21 Secrets To Keeping My House From Smelling Like Dog (2023)

Does your house smell like dog? If you walked into my home right now, you may wonder who I am to talk about dog smell in a home. I will be the first to admit, since moving into our new country home last June I have been slacking in the cleaning department. At times, our house smells worse than a wet dog.

You see, we bought a tiny, 1960’s fixer-upper house on 5 acres. The house itself is less than perfect, but the land, well… it was our dream come true. We are working on remodeling and adding an addition this summer to make the house more habitable. But in the meantime, I have not been motivated to keep the house clean.

21 Secrets To Keeping My House From Smelling Like Dog (1)

Carpet is NOT a Dog Mom’s Best Friend

The first project we tackled was to remove the red carpeting in the dining/family room because we suspected that was the source of the musty dog smell. We were told there were hardwood oak flooring under the carpet, so we were eager to see beautiful wood under the ugly red carpet… but much to our dismay the solid oak floor was never finished… except with dog pee! Not only did we have to tear up all the carpet, but the oak wood too. It was a sad day, but the wood was damaged beyond repair.

21 Secrets To Keeping My House From Smelling Like Dog (2)

I am clinging to the wonderful comments I got in our last home… “How do you keep your house so clean with so many dogs?” I had several people ask how we keep our house so clean and not smelling like dog. With two dogs of our own and rotating a foster dog in here and there, we have had our share of potty accidents, dog hair, slobber, and vomit… you name it we’ve seen it.

The Secret To Keeping My House From Smelling Like Dog

I don’t have one single secret to a clean house. But a long list of little things I do to keep the dog smell at bay. Saturday morning is my big cleaning day, but you will notice all of the suggestions below can be daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning activities.

It’s also important to note that it may not be just your house, but your dog. Make sure your dog is healthy and does not have a medical reason for smelling bad. I cover health and grooming below, so make sure to keep reading.

FLOORING

Your dog spends most of his time on your floor. It’s a big part of your house, so keeping it clean is going to be key to keeping the wet dog smell away.

Dog smell in the carpet can be hard to get rid of over time. That’s why I recommend ditching the carpet for hardwood floors or tile. I recognize this isn’t a cheap renovation and isn’t an option for renters. So here are several ways to keep your carpet smelling clean and not like a dog:

1. Vacuum at Least Once a Week

Dog hair is a fact of life when you own dogs. We swear by our Dyson Animal vacuum. We had our original one for over 20 years before replacing it last year. And it wasn’t because it stopped working, but because my husband felt it wasn’t at its full potential of the newer model.

I vacuum weekly, but honestly, if I had time, could do it every day and pick up lots of dog hair!

21 Secrets To Keeping My House From Smelling Like Dog (3)

2. Deodorize Carpet Naturally

Skip the toxic carpet deodorizers, simply sprinkle baking soda on your carpet before vacuuming. Baking soda will soak up any odors lingering in the carpet fibers.

Note: test a small hidden area on your carpet before doing your entire house, just in case.

Many of the commercial deodorizers contain harsh chemicals that may harm your dog. Think about it, your dog is walking on your carpets barefoot all day long. And when he licks his paws, he is ingesting whatever is on your floor.

(Video) Smelly House Remedy | How to Get Rid of Pet Odor in House

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3. Mop Tile and Wood Floors

If you are lucky enough to have tile or wood, then it’s as easy as sweeping or vacuuming up the dirt and dog hair. Follow up with a mop and appropriate cleaner.

We have part of our new bamboo wood floors and I love them. I cannot recommend bamboo more. It is the first wood flooring that the dogs have not been able to scratch up! And we’ve had solid oak and engineer solid wood floors in the past.

4. Potty Accidents Happen

If you have a puppy or rescue dog, you most likely experienced a potty accident at least once. Wipe up potty accidents immediately with an enzymatic cleaner such as Natures Miracle. We could not have survived fostering two puppies at the same time, without our Little Green Machine. We used it several times a day!

Recommended Reading: Quick and Easy Steps to To Potty Training

5. Steam Clean the Carpet

Professional clean carpet yearly or steam clean yourself. If you keep your dogs clean (see grooming below), you may not need to clean the carpets yearly, but watch for signs your carpet is looking dingy.

When we are done remodeling our new house, we won’t have any carpet (can’t wait). But all my other houses did have at least some carpet. We had a Bissell carpet cleaner that I used on the occasions that the carpet started looking dirty. Then once every several years I’d call Stanley Steamer to have them professionally cleaned.

