Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

How to Remove the Smell of Dog, Without Removing the Dog




We are a nation of people who love to cuddle with our pets. It is undeniable. Long gone are the days when out pets were simply working companions whose place was at the hearth - and that was if they were allowed in the house. Now, they not only cuddle with us on the sofa to watch TV, they snuggle with us in our beds, go on long holiday trips in the car, even out to dinner at out favorite cafés.


All of this one-on-one time means that all of our furnishings are going to hold the distinct smell of dog, and even the most rabid of dog lovers amongst us may not want the whole house to smell of a dog that needs a good washing – not if we want to enjoy the company of human guests. So how do you get rid of that smelly dog smell? We’re happy to tell you that it’s relatively easy.


Start off by taking all of the furniture apart – pillows, blankets and the like – and vacuuming everything thoroughly. If the sofa and chairs have removable slipcovers or cushion covers, take those off for washing (details later). Get into the crevices of the furniture as deep as possible to remove all the hair, and flip the bed mattress to get both sides. On the floors, make sure to get under all of the furniture and in the corners, where “hair bunnies” tend to gather.


Next, gather your deodorizing supplies. It’s simple; all you need is a big box or two of baking soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Wash all of your linens, blankets and cushion covers in a mix of oxy powered laundry detergent and a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar. There are also pet odor removers available at pet supply stores, but generally speaking, they are not much more effective than the home remedies.


On the carpets, bed and furniture, sprinkle baking soda liberally, using a cleaning brush to spread it around and into the fabric. Let it all sit overnight so that the baking soda has a chance to absorb the odors.


For the bed, you might want to do this in the morning so that you can clean and remake the bed at the end of the day. Follow up by vacuuming all of the baking soda from the bed, carpet and furnishings and returning the bed linens and cushion covers or slipcovers to the furniture.


This will get rid of a great deal of the smell, but to really do a thorough job, you might want to rent a carpet cleaning machine with an attachment for furniture – or call a cleaning company to do it for you. Always start with neutralizing as much of the smell as possible before the shampooing, though, or all you will be doing is creating a hybrid of dog smell and perfumed shampoo. Not a good combination. And don’t use carpet shampoo on the furniture, or you could end up with ruined and smelly furniture.


Finally, if you do want to use a perfumed product to help neutralize the smell, make sure that it is non-toxic to animals. Many products that are safe for humans are not always safe for dogs. Some home air fresheners – sprays, plug-ins and scented oils – can be harmful to a pet’s health, so when in doubt, just stick with the tried and true baking soda solution.


Image: Daveejay / via Flickr


Comments  10

Leave Comment
  • My little secret is a product
    01/05/2012 05:29pm

    My little secret is a product not too many people know about, it’s called Room Shocker. It's easy to use; it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals, and it work, works, works! Any odor you have Room Shocker will get it out and the smell will never come back.

  • 06/14/2013 06:00pm

    Where would I find this shocker product? Would Walmart carry it?

  • 09/20/2013 04:26pm

    This says that Room Shocker is hazardous to animals and people. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090612114801AAs930g

  • 10/20/2014 05:25pm

    Genesis 950 - BEST cleaner ever for pet stains. It gets rid of everything - muddy paw prints, vomit, blood and urine stains - AND it removes odors. I have used it for urine odor, cat spraying odor, muddy dog smells - there is nothing that even comes close to it. It put an end to me being stressed out from things not working. I had been through everything as far as cleaners and would get more stressed from cleaners not working than I was with the actual accident.


  • 12/04/2014 04:56pm

    I love 950. I use it for everything. Nothing else works like it at all. It really does get rid of stains and smells. I use it in a steam cleaner and even use it on my furniture with the machine's extensions. makes everything feel and smell new. One of my dogs loves licking the couch. This gets rid of all those nasty lick marks too.

  • 10/20/2014 05:30pm

    I just looked up the info on Room Shocker and it is NOT safe at all. It has dangerous levels of Chlorine Dioxide!

