11 Ways to Get Rid of Bad Dog Smell in Your Home

by Team HomeServe
Pet dog sits in a mask and looks at camera on the stairs in home  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  Close-up photo  The safety of family members

Getting Rid of Dog Smell at a Glance

1. Keep dog clean

2. Vacuum regularly

3. Sweep and mop floors

4. Clean up accidents

5. Wash dog’s bed

6. Install air filters and purifiers

7. Use deodorizers

8. Rent steam cleaner

9. Wash linens

10. Shampoo couch

11. Hire a pro

Owning a dog and having a clean-smelling house: These two things seem to be mutually exclusive. Your canine companion often comes with a lingering aroma that isn't perfectly pleasant. And all that dander and fur he leaves on your furniture doesn't help. But having a furry friend doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the scent of your home.

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Check out the tips below to learn how to get the dog smell out of your house.

1. Keep Your Dog Clean

Why does your dog stink? Sometimes, dogs just smell bad. Most of the time, they smell because they're dirty or sweaty. Keeping them clean can help reduce some of the odor they bring into your home and track onto couches, beds and carpets. Make sure your dog is bathed and groomed regularly. He doesn't need a bath every night, but if it's been a while, you might want to give him a dunk. Regular brushing and good doggy dental care can also help reduce unwanted pup odors.

2. Vacuum Regularly

Carpets tend to trap pet hair and dander, which can contribute to odors in your home. The same is true for upholstered furniture such as sofas. Vacuuming regularly helps keep these particles out of your home, which can lead to reduced pet smells.

Consider purchasing a vacuum with pet-specific attachments meant to pull up more of the fur and dander. Any vacuum will work, but those designed for homes with pets tend to make it easier to get the job done.

3. Sweep and Mop Floors Regularly

It’s not just carpet that can be an odor trap. Pet hair and dander often sit on wood, tile or linoleum. Residue from your dog's fur may also sit on those areas. Plus, there's no telling what your dog might be tracking around on her paws. Accidents need further cleaning beyond drying them up. Sweeping and mopping your floors regularly takes care of a lot of these issues.

4. Clean Up Accidents Immediately

If you're looking for information on how to remove odor from carpets, it's likely because your pup had an accident at some point. Whenever possible, clean up accidents immediately. Otherwise, the chemicals and their odors can embed themselves deep into the layers of your carpet, couch or other fabric surfaces.

Once urine has reached the interior padding of carpet or upholstery, for example, it's so much harder to remove. If your whole house smells like dog urine, the epicenter may just be one or two spots where an accident was left to linger.

5. Wash Your Dog's Bed

If the source of the smell is the place where your pup likes to rest, this might explain why your dog smells so bad. You wash your own bedding on a regular basis, so bring that habit to the cushion, pet bed or blanket your dog sleeps on. Toss them in the washer on a regular basis to help keep odors in check. You can also spot-clean them after an accident.

6. Install Pet-Friendly Air Filters and Purifiers

Keeping dander and other particles out of the air can improve the smell in your home. Do some research to find pet-friendly air filters for your HVAC system. Changing your air filters more regularly may also help. You might also consider purchasing an air purifier for certain rooms where your dog spends a lot of time.

7. Use Natural Deodorizers

You might already use baking soda to neutralize odors in your fridge. You can put this household staple to work on your furniture and floors, too. First, use a rag or brush to clean up any areas that are soiled. Sprinkle the carpet or furniture liberally with baking soda. Then, let the area sit for several minutes with the baking soda in place. You may want to do this when no one — including your pets — will be using the space. Vacuum up the baking soda when you’re done.

You can also make your own deodorizing spray. Mix 2 cups of white vinegar with 5 tablespoons of baking soda. Add the fizzy mixture to a spray bottle, then top it off with water. Use your homemade mixture as a spot cleaner for stinkier areas. Spray it on and leave it for a few minutes before patting it dry.

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8. Rent a Steam Cleaner

If you've got especially stubborn pet stains or odors, you might want to consider renting a steam cleaner. Typically, you can find them at hardware stores. Use it on your carpets and upholstered furniture as appropriate.

Compared to vacuuming or spot-cleaning, steam cleaners can penetrate the lower levels of carpet and other items for a deeper clean that removes dander, hair and odor-causing bacteria.

9. Wash Linens

Dog odors aren't always in your carpet or couch, though. They could be lingering in linens and other fabrics, including pillow coverings, curtains and tablecloths. Periodically pull all these items down and put them through the wash to remove buildup and odors.

10. Shampoo Your Couch

You don't need a steam cleaner to give your couch a good scrub. If you know that a piece of your furniture is the culprit when it comes to pet odor, consider shampooing it. Purchase an upholstery shampoo appropriate for your pieces. Look for one that says it helps eliminate pet odors.

11. Pay a Professional

If you've tried everything and still can't figure out how to get rid of dog smells in your home, it might be time to call in a cleaning professional. They may be able to attack the smell with even stronger methods and industrial equipment.

Since we’re all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.