6. Use a DoggieLawn

Avoid potty accidents by using DoggieLawn. Hydroponically grown grass designed to work perfectly as an indoor puppy potty, a porch potty for your dog, or outside on your balcony as a fresh potty patch.

FRESH CLEAN AIR

Air quality should be a top priority not only for the smell but for you and your dog’s health.

Before you reach for that can of air freshener spray, plug-in or scented candle, make sure to watch this video by Healthy Pets.

7. Open the Windows

Open the windows any time it is feasible. There is nothing like God-given natural fresh air to get rid of the dog smell. Living in Wisconsin means long winters and short summers, but even in winter, I will open the windows at least once. It may be an old wives’ tale, but I like to think that freezing out the house kills all the germs and bad smells.

8. Furnace Filters

Changing the filters in your furnace is important to keep the air in your house clean. Filters are rated with a MERV number and it is recommended to get at least a MERV rating of 8 or above.

You can read more about choosing the right filter here: The MERV Rating System for Air Filters

The right filter will help with the pet dander and allergens. This is the filter we use.

(Video) How to make your home SMELL GOOD 24/7! | SIMPLE TRICKS TO MAKE YOUR BATHROOM & TOILET SMELL AMAZING!

9. Essential Oils and Your Dog

Do your research on which essential oils are safe to use with dogs. I am not an expert, so I am going to refer you to Essential Oils and Dogs by the Pet Poison Helpline.

I do use an Essential Oil Diffuser in our home. My favorite essential oils are the Edens Garden Sunshine Spice and the Fighting Five.

10. Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bag

Charcoal bags are something new to me and very interesting as they are supposed to help with the dog smell and other household odors. I am ordering these today and will report back after I have a chance to review. If you’ve used these, please let me know your thoughts!

P.S.​ If you want a quick view of all the products I use to keep our house clean and smelling fresh, hop over tomy Amazon wish list.

11. Air Purifier

Many people with allergies and other breathing problems use an air purifier to help them breathe. But an air purifier will also help rid your home of pet dander and other smells. I personally don’t have one but know a few people that swear by them.

12. Add Dog Safe Indoor Air Purifying Plants to Your Home

If you have a green thumb, then adding plants to your home is a great option for keeping the air in your home fresh and healthy.

According to BioAdvanced: Plants remove toxins from air –up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint). Source: https://www.bioadvanced.com/articles/5-benefits-houseplants

Some great plant options include: English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Aloe Vera, Peace Lily, Spider Plant, Mass Cane/Corn Plant. Just remember to keep your dog away from the plants, as many can be poisonous.

Recommended Reading: What Plants are Toxic to Dogs?

21 Secrets To Keeping My House From Smelling Like Dog (4)

FURNITURE and BELONGINGS

If you allow your dog on your furniture, then you need to consider keeping those areas clean too. I love having our dogs on the couch with me while watching TV, it’s our snuggle time. But our couch definitely suffers from it.

13. Cover up the Furniture

No not like grandma’s plastic, although that would work too! We use throw blankets on our couch for the dogs to lay on. This allows me to pick them up and wash them each week. Or if we have an unexpected visitor, it’s much quicker to pull off all the blankets and have a clean couch in seconds.

We are planning on buying new furniture later this year so I want to get these furniture covers for the dogs.

14. Vacuum Furniture Weekly

Dog hair is everywhere in our house, no matter how much I clean it’s always there. So vacuuming the furniture has to be part of my weekly routine. Even with the blankets, hair creeps in spots unimaginable.

15. OdoBan Odor Eliminator and Disinfectant

This one may be a little controversial with those of you that are all-natural warriors. But I love my OdoBan.

I found it when we moved into our last house. The previous owner smoked, and I was searching for something to get rid of the smell. OdoBan is a miracle at removing odors and disinfecting.

(Video) An Easy Trick to Remove Any Odor from Your House

I spray our furniture, area rugs, beds, and use OdoBan in our laundry. It works and works really well.

You can find OdoBan in some Walmart and HomeDepot stores. And even my favorite online pet store, Chewy, sells OdoBan!

Or if you prefer, Amazon also carries OdoBan.

If someone tells me it is toxic for our dogs, I will probably stop using it… so I welcome any scientific research on their ingredient list.

16. Wash Dog Beds and Mats

If your dog has a dog bed or mat, make sure to wash it too. If it’s not washable, maybe it’s time to consider buying washable bedding.

You can also use simple vinegar in your washing machine to help eliminate the odors.

