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How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in the House: 9 Methods That Work

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher


Dogs are a precious member of the family, but we don’t think anyone actually likes the fragrant signature “dog smell.” Or maybe you do—who are we to judge? But you probably wouldn’t be here if you did. From wet dog to dirty dog and more, you’d think there was no way to get your pup’s odor out of every surface in the house. Thankfully, there are! Let’s walk you through how to thoroughly deodorize your house and get rid of that dog smell for good.

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The 9 Methods for Getting Rid of Dog Smell in the House

1. Brushes and Baths

Keeping your dog clean and fresh will go a long way toward improving your home’s dog smell, even if it is not a cure-all. Use a neutral-scented shampoo that won’t clash and make the smell worse before you’re done cleaning your home, and make sure to remove loose fur with a sturdy slicker brush every week.

dog owner bathing his pet pug
Photo Credit: 220 Selfmade studio, Shutterstock

2. Zero in on Hard Surfaces

Hard surfaces are the easiest to clean, so let’s start with a nice thorough mop of your home. If your dog favors any particular spots for accidents, you should treat that with an enzyme cleaner, which should discourage them from going there in the future. If you have lots of fans in your house, you’ll want to dust every surface in your home monthly because tiny bits of dog hair can get sucked up by fans and settle in the oddest places.

3. Steam Clean Carpets & Upholstery

Next, we will tackle the fabrics that hold even more dog hair, dander, and smell: your furniture and carpets. Specifically, wherever your dog hangs out the most. We suggest renting an affordable steam cleaner at your local Home Depot or another big box store like Walmart. These vacuum-like machines use a mixture of hot water and soap to clean upholstery and carpet at very high temperatures, which cleans them and removes impurities like dander or hair.

Steam kills the most pernicious pests like fleas and ticks that may be lurking around in your thick carpets or nooks on the couch. Just as importantly, it helps to loosen caked-on dirt or grime that you can’t just vacuum up.

person vacuuming carpet
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

4. Vacuum Carpets Thoroughly

Carpets can harbor a lot of dog dander and hair, which makes them a big potential contributor to the dog smell in your home. Even after a good steam cleaning, your carpets may not be 100% clean, with some previously caked-on stuff left clinging on.

After your carpet dries from your steam cleaning, sprinkle a liberal dose of baking soda or carpet deodorizer powder to freshen things up, and then give the carpet a good once-over with your vacuum. This helps remove any loosened debris from the previous steam cleaning and completely cleans your carpets’ fibers.

5. Use Baking Soda Everywhere

Baking soda is cheap and widely available, but it shines here by absorbing both moisture and odors. That means you can sprinkle it in any neglected corner that smells like a dog for some reason, or as a regular treatment for your carpet. Even just sprinkling some on your dog’s favorite bedding will do wonders to reduce the overall dog odor in your home.

Baking Soda
Image Credit: Monfocus, Pixabay

6. Clean Your Air Filters

Dog hair and dander get swept up in the air currents that run throughout your home, from fans to vents. The air filter is where it tends to accumulate, so make sure to check any filters on your household air conditioners every 2 weeks. If they’re visibly dirty, just wipe them off with a wet cloth.

7. Air It Out

Sometimes, fresh air is the best way to get out the last bit of moisture or ambient dog smell from your house, and turning on a fan helps circulate air even more. It’s hard to tell if this step does anything for cleanliness, but it certainly helps reduce musty dog odors that you can’t pinpoint the source of.

Closeup on working electric floor standing fan in the modern house in sunny hot summer day
Image Credit: Alliance Images, Shutterstock

8. Buy an Air Purifier

Homes with allergy sufferers will love air purifiers, which help filter out particles like dog dander and dust. Given the amount of dander the average dog puts out, we feel safe recommending one for nearly any home with dogs. They help circulate air and reduce incidences of asthma or allergy triggers, which makes them invaluable home accessories if health is a concern.

9. Cover It Up

If all else fails, little else beats the strong pleasant scent of a fresh candle or air freshener. These can cover, if not eliminate, bad odors for a limited time, and they come in a variety of scents too. This is a great short-term option if you need to have guests over, for instance, but won’t solve the root of your dog smell. For that, we recommend some specialized enzyme-based cleaners.

Our favorite enzyme cleaner is the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. It's our product, and we love it so much, we just have to share. It permanently removes the very worst smells and stains (yes, everything you can imagine!), and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...

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Dog parents can get “smell-blind” to it sometimes, but everyone knows that infamous doggy smell that permeates most things they touch. If your house is overridden by canines, stay calm and tackle the problem using some of the effective solutions detailed above.

Featured Image Credit: san4ezz, Shutterstock

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