How to Keep Your House from Smelling like Dog

How to Keep Your House from Smelling like Dog puppy hiding nose from bad smell

We love our dogs like they are family members, but just like our human family we do not always like the odor they can leave behind.  However, you can enjoy your canine family and still have a fresh smelling home.

In the last year alone, more people were working from home and spending more time than ever with their furry companions right by their sides.

In this article, How to Keep Your House from Smelling like Dog, we will look at the reasons dogs smell, limiting the dog’s odor through odor prevention and how to keep our home smelling fresh and not like the dog.

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How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like Dog:  Reasons Our Dogs Smell

Humans tend to be the opposite of dogs when it comes to smell.  We like scents that are pleasant to breathe in like fresh air, flowers, soap, freshly baked items. 

Dogs on the other hand, like rancid and repulsive smells.  They like to roll in other animal feces, dead animals found in the backyard, and even stinky mud.

One possible reason for this behavior is they want to cover their own scent in hopes of hiding from predators. It could also be they are trying to impress.

Have you noticed the stronger the odor the more they are pleased with themselves?  Therefore, it’s important to know how to keep your house from smelling like dog.

Before we learn how to keep your house from smelling like dog, we want to know the other reasons that dearly loved canines have a distinct odor.

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Anal Sac Odor.  This is the most common reason for dog odor in our homes.  Dogs have two small sacs on both sides of their rectum, it’s also called the “marking gland.” 

The “fishy odor” associated with anal glands could be from having them impacted.  Your dog could be trying to express their anal sacs by scooting on the carpet or floor.

Dogs that have healthy firm stools usually express their anal sacs naturally. However, if you suspect this is the source of your dog’s odor, make an appointment with your local vet.

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Ear Infections. Excessive bacteria and yeast can build up in the ear and put off an offensive odor. People often refer to this odor as “strong cheese odor”.

Regularly cleaning the ears can eliminate some of these odors.  The ear infections could also be a symptom of other health issues.

Skin Issues or Infections.  A buildup of sebum and yeast on the skin could release a stinky cheese or yeasty smell from your dog.

Dogs can have skin issues for several reasons.  It could be due to hormonal imbalances, fungus, and parasites.  It’s best to see your local veterinarian to determine the root of the odor.

Mold or Moisture. Dogs that have folds of skin like Shar Peis and Mastiffs can have a buildup of moisture and micro-organisms. Moisture needs to be wiped out thoroughly after baths, swimming and walks in the rain. 

The same is true for dogs with thick fur breeds like the Komondor or Newfoundland.  It’s best to dry their fur thoroughly after bathing and swimming.

Dogs can naturally have an offensive odor to humans, or they can acquire their repulsive odor in hopes of impressing their family!

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How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like Dog:  Preventing a Smelly Dog

Clean teeth.  The buildup of plaque and tartar can give your dog bad breath.  Routine teeth cleaning will help keep tartar under control for your dogs.

How to Keep Your House from Smelling like Dog person holding the ears of French Bulldog

Ears.  Dog’s ears need regular cleaning.  Simply use a round cleansing pad and a solution of half witch hazel and half water.  Wipe out any dirt or buildup around the ear canal. (Just a word of caution, do not use cotton swaps made for humans and do not use hydrogen peroxide.).

If your dog has a yeasty smell coming from their ears, then the issue will need to be addressed internally as well.

Healthy Diet.  A dog’s diet needs to be well rounded with quality protein, organ meat, healthy grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Your dog’s stool is a good indicator of the quality of their dog food.  Dog feces should be brown and firm. When a dog defecates it will naturally express the anal glands.

When learning how to keep your house from smelling like dog, a healthy diet is key to your dog not passing odiferous gas, which is not pleasant in the home.

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How to Keep Your House from Smelling like Dog Malamute getting dried off with a towel

Regular brushing and baths.  Dog owners can debate for hours on how often their dog should get a bath.  Bath your dog on a routine basis, whether it’s monthly baths or weekly baths.  Include washing their collars and harnesses on a regular basis.

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The quality of dog shampoo is important.  Chose the right dog shampoo that fits your dog and situation. You can choose from odor reducing shampoos, flea/tick repellent shampoos and natural (low suds) oatmeal shampoos for your dog. Also, there are shampoos specifically formulated for itchy skin.

