Eliminating Dog Smell – Here’s How To!

Last update: 8 months ago

How to get rid of dog smell in your home.
Javier Brosch / Shutterstock.com

If you own a dog, you are familiar with the pet odour that can haunt your home. It’s nearly impossible to get around that problem unless you are the owner of a teeny tiny dog breed.

Your house would feel so much cleaner if our house smelled amazing all the time. Well, if you own a dog, or did in the past, then you know how many different smells our little companions exude. The overwhelming dog smell should be removed and controlled at all costs. Otherwise, your house will become a bearer of the foul odour.

And those odours are the problem that we are here to help you battle.

How to get rid of dog smell in the house

Eliminating the musky dog odour when it has already set in can be a task quite hard to accomplish. All of the furniture in our homes absorbs smells, and if one has already set in, it can be tough to remove. Of course, there are different tips and tricks; however, we suggest protecting your furniture, especially if it’s brand new.

Most odour removing tricks will work to a certain degree. However, if the fabric or your house has been exposed to dog smells for months, and you haven’t taken any actions, then it may take months to remove it or at least suppress it.

Step #1: Investigate where the dog smell comes from

Like most creatures, dogs have habits. They also have a favourite place to lounge. Because of this, naturally, those places will have an overwhelming dog smell. Often, dogs prefer more than one place. It’s a good idea to note them and treat them to remove and control the canine odour.

If you have a hard time determining those places, then use your nose! Pet smell is strong and musky, so you can easily find them by sniffing. You can also observe your dogs’ habits and see where it loves to lay or where yours spends most of its time.

Step #2: Wash your dog properly

Washing your dog regularly is very important. But to remove the odour entirely, you’ll need to know how to do it properly. Most people know the basics but don’t know how to do it right. Here are five tips to follow whenever you are cleaning your home.

  1. Invest in high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner.
    A high-quality shampoo and conditioner are important if you want your dog to smell nice. They have different formulas than the cheap ones. They are also much better for your dog’s coat, keeping it nice and shiny.
  2. Buy quality food.
    Quality food is essential for your dog! A quality diet will keep your pet’s inner odour in check. If your dog has foul breath, this may be the issue.
    Investing in quality food is mandatory to assure your dog smells good, and most importantly is healthy. Talk with your vet and ask him what diet would best suit your pet’s breed.
  3. Make sure they have a healthy set of teeth.
    The diet is important, but just like humans, dogs can have problems with their teeth. There are numerous chewing products out there that could keep your dog’s teeth in check. We suggest that you consult with a veterinarian on what would be best for the health of your dog’s teeth, and what product will keep your pet’s mouth odour in check.
  4. Don’t let your dog stay wet.
    Every person knows the strong and musky smell of a wet dog. A strong smell like this can haunt any home, no matter the size. You must dry your dog properly to keep the wet dog smell under control. However, don’t spray your dog with human perfumes after a shower! Most human scents may irritate your dog’s nose, or cause problems with their skin. Instead, you can buy ones specifically made for dogs.
  5. Invest in baby wet-wipes or dog wipes.
    Dog wipes are great for cleaning your dog in-between baths. As you can’t wash the dog daily, it’s important to find a way to keep them clean in-between baths. Make sure you wipe their feet and fur daily.

Step #3: Clean the furniture (and the whole house)

After you’ve washed the dog and found its favourite places, it’s essential to clean them to remove the set-in dog smell. You can wash the furniture with detergents specifically made for this or wash it with a homemade detergent.

You can make an excellent cleaning solution with white vinegar, liquid soap and hot water.

What you will need:

  • Mix 50% hot water with 50% vinegar;
  • Add a bit of liquid soap and stir;
  • Put the whole thing in a spray bottle.

Make sure to spray and scrub the furniture. With this solution, you can also clean all of the furniture around the house.

White vinegar is especially good at removing dog smells and other foul odours. If the carpets are dirty too, then consider hiring someone to clean them for you! Carpets should be steam-cleaned regularly. Your dog may not lay on the couch, but they surely walk or lay on the carpet.

