What Causes Dog Smells in Your Home
There’s no doubt about it: dog owners adore their four-legged friends. Having a pet in the home is an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. It’s estimated that 70-80 million dogs are living in American households, making us a nation filled with people who truly love their pets.
When it comes to dogs, however, it can be challenging to have a clean, fresh-smelling home. As wonderful as these pets are, they do create some unpleasant smells around the home. Let’s get right into the ultimate guide of how to get rid of dog smell
Dogs can leave traces of their smell on everything they encounter. For some, this means that the carpeting, upholstery, bedding, clothes and even the air indoors will end up smelling a bit like a dog.Thankfully, there is a way to keep your canine companions inside the home without the frustration of lingering dog smell. Understanding the basics of dog smell and how to remove these odors from the home can help dog owners bypass the frustration that often accompanies the joy of having a dog.
Do Dogs Smell Worse Than Cats?
It’s a new spin on the timeless question: which pet is better, dogs or cats? If you’re evaluating on smell alone, dogs might be the odd man out here. Most people would agree that dogs tend to smell worse than cats.
There are plenty of reasons for this, and they range from basic physiological reasons to discrepancies in basic maintenance. To fully answer this question, let’s take a quick look at the differences in odor between cats and dogs.
Comparing cat odor to dog odor is challenging since cats typically don’t have their own distinctive smell. Part of this is because cats are fastidious about self-cleaning. By nature, these animals are constantly grooming their fur and their paws, meaning that any dirt or odor-causing substances are eliminated as soon as possible.This obsessive focus on personal cleanliness is a big reason why cats typically don’t have any distinctive odors. Most cats are also indoor pets, meaning that they rarely interact with odor-causing bacteria from outside.This is certainly not to say that cats aren’t associated with any household odors. Most of their scent either comes from spraying or from their litterbox. Cat urine is incredibly pungent, and these odors can be difficult to remove from the home. Litter box odors are typically solved by changing the litter, cleaning or repositioning the litter box, and so on.
Dogs, on the other hand, certainly do have a distinctive dog smell. Although dogs also practice self-cleaning, they do so much less frequently than cats. For the most part, bathing must be done by owners.Without frequent bathing, dogs can certainly develop a stronger smell. Compared to cats, dogs are also interacting with the outdoors much more often. Whether going on walks, hikes, swimming in a lake, or simply going outside to use the bathroom, dogs are much more likely to interact with things outside that will cause them to stink. Dirt, mud, bacteria and a litany of other contaminants can easily be transferred to the home via paws or fur.There can also be a big difference in odors between DogsThey smell differently based on physiological differences and their overall health, which will be covered in detail below.
What Causes Dog Body Odors?
Understanding why dogs have certain scents is one of the most important pieces of knowing why dogs smell, and how to get rid of those unpleasant scents. While it’s easy to think that dogs smell simply because they are dirty, the answer to what causes dog body odors is a little more complicated.There are many physiological reasons for dog body odors:
Does your Dog’s Diet contribute to odors?
Diet plays a huge role in whether a dog has body odor. If a dog’s food contains tons of starches and low levels of fatty acids—like many grain-based foods—then they could wind up suffering from dry skin. The problem with dry skin is that dogs will scratch incessantly, potentially creating an infection.Just as with humans, a healthy diet is essential for a dog’s overall health and well-being. The chemical compounds and by-products of over-processed foods create a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast that live on canine feet.These bacteria can create unpleasant dog body odors, making it difficult to eliminate the dog smell.
Dogs sweat like humans do, but the process is a little bit different. Rather than sweating through skin pores, dogs sweat mainly from their paws and hair follicles. Their perspiration carries a unique chemical scent that we commonly associate as a “dog smell.”
They also produce natural oils, and some dogs may have unpleasant body odors from too much or too little oil production.
Unless they live on a farm or in the country, most dogs are always switching between indoor and outdoor environments. Dogs go on walks, accompany their owners on hikes, and even jump into bodies of water for a quick swim.
Even if it’s a quick trip outside to the bathroom, there’s a relatively high chance that your dog will either walk or roll through something unpleasant. Dirt, mud, decay, and feces can easily cling to their paws and fur. Left alone, debris can create undesirable odors, adding to the overall dog smell.
For dogs that frequently spend time outside, bathing is an important part of keeping them smelling fresh. Dogs that have longer or thicker coats will also need frequent brushing, which keeps debris from clinging to their fur.
Part of why dogs are prone to odor is because they have scent glands or anal sacs. These produce a pungent, musky odor, but for the most part, humans won’t notice this smell. Other dogs certainly recognize this type of scent, but healthy anal sacs don’t create a substantial odor problem.
This type of dog body odor can quickly become pungent if the anal sacs are blocked and unable to drain properly. For the dog, the area around the scent glands becomes swollen and painful. For the owner, the unpleasant smell of blocked anal sacs can be overwhelming.
