Cleaning Guides

How to get rid of dog smell from your house

You’re a doggy parent and simply adore your furry pal. And you’re probably so used to everything that comes with having a dog at home, good and bad. Seeing hairs everywhere around the house? Don’t mind running a pet hair remover over your clothes every time you are about to go out?
You’ve also accepted that pet accidents are now part of your life and just deal with those when needed. But what about that strong dog smell that hits you every time you get into your home? Ahh, you’re so used to that, too, we know. And if a friend unwittingly decides to make a remark about it, you only need to give them that look. Conversation over. Well, you’d rather “unfriend” them than accept the reality.

But see, things can go complicated if you’re moving out soon and need to eliminate that funky dog smell before handing the keys over to your landlord. Or worse! Say, this is your house and you’re about to put it on the market. Then, forget any hopes of selling it fast if the place stinks of a dog.

So, if you:

  • want to know how to remove strong dog odours at the end of your tenancy, so you can get your deposit back;
  • are selling up and wish to improve your chances of signing a deal fast;
  • are interested in how to prevent your home from smelling like your pooch;

Then, this post is for you.

Table of Contents:

Why your dog has a strong odour

Some dog breeds are “smellier” than others like pugs, beagles, bloodhounds and bulldogs, whereas certain dog types just don’t have such an odour problem (poodles, huskies, schnauzers, dalmatians, etc.). The reasons behind the strong dog aroma that your pet emits could be natural or health problem related, of course. From pet dander, natural skin oil secretion, sweat, bacterial infections, bad breath, teeth problems, an ear infection to lack of regular pet grooming, dietary issues and pet marking misbehaviour, your canine friend is a living being that is basically not shy from producing smells.

Of course, you can research a bit more about your particular dog if it belongs to a special breed, in order to find out how to reduce bad odour problems after ruling out or addressing possible health issues. And then, you can get down to work and do your best to eliminate the lingering smell from your home by following the advice below.

How to remove dog smells for good

No matter if you need to get rid of the dog smell to fulfil a requirement of your landlord or you just want to keep your home smelling nice and fresh at all times, the tips below can help you out.

Take care of your dog

As we’ve noted earlier, it’s a good idea to identify any possible health issues with your dog by visiting your vet first. Allergies, skin infections, misaligned teeth that lead to plaque accumulation and bad breath, ear buildup, inappropriate diet and so on can be all the culprits behind the lingering dog odour that fills up your home.
Then, naturally, consider giving your dog a bath and dry well its fur and skin. We all know about the “woolly” smell of a wet dog that has been running under the rain or had a joyful swim in the nearest pond. So, always dry your pet properly (just a towel won’t do) by using a hairdryer or leaving your dog for a bit in the garden on a sunny warm day. Long-haired dogs need a good brush, too, before they go on and start shedding their hairs around the house.

Locate odour traps

If your doggy is allowed everywhere in the house, then you’ve got a job on your hands removing all traces that generate that specific smell. To start with, you need to investigate and locate possible odour traps, the origin of which may have been long forgotten. An old pet accident stains on the carpet? “Marked-up” trim work or stained corner of a wall? Even neutered animals occasionally urine-mark vertical surfaces sometimes. Equip yourself with a blacklight, Gordon Ramsey style, and locate old smelly stains. Make a mental note of those or mark them with tape and then remove the spots with a good enzyme cleaner. This task might be a quickie or rather overwhelming ordeal, especially if you’re dealing with drooling stains left by your old Saint Bernard anywhere and everywhere in the house.

Vacuum your house properly

Even if you have a short-haired type of dog that doesn’t really shed its fur a lot, give your entire place a good vacuuming. A powerful vacuum cleaner will pick up all sorts of microscopic organic matter (pet dander) that has “dropped” from your dog on various surfaces along with any hairs. You should vacuum hard floors, soft furnishing, sofa cushions, curtains, mats, rugs, carpets and hard to reach places under pieces of furniture. Don’t forget to open the windows and air the place well during and after the cleaning.

Wash hard floors well

Use a good floor cleaner to deep wash all hard floor surfaces. Try to go for an effective non-toxic detergent that is proven to be harmless to pets. You can add a drop of lavender essential oil to boost your bad-odour removing efforts. We strongly recommend avoiding experimenting with any other types of essential oils just to be on the safe side, as there are quite a few that are toxic to dogs and cats. And those, which are deemed safe, may also cause problems to sensitive or allergic animals. Lavender oil, however, if well-diluted, cannot harm your furry mate.

