As pet owners, we all love our dogs, but speaking from personal experience, keeping a house clean, fur and smell free can be a challenge when you want to keep the home a home - comfortable and relaxing - and own more than one pet, as I do.
But it needn’t be a battle. There are ways to make the job easier and Spring is a great excuse to kick start a deep clean and give something new a try to get rid of dog smells in the house.
Quentin Steele, MD at Aroma Care Solutions, shares his thoughts on some of our (and your) top tips, explaining the science behind eliminating smells, such as urine in carpets, around the home and how to get them to stay away.
1. Check your vacuum is still working as well as it should
I’ll be honest, I’ve reviewed a lot of vacuums for K9 Magazine over the years and unless you service regularly, (always check the filters and hoses for blockages), they will perform well for maybe 12-18 months, maximum. After that, you notice a decline.
And a badly performing vacuum is not only frustrating, but it also leaves hairs and debris in the fibres of your sofas and carpets.
Quentin adds, “Even worse, that debris can pong. We’ve all had to clean up after doggy accidents and sickness, only to find that the smells return and linger for days.
“But even day to day debris such as food scraps, urine dribbles and dirt from the garden can cause smells and harbour germs and all sorts of bacteria picked up along the way in a normal day in the life of your pet.”
2. Give your home a good airing every so often
Some people love a good plugin air freshener but they aren’t always suitable to use, so one great Spring tip I’ve been told is to open your home up and get the air circulating even just for 10 minutes.
Even if it's cool outside, the cold air can be a great way to blast away dog smells within the house.
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3. Keep your fabrics fresh
Picking up on Quentin’s advice about dog (and cat) smells that linger in textiles, one of the best ways to eliminate odours is to keep sofas and carpets fresh with regular cleaning.
Vacuuming carpet cleaners might be a good way to do this, but in some cases, they can be difficult to plan for if you have a high traffic household and don’t have the time to plan for the carpet to be free for a few hours to wash and dry in good time before footsteps descend.
So, in those cases products that you can use which react to the odours created by bacteria lingering in textiles such as sofas, beds and carpets, can be a great option to react quickly.
Quentin explains some of the science behind products that eliminate odours in textiles, like his own, and how products like this are made to be safe for pet-owning households.
“Unlike any traditional off the shelf products, some products include bio-enzymes and they attack a range of bacteria that give rise to smells in urine (uric acid), poo, rotting food and vomit, by attacking and eradicating the harmful bacteria. By using an enzyme to speed up the reaction, eliminates and destroys any “bad bacteria” in accidents and spills that could lead to smells arising later on, especially if the accident was on the carpet or soft furnishings. Once the smell has gone, it’s truly gone.
“Using a bio-enzymatic cleaner is easy and the bio-enzyme formula keeps on working for up to 24 hours after application. Usually you mix a concentrated amount with 100ml of tepid water and spray over the affected area."
4. Declutter, declutter, declutter
I’m hopeless for keeping things that I don’t need. I still own a perfume bottle, long since empty that I can’t quite throw away because I remember why I bought it in the first place.
We all have our hidden spaces, like ‘Friends’s’ Monica Geller’s secret closet, with everything stuffed inside that we can’t bear to part with but neither can we find a use for. But there really is some truth to the concept of decluttering clearing the mind.
So, if you have dog beds piling up because you don’t want to throw away your puppy’s first bed or dog toys or collars now too small to be of any use, then take the plunge and throw them away if you can’t recycle by donating to a local animal rescue, for example.
5. Buy dog beds with removable covers
Now you’ve thrown away or recycled all of your old dog beds, you might be on the hunt to find a new pet bed.
Look for one with a removable cover to make it easy to wash regularly. Most dog beds nowadays have covers that are machine washable at 30-40 degrees.
Quentin also recommends this top tip for pet owners:
“In between washes, a top tip is to vacuum your pet bed thoroughly, then sprinkle on a Deodorising Powder for carpets then work into the fibres with a stiff hand brush and leave for 2 hours or overnight if possible before vacuuming again.
“For heavier stains, (with debris), use a bio-enzymatic cleaner straightaway. Initially remove the offensive debris, then it should only be a matter of adding water to the concentrated liquid to activate its bio-enzymatic action, which will then last for up to 24 hours when applied to the surface as long as it is kept damp.
“If the smell is only slight, vacuum the area and spray liberally with a Deodorising Room Spray. Leave for 2-3 hours and re-vacuum the target area.”
6. Consider having a ‘dog cleaning’ space in your home
This might sound excessive but hear me out.
If you have a space with dog towels or a specific mat by the door your dog usually uses to come into the house after walks or trips to the garden, then you could find it easier to trap muddy paws before they run rampant through your home.
I have a basket set up with towels near the door for this purpose. With three dogs, it can be a bit of a challenge to get them all to line up and wait to give their paws for cleaning, but not always impossible.
If you have space, give it a try.