Ear infections are common amongst dogs, due to the structure of the ear canal. While human ear canals are horizontal, a dog’s ear canal is vertical. This makes it much easier for debris or moisture to get trapped inside, creating an infection.
Aside from moisture, ear infections can be caused by bacteria, yeast, mites, hair, wax, or even allergies. Depending on the breed, some dogs are more susceptible to getting ear infections than others.
If the ear infection is severe, the resulting smell can be overpowering. Milder infections will come with milder smells, but the odor will increase as the infection spreads, creating a genuinely unpleasant odor.
Dogs with overlying skin—like Bulldogs—are prone to get skin infections, though it can happen to any dog. When skin overlaps in deep folds, moisture and bacteria get trapped and create an infection. This can also occur from dry skin, excessive scratching, allergies, or an imbalance of natural oils.These types of odors can be particularly frustrating since bathing tends to make the infection worse.
Just like humans, dogs can get infections in their teeth or gums. Since most owners don’t brush their dog’s teeth—if you’ve ever tried, my advice is to skip the frustration and call the vet—it’s a lot easier for dental problems to occur.A dental infection can produce a rotten, decaying smell, which certainly can be misinterpreted as an unpleasant dog body odor. Because dogs are prone to showing affection through licking, this type of bad breath odor is certainly less than desirable.
Does Pet Hair & Pet Dander Make My Home Smell Bad?
Pet hair and pet dander can certainly be challenging, especially as most dogs are prone to frequent shedding. Before discussing whether these by-products can contribute to dog smell, let’s look at the basics of pet hair and pet dander.While pet dander and pet hair are closely related, there is a significant difference between the two. Pet hair is exactly how it sounds, but pet dander is a combination of two things: hair and dead skin cells. Pet dander is what causes allergic reactions. Shedding hair becomes an allergen when it carries trace remnants of other materials, like saliva, urine, or dead skin cells that collect and travel on hair. Together, the combination of hair and dead skin cells create pet dander.As dogs move from one room to the next, pet dander and pet hair settle on carpets, floors, and other surfaces inside the home. While pet hair is largely a cleaning annoyance, pet dander can be problematic for two reasons: it triggers allergic reactions, and it brings unpleasant odors.
Why Does Pet Dander Smell?
Because pet dander includes biological particles like saliva, urine, or traces of feces, it can certainly create its own brand of unpleasant smells. You can even add mud, dirt, or any outdoor particle to this list.
Another reason why pet dander may give off foul odors is because it often carries trace remnants of the original dog body odor. If a dog has excessively oily skin that is creating a bad smell, that oil will attach itself to shedding hairs and get strewn across the house. Likewise, dogs that have infected ears, scent glands, or skin will have pet dander that carries that same unpleasant smell.The challenge with pet dander comes from being able to detect it and clean it up. As any dog owner knows very well, dog hair tends to build up in corners and slip through cracks. When it comes to pet dander, those lingering smells can make thorough cleaning into a challenging process.
Tips on Removing Odor Caused by Pet Dander
Removing odor caused by pet dander may be challenging, but it certainly isn’t impossible. There are tons of home remedies for getting rid of these types of lingering dog odors. A few common home remedies include:
• Frequent vacuuming
• Dusting surfaces of the home
• Washing floors
• Using scented sprays or candles
• Regular bathing & grooming
• Using lint brushes on fabric surfaces
While these suggestions aren’t necessarily bad, they also aren’t very effective. Because pet dander can be difficult to detect—and because most dogs seem to shed their weight in hair each day—these remedies would need to be repeated daily to be effective.
It’s worth mentioning that an air purification system that uses a HEPA filter is the best and most efficient method of removing pet dander and the odors that come with it. This type of filtration system will remove pet dander and odors that are floating through the air before they settle into cracks, crevices, and home surfaces.
For more information on HEPA filters and air purification systems, see our section below on “How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like Dog.”
How to Get Dog Smell Out of Carpets
Removing dog smell out of your carpet can be a frustrating process. After all, unless your dog has a favorite chair or couch section to lay on, the carpet is where they will be spending most of their time.
Many home remedies suggest frequent washing and vacuuming, though this type of cleaning is only a temporary solution for a permanent problem. There are plenty of scented sprays and treatments that focus on adding more pleasant smells to the carpet, but these types of chemicals will only mask the odor and decrease indoor air quality.
For eliminating dog smells from carpets, the OdorKlenz Source Odor Treatment is the best solution. Not only can it be safely and effectively used on carpets, but it can be applied to any fabrics, upholstery, or other surfaces that are water extractable.Because it does not use masking agents, fragrances, or harsh chemicals, the OdorKlenz Source Odor Treatment is a safe, efficient, and environmentally-friendly solution for stubborn, lingering dog odors. Rather than relying upon fragrances or masking agents to cover offensive smells temporarily, it offers a permanent and thorough solution through patented odor-neutralizing technology. The process works by utilizing safe earth minerals to attack the chemistry behind the source of the odors on contact, breaking down the chemical compositions that make it odorous and noxious without releasing any chemicals back into the environment. Unlike competing product which relies on enzymes to eat away at the smells which often can take weeks to remove the odors and more often then not if it isn’t not the right type of enzyme for the odor, it will not work at all. Don’t waste your time and money on enzymes that may or may not work and click the button below to learn more about the OdorKlenz Source Odor Treatment today
How to Get Dog Smell Out of Couches
Dog owners love spending time relaxing and cuddling with their pets, which means that dogs can potentially spend a lot of time on a couch. Even if dogs aren’t allowed on furniture, their dander and smell can easily find their way into those soft, absorbent fibers.
