We all love to cuddle with our pets, whether that be dogs, cats, rabbits, or anything with fur. The days when pets were simply working companions are gone and in almost every circumstance the idea of the pet living outside is eradicated. The family is family. Not only do our pets cuddle with us on the sofa or our favorite chair to watch TV, but they snuggle with us in our beds, go on long holiday trips and even out to dinner at our favorite dog-friendly restaurants.
All of this one-on-one time means that all of our furnishings are going to hold the distinct smell of dog (or cat or whatever), and even the most rabid of dog lovers amongst us may not want the whole house to smell of a dog that needs a good washing. This is specifically true if we want to enjoy the company of human guests. So let's focus on dogs because they tend to have smells... How do you get rid of that smelly dog smell? It's actually pretty easy.
How to Eliminate Dog Odor
First thing is first - you have to start out by taking all of the furniture apart – pillows, blankets, etc. then vacuum everything thoroughly. If the sofa and chairs have removable slipcovers or cushion covers, take those off for washing. You'll have to get into the crevices of the furniture as deep as possible to remove all the hair and flip the bed mattress to get both sides. On the floors, make sure to get under all of the furniture and in the corners, where “hair bunnies” tend to gather.
How to remove pet odor from carpets and furniture
Next, gather your deodorizing supplies to work on removing pet odor from carpets, furniture, and beds. It’s really pretty simple; all you need is a big box or two of baking soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Wash all of your linens, blankets and cushion covers in a mix of oxy powered laundry detergent and a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar. There are also pet odor removers available at pet supply stores, but the home remedy works just fine.
On the carpets, bed and furniture, sprinkle baking soda liberally, using a cleaning brush to spread it around and into the fabric. Let it all sit overnight so that the baking soda has a chance to absorb the odors. For the bed, you might want to do this in the morning so that you can clean and remake the bed at the end of the day. Follow up by vacuuming all of the baking soda from the bed, carpet, and furnishings and returning the bed linens and cushion covers or slipcovers to the furniture.
This will get rid of a great deal of the smell, but to really do a thorough job, you might want to rent a carpet cleaning machine with an attachment for furniture – or call a cleaning company to do it for you. Always start with neutralizing as much of the smell as possible before the shampooing, though, or all you will be doing is creating a hybrid of dog smell and perfumed shampoo. Not a good combination. And don’t use carpet shampoo on the furniture, or you could end up with ruined and smelly furniture.
Lastly, some people like to use a perfume product to help neutralize the smell. If you do this, make sure that it is non-toxic to animals. Many products that are safe for humans are not always safe for dogs or cats (in fact, most of them aren't safe for us either). Some home air fresheners, sprays, plug-ins and scented oils can be harmful to a pet's health. When in doubt just stick with the home baking soda remedy.
And if you have a cat that likes to scratch or spray, there are natural remedies for that to! Read our article on "How to make your own cat repellant spray".