Got Dog Odor?
What You Need to Know When Removing Pet Odor From Your Home

Dog Odor     by Janice Jones     |Last Updated 06-07-2022

Love those four-legged friends but not a fan of the dog odor that accompanies our companions? Our homes feel clean if they are odor free but sometimes that doggie odor gets overwhelming.  

I totally understand.  

How do we have a clean house and cohabit with a couple four-legged kids?  Luckily it is not as difficult as you might think.

According to the National Center for Health Research, companion animals help to improve health by lowering blood pressure levels and regulating the heart in the event of stressful situations. 

Two dogs sleeping in a bedDog Odor Problems Come From Surprising Sources

Family pets promote an active lifestyle among kids as they spend time playing inside the house or in the yard.

While pets are a welcome addition to homes, they also add to the cleaning routines with the most notable problem being their odor. When kicking the bad pet odor out of your house, these are the things to know:

Identify the Source of the Dog Odor

The first order of business in dealing with pet odor in the house is identifying the source of the smell.

Pet odor arises from habits like lying in excrement, rolling in the mud or dead animal remains. The smell can also emanate from simple routines like bathing then forgoing drying.

Microorganisms thrive in the fur of animals like dogs and cats. There is hardly any smell as long as the animal stays dry, but once the dog takes a bath or dives into the pool, the water releases these sticky compounds leading to an awful stench.

Mouth odors can be a sign of infection inside the mouth, and this smell can linger in the home for days.

Some breeds like Bulldog or Pugs are prone to skin fold dermatitis that cause foul odor underneath the folds.

Bacterial and yeast infections are other sources of the bad smell that quickly spreads in a home if the animal is allowed indoors, particularly in close quarters like apartments.

There are cases that my dog brings his food to another room and just leaves it here.  Therefore, try to avoid this bad habbit by just feeding your dogs at some location in the house.

Summary of All Those Nasty Odors

Where do we find all those odors?

  • From the dog, odors can come from:
  • Dog Hair and skin including between skin folds that harbor fungus and bacteria
  • Dog Urine, Dog Excrement, hidden from view
  • Other body secretions including Sweat glands
  • Unaltered male and female hormone releases
  • Dog Ear Infections
  • Mouth odors due to Gingivitis and periodontal disease

Tips to Eliminate Dog Odor

Regular Baths

Since we have established that pets are mostly responsible for the bad scent they leave behind, it is imperative that you observe a consistent cleaning habit to keep the animal as clean as possible.

Animals love to play in the mud during the rainy seasons so you may have to wash them more often than in the dry season. Alternatively, you can control their playing habits by sequestering them to a corridor or other empty room in the house as opposed to playing in the yard.

Clean Sleeping Area

Bathing your pet should go in tandem with cleaning up their sleeping area. Make a habit of inspecting the dog kernel several times through the week to see if they have created a mess.

When this happens, take out the soiled bedding for cleaning or drying in the outside if the weather allows. 

You can also hand wash the blankets by first soaking in hot water to kill pathogens followed by air drying.

To make your work easier, use removable covers so that you can replace with a clean one pending laundry.

Vacuum the bed to remove hairs, fur, and other debris that may have transferred from the environment.

Check for Problems


Allergies that affect the skin including skin fold dermatitis can create odors that spread beyond the dog.  If there are odors that can't be identified, first check the skin and coat to determine if there is redness, inflammation or a rash that might be at the heart of the odor.

Even dogs that do not have allergies may have body odor from dirty hair, tear stains or facial stains that occur due to wet whiskers and beards.  Food can get tangled in long breed dogs' facial hair and yeast infections can create odors as a result of tear stains.

Ear Infections

Dogs that have severe ear infections can give off a severe odor.  Cleaning ears and treating the infection will help remove some of those odors.

Dog Paws and Foot Pads

A dog's paws are the only area on their body with sweat glands.  If the dog's odor seems to be coming from the paws, check them carefully.  Infections, foreign objects or matted hair between the paw pads can cause odor. 

If you suspect an infection, call the vet for directions.  If it is a matter of matted hair embedded between the pads, removing the mats and hair will help but need to be followed by a thorough paw soaking and cleaning

Dental Issues

Bad breath is hard to ignore and dogs that have dental issues are prime candidates for bad breath.  It is also very easy to identity. If those doggie kisses smell uckie, it's time to set up an appointment for a professional dental cleaning and dentistry by your veterinarian.

A mild odor can sometimes be treated at home by brushing daily to remove the tartar and plaque build up.

Overall Doggie Odor

Some breeds just seem to have more doggie odor than others.  This is especially noticeable when the dog comes in wet from outside.  These breeds may need more baths if their odor becomes a problem

Females in Heat

There is definitely an odor that female dogs in heat emit that is noticeable to male dogs.  Did you know that people can also detect that odor?  Diapers and daily cleaning can cut down on that odor may help.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions to Eliminate Dog Odor

Cleaning up after pets does not have to make a dent in your monthly budget.

There are plenty of solutions that you can make using common ingredients used in homes.

For instance, white vinegar is a natural deodorizer and has proven performance in removing urine stains on the carpet. Spraying a combination of vinegar and baking soda helps to remove any lingering smell of urine after the deep cleaning process. 

Try this formula by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and lukewarm water in a pot or bowl. Add four tablespoons of baking soda and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly to allow blending before use. 

Recipe for a cleaning solutionDog Odor Issues Can be Eliminated Using Simple Household products

You can also use solutions from citrus fruits like lemon, orange, and grapefruit to get rid of dog odor. If family pets wreck havoc on the carpet, cut a lemon in half and dab gently on the rug to remove urine stains.

Designated Play Areas

If the bad odor persists even after washing the animals regularly, it is time for more stringent measures like setting up a designated play area where the kids can interact with family pets while barring access to other rooms such as the living room and bedrooms.

This restriction helps you to know when and where the mess occurs so you can clear it without wandering around the house to identify the source of offensive smells.

If you have a basement, ensure that the door stays shut to keep pets away as they may accidentally potty here without your knowledge.

Pin for Future Reference

Dog Odor Pin Image


Getting rid of pet odor from the house requires a combination of washing pets, airing the bedding, and rules to contain physical activity within a given area. If your budget is tight, homemade solutions can help remove stains on the upholstery or rug.

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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