Homemade Solution to Get Rid of Household Dog Smells

Joyful dog lying on carpet

Just because you have a dog, that doesn't mean your house should smell like a dog. Here are some helpful tips from LoveToKnow's guest columnist Wendy Nan Rees that will keep your home smelling fresh all the time.

A Fresh Home

Before your company arrives, place a pot of simmering herbs on your stove to help create the smell of the holiday season in your home. Another wonderful way to help to eliminate the smell of dog odors is to clean out any tea kettles or other items that build up calcium and other minerals. The side effect from cleaning them is getting the steam into the air. Doing it this new way is a great way to get your house smelling fresh quickly.

Vinegar to Eliminate Dog Odors

Another thing you can do is bring a four quart sauce pot with four cups of water and four tablespoons of vinegar to a boil. Be sure to turn it down to simmer the minute it boils. You can also make a weaker version by mixing one tablespoon of vinegar with a cup of water and boil.

Using vinegar gets rid of strong pet, cooking and smoke odors. Once the vinegar starts to boil, turn it off and let it sit. You can also put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it into the air to freshen it up. The vinegar smell only takes a minute to dissipate and leaves the air smelling great. For really stubborn doggie smells, leave a couple tablespoons of vinegar in a small bowl on your counter for a few hours.

A Thoughtful Gift

If you use a spray bottle with your air freshener, be sure you always use a new, clean glass or plastic spray bottle. I have suggested a few items here for decorating the bottle, and then it becomes a wonderful hostess gift for all the holiday parties this season. There is nothing as nice as a thoughtful homemade gift. You will find that people love the time and thought that goes into making a gift. The fun part is to decorate to the person's style or type of dog they have. For pictures, check your computer or use cut out magazine pictures.

I love a product called Wacky Tac glue. It is the best for everything because you can stick it down, and then move it again before it finally sets for good. It is non-toxic and has a great sponge top to dispense the glue. You can find it in many craft stores and online. If you want something simple, just paint the name of your air freshener and the date you made the bottle. You can make several bottles at one time; they will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month, but mine never even lasts that long, especially with a new puppy.

I use an electric kettle to boil the water that I put my simmering herbs in. After bringing the water to a boil, I add the simmering herbs. I then let the mixture cool and put it in my spray bottle to use as air freshener.

Make Your Own Freshener

Spray bottle

Supplies you need to make air, fabric and simmering air fresheners:

  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • 6 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves (50 or more)
  • 6 Tbsp. allspice, freshly grated
  • 3 Tbsp. ginger, freshly grated
  • Dried flowers - I use lavender or marigolds.
  • Dried fruit - Try apples, apricots or peaches.
  • Scent oils - I use cinnamon, balsam, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, tea tree, clove oil (for the scent of the season)
  • 4 Tbsp. baking soda (optional), to place into the air freshener to help to break down the odors.

Supplies to decorate the spray bottle:

  • Wacky Tac Glue
  • Non-toxic Paint (Safe for pets and children)
  • Potpourri - Make your own by buying dried flowers, dried fruit and pine cones.
  • You can use scented oils to give your homemade mix fragrance. Now you have a great gift to give with your air and fabric freshener.
  • Vanilla (and other extracts that are pleasantly scented)


  1. Bring water to a boil, add ingredients, and lower to a simmer to make your home smell wonderful.
  2. Let the water cool.
  3. Decorate your spray bottle.
  4. When water cools, fill spray bottle.

More Tips

You can also make your own fabric freshener by adding a bit of baking soda to this freshener recipe. It will help to eliminate the doggie odors for good. By adding baking soda, you help neutralize the odor and not just make a nice scent. Never use ammonia because this will attract your dog or puppy to relieve themselves because ammonia is very close to the smell of urine.

Dryer sheets make last minute fresheners to remove doggie smells from your couches and chairs. I add a few to a brand new vacuum bag to help to freshen the air as I vacuum the house. I also make a product called AromaVac® also known as Freshen vac®, but you can simply take a few dryer sheets, place them into a clean vacuum bag and vacuum as normal.

Have fun! There are never any mistakes. Remember to not let your pet get too close to your stove or eat any of the ingredients. In case of an emergency call the poison control line right away. This is a number to keep handy during the holidays, but I keep it on my fridge all year long.

Homemade Solution to Get Rid of Household Dog Smells