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There are plenty of wonderful benefits to having a dog companion – but an unpleasant odor isn’t one of them! If you’ve noticed an unmistakable smell of dog, or if friends have started to avoid breathing through their nose at your house, it might be time to take action.
Fortunately, fighting a dog odor isn’t difficult. In this article, I’ll take you through eight ways you can eliminate doggy smells.
But before I get to the tips, here’s an important disclaimer: please make sure any products you use are dog-friendly. Many chemicals that are fine for humans can harm your pet, so don’t use any products unless you’re sure they are safe.
With that out of the way, let’s get rid of that nasty dog aroma!
1. Clean Your Dog’s Bed Once a Week
The first tip is also the simplest – wash your dog’s bed at least once a week. The fabric retains odors, so your house will never smell fresh if you don’t wash it often.
If your dog bed has a removable cover, machine-wash the cover and use a pet vacuum on the cushion. For stubborn odors, or beds without a cover, you may want to leave baking soda on the cushion overnight.
2. Vacuum All Furniture
Many of us love to snuggle with our pets on the sofa, but this means nowhere is safe from that “doggy” smell. If your dog sleeps on furniture, it should be cleaned as often as a dog bed.
In fact, one of the fastest ways to eliminate a dog odor is to take apart all your furniture and give it a thorough clean. Start by removing all covers and washing them on a high heat to kill bacteria. Then vacuum all cushions, sofas, mattresses and other furniture. Don’t forget to clean under furniture too.
3. Get Your Dog Regularly Groomed
Having your dog bathed and groomed isn’t going to get rid of a pet smell forever – but it can help reduce it. A thorough bath removes dead skin cells and gets rid of bacteria, so your dog is more hygienic and less smelly. Grooming is also vital for a dog’s health.
It’s important not to wash your dog too often though, as this can dry out skin. For most breeds, a monthly clean with a professional groomer is more than enough to notice a reduced aroma.
4. Buy an Air Purifier
An air purifier with a carbon filter can reduce odors. Buying one doesn’t mean you can ignore the other tips on this list, but a purifier is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make your home smell fresher.
While air purifiers are one of the best “hands off” ways to reduce an odor, it’s important to regularly clean the filter. Filters can become clogged with pet hair which reduces the purifier’s effectiveness.
5. Deodorize Carpets and Beds with Natural Products
One of the cheapest ways to deodorize your carpets or beds is with baking soda. Simply sprinkle it over fabric or carpet fibers and allow it to work its magic overnight. In the morning, vacuum it up and enjoy your fresh-smelling carpets. This isn’t as effective as a professional carpet clean, but does a great job considering how little it costs.
A similar trick can also be used for cushion covers and blankets. Washing them in a mixture of laundry powder and apple cider vinegar can remove odors without spending a fortune on expensive products.
6. Use a HEPA Vacuum with a Charcoal Filter
Have you ever noticed that a dog odor gets worse after vacuuming? If so, your vacuum may not be filtering the air effectively.
Most vacuums come with a standard filter that works in a similar way to a sieve. These remove larger dust particles, but smaller particles pass through the gaps.
HEPA vacuums, on the other hand, use a complex network of glass fibres to trap dirt and dust. This makes them more effective at preventing particles escaping. While HEPA filters don’t eliminate odors directly, they can prevent the spread of bacteria and pet dander around the home.
If you really want to reduce odours when cleaning, some vacuums also come with a charcoal filter. These absorb odors and prevent your home smelling like a kennel.
7. Buy an Odor-Resistant Dog Bed
Your dog probably spends a lot of time on a bed, so it can be one of the smelliest items in the house. While washing can help, a better alternative might be to buy a bed with anti-microbial properties. These prevent bacteria from breeding which can reduce odors – at a cost.
8. Remove Carpets
The final tip also is the most extreme, but can be effective at reducing dog odors. Carpet fibers trap pet dander, mud, dirt, vomit and feces, making them difficult to clean. They also retain odors, so your house smells even when you’ve thoroughly cleaned. Replacing carpets with hard floors instantly solves this problem.
As a bonus, removing carpets can relieve dust or pet allergies. Allergens become trapped in fibers and are released as people walk on the carpet. Removing carpets, especially in a bedroom, can greatly reduce symptoms.
James Hall is head writer and editor of SpotlessVacuum.co.uk. Away from writing, James has always had a passion for dogs and loves hiking with his Golden Retrievers.