10 Quick Tips for Eliminating Pet Odors

Stop the stink.

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Managing the mess from pet hair and fur can be a real struggle.

Managing the mess from pet hair and fur can be a real struggle.

Those of us who have pets know first hand that our furry friends are truly members of our family. They bring endless joy but also some stank.

As a crazy dog lady who has had basset hounds for the last 15 years, I’m all too familiar with the challenge of dealing with pet odors around the house. Our pup, Dudley, seems to have a chronic case of "Frito paws." Not to mention, the amount of fur that flys off his chunky, little body on a daily basis is pretty shocking.

So, I’ve had to dive head-first into tackling pet odors on the daily. Here are some of my tips and tricks. I hope they help you, too.

1. Vacuum Up Hair + Dander

For those of us with pets who shed, managing all the hair and fur is a real struggle. We all know that’s its important to vacuum the floor, but the truth is, the floor is just the beginning. It’s important to vacuum up all the pet hair and dander wherever it might be hiding. This includes: the cushions of your couch, behind furniture and in all the cracks and crevices around areas that your pet likes to hang out. Even if your pet doesn't shed much, it’s important not to skip this step, as you will still have pet dander to deal with.

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2. Wash + Dry

It’s also important to regularly wash all of the items that your pet uses on a daily basis. This can include: pet bed covers, cushion covers on furniture (if they're laundry safe), pet blankets and, of course, sheets and linens (if your pet is allowed on your bed).

3. Clean Toys, Bowls, Collars + Leashes

When thinking about the cleaning that we regularly do for our pets, we often forget about things like toys, food bowls, collars and even leashes. All of these items can easily hold on to odor and bacteria, so it’s important to regularly wash and launder all of this stuff, too.

4. Bathe Them Regularly

My dog hates to get a bath, and I mean hates it. But in order to stay on top of things, I have a regularly scheduled appointment at his groomer. If you give your pet a bath at home, set a reminder on your phone or an ongoing appointment on your calendar so you won’t forget.

5. Baking Soda

In terms of tackling odors in your home, baking soda is a fantastic odor neutralizer (as most of us already know from using it in our refrigerators and freezers). Sprinkle baking soda on your pet's bed or on your couch cushions (make sure to check labels and test in a small area first), let it sit for a few minutes, then vacuum it up.

6. Vinegar

Vinegar is also an amazing natural cleaning option for more serious pet odors. Try using vinegar (diluted with a bit of water) in a spray bottle and spray on carpets or floors. Or use in combination with baking soda on cushions or bedding for an extra powerful, odor-eliminating punch.

7. Nature's Miracle

When tackling urine odors in your home, you can try an enzymatic neutralizer such as Nature’s Miracle to spot-treat an area and completely eliminate the odor. Even if you have a pup that's house trained, it’s always a good idea to keep this type of cleaner on hand, just in case there's an accident.

8. Citrus + Hydrogen Peroxide

Citrus and hydrogen peroxide are two other great bases for pet cleaners. The citrus works as a natural enzymatic cleaner, and the hydrogen peroxide is another great neutralizer.

9. HEPA Filter

For those with allergies, a HEPA air filter might be a good idea to really tackle any dander or pet odor issues head on. A HEPA filter is a mechanical air-purifying filter that forces air through a fine mesh in order to trap harmful particles such as pet dander. You can purchase air purifiers with HEPA filters, and there are even some vacuum cleaners that come with HEPA filters.

10. Don't Forget Closets + Stairways

Finally, when thinking through your cleaning/odor tackling game plan at home, don’t forget about spots in your house that your pets like to hang out that are less top of mind. My pup, for example, loves to take a snooze in my closet every once in a while. And some pets love to hang out on the stairs. Make sure you're vacuuming and cleaning these areas regularly, as well, in order to really stay on top of unwanted odors.

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