I have dogs.
Shocking, I know.
In fact, I have MANY dogs.
And my dogs live in my home. They lay on the furniture, they sleep in my bed, and during the day, I leave the front door open so they can play in the yard when they please.
In fact, as I type, there is a lab puppy playing the bitey face game with a Belgian Malinois in my living room, a border collie asleep at my feet, and another Malinois chewing happily on a bone on her dog bed.
Dogs are my life.
But be that as it may, just because they are my life, doesn’t mean my life has to smell like them.
The fact of the matter (unfortunately) is, dogs don’t always smell springtime fresh.
Especially given the fact that I live in a place where it rains more often than not.
There will inevitably be days when they track mud through the house…
And days where they will have a wrestlefest in the wet grass and then rub up against my couch or walls…
And there will be days that I get muddy paw prints in places that I can’t fathom they’d be able to reach (dog owners who live in wet climates…I know you feel me on this one).
Around here, regular cleaning is not something I can skip.
And while I’m not always successful, I work hard at keeping my house smelling as dog-less as possible.
Because the last thing I want is for people to avoid coming over because they can’t take the dog odor that I’ve grown nose-blind to.
So here are my tried and true tips for keeping the dog odor out of your house…
And for cleaning up any smells that may have inadvertently taken up residency.
- Grab the baking soda – Baking soda is an AWESOME dog odor absorber. Not only that, but it’s ultra cheap and ultra safe. If your dog sleeps in your bed as mine does, next time you wash your linens, sprinkle a light dusting of the stuff on your mattress. Do it on your dog beds too, every time you take the cover off to wash them. Let the baking soda sit for about 15 minutes and then vacuum it up (don’t use a power nozzle or bagged vacuum as too much baking soda can be damaging – and be sure to clean your vacuum thoroughly and regularly to prevent baking soda build up). You can also do this on or under couch cushions if you have a fabric couch (mine is leather for easy cleaning). And as a bonus, after you’ve cleaned your couch, sprinkle baking soda under the cushions and leave it there so it can do its magic and prevent odors in between cleanings.
- Vinegar is your friend – One of my all-time favorite cleaners is distilled white vinegar. Again, it’s ultra cheap and ultra safe and it really gets the job done. If you’ve got hard floors, use a bit of vinegar to clean them. I use 1 cup per half a gallon of warm water. You can also combine 1 tbsp white vinegar and 1 tsp baking soda in a squirt bottle, and fill the rest with water. Spritz on your carpets, allow to dry and then vacuum away any dog odor that has taken hold.
- Watch your walls – Walls are a big source of dog smell. You might not see it, but walls get just as dusty as anything else in your home. And dog odor LOVES dust (if you’re not dusting weekly, do it – it’ll make a big dent on those tough to combat dog smells). When you dust your house each week, don’t neglect your walls. And periodically wash them with a solution of 1 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp of your favorite dish soap (I use Meyer’s brand bluebell – and truth be told, I just squeeze liberally into my vinegar solution) and a half gallon of warm water.
- Do your laundry – When you have dogs, washing bedding is non-negotiable (if you want to keep the dog smell down). Toss ½ cup distilled white vinegar into the wash to de-stink both your dog’s bedding and your own.
- Dryer sheets aren’t just for the dryer – Use dryer sheets around the house to tackle odors and give off a fresh but not overwhelming, headache inducing scent. Put dryer sheets under couch cushions, in drawers and inside of your pet’s bed to keep your house fresh and odor free.
Oh, and one more super simple, tried and true method for ditching the dog smell…
Open a window.
Letting the fresh air in will let the dog smell out. Not to mention, breathing fresh air is healthier for both you and your dog!
If you have dogs and you’re like me, you don’t want your life to smell like them. But ditching the dog smell doesn’t have to be a full-time job. In fact, with a little bit of consistent effort (consistent is the keyword), you can easily ditch the dog smell for good.
(Note: While baking soda and vinegar are generally fabric safe, it’s always best to test out any new cleaning solution on a small inconspicuous place before using)