6 Tested Tips to Get That Dog Smell Out of Your House

Nobody loves dog smell filling up their home, but getting rid of gross odors in your home doesn't have to feel impossible.

Published June 24, 2023
Dog scratching in the house.

We all know that smell. You know the one: the distinct doggy odor that can sometimes permeate your home. We want our home to smell like fresh-baked cookies, not like our dog just took a bath in fish water. While we love our furry family members unconditionally, dealing with the lingering scent can be challenging. Don't worry. There are several simple and effective ways to rid your home of that lingering wet dog smell.

1. Regular Grooming

The first line of defense against dog smell is regular grooming. This includes brushing their fur to remove loose or dead hair and dirt, and bathing your pup with dog-friendly shampoo to clean their skin and coat. Always remember to dry your pup thoroughly after a bath, as dampness can lead to unpleasant smells. Regular grooming gives you an opportunity to check for any skin conditions or parasites that may be causing excess odor.

2. Clean Your Dog's Bedding

Your dog's bedding can harbor a surprising amount of disgusting odors. Washing it at least once a week can significantly reduce the smell. Make sure you're using a pet-safe laundry detergent free from dyes and fragrances that might irritate your pet's skin. This part might require some research from you.

3. Wash Your Dog's Collar

Sometimes, we smell our dogs and their fur smells good, but overall they still smell like the garbage can outside. What's going on? To our surprise, it's their collar! Their collar, especially if it's fabric, can soak up the worst smells possible, resulting in your dogs smelling less than pleasant.

A leather collar may require special treatment, but if your dog has a fabric collar, you can take it off while you're giving them a bath and clean it right there. You can also put some fabric collars in the wash, but check the manufacturer's cleaning instructions to make sure you don't accidentally damage it.

Dog in bath.

4. Odor-Neutralizing Cleaning Products

When cleaning your home, consider using products specifically designed to neutralize pet odors. These products contain enzymes that break down the compounds causing the smell. Remember to clean areas where your dog spends most of its time, like the couch or their favorite rug.

Recipe for Odor Neutralizer with Lavender

Creating a homemade, pet-safe odor neutralizer is simple, affordable, and effective. Here's a basic recipe for a DIY odor-neutralizing cleaner suitable for dog smells:


  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • 15 drops of lavender essential oil (or any pet-safe essential oil of your choice)


  1. Combine 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Vinegar is an excellent natural deodorizer and cleaner, but its scent can be quite strong. Mixing it with water helps to dilute its potency without diminishing its effectiveness.
  2. Slowly add in ½ cup of baking soda. Baking soda is renowned for its odor-neutralizing properties. Be careful when adding it to the vinegar mixture, as the combination will fizz.
  3. Once the vinegar and baking soda mixture has settled, add in 15 drops of pet-safe lavender essential oil. Not only does this give your spray a more pleasant scent, but many essential oils also have antibacterial properties that can help with cleaning.
  4. Close the spray bottle and shake well to mix all the ingredients.
  5. To use, spray lightly on the affected area and allow it to dry. Always test an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not discolor the material. Avoid spraying directly on your pet.

This DIY cleaning spray can be used on a variety of surfaces, from carpets and upholstery to hard floors. However, always remember that it's important to vacuum or clean the area first to remove any loose dirt or pet hair before applying the spray for maximum effectiveness.

5. Air Purifiers and Ventilation

Air purifiers can play a role in eliminating dog odors from your home, as well. These devices work by drawing in air from your home and passing it through a series of filters that capture a range of airborne particles, including pet dander, hair, and the microorganisms that can cause unpleasant odors.

Some air purifiers also use activated carbon filters, which are particularly effective at trapping and neutralizing odor molecules. By continuously cycling and filtering the air in your home, air purifiers can significantly reduce the concentration of dog-related smells, providing you with a fresher, cleaner-smelling living space.

You can also open up the windows during days with nice weather. Fresh air from outside circulating throughout your home can make all the difference. Airing out your dog's smells really does work, but make sure you do some cleaning, too, or the smells will come back once you close your house up again.

Quick Tip

Air purifiers should be used in conjunction with regular cleaning and grooming practices. They can mask smells, but over time, you'll notice that dog odor coming back in a big way.

6. Put Some Coffee in a Bowl

This is one of my personal favorites. I discovered this a few months ago when I just couldn't manage to get an odd smell out of my house. It was a mix between wet dog and old house.

I grabbed a cereal bowl and filled it with fresh ground coffee. Of course, it was a bit painful to see my coffee grounds be thrown into a bowl not to be used in the coffee machine, but it really did work! It absorbed the odors around the house. And, I even received a compliment about how my house smelled when we had a visitor!

Need to Know

Do not use the coffee from the bowl to brew a cup afterward. This coffee has absorbed some icky stuff in your home, and not only will it not taste good, you'd be drinking up all those particles from the air.

A Healthy, Clean-Smelling Home

Getting rid of dog smell in your home doesn't have to be an exhausting task. With regular grooming, cleaning, and a little attention to your pet's overall health, you can keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Remember, a cleaner environment is not just beneficial for you, but also contributes to a happier and healthier life for your furry friend.

6 Tested Tips to Get That Dog Smell Out of Your House