How to Get Rid of Dog Smell – 11 Tips to Beat the Stink

You know that smell. It’s the one you can’t get out of your nose, and it makes you feel upset in your own home.

Yes, you also know who is at fault, but you love your pup too much to be angry at them.

That bad dog smell is something we all dread, but what causes it?

Stay with us to find out how to get rid of dog smell efficiently and with as little hassle as possible.

Let’s get into it!

Why is Your Dog Smelly?

As you are aware, most animals, including humans and dogs, don’t have the most delicate natural scent.

If you have wondered why your dog may smell as bad as they do, here is a list of the most common reasons:

  • Their oily skin can cause quite an unpleasant smell.
  • Their ears can build up wax.
  • They sweat a lot through their feet.
  • They get dirty during physical activity.
  • They may have some health issues.

For a complete guide to all the reasons why your dog may smell bad, check out our other article:

Whatever may be the reason, you don’t want a household that reeks, and we are here to help you fix your problems in no time.

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell?

Once you know what causes that nasty smell, it’s time to take some action! We will go through everything from top to bottom so that you can deeply clean your house and restore that fresh smell we all like so much.

Here are the most effective ways to get rid of dog smell, split into three phases:

Phase 1: Clean & Wash

Clean your carpets and furniture to get rid of dog smell in your house.

Roll up your sleeves and get ready for some hard work because we first need to deeply clean and wash your entire house!

The first step is to get your dog outside or someplace where they won’t get in the way of all the cleaning.

Then, we start with the floors:

#1 – Wash Your Carpets

Carpets are usually the primary source of dog smell since your pup is probably rolling around the house all the time.

If your home is carpeted, it would be best to invest in a carpet cleaning machine and get those carpets washed as often as possible.

When you vacuum the carpets, it will suck up all the loose hair and dander accumulated on them and loosen up any smelly oils attached to them. It will then help the shampooer remove these items from your carpet.

Your second option is to hire a professional to do the cleaning for you. That way, your carpets will get a thorough cleaning, and you won’t have to worry about how to get rid of dog smell in the house anymore.

#2 – Wash Your Dog’s Bedding

Your pup sleeps on his bed all day, and it’s bound to accumulate some unavoidable odors. These smells will then pile up and eventually become unbearable if they’re not properly washed off.

It may be a good idea to invest in a set of new dog beds for him. Then wash them occasionally at high-temperature settings so that you can get rid of any unwanted stains or smells.

If changing the beds isn’t an option, replace the old ones with fresh ones every couple of months. This is how to get rid of dog smell in the house at its source.

#3 – Baking Soda is Your Best Friend

Baking soda absorbs odors and deodorizes really well. You can use it to neutralize your dog’s scent on carpets and furniture.

You can use this method to get rid of the foul odor from your dog’s toys as well. You’ll agree that them spending so much time inside your dog’s mouth can’t be the fragrant place to be.

Before washing:

  • Sprinkle baking soda directly onto the affected area.
  • Let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Vacuum up all those tiny white particles.

This process should help get rid of that “dog smell.”

Make sure not to use baking powder (often scented), as it could irritate your pup’s skin.

Carpet cleaning.

#4 – Deep Clean Your Furniture

The next step in our fresh-scent home makeover is to deep clean our furniture, especially the bed, the couch, and any chairs your dog likes to sit or sleep on.

To start this process, vacuum all your furniture thoroughly. Then take a wet cloth and wipe down the surfaces before you dry them with another cloth. This should help get rid of any loose particles that may have gathered on the surfaces.

Next, mix one cup of baking soda with about half a cup of water in a spray bottle. Make sure to label it so that it doesn’t get mistaken for anything else!

Once done, use that mixture to spray onto your furniture’s surface. Let it sit either overnight or until morning when you do the next step – wiping off all the excess powder with a damp cloth.

Once again, you have two more options, which are even more effective but also pricey:

  • Rent (or buy) a steam cleaner and thoroughly clean your furniture without much hassle.
  • Hire a professional cleaning service.