17. Wash the Dog Collar

A dog wears his collar 24/7, it’s going to eventually stink. I recommend washing it when you give your dog a bath. Most dog collars can be thrown into the washing machine too, add it with some towels or their bedding.

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18. Wash Dog Toys

Cleaning your dog’s toys not only will help them smell better but will keep them healthier for your dog too. Simply soak them in soapy water, using Dawn soap, or a vinegar/water solution. Rinse them well and return them to your doggy toy box.

GROOMING YOUR DOG

Make sure your dog is healthy and does not have a medical reason for smelling bad. A dog with allergies, ear infection or other skin problems can give off a foul odor. Take your dog to the vet if you suspect he has a health issue that is causing him to smell bad.

19. Brush Your Dog

Brushing your dog will help keep his coat clean and healthy. Even if your dog has short hair, he can benefit from an occasional grooming session. I recently ordered these grooming gloves and absolutely love them… so does our dog Bear!

When the weather is nice, I will brush the dogs outside which helps keep the dog hair outside and not inside. In the winter months, I will brush them right before I clean the house, that way I am sure to get all the dog hair up right away.

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(Video) Secret To Keep Your Home Smelling Amazing 👌|| DIY Air fresher || HOMEMADE deodorizer

20. Doggy Bad Breath

We’ve all smelled it right? The head-turning bad breath of a dog panting in your face. Bad breath can be a sign of many health issues, so if you are concerned, definitely see your vet.

The most common reason for bad breath in your dog’s mouth is his dental hygiene. Do you regularly brush your dog’s teeth? If we are being honest, I don’t… I can’t seem to get on a consistent schedule and brushing two dogs teeth has proven too much for me.

A few months ago, I decided to try this water additive called Oxyfresh Dog & Cat Oral Hygiene Solution. It’s easy because all you do is add a capful of it in your dog’s water bowl each time you fill it up.

I’ve noticed Bear’s bad breath has disappeared and his teeth are looking cleaner than before using it. It doesn’t remove all the tartar, but it’s an improvement for sure.

21. Wipe Paws at the Door

I will admit, I am terrible at cleaning the dog’s paws before coming inside. But if you think about it, your dogs have just walked through the grass, mud, dog poop, and who knows what else. Then they walk right into your house and track it everywhere.

I did buy these paw wipes and I do use them occasionally. They are strong enough to hold up wiping all four paws, but if they are too muddy, then I go for a bucket of water.

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22. Give Your Dog a Bath

Dogs technically never need a bath, but if you don’t want him to stink, then a bath is in order.

If you can give your dog a bath outside, it will help keep the wet dog smell outside and not inside your house.

Using a Microfiber towel will help dry your dog off quicker and more efficiently.

Grooming wipes are great to use in between baths when you just don’t have time to give your dog a full bath.

During the flea and tick season, I starting using Only Natural Pet’s flea and tick shampoo.

Recommending Reading: 7 Important Dog Bath Tips

What’s Your Best Cleaning Hack for a House that Smells Like Dog?

I am always looking for new and easy ideas to keep our house and dogs smelling fresh, please leave a comment below with your number one tip. It could help others in our community struggling with a house that smells like a wet dog too!

Next on your reading list:

  • Quick and Easy Steps to To Potty Training
  • What Plants are Toxic to Dogs?
  • 7 Important Dog Bath Tips

Get your FREE *Natural RemediesReference Guide*

(Video) Products I Use To Keep My House Smelling CLEAN & FRESH | Pet & Kid Household

FAQs

How do you make your house not smell like you have dogs? ›

How to Keep Your House From Smelling Like a Dog
  1. Keep the surfaces of your house clean.
  2. Choose food that supports their digestive health.
  3. Find a heavy-duty pet odor eliminator.
  4. Give them regular baths.
  5. Invest in an air purifier.
11 Feb 2022

How do you keep a dog smelling good in the house? ›

5 Ways to make your dog smell better:
  1. Feed a high-quality diet.
  2. Keep up with grooming.
  3. Wash bedding regularly.
  4. Don't forget to brush your (dog's) teeth!
  5. Checkup at the vet.
30 Nov 2021

How can I hide my pet smell? ›

How to Cover Up Pet Smells in Your Home
  1. Vacuum everything. ...
  2. Steam your carpets and mop your floors. ...
  3. Use all-natural odor busters. ...
  4. Launder your linens. ...
  5. Wash the pet beds. ...
  6. Get the air flowing. ...
  7. Treat stains as soon as they happen. ...
  8. Bring in some good fragrances.
18 Nov 2020

Why do houses smell like dog? ›

They don't have watery, dripping sweat as humans do. Yet, they do sweat in their paws and through their fur, which has an odor to it. Dogs can then track this smell through the house by walking about or rolling on the carpet. This leads to your home smelling like wet dog.

