"Hey there, dog owner! It’s time to talk about the odors in your secretly stinky home.
Noseblindness is a real thing — it’s the reason you can’t smell your own house (unless you’ve been away on vacation for a while). The scientific reason has to do with your nose and brain working together to determine whether or not the smell is a threat. If it’s not, the smell receptors get shut off, which is why a particularly pungent odor doesn’t seem as bad after a few minutes of exposure.
Basically, you might be living with unpleasant dog odors and may not even realize it’s an issue. And that’s one thing, but what about when you have company? Rather than masking dog odors with chemical-laden air fresheners that wear off in a few minutes, try some of these effortless tips to keep your home smelling fantastic even if you have a dog (or three).
1. Schedule regular grooming appointments
The single best way to keep your canine best friend smelling fresh as a daisy is to keep up with regular baths and grooming. Dogs don’t sweat the same way people do, but they do have distinct odors that come from glands in their ears and hair follicles. These smells are completely normal and healthy, but to keep them from becoming overwhelming, regular baths can help.
2. Don’t forget oral hygiene
You may think that unpleasant dog odor comes from their fur — but you’d only be half right. Dental infections are common in dogs, and proper oral care and prevention are just as important for Fido as they are for you. Schedule regular vet visits to ensure proper tooth and gum health. In between those trips, try brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and feeding him dental chews made specifically to get rid of tartar and plaque.
3. Feed your dog a healthy diet
Intestinal discomfort is just as prevalent in dogs as it is in people. To help keep things running smoothly and minimize bad breath caused by noxious doggy belches, try feeding him a high-quality dog food that’s rich in protein and healthy fat. Be wary of feeding your dog table scraps, and avoid it whenever possible.
4. Clean his ears
One surprising source of dog odor? His ears. A dog’s ears contain scent glands which can gradually build up with bacteria and start to stink. To avoid this, clean his ears with a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide to remove excess wax, which can trap bacteria and mites and contribute to those unpleasant odors you’re smelling.
5. Try a little baking soda on your carpets
Baking soda is a cheap and natural odor neutralizer that you can safely use on furniture, carpets, and upholstery. To clean carpets, sprinkle the baking soda all over and allow it to set for at least 15 minutes. For high traffic areas, you may want to let it sit overnight and use a clean scrub brush to distribute the baking soda. Then vacuum away the mess.
For washable items such as curtains, add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and a few shakes of baking soda to your regular detergent, then wash as usual. It’s cheaper and just as effective as fancy odor-eliminating solutions from the pet store.
6. Wash the dog toys
Your pup’s toys might be contributing to those unexplained dog odors at home. Think about it: Saliva has a smell, and Fido has covered his favorite bone in it. A few times per month, take the time to wash all the dog toysin the sink with very hot water and mild dish soap.
7. Use essential oils
Not all essential oils are safe for dogs, but lavender oil is, and it helps make your pup smell amazing. Rub it directly onto his skin or mist him regularly with a diluted version whenever you notice he starts to smell a little funky. You can also spray down his bed, the couch, the carpet, and other places that may suffer from that doggy smell. Just be sure you’re using high quality, pure-grade essential oils rather than cheap imitations.
8. Bathe your dog regularly
While you may wait longer between professional grooming appointments, it’s important to bathe your dog at least once per month, especially if he spends lots of time outside. Abrasive shampoo ingredients might actually do more harm than good on his sensitive skin, so use a simple shampoo. Skip the overly perfumed options, as these tend to have unnecessary chemicals. In a hurry? Try rubbing him down with a regular baby wipe between baths to keep him smelling clean.
9. Invest in an air purifier
An air purifier can help just about anyone cover unpleasant odors in the air. If you have dogs, consider choosing a model that’s specially designed to remove pet smells. It should come with a HEPA filter to clean out impurities, should be strong enough to cover the entire area, and should have an air ionizer to trap airborne particles. Take a look at reviews to make your best decision!
10. Clean the carpets
Chances are, your dog spends a fair amount of time lounging on the living room carpet while relaxing with the family. No matter how diligent you are about grooming and bathing, a certain amount of smell is healthy and normal, and those scent odors can easily get trapped in your carpet fibers.
Keep the carpet smelling fresh by vacuuming it regularly. Commit to frequent deep cleans, too, so you can loosen up trapped dirt and odor. Consider renting a heavy-duty carpet cleaner from your local home improvement store, or hire a professional to do it for you.
11. Try some enzymes
Your patterned area rug may be hiding a multitude of sins. Pet accidents happen, and you may not always realize the exact spot that they occurred. A blacklight can help illuminate the situation and help pinpoint the source of the lingering odors. For old pet messes that you missed, try a formulated enzyme cleaner that will help break down dog urine, feces, vomit, and other smelly substances.
12. Wash your pet bed
Before purchasing a pet bed, make sure it has a removable cover that you can easily wash with your weekly laundry. Your dog will spend a huge amount of time shedding skin cells and rolling around in his bed, which means frequent cleanings are a must.
13. Clean up accidents immediately
The quicker you catch them, the easier they are to clean up. Try to take care of those inevitable pet messes right when they happen to avoid lingering odors that spread to other parts of the house.
14. Wipe off dirty paws
Your pup goes outside to do his business, and the dirt and debris he tracks inside might contribute to the unpleasant odors in your home. Keep a cleaning mitt right by the back door and thoroughly clean his paws before letting him traipse through the whole house.
15. Open the windows
Sometimes the best solutions are also the most obvious. To rid your house of pet odors, try a little bit fresh air every once in a while. Research shows that consistently smelling natural scents like trees and grass can even help to reduce stress levels."