Step #4: Introduce a nice aroma in your home

After you’ve done all of the steps above, it’s time to introduce some pleasant scents to your home. Having your home cleaned, it’s time to set some new smells in. To help you with this, it’s best to use essential oils. They are a great addition to the tips mentioned above. There are some important rules to follow when it comes to essential oils and pets. Here’s how to safely use essential oils around your pet:

  • Don’t use too much of the essential oil at one time.
    A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than ours. This means that certain smells can be a lot more overwhelming to dogs than to us. We can’t know exactly what may irritate them. Because of this, it’s important to use a small amount of essential oils at a time, and do so in a well-ventilated room.
  • Don’t put undiluted essential oils on your dog.
    Humans may be able to apply some essential oils directly to our skin; however, that’s not the deal with dogs. In fact, dog skin can irritate much easier than humans. That’s why it’s important to use small amounts of essential oils and make sure that’s diluted.
  • Don’t allow your dog to consume essential oils.
    It’s a serious problem. Make sure that you do everything possible and keep essential oils out of the reach of your dogs. Even well diluted essential oils can cause a lot of harm to your pet.

The three best essential oils to battle dog smell

  • Lavender
    The amazing scent of lavender can be a perfect fit for those who enjoy the smell of the flower. It has a nice blend of fresh and floral scent that is very calming. You can use it once or twice a day on areas that you wish to control dog smells (like their favourite spots). However, please don’t use them on the dog directly more than once every two to three days. Also, the oil should be diluted and used in small quantities.
  • Chamomile
    The chamomile scent has the amazing ability to remove any bad odours, like dog smell, and set in a beautiful, fresh aroma in its place. The best thing is that chamomile oil can be used directly on your dog (again, in small quantities and diluted). You can use it to reduce the bad dog odour in your house.
  • Clary sage
    The essential oil from clary sage can be used to freshen linens and places such as your couch or your dog’s bed. Clary sage has an amazing fresh smell that is worth to try in the everlasting battle of canine smells!

If all of the above doesn’t help, consider visiting the vet and talking to them about this problem. Your dog might have a problem with its anal glands. Then you should discuss this problem with a veterinarian.

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2 years ago

Tea trea oil is toxic to dogs. Do not use it!

Ali Horgan
Ali Horgan
2 years ago

My mother had a little incontinent dog for years in her house. The smell was horrible but she didn’t seem to mind it. She is now not there and the dog isn’t as well. We have emptied the house, pulled up the carpet and underlay which were ruined and disposed of it. Despite this, the smell (although not as bad) still lingers. We want to repaint, recarpet and sand the wooden floors but won’t do it until the smell is gone. Is there something that we can wash the floors, etc with to help this?

Olivia Hazell
Olivia Hazell
1 year ago
Reply to  Ali Horgan

If you have stripped the carpets, put baking soda on the subflooring and let it sit for a few hours. I did that when I moved in my new house and it took care of the smell.

1 year ago

Hello… I would love your help, please
I have a rental property it’s empty with new tenants going in soon… no furniture in the house all carpets have been cleaned… the main area is tiled and this area leads to outside… the last tenants had dogs but not inside often… but the smell in this area is so doggy… floors are washed… my question is Dan you please help what to do next… I need to fix it quickly and need sprays eliminates please thank you

1 year ago


Beth P
Beth P
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis

In every corner of each room, put a flat (saucer-like) container and fill it with vinegar,.close the doors and windows and leave it for 24hrs. Any smell inside the closed room will be absorbed by the vinegar.. Cleaning should be done AFTER 24HRS while doors and windows are widely open. Aeration will help in pushing the remaining odor out of the room and be replaced with new and fresh air..

1 year ago

Hello. Thanks for such an informative and really helpful article. Like many others, I encountered the smell of a dog in my apartment, and it really became a problem for me, because I am very sensitive to different smells. Although at the very beginning when we took the dog there were no such problems. When this problem appeared, we decided not to let our dog into our bedroom, but it didn’t really help. Thanks again for such helpful advice, I will definitely try to follow them.

Anna Bush
Anna Bush
2 months ago

Very quick and effective tips. I followed this and the smell’s gone real quick. I really surprised by this and my pets also feel happy. Thank you for sharing such a great post!

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