How do I get rid of dog smell without bath? ›

Here are some top tips to make your dog smell fresher for longer:
  1. Remove dirt with regular brushing. ...
  2. Wash muddy paws after walks. ...
  3. Keep bedding clean and fresh. ...
  4. Clean the coat with dry shampoo. ...
  5. Eliminate odours with deodorising spray. ...
  6. Freshen up with dog perfume. ...
  7. Maintain healthy ears with ear cleaner.
23 Jul 2021

How do I keep my house from smelling like dog Reddit? ›

Here's what I do:
  1. Cover all couches with a comforter I thrifted and wash at least once every other week - aiming especially to get it done before people come over. ...
  2. Give the dog clean dog bedding once a week (thrifted comforters I rotate)
  3. Clean up any accidents immediately (because gross)
28 Apr 2022

Will an air purifier help with dog smell? ›

HEPA air purifiers can remove pet smells, allergens, pet dander, and other harmful substances from the air that can affect your health and the odor inside of your home.

How do you make homemade dog deodorizer? ›

Fill an empty spray bottle with 2 cups distilled water. Add 2 tablespoons glycerin, 1 tablespoon fractioned coconut oil, 15 drops lavender, and 15 drops orange essential oil to the spray bottle. Shake well to combine the ingredients.

What scents cover dog smell? ›

While any scented candle can help mask bad smells, some scents do a better job than others. In particular, we found lavender, ginger, and cedarwood to be great choices. Some candles for pet odor contain specific enzymes designed to neutralize bad odors.

How do you mask the smell of a dog? ›

Liberally sprinkling baking soda, a natural odor eliminator, on your furniture or carpet and allowing it to sit overnight is a great first step to neutralize dog smells. Plus, it's completely safe for your fur baby. Another option is to look to your bar cart. Reichert advises spraying areas where dogs lie with vodka.

How long does pet odor last? ›

How long does dog pee smell last? Left untreated, urine takes up to five years to off-gas on it's own. The longer dog pee or cat urine sits in a carpet the worse the problem becomes.

What material can dogs not smell through? ›

Although man's best friend tends to have a pretty incredible ability to sniff things out, dogs cannot smell though airtight, vacuum sealed containers. Pups can smell under things, around things, into things and even things underwater.

Does baking soda get dog smell out of carpet? ›

An all-natural odor neutralizer, baking soda helps remove pet odors from carpeting. Sprinkle a liberal amount on the affected area and let it sit overnight to do its magic. Thoroughly vacuum to remove.

How often is too often to wash your dog? ›

Generally speaking, a healthy dog with a short, smooth coat and no skin problems doesn't need to be bathed often. In most cases, dog baths are more for the benefit of their pet parents than for the dogs themselves. Even so, it's a good idea to bathe your pooch at least once every two to three months.

What is in angry orange? ›

Angry Orange uses orange oil to take on tough odors. Unlike other cleaning products, there's no toxic stink! Just the fresh scent of orange.

What gets rid of the smell of dog urine? ›

In a clean spray bottle, mix one cup of distilled white vinegar with one cup of water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Shake it up to mix the ingredients, and then spray on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot with towels until clean.

How do I get dog smell out of my couch Reddit? ›

I did baking soda in water and about 10 drops of lavender essential oil in, and I sprayed enough that the cushions were damp with it - I almost used the whole bottle. I ended up using a cloth soaked in the last bit to scrub the smelliest areas too. Once they'd fully dried, the smell was gone!

Which air purifier is best for pet odors? ›

Our Best Air Purifiers for Pets Rating
  • #1 Coway Airmega AP-1512HH.
  • #2 Levoit Core 400S.
  • #3 Coway Airmega 200M.
  • #4 Winix 5500-2.
  • #5 Coway Airmega 400. #5 Honeywell HPA300.
16 Sept 2022

Will a dehumidifier get rid of dog smell? ›

Fight Pet Allergins

By removing the excess moisture in a room, a dehumidifier can help keep allergens and bacteria that strive in moist environments at bay. It eliminates pet odor that causes pet dander which is another contributing factor to allergies.