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You want to be aware that bathing your dog too much can remove natural oils that are necessary for a shiny healthy coat.  One solution is choosing a dog shampoo that is gentle and produces low suds.  It’s also good to remember that too much oil attracts dirt.

You might consider a waterless or “dry” shampoo in the interim to control both the oil in your dog’s fur and the odor that it causes. 

You have now addressed many of the external reasons your dog has a distinct “doggie” odor.  Now how to keep your home from smelling like dog!

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10 Tips on How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like Dog

The amount of daily and routine cleaning is dependent on a few factors, the unique odor of your dog, how many dogs you have in the home, and where the dog is allowed to play and sleep in the home.

We will look at 10 tips for how to keep your house from smelling like dog.  You can pick and choose which tips best fit your situation.

How to Keep Your House from Smelling like Dog Husky mix laying in dog bed
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  • Wash your dog’s bed frequently.  Wipe it down with vinegar and lemon spray if it’s a vinyl bed.  Removable bed covers that can be thrown in the washing machine work great.
  • Dog blankets can be hung on the clothesline to freshen up or to dry out after washing them.  Place dog beds in the sunshine to freshen. Sunshine and fresh air will do them wonders!
  • Use furniture covers or blankets where the dog sleeps.  Shake covers outside to remove fur and wash in warm water.  Add 1 c. of white vinegar during the rinse cycle for more odor removing power.
  • Vacuum around dog crates and under furniture on a regular basis.

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  • If possible, eliminate wall to wall carpeting.  Clean area rugs by sprinkling with baking soda and placing in the sunshine when possible.
  • Mop your floors often using 2 cups of warm water, 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1/8 tsp. of dish soap.  This mixture will gently clean your floors while removing odors.  Use an enzymatic cleaner on carpets where the dog may have urinated.
  • Clean other areas your dog frequents.  Blankets and crates in the vehicles can be cleaned on a routine basis to eliminate odor.

Apply the above tips to practice how to keep your house from smelling like dog. Keeping your home fresh and clean and not smelling like your canine family member is not hard.

Once you get into a routine of tossing the blankets and bed covers into the washing machine and using baking soda on your carpets, you will have a wonderful smelling home.

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How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like Dog:  Products to Avoid

Not all cleaning products are safe to use on a dog. Most chemical-based cleaning products are not suitable for dogs to breathe or sleep on.  Avoid these four cleaning products on your dog.

  1. Hydrogen peroxide – avoid using this to clean your dog’s ears.  Peroxide can irritate the ear canal and is especially painful for ulcerated or inflamed ears.
  • Borox – is considered a toxic powder for dogs.  If ingested, it can reck havoc on your dog’s stomach and potentially cause kidney issues.
  • Bleach – is poisonous for your dog to breath in and ingest.  Remember dogs have an incredible sense of smell. The list is lengthy for symptoms of bleach toxicity.  Some symptoms include drooling, tremors, dilated pupils, and lesions on their skin.

If you must use bleach in your home, make sure your dog is outside.  Air out your home adequately and use an air purifier before welcoming your dog back inside your home.

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  • Aerosol or plug-in fragrances.  Artificial scents that are used in air fresheners are poisonous to your dog.  This type of fragrance affects our dog’s central nervous system.  Exposure can result in lethargy, hyperactivity, and neurological issues.

If you think your dog has been exposed to any of the above cleaners or artificial fragrances call your emergency veterinarian or your local animal poison control center.

Animal Poison Control number is 888-426-4435.

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How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like Dog:  One Last Trick

Dogs are a lot of responsibility but are totally worth it!  Since they are unable to clean up after themselves, it’s the humans job to look after their grooming needs to keep odor under control.

One last trick for how to keep your house from smelling like dog, keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water on hand.

In an amber spray bottle mix 1:1 apple cider vinegar and water.  Shake before spraying.  You can neutralize odors on your dog between bathing times by gently spraying their coat. This odor neutralizing spray can be used on their bedding and your furniture between cleanings.

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While we practice how to keep your house from smelling like dog, we can vacuum our homes and wash items that dogs regularly use on a routine basis.

Enjoy a fresh clean home and your wonderful canine companion!

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