Cleaning furniture is a very challenging process, especially if your couch does not have a slipcover. Most pet owners try to eliminate dog smell by scrubbing or washing the couch, but end up disappointed when the smell returns a few days—or hours—later.Because the stuffing and outer material of a couch are often absorbent, eliminating smells requires a more specific and refined approach.
Luckily for dog owners, the OdorKlenz Source Odor Treatment is safe and versatile enough for removing dog smell from furniture. As long as the surface is water extractable, this treatment can safely be applied without causing any damage to the material.Instead of using masking agents or fragrances for a temporary fix, this product provides a permanent and thorough solution with patented odor-neutralizing technology which works to attack the core chemical structure of an odor, neutralizing it instead of covering it up with masking agents.Because it does not use masking agents, fragrances, or harsh chemicals, the OdorKlenz Source Odor Treatment is a safe, efficient, and environmentally-friendly solution for stubborn dog odors that are safe to use around your family and pets
How to Eliminate Dog Body Odor
Dog body odor is perhaps the most challenge type of dog smell. It’s a scent that lingers and rubs off on everything that your dog touches. Even worse, if a dog’s body odor isn’t neutralized at its source, pet dander will carry that odor and spread it throughout corners and cracks inside the home.
The last thing that a dog owner wants is to sacrifice their dog’s health even further for the sake of removing unpleasant odors. In fact, many well-meaning owners wind up doing just that by treating body odor caused by dry or oily skin with harsh grooming products. Because the source of many odors comes from natural physiological properties, it’s important to find a treatment that is safe to use when considering your pet’s allergies and various sensitivities.
Best Shampoo For Wet Dog Smell
For dogs that have unpleasant body odor, the OdorKlenz Natural Pet Shampoo is a perfect combination of gentle cleansing and tough odor removal. Instead of bathing the dog in harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, the OdorKlenz Pet shampoo product is made of natural minerals which work to attack the chemistry behind your dog’s stubborn odors while remaining gentle enough to use directly on your pet.
The OdorKlenz Natural Pet Shampoo can be used to remove dog body odor, skunk spray, and even the lingering musty odors from wet dogs. For fast-acting, safe, and effective removal of dog body odor, the OdorKlenz Natural Pet Shampoo is the best product on the market.
How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like Dog
There are few things more discouraging than walking into your home and being greeted by a whiff of dog smell. It’s even more frustrating when your house is otherwise perfectly clean and spotless.
Sometimes, no matter how many cleaning products you use, or how many times the floor gets scrubbed, dog smells can linger in the air.
The best way to keep your house from smelling like a dog is to avoid using fragrances or scented sprays. These chemical compounds will only mask offensive odors, allowing them to resurface over time. When it comes to eliminating dog odors, the most effective method comes from a comprehensive, long-term approach.
Best Air Purifier For Pet Odors
The OdorKlenz Mobile Air System is trusted name and well regarded as the best air purifier for pets. For homeowners who want to tackle a widespread dog and pet odors, the OdorKlenz mobile system is ideal as it comes equipped with a two stage filtration process which mitigates both pet odors and pet dander. As a portable unit, the OdorKlenz Mobile Air System is easily installed and easily moved around from room to room, making it a versatile air purification unit.
Highlighted features include:
• Neutralizes odor through a patented OdorKlenz-Air Cartridge
• Efficient at removing multiple sources of odors from pets, cooking, household chemicals, and more
• Available upgrade of a HEPA filter to remove airborne particles
• 4-speed motor to allow for quiet and efficient airflow
• Weighs less than 20 pounds for easy transportation
The key to dissolving pet odors lies within the patented OdorKlenz Air Cartridge. Rather than using carbon—which can release odors back into the air—this air filter uses a blend of earth minerals, to eliminate unpleasant smells from your environment without releasing any chemical back into the air. This blend of proprietary materials breaks down and neutralizes the chemical compounds found within odors, while the medical grade HEPA filter works to remove and trap particulates such as dust and pet dander of up to .3microns.For those who suffer from pet allergies or struggle with pet dander, this is a must-have feature.
Multiple operating speeds allow for variation in odor and contaminant neutralization while keeping noise levels as close to silent as possible. With a range of 750 square feet, the OdorKlenz Mobile Air System is the most efficient ways to raise indoor air quality and tackle pet-related challenges like dog odors and pet dander.