Unless you keep your dogs outdoors 24/7, you are bound to have certain 'doggy' smells in your home. The problem is that you may not know it. You become so used to living with these smells that they become a familiar part of your home. But ask a friend if they notice any pet odours and the answer may shock you!
Owning a dog or dogs doesn’t mean that your home has to smell like a doghouse. Dealing with pet odours is not a difficult thing to overcome, but you have to take a two-pronged approach – you need to treat both your dog and your home for a successful end result.
Here are some useful tips on how to go about it:
How to treat your dog
You can clean your home until your hands are raw, but if your dog smells bad, your home will still stink of dog odour. As such, it is important to do what you can to keep your dog smelling good – here is how:
Brushing: Brush your dog every day – a short five-minute daily brush will seriously cut down on the amount of hair and dander floating around your home. It will also leave your dog with a better-looking and shinier coat. This is an especially important step if you own a long-haired dog.
Washing: Be sure to bathe your dog at least once a month, and if he likes to roll around in the mud and dirt, then you should bathe your pet at least once a week.
Treat for fleas: From a health and hygiene perspective, if your dog is living in your home with you, it is essential to keep up a rigorous anti-flea treatment.
Dealing with bad breath: If you dog’s breath smells, then brushing your dog’s teeth should sort this problem out. However, be aware that changes in the smell of your dog’s breath can indicate diabetes or kidney disease, so if this happens, you should consult your vet. As with humans, dogs can suffer from halitosis (bad breath) and this is something you are going to have to live with.
Smelly ears: If your dog’s ears start to smell, then it is likely that he has an ear infection. In these circumstances, it is essential that you take your dog to the nearest vet to sort this problem out – don’t try cleaning the ears yourself as you will only achieve in making the situation worse.
Is your dog flatulent?: Some gas is normal for any dog, however, if it happens all the time, then you may need to adjust your pet’s diet. Speak to your vet about your options.
Sliding across the floor: This can be a common problem with some dogs. There are two reason a male dog will slide his bottom across the floor: First, your dog may have worms. The second is more common and is due to the fact that most dogs need to have their anal glands expressed at some point. When these glands become full, it irritates the dog. You can either have your vet express these glands for you, have a groomer do it (some will say they did when they actually didn't), or do it yourself. My personal opinion having seen it done - let the vet do it.
How to treat your home against pet odour
Having a pet can give you hours of enjoyment and love, but living with pet odour can also cause untold embarrassment.
This need not be the case, however, there are a few simple steps you can take that will leave your home smelling fresh, clean and free of any pet odour – here’s how:
Lint rollers: Lint rollers are an ideal way of dealing with any floating dust balls or dog hair – they are a great way of removing them from your soft furnishings and your clothes. Keep a few within easy access in and around your home.
Baking soda: This common household item is a miracle-cure for pet odour – simply sprinkle it on your carpet or your upholstered furniture, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it off – you will notice that the room will immediately smell better. For a quick and inexpensive air freshener, mix ¼ cup of baking soda with water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture into the air – the baking soda will absorb the odour. To make your home smell even better, you can add a few drops of essential oils, such as vanilla extract or cinnamon for example.
Vinegar: Vinegar is another quick, easy and inexpensive way of getting rid of dog odour. Put some white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it in the air – as the vinegar smell subsides, so will the pet odour.
A well-placed mat: Be sure to include washable doormats on both sides of the doors leading to the outdoors – they really help cut down on the dirt your dog can drag into your home.
Clean dog mess promptly: If your dog makes a mess indoors, it is essential to clean it up just as it happens, otherwise it will spread, stain and leave a smell that your dog will recognise as an indication that this is his toilet. It is best to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for this purpose, as they are made to break down organic waste, disinfect the area and neutralise any resulting odour. Whatever you do, never use cleaning products with ammonia, as they smell just like urine to dogs. If you don’t have any specialised cleaner on hand, then you can make your own: mix 1 litre of hot tap water, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. Blot the affected area with paper towels and clean the area using the mixture. Let the mixture stand for approximately 15 minutes, then blot again and repeat as often as necessary.
Cleaning your floors: It is best to have hard flooring in the areas where your dog will be, such as tiles, laminate or solid wood flooring, and only have carpeted flooring in areas where your dog doesn’t go, like the bedroom for example. If your dog does roam freely in your home, then it will be necessary to mop and vacuum your floors everyday to deal with any potential pet odour before it becomes a problem. This will remove hair and skin debris, which aside from controlling odour, is a very useful tool when it comes to controlling fleas.
Your dog’s bedding: It is advisable to give your dog’s bedding a thorough wash every week. Also, it is best to keep your dog off your upholstered furniture. However, if you like having your dog on the sofa with you, then a good idea would be to cover it with a washable throw-over or blanket that can be washed on a weekly basis too.