    1. Effects on Animals: Chlorine dioxide is a severe respiratory and eye irritant in experimental animals. The oral LD(50) in rats is 292 mg/kg [NIOSH 1995]. Delayed deaths have occurred in animals exposed to 150 to 200 ppm for less than 1 hour. Rats exposed to 10 ppm daily died after 10 to 13 days of exposure; effects seen were nasal and ocular discharge and difficult breathing. A postmortem examination revealed purulent bronchitis [Hathaway et al. 1991]. Rats exposed to ppm of chlorine dioxide for 5 hours daily for 10 weeks did not exhibit any abnormal reactions [ACGIH 1991]. Chlorine dioxide dissolves in water to produce chlorate and chlorite ions. Chlorite has been shown to produce methemoglobin in rats and cats [Gosselin

    Effects on Humans: Chlorine dioxide is a severe respiratory and eye irritant in humans. Inhalation can produce coughing, wheezing, respiratory distress, and congestion in the lungs [Patnaik 1992]. Irritating effects in humans was intense at concentration levels of 5 ppm. Accidental exposure at 19 ppm of the gas inside a bleach tank resulted in the death of one worker (time of exposure is not specified) [ACGIH 1991]. Workers exposed for 5 years to average chlorine dioxide concentrations below 0.1 ppm but with excursions to higher concentrations had symptoms of eye and throat irritation, nasal discharge, cough, and wheezing; on bronchoscopy, bronchitis was observed in seven of the 12 workers [Clayton and Clayton 1982]. Concentrations of 0.25 ppm and less have been reported to worsen mild respiratory ailments [ACGIH 1991]. Two adults who ingested 250 ml of a 40 mg/l solution of chlorine dioxide experienced headache, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and lightheadedness within 5 minutes of ingestion. The symptoms disappeared within another 5 minutes [NLM

    Signs and symptoms of exposure

    1. Acute exposure: Acute exposure to chlorine dioxide results in

    irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; cough; wheezing; shortness of breath; bronchitis; pulmonary edema; headache; and vomiting [Genium

    Chronic exposure: Chronic exposure to chlorine dioxide may cause chronic bronchitis and emphysema [Sittig 1991].

    This is per the OSHA website. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguideline..

  • pet odors!!
    04/16/2013 11:56am

    my daughter lives downstairs with 6 dogs and 2 cats!!! trouble is the smell from all those animals is coming upstairs,I have 2 small dogs. HELP!!

  • 08/26/2013 11:33am

    There is a permanent solution for both pet odors and poor indoor air-quality problems. Air-ReNu is a blend of 27 natural rare-earth minerals that are ground into a fine powder then mixed with interior wall paint, when applied to the walls in a room. Air-ReNu, cleans the air of any toxic impurities and odors, one application is effective for 10-12 years.

  • Remove Pet Stains & Odors
    10/20/2014 05:22pm

    The best pet stain remover ever is Genesis 950. I have cats and dogs. The 950 is the only cleaner that removes the stains and the smells - regardless of whether it is urine, vomit, spraying or just wet muddy dog. Hands down the best. I have been through everything - Nature's Miracle, Simply Green, blah, blah, blah. I could rattle them off forever. I've even tried all the expensive things designed for specific types of messes - they FAIL.

    If you are tired of nothing working, you really need to get the 950. It's AWESOME!


    12/09/2014 09:21pm

    I buy ODO-BAN at Walmart and it's the best thing I've ever found for removing any kind of odor. You can spray directly on furniture, drapes & carpet. I use it for cleaning kitchen & bath floors, countertops, etc. as it's also antibacterial, (kills 99.9% of germs). I have been using Odo-Ban around my dog & 17yr old Quaker parrot for years with no problems.

Dog Care Questions
Answered By

Q. From whom should I get my puppy? The local shelter, my neighbor, a breeder, or a pet supply store?

A. Many people believe that it is better to get a puppy from a reliable breeder. While...

Read More
Q. How do I select a quality dog breeder?

A. To choose a quality breeder, take the time to conduct a thorough research on the...

Read More
Q. Should I get a mixed breed or purebred puppy?

A. A purebred puppy is a better option for some people because there is a better idea...

Read More
View All the Questions

Featured Breed


Glen of Imaal Terrier

Featuring Eddie