#5 – Clean Your Filters

Depending on the appliances in your house and the type of ventilation you have, what you need to do in this step can vary greatly.

Either way, the point is to clean the filters from any air conditioning, ventilation, or air purifier devices you may have around the house.

While it may be a good idea to clean them every week or month in general, if you’ve noticed a bad dog smell in the house, then cleaning them this very moment is even more critical.

#6 – Mop Your Floors

If you have hardwood floors or tile in some areas of your home, this step is pretty straightforward.

All you need to do is get a bucket and a mop and use it to wipe down all the floor areas where your dog usually spends time. If you have the energy and time, cleaning the floors across your entire house is an even better idea.

Once done, leave your windows open for about half an hour so that the floor can dry up. This should help get rid of that dog smell out of your house even faster.

Good job, now we are moving onto the next phase:

Phase 2 – Freshen Up

Air purifier for getting rid of bad dog smell.

Now that everything is squeaky clean and smells neutral, it is our job to make it smell GREAT and keep it that way!

First and foremost:

#7 – Keep Your Windows Open As Much As Possible

When it’s nice, open up all your windows and let fresh air in. It will take out all the stale air in your house and replace it with clean air.

This works best during morning hours when the sun is up, warming things up nicely. As a result, your home will smell a lot nicer, and you will breathe in the fresh air all day long.

#8 – Invest in Air Fresheners

You know how to get rid of dog smell in your house now. But do you know the best way to replace that smell with a pleasant one?

Purchase a high-quality air freshener! They come in many shapes and forms so that you can make your pick.

You can purchase one or even make your own, whichever you prefer. Just make sure to spray it generously around your home once per day or whenever you feel like the smell may come back again.

#9 – Consider Buying an Air Purifier

While some air purifiers may be costly, there are quite a few budget picks, and they are all worthwhile investments.

If you feel like it’s time to invest in one for your home, then go ahead and pick one that best suits your needs.

Here is an excellent guide on buying an air purifier that you can check out. 

Phase 3 – Get Your Dog Ready

Wash your dog to get rid of the smell.

Everything is minty and fresh!

Let’s get your best friend back inside, and make sure they fit in the new, fresh and clean environment:

#11 – Wash Your Dog (But Not Too Often)

Last but not least – give your dog a bath! You have a fresh, clean house now, and your furry friend needs to fit in.

However, make sure not to do it too often.

It might sound counterintuitive, but bathing your pet too often can actually exacerbate the issue. The baths cause your dog’s skin cells to release an enzyme known as lipase, which causes even more of that intense “wet dog” scent.

It would be best if you bathed your dog no more than once or twice per month (depending on the breed) unless they have gotten very dirty or rolled in something smelly.

If you notice your pup needs a wash suddenly, try adding baking soda to their shampoo for added deodorizing power. However, make sure not to overdo it (more isn’t necessarily better).

#12 – Clean Your Dog’s Ears & Teeth

Once the bath is done, brush your dog’s teeth thoroughly and clean their ears.

You can check out our helpful guide on how to brush your dog’s teeth. It will tell you everything you need to know to start taking good care of your dog’s dental hygiene.

The next and final step is to clean your dog’s ears.

Dogs’ ears contain tons of glands that produce pheromones, so it can be helpful to clean them regularly. As long as they don’t mind it (some dogs are more tolerant than others), wipe out your dog’s ears after a bath while they’re still damp.

Don’t push anything into the ear canal!

Just wet a cotton ball or a small cloth and clean around the outer part of their ear. Then take another damp cloth and gently wipe out any dirt you collected.

Bonus Tip – Don’t Ignore The Signs!

If your dog is smelling awfully bad and you are unsure where it might be coming from, they might have a serious health issue.

Don’t ignore things like excessive scratching, biting at their backside, or constantly licking one spot.

See your vet ASAP and check if something is wrong. The sooner you notice the problem, the easier it will be for your dog to recover.


We hope that we have successfully explained what steps you need to take to make your dog and your house smell nice again!

And please share your experiences with us:

How bad was the dog smell in your house, and how did you get rid of it?

We would love to hear more from you!