I know your woes, stranger. I know you love that furry animal-child of yours. But unless you lack of sense of smell or have an awesome odor-free pooch, I know you don’t love their stink. In fact, I bet you’re even worried guests will think your house smells bad. It’s okay! We can demolish those fears.
Behold, how to fight the power(ful odor that follows your dog like a shadow).
Stink in your clothes, furniture, and carpet:
We love Febreze. In fact, I use it often. Spray it in the closet, on the couch, the floor, curtains. Anything. And while Febreze is generally deemed safe for use in the homes of pet owners, I know plenty of people who would prefer homemade all the way. I can help with that!
There are a few ways to make a spray deodorizer at home.
1. The Bloggers behind “Fake It Frugal” and “Homemade Mamas” suggest you mix 1/8 cup of fabric softener, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and enough hot tap water to finish filling the 32 ounce spray bottle of your choice. Use like regular Febreze!
2. Another recipe, from Young House Love substitutes vinegar for fabric softener. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice, and 2 cups of hot water. Mix them in a spray bottle. She does not recommend spraying the mixture on delicate clothes.
How easy was that?
Stink in your carpet (and furniture)
First and foremost, I honestly believe vacuuming more often makes my carpet smell better. We also just got a new vacuum cleaner – some sort of Shark Navigator – that seems to be doing a good job getting the fur out of the carpet fibers. But, there is always more you could do to improve the smell.
Have you see the boxed carpet powder in the cleaning section? It advertizes a mix of Oxyclean and Arm and Hammer and features a picture of a dog and cat, so you know it works.
Actually, it really does work. But I’ve found baking soda alone can tackle the Lana and Fosters smell that sometimes lingers in my carpet fibers. Just vacuum like normal, then sprinkle some baking soda all over your carpet and any fabric furniture the dogs are allowed on (or think they’re allowed on). Wait about 15 minutes and then vacuum again. (You could probably just do it before vacuuming, but if your dog sheds like mine does, a second round never hurts!) Your house smells nice after, and the smell is reactivated the next several times you vacuum!
If you want something a little stronger, the blogger behind One Good Thing By Jillee recommends mixing 1/2 a cup of baking soda with 1/2 a cup of borax and adding either a teaspoon of essential oils or a teaspoon of cinnamon or clove. (As she warned, I’d be careful with the second option, because my carpet is very light colored! A stain would not be good for my apartment deposit.) Like the baking soda, just sprinkle the mixture on carpet and after 15 minutes, vacuum.
Odor in your dog bedding
Okay, it’s not surprising that your dog’s bed smells kind of like a dog. The secret (or not) is to buy beds with removable covers and wash the covers every so often. Make sure you wash them every time your dog gets a bath, so a nasty bed doesn’t make your nice, clean dog smelly!
One former employer would even put the bed stuffing in a plastic garbage bag and then put the whole thing inside the bed cover. I wasn’t sure that would be particularly comfortable for my dogs, so I never did that myself. It actually would have been super helpful for me before Lana’s incontinence was diagnosed, but I digress.
BONUS: While the covers are in the wash, I usually spray the inside stuffing with Febreze (or the homemade version of).
It’s in the air! The smell is everywhere!
I’ve fostered dogs while they went through heartworm treatment, tummy aches, and intense anxiety. I am painfully familiar with the smell of diarrhea (and anal gland release) in my house. That stuff LINGERS. While I am a big fan of (not very pet friendly) bleach (I’ll bleach the crap out of a soiled crate or tile floor, and just not let the dogs near for a while), there are other, safer alternatives for the smell.
For example, try adding a few drops of vanilla extract to a mug. Then, just pop the mug into the oven at 300 degrees for about an hour. It smells amazing. (But it might make you crave something sweet!)
If you’d rather have a pleasant aroma all day every day, not just an intense cover up when stink happens, you could either invest in a store bought smell good or make one yourself. My family has always used the wall plug ins (from bath and body works, actually), but it is possible to make this at home, too! Holy Crickey suggests mixing 1 part essential oil (whatever scent suits you) and 2 parts water in one of your old smelly wall plug ins. It’s safer, cheaper, and I’m sure it smells fantastic. (Hopefully I’ll get to try this project myself soon!)
Seriously, please help! This dog stinks to high heaven!
Whoa. Calm down, there. First things first – have you tried bathing your dog? I don’t recommend it weekly or anything, but when that stink appears, it might be time. Invest in whatever shampoo (and even conditioner) you want, and bathe your dog. Just be sure to dry them quickly so they don’t get that awful wet dog smell.
Don’t want to bathe your dog (again)? They make doggie cologne you can spray on them from time to time! I even found one that smelled like watermelon! (I’m so serious right now, it smelled delicious.)
Another option is essentially dry shampoo for dogs. Just sprinkle baking soda or baby powder on your dog’s coat (avoiding the face area), rub it in, and then brush it out. Both powders absorb odors and leave your dog smelling fresh. I have personally used both of these, and they work!
Is the source of your problem doggie gas? Take a look at his or her diet. Too much food, low quality food, and “people food” scraps could be causing excess flatulence!
Could your dog’s breath be the cause of that horrendous smell? If so, you should ask your veterinarian. Abnormally offensive doggie breath could be a sign of serious dental problems. If it’s just normal not-so-fresh dog breath, there are a few options to try as well.
–Add fresh parsley to your dog’s food or make/buy treats with parsley in them. I added parsley to Lana’s dinners after reading a rumor that it would help her incontinence. It did not, but as a breath freshener, it wasn’t a complete waste.
–Brush your dog’s teeth. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Dogs need proper oral hygiene just like people. Aim for brushing daily, but make sure to do it at least 2-3 times per week. (Use a dog toothpaste, not human toothpaste! They have different ingredients and very different flavors!!)
There you have it – solutions to all of your stinky dog problems! Thank you for reading, and remember to keep your eyes peeled for the next installment in the series.