Does your house smell like dog? Are you sure about that?
No matter how perfect and lovely our dogs are, the truth is that they can get a little stinky. Between the dander, not so fresh breath, half-chewed-up bones, and drooley chew toys, dogs and their stuff can leave your house smelling less-than-fresh.
When it's your own house and your own (angelic) dog… it’s actually pretty hard to smell offensive odors. So let us be your honest, well-meaning friend here and listen up: your house probably smells a little.
This may not be a huge deal to you, but if you’d like to do something about it, we’ve gathered up our best tips to help you out.
Put a Lid On Your Dog Food
Dog food smells delicious to dogs, but to humans it can smell like... stale jerky, chicken soup, and fish sticks. The same thing goes for dog treats - especially small training treats like Zukes which are actually made to be stinky to attract attention from dogs.
Put a lid on these smells and keep your dog’s food and treats in a canister with a lid that seals.
Try keeping your dog treats in jars. Image: Ella Claire Inspired
Bonus: this will prevent your dog from sticking his head in the food bag and trying to score an occasional afternoon snack.
Focus on Grooming
It's not just your pet's fur that creates that funky odor—ears and teeth are common smell culprits as well. Use the ASPCA's guidelines and tips to establish a regular grooming routine that includes:
- Bathing: Plan to bathe your dog every 3 months. You may want to actually write your planned dates in your calendar. You don’t have to stick to the exact schedule you lay out for yourself, but seeing it will serve as a reminder to actually get it done.
Image via my karma stream
- Brushing Fur: Regularly brushing your dog’s hair keeps it in tip top condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils, preventing tangles, and keeping skin clean and irritant-free. Bonus: most dogs love the attention and it’s a great way to bond with your dog.
- Cleaning Ears: Plan to regularly wipe down the inside of your dog’s ears with store bought wipes or clean, dry gauze. Don’t dip into your dog's actual ear canal and never use Q-tips on your dog. If you see something funky, call your vet instead of tackling it yourself.
- Cleaning Teeth: Yes, you really should be brushing your dog's teeth. If you’ve never done this before, first let her get used to the sensation and start by gently massaging her gums in a circular motion a couple times a day. Once she feels comfortable with this, you can move on and use a doggie toothbrush on her teeth about once a week.
Set up a Cleaning Schedule
If you want your house to smell fresh, you're going to have to clean it on the regs. Sticking to a regular cleaning schedule can help you control pet odors before they get out of control. When setting up your schedule, make sure these tasks make the list:
- Vacuum Floors and Area Rugs: Remember to do this at least once a week, if possible. And make it fun! Put on some Sunday morning jams and dance while you clean.
- Mop Floors: Right after you vacuum, do a quick once over with a mop. If you do this regularly, a simple 3:1 water/vinegar mix will do the trick.
- Steam Clean Carpets: Carpets and pets aren’t a great mix, but if you’re stuck with a rental that has wall-to-wall carpeting (or if you just love your carpet and don’t want to get rid of it), consider scheduling a professional stream-cleaning service to swing by and give your carpet a much-needed deep clean.
- Change Filters: Using a HEPA system helps eliminate odors and allergens. Just be sure to change or clean your filters every month to keep your system working at 100%.
- Wash Linens: On laundry day, don’t forget to wash dog bed covers and any towels used for grooming.
- Wash Dog Bowls: If you use machine washable ceramic dog bowls, throw them in your dishwasher every once in a while to keep them clean.
- Wash Toys: Do a sweep of your house once a month and throw any washable dog toys in your washing machine. If a toy is broken or unsalvageable, toss it.
If you have guests on the way and you need a few quick fixes, consider trying a combination of these odor-stoppers.
- Crack a window: It’s always a good idea to crack open a few windows and let a breeze work its way through your house. Stale air only intensifies bad smells, so open your windows and get the air circulating as often as possible.
- Febreze is your friend: This air freshener is a mainstay for a reason: it works. Use it liberally after you clean (or before company comes over) to give your apartment an air of freshness.
- Aromatherapy diffusers: These little machines seem to be everywhere these days and they are great at creating a spa-like atmosphere and pumping out pleasant aromas
There you have it! Those are our best tips. How do you take care of dog smells?