Dog Smell in House

Updated on June 17, 2010
T.K. asks from Chicago, IL
9 answers

Do you have any suggestions for how to keep your house smelling dog free when you have a dog? We have hardwood floors throughout - we clean the rugs a couple of times a year yet lately we've noticed that our house has that wet dog smell. It's worse when it's humid.

Any advice?

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answers from Dallas on

I don't have that in my house and am just wondering if you have a little leak somewhere and this is a musty smell not related to the dog. I had something like that but only when it rained. I realized I had rotted wood on the outside of the house under a window where the smell was. Replaced the wood and the smell went away.

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answers from Chicago on

What type of dog is it and is the dog healthy? The reason I ask this is if for example the dog has an ear infection, you are smelling the yeast of the dog, not the smell in the furniture. Or if the anal glands are impacted that will do it for a 'good' smell as well.
I do not recommend, plug ins, etc. to work against the smell, it is killing the dogs with their sensitive noses.
I also do not recommend washing the dog too often. The more frequent you wash it, the more the skin tries to catch up with its natural oiling etc. and you create like a cycle of the dog geetting stinkier faster the more you bath.
A good rub with an organic dry shampoo towel might work in between bath.
If you insist on washing the dog often, use an organic shampoo without soap and those other chemicals.

Everybody needs to do what works best for them, it is just my opinion...
I have more input if you like, but I would need more specific info on the situation in your house, like readers mentioned below, pinpoint the issue.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Mama-
My sister had this same issue and I realized what the problem was when I saw her cleaning. She cleans well and regularly, carpets- floor-furniture...but the doggy odor was still there. Here are some suggestions ( I made them sound like they were things I was dealing with and she tried them for her home and it worked!)
1. Leather furniture. For some reason it cleans better and doesn't hold those funky smells.
2. The vacuum- clean it out every time you use it. If you use a bag, then add a deodorizer to the bag....I suggest actually changing it monthly or more often....if you use a bagless, dump it out, wipe it out, and deodorize it regularly.
3. Your Dog's food. A clean dog is a happy dog...but a dog fed good food is non stinky dog! I reccommend Nutro Max Naturals for dry and a pure meat like the frozen raw meats for dogs or the Taste of the Wild all natural dog food. I will swear by this- I have 3 male cats, and we all know how stinky cats can of them had a bladder issue and I did some research on natural ways to keep them healthy. I found a local store that carried the food and bought some. It is a little more pricey than my normal purchasing habits, but a trip to the vet and the groomers is ridiculous. Their fur has gotten softer, no more hairballs, the little box doesn't smell anymore, and they eat less. They are more active, they play more, and I can't believe the difference! And the biggest deal for me is that there is no more funky kitty smell! It's great!
4. Carpets and rugs. If your dog has a regular rug or carpet that they lay on, that should be washed weekly or bi-weekly.
5. The house odor. Scrub the walls, the floors, the ceilings, and do a deep cleaning. You can use natures miracle, simple green, something citrus- baking soda and vinegar works great, too. Then, use natural fragrant deodorizers like clove or eucalyptus or lavendar, something herbal or citrus- a simmering pot with lemon slices or cinnamon sticks and clove buds works great, to clear the air- especially when it is humid. We have only a swamp cooler in the summer and those herbs and oils make all the difference.
6. Plants. Green plants clear the air- not only for you and the crud you breathe in, but for the odor. Try small window plants in the kitchen, herbs and leafy greens in the loving room, etc. Dried eucalytpus in vases is also pretty and adds a slight, clean fragrance.
i hope this helps! Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

There is a product called "Fresh Wave". I have used the candle and the gel. I had read about it online after our last dog (15 1/2) just got old & stinky. It was hard to clean him all the time and he had developed incontinence, so my house got really stinky. I tried everything listed below and still didn't get the smell out. Febreeze and sprays, fragrance candles, vinegar, etc... Everything just masked the smell for a very brief time. Fresh wave works, but it is $$$. I bought mine at Ace Hardware because I was desperate to get rid of the smell. They do sell it online and also at Whole Foods.
I am going to order some this week because I brought my candle and jar (unopened) over to my girlfriends house because her two dogs got skunked!
Her house smelled awful. I was skeptical that this stuff was that good....but it worked!!!!

They do sell a version for pets, I just used the regular stuff. The thing is when you open the jar or burn the candle you barely smell anything. I will continue to buy this product and hope they never stop making we just got a new puppy!

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answers from Chicago on

What type of ears does your dog have? If they are like a beagle or Std. Poodle then your dog may need to have his/her's ears clean. With floppy ears they don't get enough air circulation. I am always on my poodle's ears.

Air cleaner to recycle your air. We have had a lot of humid, wet weather this summer. Open doors if you can.

Take care



answers from New York on

Try Febreeze on the fabrics (sofas, chairs, rugs, curtains) Wash the dog and all his bedding, clean his cage if he is caged. I usually wipe our dog's cage down with a few Clorox wipes both inside and out at least once every other week. This seems to help.



answers from Phoenix on

Hmm, you didn't say if it's your dog that smells or just the house so I'll give suggestions for both... If it's just the house that has a smell then if you don't already, make sure you vacuum up any extra pet hair frequently and also mop the floors at least once a week to get rid of dander and such. You said that you clean the rugs a few times a year but make sure you're also washing the pet bedding. My dog's bed is one of those foam types with the fabric covering. I wash the fabric part monthly (or more often if needed) on a hot wash setting. When I pull it out of the washer, I spray it with Febreze and then let the whole thing air dry. I also use the hose to spray the foam down and follow with the Febreze/air dry routine.

If it's the dog that is smelly-- How often do you bathe him/her? He/she should be bathed about once every 2-4 weeks depending on the type of hair coat and activities your dog does. If your dog is a swimmer or rolls out in the wet grass, sometimes the undercoat can stay moist and cause a mildewy odor that will permeate the house. It could also be related to an ear infection, anal glands, or even possibly a thyroid condition. A sluggish thyroid can cause a dog be stinky even when he is clean. I hope this helps! :)


answers from Jacksonville on

Good suggestions already. I'd also add, that instead of spraying deodorizers or Febreeze type things, that you try one of the odor 'ABSORBERS'. I get mine (I think the citrusy ones work best and smell best) at Lowe's or Home Depot. It is just a little plastic jar looking thing. Costs about $4 each and last a month or two or so. They don't put extra stuff out in the air, but they absorb the smells that exist (it is also great after frying something in the kitchen... I just carry it into the kitchen and wave it around for a minute or two and most of the greasy chicken/bacon/burnt pizza- smells are gone!). You don't get the "covered up with more smells" thing going on...


answers from New York on

Make sure to bath your dog at least once a month and brush him/her every day. It'll cut down on the smell a lot. If your dog is allowed on the furniture put a throw on top of the couch or chairs and wash them every couple weeks. My dog is crated at night so I change the bedding and wash is dog bed every couple weeks too.

I had a problem with cat smell in the house more than dog and found that sprinkling baking soda on the rugs and furniture, leaving it for several hours, and then vacuuming it up helped a lot. Most of that issue was solved by using throws on the furniture.

I also use some dog cologne on my guy. My hubby teases me all the time but I always say 'He's a woman's companion and therefore he has to smell nice. If he was a guy's dog it would be different.'

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