It helps tremendously to know how to keep a house clean & smelling nice when you own a German Shepherd, or any other pet for that matter.
There’s several simple and easy things you can be doing to help your dog smell nice, clean your house, and leave your house smelling fresh.
We’ve shared these cleaning and freshening tips with you in the guide below.
Let’s check them out!
(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)
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How To Keep A Clean & Nice Smelling House With A German Shepherd
Summary Of Tips
– Brush your dog regularly – this prevents you having to pick up as much, and vacuum up as much dog hair. A grooming tool like the FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool For Dogs (on Amazon) might be useful
– Vacuum the floor and upholstery – some dog hair will drop around the house even if you brush regularly, so make sure you vacuum carpets, and other surfaces. You can also use a broom for hard floors
– Use a lint roller or similar tool for your clothes – this can help you remove dog hair from your clothes before you leave the house. A roller like the ChomChom Roller Pet Hair Remover (on Amazon) might be useful
– Wash your dog and shampoo them – roughly once every six to eight weeks. You don’t want to wash them too regularly because you can strip their skin/coat of natural oils. But, certainly a wash and shampoo can leave a dog smelling nice. A wet shampoo like 4 Legger Dog Shampoo (on Amazon), or a waterless shampoo like Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo (on Amazon) might be useful
– Wash and air out your dog’s bed (and other furniture or items in the house) – some beds can be thrown straight in the wash, while some have removable covers that can be washed. You can also air them out outside
– Air out your house regularly – by having the windows and screen doors open. This can help replace stale and old air with fresh air.
– Make sure you dry off your dog properly after their bath, or when it’s raining or wet outside and your dog has been for a walk. A wet dog coat can bring that wet smell inside and onto carpets, upholstery, furniture, clothes, etc.
– Consider using air fresheners, indoor smell neutralizers and other products indoors that can temporarily help the area smell nicer
– Don’t allow your dog in rooms where you definitely don’t want dog smell – your bedroom might be one room as an example
– Clean up or fence off outdoor areas in your yard where your dog could come into contact with or roll in bad smelling substances, get them on their coat, and bring them inside – such as in the garden, near bins, and so on
– Consider where you want your dog to be spending most of their time and also where you want them to be sleeping. If your dog has an allocated bed/spot inside they can lay and sleep on, it’s going to be much easier to manage smells than if your dog is laying on all your furniture and carpets
– Toilet train your dog – so they do their business outside and not inside
– Consider your dog’s diet – certain foods and diets can lead to issues such as poor body odor, or gas. So, make sure you check with your dog’s vet that they are eating a nutritionally complete and adequate diet.
– For really bad smells – get your dog checked by the vet to check there’s no health problems, and consider getting a professional clean for your house
Onto the extended list …
1. Brush Your German Shepherd
You can’t stop your German Shepherd from shedding altogether, but what you can do is have a good coat grooming routine to remove loose hairs.
The added benefit of brushing regularly is that it also prevents as many hairs from falling on the floor – so there might be less picking up and vacuuming up of hairs.
Brushing for 5 to 10 minutes a once a week can make a dig difference.
Some good brushing products include:
Brushes & Combs
- Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush (on Chewy)
- Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush (on Amazon) (Slicker Brush)
- Andis Steel Pet Comb (on Chewy)
- Andis Pet Steel Comb (on Amazon) (Comb)
Deshedding Tools & Undercoat Rakes
- FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool For Dogs (on Amazon) (Deshedding Tool)
- FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush (on Chewy)
- Pat Your Pet Two-Sided Undercoat Rake (on Chewy)
- Pat Your Pet 2 Sided Undercoat Rake (on Amazon) (Undercoat Rake)
You can read more about the best dog brushes and grooming tools in this guide.
2. Vacuuming & Sweep Floors, & Upholstery/Furniture
Dog vacuums will help you pick up and clean dog hair from the house, furniture, and your car.
Dog vacuums come in smaller handheld models for smaller areas, and larger high powered/high suction models for larger areas and more stubborn hair.
A good dog vacuum can be a life saver for really heavy shedders and those who aren’t currently brushing their dog and removing loose hairs.
A popular small handheld pet hair vacuum for smaller areas is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1 (on Amazon).
Probably the best upright, powerful/high suction and versatile pet hair vacuum that can also be used for everyday vacuuming is the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum, Bordeaux (NV752) (on Amazon).
The Shark vacuum can be used for large areas and stubborn pet hair.
You can read more about each of those two dog hair vacuums in this guide – including their pros, cons and features.
3. Use A Lint Roller, & Pet Hair Pick Up Tool
In addition to vacuuming, you might want to pick up hair from your clothes.
A dog hair lint roller or handheld pet hair remover can be useful in this instance.
These pet hair cleaning and removal tools are great around the house or for your own clothes.
