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How to get rid of the dog smell in your house

How to get rid of the dog smell in your house

Most canine lovers would agree with the sentiment that a dog makes a house a home. Loyal, loving and cuddly - our furry friends can be a hugely positive and wholesome influence on our lives, with numerous studies showing that they can help combat loneliness and low mood. [1] But while dogs reduce stress, they can also increase mess, and are often guilty of bringing unpleasant smells and stains into the home.

We’ve put together this handy guide detailing exactly how to get rid of pet odour in the house, from identifying the most common sources of bad smells to washing out marks and stains.


Identify the cause of the smell

Sometimes it can be hard to decipher just where on earth the dog smell invading your home is coming from! Often, it isn’t immediately noticeable and might even be pointed out by someone else. This is because, over time, our brains tune out common and innocuous smells around us in a process called sensory adaptation. It helps ensure we can easily recognise more threatening odours like smoke and gas. [2] Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for friends and relatives who aren’t used to our pets and might be hit with a whiff of wet dog when coming over to visit!

While some smells like dog pee in the house are immediately identifiable even to acclimatised noses, others are trickier to isolate. If the smell seems to follow your pet around, consider gas, dental problems and ear infections as some of the potential causes. Alternatively, if the problem is a wet dog smell that seems to disappear after a warm bath, it could be that your dog is treading dirt and soil inside after their daily walk, or getting plant material stuck to their fur.


Take preventative measures

The easiest way to get rid of a wet dog smell is to bathe your dog regularly. Not only does frequent bathing keep your dog smelling fresh, but it also cleanses their fur of harmful bugs and parasites. Pet care experts recommend brushing your dog’s fur prior to bathing to prevent matting and always using lukewarm water. [3] Make sure you wipe your pet’s paws down between baths too, especially after they’ve been outside.

If you need to know how to get rid of dog smells that seem to linger, a trip to the vet might be in order, to rule out health problems like impacted anal sacs, which can cause a bad smell and are also extremely painful. If your dog is suffering from flatulence, try switching up their diet, and always practise good dental hygiene including brushing your dog’s teeth often to avoid bad breath.


Remove stains

It’s not just odours that can compromise the relaxing atmosphere of your home. Whether it’s dog wee on carpets or muddy paw prints on cushions - pets can also contribute to the accumulation of stains, marks and blemishes that can look, as well as smell, unpleasant. There are plenty of products on the market that have been designed specifically to remove pet stains, such as Vanish Pet Expert Spray which can thoroughly remove urine, mud and other mess from your carpets.

Sometimes stains can be invisible to the naked eye, but they might still be causing a smell. Consider investing in a black light. Black lights use UV rays to detect biological material - which glows fluorescent under the light - and might be hiding in plain sight on bedding, rugs or cushions. [4] Washing duvets and other throws regularly is also generally a good idea to help keep your home smelling clean and fresh.


Neutralise odours

Even after you’ve tackled the source of the problem, unpleasant odours can continue to linger in the air. A pet odour eliminator spray is a great last step in banishing bad dog smells for good. Air Wick Aerosol Spray tackles the problem by removing unwelcome odours. Your guests will associate your home with fresh and floral scents, and your dog with nothing other than being friendly, cute and clean!


  1. The Guardian, ‘Dogs have a magic effect’
  2. Air Wick, Eliminate Pet Odours & Keep Smells Under Control /room-guides/other/eliminate-pet-odours-keep-smells-under-control
  3. Good Housekeeping, How to Bathe a Dog
  4., What kind of invisible stains do black lights detect