As pet lovers, the concessions we are willing to make to keep our companions in our homes are nearly limitless. Arranging our homes so they have access to their comfiest sleeping spots while we’re at work. Keeping only pet-safe houseplants. Wearing only colors that compliment/disguise our pet’s fur (or at very least, eradicating most of our black clothing).
We go to great lengths to make our lifestyle pet-friendly, but does that mean our homes have to smell pet-friendly? Believe it or not, you don’t have to choose between your pet and a fresh home. With a little bit of elbow grease, your home can pass even the most sensitive sniff test.
Go to the source.
If you’re serious about eliminating pet odors from your house, you’ve got to start at the source. For dog owners, this probably means a pet bath, at least, and possibly a more in-depth assessment. If you notice an odor coming from a specific spot on your dog, it’s definitely worth a look. Yeast infections are a fairly common odor culprit and typically hang out around ears or paws. Dogs with skin folds also require regular attention to avoid skin fold dermatitis, which can cause infection and, you guessed it, a terrible smell. Changes in your dog’s scent could indicate change in their health status, and warrant a quick call to your veterinarian. Remember a regular bath time can become a source of enjoyment for you and your pet so be sure to make the experience fun and give lots of encouragement and treats so that it doesn’t become a source of fear and worry.
Cats generally do a good job of keeping themselves clean, and rarely will require a bath, so for cat owners, “going to the source” likely means tackling the litter box. Which leads us to…
Once you’re confident your pet is clean, it’s time to address set-in pet smells.
Are you being haunted by pet stains and odors from years past? Before you take any other steps to clean your carpet, thoroughly scrub any existing spots with a cleaner that contains enzymes. This will break down the proteins in the stains, keeping the odor from resurfacing. Once you’ve spot-treated any trouble areas, it’s a good idea to do a deep carpet cleaning. Rent a carpet shampooer, or hire a professional carpet cleaning service to ensure that past odors will not be returning.
Does Fluffy have a favorite spot on the couch? Maybe Fido’s bed is smelling a little stale. When it comes to treating furniture smells, it can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Many pet beds and couch cushions have removable covers that are machine washable. To treat set-in odors in the stuffing or cushion foam, sprinkle some baking soda, wait a few minutes, and thoroughly vacuum. Of course, Before you do anything, make sure to consult the care tag or manual that came with your furniture.
Even if you’ve got a regular litter box routine in place, it’s a good idea to do an occasional deep cleaning. To do this, remove all of the litter and clean your litter box with soap and water. If you’ve got stubborn smells or stains, you can fill your litter box with vinegar and let it sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing it out again. Ask yourself is it time for a new litter box, this may be a good opportunity to upgrade to some of the latest designs to make changing the litter on a regular basis even simpler for you.
The key to keeping pet odors out for good is a solid cleaning routine. Frequent vacuuming and dusting go a long way, as well as using baking soda regularly in litter boxes and other odor-prone areas. Some households benefit from air purifiers with HEPA filters (especially if you have an allergy sufferer in your home), and when the weather permits, open your windows to let your home air out.
Pet ownership can create extra work around the house, but of course, living with our furry friends is worth it. Do you have a tried-and-true odor-busting hack? Share it with with us here!