Do you let your dog climb on the furniture? Whether you agree with it or not, dogs have a way of leaving their scent behind.
As pet owners, we develop nose-blindness when it comes to unpleasant odors. It’s not until a family member or guest makes a comment that we realize there’s a problem.
The good news is that there are many ways to remove smells and keep them off. This post will go over the things you can do on a daily basis along with more permanent options for preventing pet odors in the first place.
Keep reading to learn unique ways of removing urine stains, cat urine smell, dog hair, and more. We’ll show you the best vacuum cleaners for removing pet fur and how to use an upholstery attachment to “pull” dog smells from the couch.
Why Do Dogs Leave Odor on the Furniture?
Dog odor can be caused from any number of things. Sickness, yeast accumulation on the skin, infections, poor dental health, etc.
The reason why dog’s give off such smelly odor has to do with a combination of yeasts and bacteria. The wet dog smell that lingers in the car after a day at the beach is caused by the evaporation of moisture from those stinky organic compounds on the skin and fur.
There hasn’t been a lot of science behind the reason for bad dog odors. However, it stands to reason that if your dog has any health issues, it can translate into smelly skin.
How Can I Keep The Smells From Coming Back?
There’s a good chance the unpleasant smell will come back unless permanent changes are made. Once you start letting your dog up on the furniture, it’s hard to go back.
Some options for permanent change include trading in old fabric furniture with leather or faux-leather. These furniture pieces are a bit of an investment, but your pets are likely going to be in your life for years to come.
The investment will save your sanity! All it takes to wipe down a faux-leather couch is a damp, clean cloth. Visible dirt can easily be wiped away with a mild cleaning solution.
What If I Can’t Afford New Furniture?
If you can’t afford to switch out your old furniture, there are other options for you. The best option is to keep your couch covered with a cover protector.
Cover protectors come in all sizes, colors, and patterns.
Look for pet-friendly covers because many of them have a waterproof padding underneath. That way, if your dog has an accident on the couch, the protector will prevent urine from seeping through to your actual furniture.
Use machine washable throws, throw pillows, removable cushions, etc. Being able to remove and wash those items will go a long way in keeping tough odors at bay,
The following 19 tips involve a combination of DIY cleaning methods, suggestions on furniture options that will save your back (and your time), and comparisons on some of the top air filter systems that are totally affordable.
#1. Toss Removable Couch Covers into The Washing Machine
If you have removable covers, go ahead and peel them off. Your first step should be to check the washing instructions.
You may need to bring your couch cushions to a dry cleaner. Instructions might also suggest hanging to dry rather than using the dryer. This step also includes washing any pillows or throws.
#2. Vacuum the Couch
This is a must-do before attempting to actually clean the couch with something like a steam cleaner.
Vacuuming is a great way to remove pet hair from cushion covers. It can also help to remove dead skin cells, dust, and loose dirt or debris. Make sure to get into the corners and vacuum the entire couch thoroughly for best results.
Use a hand-held vacuum or use the nozzle attachment of your regular vacuum.
#3. Sprinkle with Baking Soda
Baking soda absorbs and neutralizes odors. People sometimes leave an opened container in the refrigerator for that very reason.
Sprinkle a light layer over the couch and let it sit for as long as possible. Some people leave it for a few minutes and others leave it all night. The next morning you can vacuum it up.
#4. Invest in a Carpet Cleaning Machine
Some pet owners choose to rent carpet steamers, but it’s a good idea to invest in a new one. Your dogs are going to be around for years to come and you will definitely get your money’s worth.
Check out the gallery below to see OUR TOP CHOICES:
#5. DIY Cleaning Solution
The best cleaning products are the ones that are environmentally friendly. They don’t pose a risk to your dog’s health and won’t destroy the fabric of your furniture. Don’t feel like making your own? That’s okay. Pet supply stores carry a wide variety of cleaners and spray solutions to help remove dog-related odors.
USE the following natural cleansers or make your own!
BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR
Baking soda is a natural odor remover that works by neutralizing the acids that cause bad smells.
Make a paste using a 3:1 mixture of baking soda and vinegar. There’s really no wrong way to mix these two ingredients.
Mix enough vinegar to the baking soda to make a paste. If it’s too thick, add more vinegar. This trick is useful if you’re trying to eliminate the smell of urine from fabric upholstery.
To help remove stains, rub the paste into the spot and press a piece of paper towel on it. Repeat with more paper towels until the stain has been lifted.
If you want to neutralize odors from a larger area, try just using baking soda. Sprinkle it over your furniture and let it sit overnight. The next day, just vacuum it up.
Use a spray bottle to evenly distribute your cleaner. You’ll want to mix 3/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of white (regular) vinegar, and 1/2 a tablespoon of mild dish detergent.
Before using on a large area, it’s a good idea to do a patch test to ensure no damage will be done to your couch or other fabric.
Again, there’s really no wrong way of doing this. You can add baking powder to the spray bottle for added effectiveness. Just use a cup of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda.
