6 Tips To Conquer Pet Odor in Your Home
Pets are a great addition to almost any household if you find the right one. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the amount of work adding a pet can bring, a large part of which is trying to keep unpleasant odors at bay. Whether you’ve had a pet for years or you have just welcomed one into the family, these simple tips will have your house smelling fresh and clean with minimal effort.
1. Bathe Your Pets
Pets with fur or hair need to be groomed and cleaned regularly. Yes, even cats often need a little help keeping themselves fresh and clean. For many pets, especially ones that shed, daily brushing to remove loose hair and a deep cleaning every month or so will go a long way to reduce pet odors and improve their appearance. Dry shampoo can be used in between full baths to help keep their coat healthy and clean. A neatly groomed dog or cat will also be less likely to get itchy, irritated patches that can become infected.
2. Clean the Floors
Take a moment and think about all of the stuff that touches your floors. Dirty shoes, dropped food crumbs, sports gear, trash bags and, you guessed it, every inch of your pets. If they track in mud, sticks or even a surprise “present” for you, you want to make sure there are no traces left behind. Daily vacuuming helps to keep hair and loose dirt to a minimum for both carpets and hard surfaces, while a wet mop picks up heavier spots on wood or tile. Be sure to use an appropriate cleaner for every surface. Sprinkling baking soda on carpets once a week eliminates many common odors, and you can add essential oils for a nice fresh scent. Using a pet carpet cleaner every few months prevents odor-causing buildup from settling deep into carpets and padding.
3. Open the Windows
Opening the windows allows clean air from outside -air with no unpleasant pet odors- into your house and lets the stale, stinky air out. It’s easy, cheap and very effective. Besides, opening the windows has a number of other advantages for your household. Fresh, outside air carries fewer germs, so you’ll stay healthier overall. Allergy sufferers will want to be careful about checking pollen or mold levels before throwing open the windows.
4. Wash Pet Toys, Bowls and Beds
Between urine accidents, skin oils and drool, your pet has all sorts of things that can rub off and linger on their stuff, which is why it all needs to be cleaned at least weekly. Basically, everything your pet touches on a regular basis should be scrubbed or tossed into the washing machine every few days. That can include your furniture cushions and bedding, too, if your pet spends his days laying around on them. Sprays can extend the time between washing, but they generally only mask odors so it’s not a long-term fix.
5. Spray Enzymatic Cleaners
There is an exception to the spray rule: enzymatic cleaners. If you are housetraining a puppy, this is an absolute must-have item. It can be helpful even if you have an older pet to quickly address any accidents and keep them from becoming habits. Enzyme cleaners are specially formulated to neutralize the smells of pet urine and feces. That means your pet won’t keep returning to that spot to mark it -and you won’t have to keep cleaning it up!
6. Address Litter Box Odors
Indoor cats present a whole set of odor issues since they relieve themselves in a litter box. Unless you stand by at the ready to collect any deposits into the box, there is a chance it will produce a smell that can linger for hours. Use an odor-neutralizing litter and keep it clean and fresh. Empty the box regularly and give it a good cleaning and sanitizing every week or so. You can also look at self-cleaning systems that don’t require emptying as often.
Taking a few minutes each day to address pet odors can keep them from becoming a major problem in your home. From routine grooming to airing out closed up spaces, there are lots of little things you can do that will make a big impact.
Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .