How To Get Rid Of Pet/Dog Odors & Smells: 11 Steps To Leave Your House Feeling Fresh & Clean



If you’ve ever had a pet or dog odor/smell problem in the house or in your car, you’ll know it can be an unpleasant feeling.

Not only is it an assault on the nostrils, but it can leave you feeling like the house is dirty and be a worry on your mind when visitors come around.

With this guide, we’ve put together information that could be useful in getting your house back to feeling fresh, clean and smelling nice again.

We’ve outlined:

  • What might cause dogs to smell or emit unpleasant odors
  • Where your dog’s odor might get trapped, and 11 steps to removing or deodorising the smell
  • The best and most popular pet products to help you deodorise and remove dog smell from the house, yard and car


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)


How To Get Rid Of Pet/Dog Odors & Smells: 11 Steps To Leave Your House Feeling Fresh & Clean


What Causes The Smell/Odor, And Is It Normal?

Dogs have a natural doggy smell, which shouldn’t be overpowering.

However, there might be reasons which either amplify this smell, or cause other putrid smells to come from your dog which can be overpowering.

In the guide ‘10 Reasons Your Dog/German Shepherd Smells So Bad or Has An Odor‘, you can read some of those reasons.

If you think it is a health condition, you should see a vet and seek advice on how to best treat it.


How To Get Rid Of Dog/Pet Odors and Smells…11 Steps

So, you know you should see a vet for health causes of odors and smells.

But, how do you get rid of or remove the smell from your house? We are talking about making your house clean, fresh and leaving you feeling good again!

Places that dog smell can infiltrate and stick to in the house might include:

  • Floors – carpet, hardwood
  • Furniture – lounges, chairs, beds
  • Rugs, blankets and covers
  • The air in the house itself
  • The dog’s bed, or mattresses in a dog crate
  • Your car
  • On your clothes
  • + more

Ways to remove, clean and get rid of dog and pet smells and odor include:

1) Wash and bathe your dog regularly (not too often though – once every 1-2 months is a good benchmark). Waterless/dry shampoos can help too in between baths too (read more about wet and dry shampoos below)

2) Brush your dog regularly and particularly when shedding – this can help get rid of dead skin cells and hair which can have an odor

3) Take them for regular vet checks to make sure they have good health

4) Clean up outside areas where the dog plays including gardens, front and back yards, and pick up dog poop regularly to prevent them picking it up or rolling in it

5) Monitor what and who your dog picks up and plays with during walks or trips to the dog park – if they come into contact with another dog who smells or pick up or roll in something gross by accident, consider a bath or dog deodoriser spray to lessen the impact of the smell

6) Make sure you dry your dog off properly after a bath and that they dont stay damp, or rub themselves on furniture or rugs when they are damp

7) If your dog has skin folds, make sure you clean them regularly to prevent nasties building up under them

8) Make sure you are feeding your dog a balanced diet – read more about GSD feeding guidelines here

9) Vacuum, wash, deodorise, vacuum again, and ventilate your house and car – pick up dog hairs, wash linens, covers and blankets, wet wash carpets and especially rugs your dog lays on, wash furniture covers, open windows and doors and let plenty of fresh air in, take the dog bed and blankets outside and wash them regularly, wash any clothes you may have inside that may be getting doggy smell on them. You can then finish off with a nice pet friendly incense candle.

10) Leave your dog’s bed outside and once it once every few weeks. Consider giving your dog an allocated blanket to sleep on for inside the house – and wash it once a week.

11) For really bad smells, consider getting a professional cleaner to come in and clean your house and car and any other affected areas. It will be far less expensive if you do this AFTER you have been to the vet to check there are no health problems causing the odor that could bring the smell back.


Best Products For Deodorising & Removing Dog/Pet Smells and Odors From Your Dog and In The Home

It’s important to note with dog products to see a vet for their best advice and recommendations.

It also helps if you make sure all products are non toxic, safe for dogs and kids, hypoallergenic (for dogs with allergies) and good for the environment/biodegradable.

As an example, natural ingredients in shampoos and coat sprays are much safer for dogs than parabens in shampoos with man made ingredients. Furthermore, soy is safer for dogs in candles than parrafin wax.

Read the ingredient list and directions of use carefully to make sure it’s a fit for you.


Doggy Toothpaste, Dental Chews and Dog Toys

If your dog’s breath smells, it’s best to go to the vet first and see if anything is seriously wrong like a tooth infection or an internal issue that emits bad smells through your dog’s mouth.

If your dog just needs better dental routines, your vet might suggest doggy toothpaste/teeth cleaning, or dental treats/chews or dog toys that can help prevent plaque build up or improve dog breath.

We wrote about dog toys and dog treat (including dental chews) in these guides:

See what your vet recommends and read the treat/toy description to see what it was formulated for – particularly if its been tested and received the VOHC seal of approval.

Two of the more popular brands of dog toothpaste are:

They are specially formulated for dogs, help fight plaque, help control bad breath and mouth odors, have different flavors like mint or poultry and are safe for dogs to swallow.

You can also get a specially designed Pet Republique finger toothbrushes (on Amazon), or a long handle like Duke’s Pet Products Long Handle Pet Toothbrush (on Amazon)


Pet Deodorisers, Grooming Sprays & Colognes/Perfumes

Before you go applying pet deodorants/sprays, you’d definitely want to check with your vet if it’s the right thing for your dog.

If your dog already has a skin condition, allergies or other health issues, sprays might make the problem worse!

But, many dog owners do find that sprays can help freshen up a coat and give their dog a temporary nice smell to them.

You want to be careful with overpowering sprays – they might have harmful chemicals in them or be too strong for the dog.

Two of the more popular pet deodorants are:


Wet and Dry/Waterless Shampoos, and Bath Wipes

Dog shampoos are pretty straightforward – they are for grooming your dog’s coat during doggy baths or showers with water.

We wrote about some of the best dog shampoos in this guide.

Waterless shampoos can be used without water – which is great in between baths, where you don’t have access to water like camping for example, or in instances where you don’t want your dog getting wet – after surgery for example.

Two of the more popular waterless dog shampoos are:

Waterless shampoos are generally seen as more economical than dog wipes, but if you want to check out wipes, one of the more popular dog wipes are Nature’s Miracle Deodorizing Bath Wipes (on Amazon)


Carpet Deodorisers/Powders and Baking or Bi-Carbonate Soda

We’ve spoken about how you might clean up dog pee/urine, poop and vomit inside the house before.

However, when it comes to smells and odors, you might simply like a carpet deodoriser, carpet spray/powder, or bi-carb or baking soda to remove smelly odors.

You can apply the powder, and come back later and vacuum it up.

In our opinion, there isn’t really a carpet deodoriser or spray on the market at the moment that stands out above the rest, but some people like Arm and Hammer Pet Fresh Carpet Odor Eliminator (on Amazon), or Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator Bottle 8oz (on Amazon).

You could easily try bi-carb or baking soda first (test it on a small section of your carpet first to make sure it doesnt damage it), and see if that works for you.


House Air Frangrance Sprays, Disinfectant Spray, Plug in Air Freshers and Pet Incense Candles

Once you’ve picked up the dog hairs, cleaned your linens and furniture and vacuumed the floors, you can give your house the final touch with some air freshners and fragrances.

There are some BEAUTIFUL smelling Pet fragrance candles which are designed specifically to remove pet odors.

Many of them are completely non-toxic, safe, eco friendly and parrafin and dye free (good for your dog), and most importantly have an effectiveness guarantee.

Some of the popular ones are:


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