How to get dog odors out and keep your home smelling fresh
July 24, 2018
After 6 plus years of having two dogs in our home with brand new (white) carpeting, house training a miniature dachshund (very hard to do), and dealing with throw up and the random poop/pee accident, my husband and I have tried every trick in the book attempting to keep our brand new white carpeting clean, find the best pet odor eliminators and keep the dog odors from overwhelming our home. It’s a daily battle to keep our home smelling fresh and we have a routine for everything that we do.
I have a nose like a hound. I can ALWAYS smell the lingering odor in carpeted areas where accidents have happened along with the stale stinky dog odor all over our couches and their doggy beds. Our biggest dog has a strong body odor and our smallest dog has a bad habit of licking EVERYTHING her little tongue can reach and making it smell like her special mouth blend of rotten shrimp and cat poop. As a result, everywhere they lie in the house (their bed, the couch) starts to smell bad so quickly. I have spent SO MUCH TIME trying to get the smell out over the years.
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). I have personally bought and recommend each of the products in this post.
Favorite pet odor eliminators
These are the products we use to clean our carpet and large rugs. We tend to buy it all on Amazon Prime, it’s usually cheaper and you can’t beat two day shipping.
Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Carpet Odor Eliminator Plus Oxi Clean Dirt Fighters
We just discovered this stuff and I am IN LOVE. It is one of the best pet odor eliminators that I’ve found. You may already know how good baking soda is at removing smells but this stuff works even better. You sprinkle it on their dog bed (it’s pet safe) on the couch, carpeting, any area that is stinky, let it sit for a few minutes and vacuum it up. It seriously works so good, and it has a nice scent. It’s also supposed to help vacuum up dirt easier.
We’ve used this for years. I love the foam because I can see exactly where I’ve sprayed and I can work it into the carpet in exactly the right areas. It cleans the carpet and discourages pets from re-soiling in the same area.The larger rugs I take outside, saturate front and back with the foam, let soak for a minute, then blast with the hose. If you clean it while the rug is still wet, the high water pressure from the hose will be plenty strong enough to clean the fibers, so no need to scrub with a brush. Then I let them air dry in the sun. This always works great.
As for urine on the carpet, we follow these steps:
Soak up as much urine as you can with a few towels (it helps to stand on towel)
Spray the foam on area, work into fibers and keep wiping up with fresh damp washcloths or towels (I keep doing this step until I can’t smell any more urine and the stain is gone)
Let dry and vacuum up however the directions state for the last time
This may be enough for some people, but as I said I have a very sensitive nose and I must OBLITERATE the odors so…once it’s dry over a day or two I sprinkle the baking soda over the area, let it sit and vacuum up.
The smell is G-O-N-E gone!! I can’t say enough about the Arm and Hammer Pet Fresh baking soda. If you have regular baking soda this will work wonders as well but this powder works better at cleaning and adds a nice fresh scent.
After using your towels to soak up urine make sure to wash them twice. Otherwise you will smell the urine again as soon as they get wet….or I will anyway. My husband doesn’t smell anything. I usually wash them right away with a little bleach and throw them right back in the dirty laundry to go for another round when I wash clothes again. Yes, I realize that I could use paper towels, but honestly I feel like it is such a waste.
We try to do an entire carpet cleaning about twice a year to keep our carpet fresh. We have never gotten it done professionally but we rent a Rug Doctor from a store down the road and do it ourselves.
Around my house it’s all about regular maintenance to keep it smelling fresh. I sweep daily and vacuum the whole house and couches weekly. This helps with smell because dog’s hairs carry their smell, as does the dandruff that gets everywhere. A lot of vacuums come with attachments for vacuuming couches which can be quite handy–although we have realized its way easier to literally put the vacuum on the couch and vacuum it like the floor! Some people like to keep a lint roller close by for loose hairs but honestly I feel like it’s too much work for my big couch. If you have a small couch though, go for it.
I place cheap blankets that I buy from Wal-Mart for about $3.00 around the house. Our little dog loves to self soothe when she’s tired by chewing her blankets and I have learned my lesson about buying expensive blankets. My dogs go straight for the blankets wherever they are and will either lay on them or curl up in them. This makes it easier to just throw the blanket in the washing machine instead of having to wash the whole couch. Our big dog came to us already trained to the command “Go to your blanket” so that works out great for us! Thanks to whomever her previous owners were!
I wash the dog bed covers monthly if they’re removable, no more because I’m afraid of wearing out the zippers/attachments, or I wipe them down as much as possible/beat the dirt out of them then sprinkle the baking soda on them and let sit outside in the sun for a little while.
You can throw their toys in the washing machine if they’re washer friendly.
Of course it makes sense to brush and bathe them regularly. So the hair can fall off outside instead of in your house!
Our vacuum cleaner will also start to build up dirt and give off a terrible smell after a while when it’s turned on, from vacuuming up all the dog hair and dandruff. If you have a bagged vacuum this shouldn’t be a problem because you have to change out the bags, but we have the kind where you empty the canister once it gets full. I usually give our vacuum cleaner a through cleaning once a year (wash the filters and scrub the removable pieces in the tub) and vacuum up some of the baking soda for good measure as a pet odor eliminators. This makes a HUGE difference.
I have also bought toothbrushes and toothpaste specifically for dogs from Amazon, and I’m really happy with how well it works and how much my dogs like it! I’ve yet to make it part of my daily routine however. Honestly, it’s a lot of work! They absolutely love the way the toothpaste tastes and get really excited trying to lick the toothpaste off the brush before I can get it in their mouth. I have to get someone to help hold their heads still or they will lick it off the brush before I can touch their teeth.
I bought additive for their water that helps with bad breath, you just add a little when you fill their bowl. It’s supposed to be tasteless and the dogs didn’t seem to mind. The combination of the brushing and the additive in the dogs water bowl does help with bad breath and as a result cuts down on the smell from licking each other and their beds/couches.
Dogs noses are excellent at sniffing the remnants of urine from their old pee spots and always seem to want to pee in the exact same spot, even when our noses can’t smell it anymore. Our dogs do this on our linoleum. I have recently started a new method that seems to work. I have found that once the linoleum is thoroughly cleaned, if I spray vinegar on the area and then run over it with my steam mop (which I also love and highly recommend) a few times it seems to be the most effective at removing the odor. It hasn’t stopped them from doing it completely but I have noticed a reduction in the amount of repeat offences when I take the time to do those extra steps.