Deep clean carpeting, curtains and soft furniture

After cleaning old stains on upholstered items and carpeting with either natural solutions like white vinegar, baking soda or an enzyme cleaner, deep clean those with a steam cleaner or get a professional with a hot water extraction machine to do the job for you. Washable cushion covers and curtains can go in your washer, of course.
Always check the label of fabrics and rugs, and dry clean them if there’s even the slightest risk of ruining them by using a wet cleaning method.
Also, you may not allow your pet on beds and in certain rooms, but do wash linen and throw-overs, as well. Dogs can be clever little rascals when out of sight and you simply can’t be sure what they get up to when you’re out at work.

Wash your dog bedding and toys

Toys, comforters and bedding that your dog uses on a daily basis need to be washed regularly and eventually replaced with new. Otherwise, they will start to stink as they are the first things to absorb all the dog’s bodily smells and secretions. Not to mention that the dog’s bed might be its favourite place to drool over and chew on delicious treats, like dried beef jerky or the occasional dog bone, which will inevitably leave stains on the fabric. This is no brainer of course, but pet owners tend to skip the task with the excuse “It will only get dirty again in a day or two, so why do it?” Well, you must if you want to keep dog odours at bay.

Consider renovating problematic surfaces

Remember the urine-marking mishaps we talked about further up? Well, there’s more that can prompt you to refresh certain areas in your home, be it repainting a wall, applying a fresh coat of varnish on the wooden floor or painting again the trim work. Your dog may have peed on a particular spot on the floor, marked the corner of a wall or the side of your bookcase numerous times, or it may have licked and chewed on the skirting board in some sort of an anxiety frenzy. Even the slightest brush against a wall will leave a trace that can turn into a lingering smell that you can’t quite get rid of, let alone if your dog has the habit of rubbing against walls for whatever reason. And cleaning alone may not remedy these surfaces. So, pick a quality odour-sealant product and renovate problem areas in your home.

How to prevent your home from smelling like a dog

Alright, you’re staying put and going nowhere, but you’ve had enough of people telling you how your house smells like a zoo. So, to maintain your home free of dog odours or at least, to reduce the intensity of animal-like smells, consider following a few more effective tips!

  • Ventilate regularly – Some folks simply don’t have the habit of opening the windows every day when the weather is nice outside. They soon don’t even notice the dog smell in their home.
  • Ensure your dog is healthy – We’ve discussed that already. This is a sure way to decrease bad odour situations. So, confirm with your vet that your dog doesn’t suffer from any medical conditions.
  • Bathe and groom your dog more often – And dry the fur well to avoid aggravating the dog odour problem in your home.
  • Use air purifiers and deodorisers – Sometimes, you do everything but the slight dog scent remains. Install air purifiers and non-toxic deodorisers that can successfully absorb any funny smells! Scented candles and incense sticks can also do the job.
  • Wash air-con unit filters regularly – This will improve the indoor air quality in your home and can help reduce animal odour issues.
  • Clean pet accidents straight away – It goes without saying that if you don’t attend to pet mishaps and stains immediately, those will gradually generate an unpleasant smell.
  • Wash pet blankets and beds properly – Get into the habit of doing this on a weekly basis if you want all your other smell-removing efforts to be a success!
  • Clean your home regularly – Well, this applies to everyone, of course, if they want to live in a pleasant and healthy environment, but dog owners may need to do it a bit more often.
  • Use easy-to-wash throw-overs – Protect your soft furniture with covers to avoid the need to deal with stains and hairs on upholstered items.

Do you need professional cleaning help?

Be it regular housekeeping and cleaning or one-off deep cleaning assistance before you relocate to a new home, Fantastic Services can help you out any time of the week. We’ve trained additionally the cleaners we work with to apply the highest standard of service with your safety, comfort and satisfaction in mind. They can use your cleaning supplies or bring professional equipment and detergents, upon request. And what’s more, you can have the same regular cleaner come to your place every time. We offer various specialised deep cleaning services, as well, which you can check out in real-time by filling your postcode in the online form on our website.

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  • Dog smell doesn’t need to be a problem, as long as you make sure to maintain your dog healthy and your home clean.
  • Most essential oils are toxic to pets, so be careful what you use to eliminate bad odours.
  • Bad dog smells can decrease the chance of selling your property or getting your rental security deposit in full, so it’s best if you hire a professional to spruce up your place the right way.


Did you find this post helpful? How do you counteract dog smells at home? What type of doggy do you have? Please, share with us in the comments below!

Image source: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

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