... Wash it. It’s the epicenter of the dirt, saliva, urine, dander, and hair situation that’s probably causing that musty dog smell. If your dog’s bed isn’t washable and you suspect it stinks, time for a new one. You can also treat the clean bed with stain repellent to ward off future dog smells, although that’s a short term solution.
  • Get some air. Air out your house by opening all of the windows and doors (but don’t accidentally let the dog out!)
  • Filters work best when they’re clean. Try changing the air filters in your home’s heating and cooling systems to maximize the airflow and circulation. Stagnant air can be stinky air.
  • Invest in an air purifier. This may help to reduce odor issues by killing the bacteria and fungi in the air.
  • Bust out the blacklight. Go full Scooby-Doo on the situation and use a blacklight to identify isolated problem areas. Former urine stains will often glow yellow or green. Use a neutralizing agent directly on those spots (vinegar, baking soda, etc.). If a baseboard or lower wall urine stain is really persistent, you can try painting over it with odor sealing paint.
  • Fill your house with fresh-smelling things. If all else fails — which it shouldn’t — purchase an essential oil diffuser, scented candles or fresh flowers to combat the dog smell, or at least offset it with a more pleasant flavor. Hey, buy flowers anyway. Because who doesn’t love flowers?
  • Freshen up with Febreze. For additional freshness, hit the spots with some Febreze FABRIC Pet Odor Fighter or spray some Febreze AIR Heavy Duty Pet Odor Fighter in your dog’s corner of the room (but not directly onto the dog!) and enjoy that “just cleaned” scent.

Once you’ve gone through this extensive checklist, your home should be smelling super fresh - or ideally not smelling like anything at all. (Oh, and don’t tell your dog that thing we said about baking soda being your best friend back when it was still stinky!)

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