freshen up your pet filled home

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

I've realized that we are those people whose house smells like dog. You know how you go to people's houses and think "how can they stand the fact that their house smells like X?" Well we've turned into those people. After going on vacation for a week, we have definitely noticed the dog smell when we came home. I am working on attacking the smells with gusto and thought I'd share some of my techniques.

1. Clean with vinegar. Seems counter-intuitive since vinegar has its own smell, but vinegar neutralizes odors. (Read more here.) 2 cups of white vinegar diluted in about a gallon of water can be used to neutralize pet smells such as urine and should not damage carpet (but test a spot first). After you clean the area, clean it with warm water as well. Baking soda can be used to neutralize the vinegar smell. Leave it on overnight and then vacuum up the next day. Or the vinegar smell will evaporate on its own. Vinegar can also be used on hard wood floors (diluted 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar). I clean lots of stuff with vinegar and it definitely helps with smells.

2. Baking soda. As mentioned above, if you sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, mattress or couch cushions, it will work to draw out the moisture and the bad smells. I do this on my mattress a few times a year. You sprinkle the mattress with baking soda then sprinkle some essential oils (whatever smell you like - I recommend lavender) onto your mattress. Let this sit for at least an hour and then vacuum off the baking soda with a hand vac or a vacuum hose. The essential oil will add a nice scent while the baking soda will soak up the badness. This works great on couches and carpet as well, but just test that the essential oil won't affect your upholstery. 

3. Brush your dogs outside. This seems like a no-brainer, but it's a total necessity for us. Shockingly, pugs shed a TON. You wouldn't think because they are shorter haired, but it's a total trick. Brushing them outside helps a little in the battle against dog hair (and thus dog smells). Frequent bathing of the dogs obviously helps too but I try not to go too overboard. I have heard that overbathing some dogs can cause dry skin (thus leaving to more scratching and probably more stinkiness). 

4. Wash dog bedding often. I must admit we aren't super consistent with washing the dog beds constantly, but it definitely helps when we do. We try to wash the blankets we use on the couch (which essnetially end up being dog beds) at least once a week. The dogs also steal most of the pillows and turn them into their personal beds, so I try to wash the pillow covers as often as possible.

5. Vacuum a ton. Whether or not your pets shed, there will be dander in your carpet. We just got a Dyson for Christmas and I am disgustingly pleased to see how much it picks up. 

6. Use good smelling stuff. Basically meaning - either burn candles, have a plug in air freshener (I love the ones from Bath & Body Works) or use Febreeze. I actually want to try this diy version of Febreeze from Yellow Brick Home as a less chemical-y way to freshen up your home. 

Any other pet owners recently realize they're the person with the smelly pet home? How do you combat the smells? I doubt I'm the only one with less than super fresh pets!

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