Oftentimes, our furry friends are more like family members than pets. They keep us company, love us unconditionally, and bring us endless joy. But unfortunately, they also tend to bring a lot of messes and funky pet odors – dirt, dander, pet accidents, and, of course, who can forget that lovely “wet dog” smell. There are definitely some stinky scents that come with having pets, and the challenge of dealing with pet odors around the house can often be difficult to tackle. Not to mention, the amount of fur flying off them on a daily basis is pretty shocking! Although pet messes and odors are pretty much impossible to completely avoid, there are a few simple tricks to stop them from taking over your home. Take heart, it is possible to have a clean, fresh smelling house and pets.
Your odor-busting routine might look a little different depending on your specific pets and the size of your home, but hopefully this guide will give you a good starting point to tackle pet odors with confidence. Owning a four-legged companion shouldn’t mean that your home always stinks!
Establish a Regular Grooming Routine
Regular baths go a long way in keeping your pet smelling fresh. Generally, dogs should be bathed every 4-6 weeks (depending on length and type of coat, among other factors) and cats should only be bathed as needed, though they can benefit from regular bathing as well. Our Anti-Allergen Pet Shampoo has a plant and mineral-based formula that’ll leave your four-legged friend smelling and feeling amazing. Each carefully-selected ingredient offers unique benefits. In fact, this shampoo eliminates allergens from pet dander, helps to control fleas and ticks, conditions and softens your pet’s coat, and keeps your pet smelling fresh longer, all while being gentle on the skin and fur. It’s great to use on pets that have allergies and skin sensitivity. Our formula is hypoallergenic, dye-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. It’s also 100% biodegradable, making it an environmentally-friendly choice.
Bathing isn’t the only part of grooming that helps keep your pet smelling fresh and clean. Regularly brushing your dog or cat’s fur removes dirt, dead hair, and other debris that can cause funky odors. For dogs in particular, ear cleaning is also an important task for hygiene. Long ears in particular can develop a yeasty odor if you don’t clean them at least once a week. Don’t forget that brushing your dog’s teeth will keep his mouth clean and healthy as well. Teeth that are caked with plaque and tartar often produce another unpleasant doggy odor: bad breath. Ask your veterinarian’s advice on how to best clean your dog’s ears and teeth.
Let Some Fresh Air In
While you’re cleaning, open all the windows and doors to let fresh air circulate. Just be careful to not accidentally let the dog or cat out!
Know Your Pet’s Favorite Hangout
Focusing on high-traffic pet areas can help the mess (and odors!) from spreading to other areas of the house. Plus, if you’re short on time, even cleaning one or two smelly areas can go a long way in freshening up your home. If Fido or Kitty tends to always hang out on a specific chair, or on a certain spot on your sofa or bed, consider putting down a blanket for them to lie on. When the spot starts to take on that pet smell, just switch out the blanket and toss it in the washer along with our hypoallergenic Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent to neutralize odors along with allergens from pet dander and dust mites. While you’re at it, wash pet beds and stuffed toys along with the blankets. Quick and easy!
It’s important to always wash pet items using a hypoallergenic laundry detergent, since dogs and cats have sensitive noses – not to mention all of the harsh chemicals in conventional laundry detergents that can make pets sick.
Vacuum Everything, Repeat. Repeat Again.
Pet hair, dirt, and dander require that your sweep, mop, vacuum, repeat. If you have a beloved pet that sheds, aim to vacuum at least every other day. Reducing pet dander improves indoor air quality, cuts down on odors, and can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. There is a trick to it, though: To actually capture pet dander, you must use a vacuum with a sealed high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters work by trapping small particles in the fine mesh, including pet dander, dust, pollen, and even tobacco smoke.
While you’re cleaning, be sure to vacuum everything: carpets, curtains, furniture, rugs, floors. Then vacuum some more. We know your dog hates the vacuum, but it’s a basic and essential chore to keep your house from being overrun by fur and stinky pet dander!
Tackle Accidents as Soon as Possible
Cleaning up pet messes quickly and effectively is definitely a must for a fresh smelling home. For some reason, pets always seem to have their accidents on carpet or upholstery rather than on easy-to-clean tile. Even house trained pets will have an accident from time to time. Whether it’s urine, vomit, or droppings, Vital Oxide has the cleaning power to eradicate foul-smelling odors and stubborn stains. To clean urine from carpets or upholstery, use a dry towel to initially blot up as much of the urine as possible, being careful to not rub it in. Then, rinse the area with a bit of warm water to dilute the remaining urine. Repeat the first step to blot up as much of the urine and water as possible. Finally, spray Vital Oxide on the area to eliminate odors and stains. Be sure to use enough of the formula to penetrate the carpet or upholstery fibers and all areas the urine may have penetrated and simply let air dry. A fan can be used to dry the carpet or upholstery faster if needed.
To clean excrement, pick up the droppings if they are solid. If the mess is wet, like diarrhea or vomit, try to get as much of it as you can, working as fast as possible, to avoid letting the stain set. A good method is to put on rubber gloves, and use a dustpan to scrape up the majority of the mess, and then paper towels to remove the rest of it. Be careful to not force the mess into the carpet or upholstery as you’re cleaning! After you’ve picked up the mess, spray Vital Oxide and let it work its magic. Vital Oxide is proven to remove the strongest, most deep-set pet odors and stains.
Bust Out the Blacklight
Getting a hint of old pee smell but can’t figure out exactly where it’s coming from? Go full Ace Ventura on the situation and use a blacklight to identify isolated problem areas. Old urine stains will often glow yellow or green. First rinse the area with warm water and then blot up with paper towels to soak up as much of the mess as possible. Then, use Vital Oxide directly on those pesky spots to neutralize odors and stains.
Stay on Top of Litter Box Smells
If you have a cat, you know the difficulty of keeping the odor to a minimum. The struggle is real! No one likes the smell of a stinky litter box. Instead of scooping only when you see big clumps, try scooping litter twice daily, and replace the litter completely once a week. After emptying the litter box, scrub it with unscented dish soap and warm water. Rinse, and spray with Vital Oxide to kill germs and odor-causing bacteria. Let the litter box dry before refilling with new litter. This routine will keep your kitty’s litter box smelling purr-fectly fresh.
Neutralize Stinky Furniture
You might think that dogs are man’s best friend, but it’s actually Vital Oxide! Vital Oxide harnesses the power of oxygen to neutralize offensive odors for good, rather than covering them up with fragrance.
Deep clean upholstered furniture by washing all removable covers in the laundry with our Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent, scrubbing any curious mystery stains with Vital Oxide before tossing in the washer, and adding ½ cup to 1 cup of Vital Oxide to the washer (depending on the side of the load) to eradicate extra stubborn pet odors and stains.
For furniture without a covering, start by vacuuming up as much hair as you can before wiping everything down with a damp microfiber cloth. After you’ve removed as much dirt and fur as you can, lightly spritz your furniture with Vital Oxide (after checking in an inconspicuous spot for colorfastness) to neutralize odors. Heavily soiled furniture may benefit from a deep cleaning using a steam cleaner or a rinse and vac system.Want more tips? Follow The Ecology Works on Instagram @ecologyworks for lots of helpful household tips and environmental news. If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We’re here to help.