What is the best air purifier for odors? ›

Our Top Air Purifier Picks
  • Best Overall: Blueair Blue 311 Auto Air Purifier.
  • Best Budget: LEVOIT LV-H132 HEPA Filter Air Purifier.
  • Best for Small Rooms: Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier.
  • Best for Odor: Alen FLEX Air Purifier for Dust, Mold and Pet Odors.
  • Best for Large Spaces: LEVOIT LV-PUR131 HEPA Filter Air Purifier.
12 Oct 2022

Is there a spray for smelly dogs? ›

Chi for Dogs Deodorizing Spray keeps your dog's coat smelling its very best. This spray deodorizes and neutralizes odors while nourishing your dog's coat at the same time. What a simple and easy way to make certain your dog smells fresh and clean.

Is baking soda and vinegar safe for dogs? ›

While it is never a good idea to feed your dogs baking soda, accidental ingestion of small amounts should prove harmless. However, as with all things, it can get toxic if they consume large quantities.

Will baking soda make my dog smell better? ›

Many pet shampoos contain baking soda which helps eliminate odors. However, you can make your own shampoo by mixing three tablespoons baking soda with one quart warm water.” Wash your dog with the solution and massage it into his coat. Give the baking soda a few minutes to neutralize odors.

How do you get rid of dog smell in the air? ›

The Most Effective Ways to Get Rid of Pet Odor
  1. Professional Carpet Cleaning Service. There's no beating the heavy-duty cleaning that a professional service offers. ...
  2. Enzymatic Cleaner. ...
  3. Baking Soda. ...
  4. Vinegar. ...
  5. Citrus and Hydrogen Peroxide Mix. ...
  6. HEPA Filter. ...
  7. Sunlight and Fresh Air.
21 Jan 2020

Do air purifiers help with pet odor? ›

HEPA air purifiers can remove pet smells, allergens, pet dander, and other harmful substances from the air that can affect your health and the odor inside of your home.

How do I keep my house from smelling like dog Reddit? ›

Here's what I do:
  1. Cover all couches with a comforter I thrifted and wash at least once every other week - aiming especially to get it done before people come over. ...
  2. Give the dog clean dog bedding once a week (thrifted comforters I rotate)
  3. Clean up any accidents immediately (because gross)
28 Apr 2022

How do I get rid of dog smell in my house Reddit? ›

You should be able to get something from the pet store. Quick solution for carpets is to vacuum multiple times to remove excess dirt and hair that causes the smells to be trapped in the fibres. Then spray with fabreeze or Glen20 to get rid of some of the bacteria that cause the smell.

What is the best deodorizer for dog smell? ›

  • Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator Spray.
  • Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Professional Strength Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator.
  • Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder.
  • Nature's Miracle Dog Stain & Odor Remover Spray.
  • Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag.
11 Oct 2022

Does Febreze get rid of dog smell? ›

Febreze FABRIC cleans away odors embedded in fabrics and other soft surfaces, leaving a light, fresh scent. Spray fabric until slightly damp to eliminate odors. The fine mist works deep in fabrics, cleaning them of common odors such as pet smells, smoke, and body odors, helping to freshen the entire room.

Does vinegar neutralize pet odors? ›

Because the vinegar is acidic, it will neutralize the bacteria in the dog pee, offsetting its odor. Vinegar is pet safe, effective, cheap, and eco friendly. Let the vinegar solution sit for 3-5 minutes or carefully follow the instructions on the cleaning product's label.

Will a dehumidifier get rid of dog smell? ›

Fight Pet Allergins

By removing the excess moisture in a room, a dehumidifier can help keep allergens and bacteria that strive in moist environments at bay. It eliminates pet odor that causes pet dander which is another contributing factor to allergies.

Should I get an air purifier if I have a dog? ›

If you have furry pets, you know that shedding leads to pet hair on everything. Even people without allergies can sneeze and feel itchy because of pet hair. With proper maintenance of your pet's shedding and the addition of an air purifier, you can lessen the impact of pet hair in your home.

Where should I place my air purifier? ›

The best place to put an air purifier is somewhere in your breathing zone. The closer the unit is to your head, the shorter distance clean air has to travel before it reaches you. In the bedroom, this usually translates to putting the air purifier on a nightstand or small table close to the bed.

How do I get dog smell out of my couch Reddit? ›

I did baking soda in water and about 10 drops of lavender essential oil in, and I sprayed enough that the cushions were damp with it - I almost used the whole bottle. I ended up using a cloth soaked in the last bit to scrub the smelliest areas too. Once they'd fully dried, the smell was gone!

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