VODKA CLEANING SPRAY
Not everyone wants to use up their vodka stash to use as a cleaner. However, if you’re in a pinch, you can combine 1 cup of vodka with 1/2 cup of water. Use it in a spray bottle to spritz your fabric furniture.
Always test a small patch first to ensure the fabric can handle it. When you’re sure it’s okay, spray the couch (including back and arms) and let dry overnight. Vacuum the couch the next day.
#6. ESSENTIAL OIL DEODORIZER
Essential oils can be a little tricky when using them in a pet-friendly home. Some essential oils can have a toxic effect on dogs so you’ll want to be careful which ones you use.
The following recipe is considered safe for use in a home with pets.
Mix the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 1 cup baking soda
Do a spot check before spraying. You’ll want to spray and let dry overnight. Vacuum the next morning.
#7. ENZYME DEODORIZERS
Enzymatic cleaners are sometimes recommended by veterinarians to rid your couch of unpleasant pet odor.
Pet stores usually carry it but you can also find it here:
The spray uses active enzymes To penetrate and destroy dog dander and odor.
#8. Buy a Faux Leather Couch
Tired of constantly trying to scrub away bad doors? Frustrated with those sticky strips that are suppose to pick up dog fur but don’t actually work that well?
The right furniture can make all the difference. Since switching to a faux leather couch, I’ve reduced the amount of time it takes me to keep shedding fur to a minimum.
#9. Air Purifier
What goes up must come down. Unfortunately, this also includes the microorganisms on your dog. As your dog runs, jumps, plays, and rolls around on the floor, those compounds are being left behind. The result? Pet odor.
Readers of Your Dog’s Health Matters have been purchasing the CritterZone Air Naturalizer to reduce pet odor in the home:
#10. Replace the Dog Bed
Sometimes it’s just a matter of replacing the dog bed mattress. Look for quality dog beds with removable covers. They’re usually easy to clean in the washing machine and can be zipped back into place after.
#11. Use Fabric Freshener
Fabric fresheners do just that…they freshen. If you have guests arriving any minute, fabric fresheners can help mask pet smell. You can also use air fresheners to take some odor from the air.
#12. Maintain Regular Pet Wellness Checks.
This one might not seem as obvious, but it’s important to keep your dog’s yearly veterinarian checks. You may be wondering how this related to dog odors. The reason is because a veterinarian can spot potential problems before they get out of hand.
Allergies can cause a host of skin problems which can lead to the over-production of yeast. Yeast stinks! Keeping your dog healthy can help reduce overall smells.
#13. Thoroughly dry your dog before allowing on the furniture
Does your dog like to swim? Do you bathe your dog? It’s important to get that fur as dry as possible before allowing your pooch back on the couch. Wet fur is particularly smelly and once that settles into the couch…good luck trying to get rid of it.
#14. Replace Old Area Rugs
This may or may not be relevant for you. If your area rug has high traffic, the dog uses it as a sleeping mat, or it’s seen a lot of wear and tear, it might be time to replace it.
Even regularly vacuumed rugs can hold onto odors. Even spot cleaning it may not do the trick. If you think your rug may be releasing pet odors into the air it might be time to look at a replacement.
#15. Hire a Professional Cleaner
Sometimes the thought of deep cleaning everything in the house (fabric furniture in particular) is overwhelming. Not everyone is up for the task for a variety of reasons. If you need to remove stinky dog odor, consider hiring a professional cleaner.
#16. Doggy Dental Hygiene
If your dog sleeps on the couch, there’s a good chance he drools a little bit. Your dog might even nibble the end of your couch throws or blankets. It looks adorable! The problem is that a dog’s drool can harbor the smell of whatever is going on in his/her mouth.
Stinky dog breath could be a sign of serious dental and gum issues that should be addressed by a canine dental professional or periodontist.
#17. Keep the vacuum basket clean
Have you ever turned on your vacuum only to be greeted by the same smell you’re trying to get rid of? It might be time to change the filter in the vacuum. If possible, remove the container that collects the dirt and give it a good cleaning.
Wash the basket in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly before reattaching to the vacuum. You might want to check for blockages in the vacuum and clear out any trapped dirt.
#18. Couch Protectors
Once the cushions and accessories are clean and odor-free, consider purchasing a pet-proof couch protector. Couch covers are a lot easier to deal. They come in waterproof versions (added padding underneath for accidents) and are available in a variety of sizes and colors.
What you use to remove bad odors will probably depend on how big the problem is, the type of furniture you have, and the size of the problem area.
#19. Shop the Pet Supply Store
Pet supply stores and department stores are great sources for cleaning products. Look for products made specifically for cleaning up after your pets or for getting rid of dog odor. Why? Because if it’s made with pets in mind, it should be safe and free of chemicals that can harm your dog.
Summing it up
It’s fair to say that many dogs leave odors behind. The reasons for this are thought to be related to the compounds released from their skin and fur. Health conditions can leave your dog smelling worse than he/she should.
Because we live with that odor day in and day out, it gets harder for us to recognize the smell. If you haven’t taken steps to reduce or remove pet odor, now might be the time to get started. With the right tools and elbow grease, you should be well on your way to a fresh smelling home.
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