Two of the more popular Lint Rollers and Pet Hair Removers are:
4. Wash Your German Shepherd & Shampoo Them
Washing your German Shepherd once every six to eight weeks, or as often as your vet tells you is a good way to ensure your GSD stays smelling fresh.
You can use a natural dog shampoo like 4 Legger Dog Shampoo (on Amazon).
Make sure you don’t wash and shampoo your dog too often otherwise you risk stripping their skin and coat of natural oils.
You can read more about the best dog shampoos for German Shepherds in this guide.
5. Wash & Air Out Your German Shepherd’s Bed As Required, & Also Rugs, Blankets & Other Items Around The House
Just like human beds, dog beds can start smelling sweaty and doggy after a while if you don’t wash them.
Some beds can completely be thrown in the washing machine, whilst other beds have removable covers that can be washed.
You can also air out the dog bed and dog bed cover outside + hang them out in the sun to help kill any bacteria or parasites that might like dark places in your dog’s bed covers.
You can read about the best dog beds for German Shepherds in this guide if you’re interested. Some of these beds are washable or have removable covers.
It’s not just your dog’s bed you’ll want to wash and air out.
Do it for any item in the house your dog comes into contact with regularly – blankets, pillows, and so on.
6. Air Out/Ventilate Your House
It’s not just pet smells that can get trapped in the house.
Airing out your house by opening windows and screen doors helps cycle the air and replace old or stale air with fresh new air.
7. Dry Your Dog’s Coat Properly When It’s Wet
After a bath or when it’s wet or it’s been raining outside, a dog’s coat can a certain unpleasant smell.
If this is the case, make sure you dry out their coat sufficiently, or you don’t allow them to rub their coat on the carpet or furniture inside the house while they are still wet.
8. Consider Air Fresheners, Indoor Smell Neutralizers and Other Smell Products
Air fresheners can provide a temporary nice smell in a room in the house.
There’s also products like candles that can help neutralize some smells in the house.
Similar products to these two can help with pet smells in different ways.
Doggy deodorants can also help in some instances
9. Don’t Allow Your Dog In Areas Of The House You Don’t Want Smelling
This might include rooms such as your bedroom, or certain carpeted areas or nice furniture.
10. Clean Up, Or Fence Off Outdoor Areas Where Your Dog Might Come Into Contact With Bad Smells
This includes bin areas, places in the garden where you sprinkle manure or certain fertilizers, compost areas, and more
You don’t want your dog rolling in or making contact with bad smells outside and bringing them inside on their coat.
11. Consider Having Designated Areas Your Dog Is Allowed Inside
For example, they might have a comfortable bed or cushioned area they can lay in the lounge room to be near you, and one or two other rooms with easy to clean floor surfaces they can go.
Consider how you can make it easy to manage cleaning and smells by having a routine for cleaning the areas your dog frequents the most.
12. Ensure You Toilet Train Your Puppy Early On
A simple one.
Toilet training as early as possible prevents accidents and smells inside.
13. Consider Your German Shepherd’s Food/Diet
A dog’s diet can affect stomach gas and mouth odors.
A poor diet with not enough nutrients and high in processed ingredients can also contribute to poor body odor and coat smell.
It’s worth seeing your dog’s vet to see whether a higher quality more natural diet would suit your dog and test whether it decreases bad body and coat odors.
Intolerances and other diet incompatibilities can also contribute to things like gas.
14. Address Overpowering Smells Adequately
Get your dog checked by the vet to check there’s no health problems if you notice very strong odors coming from any part of their body, or from their poop or urine for example.
Consider getting a professional clean for your house if there are strong pet smells inside.
Common Areas & Objects You May Want To Clean In Your House
Floors – carpet, hardwood, etc.
Furniture – lounges, chairs, beds
Rugs, blankets and covers
Dog’s bed, mattress or crate (and any chair or lounge they lay on frequently)
The air in the house itself – ensure proper ventilation
Other 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.
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:
- Wahl Natural Doggy Deodorant (on Amazon)
- Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Pet Care Aromatherapy Freshening and Shining Spray (on Amazon)
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:
- Paw Choice Foaming Mousse Dog Shampoo (on Amazon)
- Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo (on Amazon)
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 Fragrance 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:
- Pet House Natural Soy Wax Candle Pet Odor Eliminator (on Amazon)
- Pet House 100% Soy Wax Melt Pet Odor Eliminator (on Amazon)
- One Fur All Mini Candles Odor Neutralisers (on Amazon)
What Causes A Dog To Smell Bad Or Emit Bad Odors?
Dogs have a natural doggy smell, which shouldn’t be overpowering.
This natural doggy smell can be normal.
However, there might be reasons that a dog can smell unnaturally bad.
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 contributing to their smell, you should see a vet and seek advice on how to best treat it.
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