Getting rid of dog smell in your house 101 – the complete guide by Houda

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Autri Taheri on Unsplash

This article has been republished for exclusive use by The Grey Muzzle Organization with the permission of original author, Houda.

We all know it, as soon as you adopt a dog, your house starts smelling like a stable. No matter how much you clean up after your pooch, you are always going to have that faint, disagreeable odor clinging to your nose, and to your furniture. After all, there is nothing worse than coming back home, and being able to smell that you live with a dog when you have done your best to mask the odor of wet fur. But, don’t start panicking yet, because we are here to help. No matter how much you are suffering, there are always solutions.

So, if you want to know how to easily get rid of the dog smell in your house, please keep on reading. You will definitely find a solution that suits you!

Bathe your dog more regularly

This must sound like an obvious solution, and yet, many people don’t think about it. If you want to get rid of any odor, you must, of course, start by the source. Dogs smell for the same reasons humans do, because their skin and coat keep on gathering sweat (and all kind of bacteria as well), and if you don’t bathe them regularly, they are going to start smelling like an old wet rag.

So, the first solution here would be to bathe your dog more regularly, clean his ears at least once a week (the wax buildup could lead to an ear infection, which doesn’t smell like roses either, and some dog breeds are more prone to them than others, such as the Pitbull Labrador Mix (A.K.A. Labrabull)), and brush his teeth as well, even if all you feed him is great quality food (the quality of food doesn’t mean your dog’s mouth isn’t going to smell after a few weeks of no teeth brushing). And, of course, don’t forget to groom your best friend as needed, since the coat gathers dirt as well, which creates a strong disagreeable smell that clings to your dog and everything he touches, such as the house furniture.

Wash your carpets, couches, and linen

And everything in between, really. For example, even if your dog is not allowed on the sofa, he will still be able to stick his smell on it. It’s not his fault, that’s just how his instinct work. Dogs try to mark their territory all the time, and urine is not the only way they use to do so. Saliva and sweat are just as good for them, as long as they can put their smell on everything in your house, or, at least, everything they consider their territory. So, how can you get rid of the odor on these? By following four easy steps:

  • Strip.
  • Dry vacuum.
  • Wash.
  • Neutralize.

Start with all your beddings and linens, from sofa covers to pillow covers (if you can, of course). Flip all mattresses and pillows and vacuum them from both sides before you use a steam cleaner. Make sure to vacuum every corner your dog touches or plays in, because odors can be strong and difficult to get rid of. Of course, do all of this while your dog is not in the house, since if you don’t, you will just be cleaning corners for him to mark again with his smell after a few minutes. After this, shampoo and wash everything you can, from carpets to beddings and linens.

Finally, the neutralizing part comes. You can, of course, use chemical deodorizing mixes, but some DIY all-natural products are actually a better, and cheaper option.

For example, you can mix apple cider vinegar with baking soda and put it in a spray bottle. You can spray this mix everywhere around the house, and it’s going to do a great job neutralizing the dog smell, at least for a while.

Make sure to perfume your house

In the end, masking dog odor completely is nearly impossible. The best solution would be, even after cleaning everything, to use special tools to perfume your house. Scented candles and air-fresheners are a great way to do so, but if you don’t want to use anything chemical, you can go all-natural and use things such as spices (just boil some water, let it simmer, and add some nicely smelling spices to it, such as cinnamon or cloves, and let it simmer more), incense (you can buy it anywhere, it’s cheap, and easy to use), or potpourri baskets.

In the end…

It’s all about following these steps and being patient. You are never going to be able to completely mask dog odor from your house, especially if your four-pawed friend is allowed indoors. All you can do is try your best to get rid of it and perfume your house so it smells less like a stable (and more like some obscure temple in Southeast Asia if you use too much incense).  

About the Contributor:

Hi, I'm Houda, a fulltime writer at, traveler, and self-proclaimed dog person. I also make lame jokes, write poetry, and love eating weird food in faraway countries.

Did I mention that I was a dog person? Yeah, give me all the puppies please.