As much as we love our furry friends, if you’re a pet owner, you’re likely no stranger to those odors that come from having a four-legged best friend. It may be dander, urine, feces, or vomit, but regardless of where the unpleasant smell originates, you definitely don’t want any sort of odor lingering in your house.
And there are sometimes moments when you can’t really put your finger on the source of the smell. The worst thing is that it’s usually not just in one room but all over the house. Whatever the cause, knowing a few tricks on how to get rid of pet odors is essential for any pet owner. So, I’ve decided to round up some effective ways to do that. But before listing them, let’s see what exactly causes pet odor.
Knowing the root cause of pet odors can definitely help a lot. They are caused by yeast and bacteria, which thrive in the damp and dark areas of your furry friend’s body. Most healthy pets have bacteria, but it could indicate a health issue if it’s an overwhelming smell.
Often, your four-legged friend may transfer these smells onto spots in your home, such as pet urine on carpets and paws on your hard floors. The outdoors can also be the culprit for your smelly furry friend. If you have a dog, it’s essential to understand that they tend to sweat a lot through their paws and a bit through their hair follicles. Moreover, smells and small particles from the outdoors can cling to their fur and linger there.
So this being said, what’s the answer to getting rid of pet odor?
Let’s go over these 9 life-saving methods!
1. Wash Your Pet’s Bed
If your pet has its own bed it loves snuggling upon, that could be the reason why the pet odor lingers in your house. Pet beds tend to carry dirt, saliva, hair, dander, and yes… even urine.
My cat’s bed, for instance, has a cover, so I simply remove it and toss it into the washing machine whenever I sense an unpleasant smell. If your pet’s bed is similar, give the cover a thorough wash, and the odor should be gone.
But that’s not all. In order to get rid of pet odor, you’ll also have to clean the entire bed. First, you’ll need to see how that bed is supposed to be cleaned so you don’t damage it. Nowadays, that’s easy to do by using the Internet to check out the manufacturer’s direction. Some can be machine-washed and dried, while others have to be air-dried.
2. Use An Enzymatic Cleaner For Sensitive Areas
These products are a pet owner’s dream. I mean it. I have a cat and a dog, and I swear an enzymatic cleaner is life-saving. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s basically a cleaning product that contains potent ingredients meant to get rid of stains.
One highly recommended product is this one, which I also have. It does a tremendously great job (if you don’t believe me, head over to read some of the many positive reviews). It’s versatile in dealing with different types of surfaces, including pet urine on carpets. If you’re looking for an all-natural alternative, this one also does a pretty good job.
Enzymatic cleaners are ideal for those stubborn smells or stains that just don’t seem to go away. It’s very important to either choose a multi-purpose option or buy one that’s specially created to deal with pet odor on certain surfaces.
3. Clean Pet Items
Four-legged friends can have lots of “their own” objects, like pillows, collars, toys, and bowls. So it’s important to clean these objects from time to time. Some things can be washed by hand (like the pet bowl, for instance).
By the way, did you know that pet bowls are one of the dirtiest items in your house? Besides the fact that they may spread pet odor, they also carry dangerous bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. So here’s another reason they clean your pet’s bowl as often as possible.
But not all the objects your pet uses or plays with are machine washable, which means you have to adopt a smart old-fashioned trick. Yes, I’m talking about baking soda. How does it work?
Well, you first have to create a simple cleaning mix of white vinegar and baking soda. Spray the mix onto those items that aren’t machine washable. This trick will help you remove pet odors. If you want, this homemade mix is like an all-natural version of the enzymatic cleaners recommended above.
4. Invest In An Air Purifier
If you want to step up the game and really slash any trace of pet odor, get yourself an air purifier. Air purifiers are specially created to improve indoor air quality by removing dust, debris, and dirt from your house. Pet odor naturally contains these elements, so a tool like this can help a lot.
In fact, you may find that even if you’re making efforts to clean your pet’s bed and toys, there are bound to be spots in your house that have lingering pet odors. In this case, the next step would be buying an air purifier. There are many options available. To help keep that specific smell at bay, make sure to pick a model that is specially designed to remove pet odors.
For instance, HEPA air purifiers can remove pet dander, pet smells, allergens, and other harmful substances from the air that can affect the odor inside your house—and also your health.
5. Wash Your Pet
This is a tried-and-true method of keeping your pet fresh and clean. Wash them on a regular basis to remove dander and dirt that hides in their fur or coating.
According to Spruce Pets, a pet education company, you should do that at least once a month and not postpone it for longer than 3 months. When it comes to cats, you may think their adorable fur-licking habits do the trick. Sorry to disappoint you, but not quite.
It turns out this habit of theirs still leaves some dirt behind. That’s why the National Cat Groomers Institute of America recommends bathing your feline every 4-6 weeks. Obviously, this number is an average, and other things like health conditions and cat type (outdoor and indoor) also play a role.
6. Use Scents & Air Fresheners Consistently
This should be the icing on the cake when it comes to keeping your house smelling fresh. You see, sometimes cleaning and opening the windows to let fresh air in isn’t enough to get rid of pet odor—I know from personal experience. So, you have to find some extra methods to make your home smell good.
I personally love to have my home smell nice, so I’m always willing to try new scents. I know, though, that a lot of people are dealing with asthma or allergies, which means they should avoid fragrances. But the good news is that there are some natural options to make your house smell good.
So, if you want to avoid the classic air fresheners, you should instead opt for those products that contain plant-based ingredients, which are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
7. Vacuum Your Space Consistently & Well
This is definitely one of the best methods to keep your house’s floors clean and its air quality better. In fact, when vacuuming, make sure you do it very well, especially if you have a cat or a dog.
You already know that vacuuming helps remove pet hair, dander, and dirt from your rugs, carpets, and hard surfaces. All these traces your pet leaves behind all over the house will always make your indoor space smell funny.
But another important thing to keep in mind about vacuuming is the vacuum itself. I strongly recommend you choose a vacuum that has a HEPA-certified filter. These types of vacuums are known to remove a whopping 99.97% of allergens and other bacteria from the house. This includes dirt and other pet odor-causing factors that contribute to the smell.
Finally, make sure you replace your filter every 3-6 months to make your vacuum clean better and last longer.
8. Broom & Mop Hard Floors
No matter how smooth your hard floors may be, they tend to collect dust, dirt, pet hair, and other unwanted particles from your four-legged friend. That’s why it’s important to sweep the floors on a regular basis and even use a Swiffer or a simple mop to make sure there’s nothing left behind.
Mopping helps sanitize your floors and remove dirt brought in from the outside by your pet’s paws. If you’re using a mop, it’s crucial to keep it as clean as possible. Therefore, make sure you clean it before and after use.
And what’s one of the best ways to clean your mop? Well, here it is: soak it in a gallon of hot water mixed with one cup of vinegar or a half cup of bleach. I suggest you mop high-traffic areas at least once per week to make sure you keep any pet odor at bay.
9. Steam Clean Your Carpets
Steam cleaning your carpets can remove stains, kill germs, and leave your floors feeling clean and fresh. If you have a furry friend, this is another great way to get rid of pet odor.
However, if you want to steam your carpets, you should know that not just any steam cleaner will do. In fact, high heat can end up ruining carpet fibers and the adhesive underneath. Moreover, you need a steam cleaner that will suck up tough dirt rather than only emit steam.
If steam cleaning is something you only need to do once in a while, then hiring a team specializing in it is probably a better idea.
You may also want to read These 7 Innocent Things in Your Home Are TOXIC for Pets!