How to Get Dog Smell Out of Your House (Tips for Carpet, Couch and Air)

Being a dog owner definitely has its perks.

You always have a loyal friend when you come home. You feel a better sense of security. You have a much happier life. And, you may even exercise more.

But having an indoor dog can also have its drawbacks.

Most dogs drool, shed hair, bring dirt inside, and often have a “dog smell” that lingers all over your house.

And that’s what we’re going to cover today in this post—how to get dog smell out of your house so it smells fresh and clean.

Below, we’ll share with you some simple tips on how to get dog smell out of carpet, couch, and the air.

How to get Dog Smell Out of Air

One of the first and easiest steps for how to get dog smell out of house is to start by removing it from your indoor air.

There are two main ways you can accomplish this task, with #1 being the most effective.

1. Buy an Air Purifier

An air purifier is a machine that can remove dog smells from the air. It’s also good at capturing dog dander and hair too.

Obviously, once those smells are gone from the air, your house will smell fresher and cleaner.

To get the best air purifier for dog smells, you’ll want one that’s equipped with an Activated Carbon filter. This special filter is the only type that can trap odor particles emitted by animals.

Take a look at this guide on the best air purifier for pets and odors to find out how to choose the right one for your needs. You’ll also benefit from the reduction of dog dander and hair if you select an air purifier with a True HEPA filter. Details about this are in that link.

The best way to use an air purifier for dog smells is to place it close to where your dog sleeps or an area of the home he or she frequents the most.

That way the air purifier can remove as much odor from the source.

If your dog doesn’t have one particular place it likes to hang out, then place the air purifier in a central location like the living room in order to maximize the freshness of the air you breathe.

2. Mask the Odor with Pet Candles

Sometimes, you just need a quick solution to get rid of dog odors and that’s where masking the smell comes into play.

There now exists pet odor candles for this very purpose.

The way pet odor exterminating candles differ from regular candles is that they use a special enzyme that’s released when the candle burns.

That enzyme attaches itself to the odor molecules in the air which neutralizes the smell.

Pet odor candles are a good choice if you can’t afford to invest in an air purifier yet. Plus, they release a nice fragrance and some versions can burn up to 70 hours or more which gives you a lot of use out of them.

How to Get Dog Smells Out of Carpet

If you’re wondering how to get dog smell out of carpet, it can be a little trickier than removing it from the air.

However, it’s possible to remove dog odors using these three tips.

1. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda has natural properties that work to eliminate odors, and this is why so many people keep a box of it in their refrigerator.

To get the baking soda to work on your dog smells in carpets, sprinkle a fine layer over them and let it sit for 24 hours. Then, vacuum it up.

If the odors aren’t completely gone, repeat the process until they are.

2. Try Enzymatic Cleaners

Perhaps your dog had an accident on the carpet and you missed it. Or maybe your dog leaked vomit, urine or drool on your floors without you knowing it.

Unfortunately, those things happen and not every puddle of feces, vomit, urine or drool can be seen with the naked eye.

What’s worse is that these accidents can eventually start to smell and cover your entire house.

To get rid of dog smell in the carpet that’s obvious, spray the spot directly with an enzymatic cleaner and let it soak in. The cleaner has enzymes in it that help to break down the bacteria in vomit, feces, urine, and drool and get rid of the smell.

To make a global sweep of your home, spray the enzymatic cleaner lightly over all of your carpeting as a preventative measure. Let it soak in and then

3. Shampoo Your Carpets

If you’ve tried the last two tips and still have an unpleasant smell that just won’t go away, the last resort is to shampoo your entire carpets.

If you don’t have a rug shampooer, most home improvement stores charge a nominal fee to rent one for a day or two. You can also buy a dog-specific product that reduces your dog’s urge to mark on the carpet again. 

Another option is having a professional company come in and do it for you.

How to Get Dog Smell Out of Couch

If you let your dog get up on your furniture, then it’s definitely going to smell.

What’s worse is that you can’t just toss your furniture into the washing machine to clean it.

However, there are a few things you can do with your couch in place to get rid of the odor. Try these tips for how to get dog smell out of couch.

1. Make a Vinegar Spray

Vinegar is excellent for breaking down the bacteria that causes dog odors.

You can make a spray to use on your couch by mixing one part distilled vinegar with one part water.

Spray this mixture on your couch first and let it dry.

In another bottle, mix one part water to one part fabric softener.

Spray this mixture also on your couch and let it dry.

This second mixture will help mask the vinegar odor and give you a burst of fragrant air each time you sit down. 

2. Use an Upholstery Cleaner

You can purchase an upholstery cleaner for a relatively low price and use it on your couch.

This works just like a carpet shampooer, but it’s specially designed to clean furniture. Again, you can get pet-specific odor eliminators to mix in.

Every few months, clean your couch and furniture with your upholstery cleaner to refresh it. 

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils are great for all sorts of things including dog odors.

If you purchase a lemon essential oil and mix a few drops of it with eight ounces of water, you can create an odor-reducing spray.

Spray down your couch and any other stinky surfaces.

The lemon has citric acid that can break down dog odors and add a fresh scent deep into the fibers of your couch.

What Causes Dog Smells?

Now that you have some tips under your belt for how to get dog smell out of house, you may be wondering what causes dog odors in the first place.

While you may think that dogs smell just because they’re dirty, the real answer comes down to physiological reasons.

Here are the most common reasons for dog odors that stink up your house.


Dog food that contains high amounts of starches and low levels of fatty acids (i.e. grain-based foods) may give your dog dry skin.

Dry skin leads to incessant scratching which can cause infections that produce an odor.

Chemical compounds and by-products of over-processed foods can also cause bacteria and yeast to live on canine feet. That’s often why your dog’s feet may smell like Fritos.


Dogs sweat through their paws and hair follicles which can easily transfer that “dog smell” to surfaces around your house.

Some dogs also produce unpleasant odors from too much or too little oil production.

Improper Grooming

Outside dirt, mud, decay, and feces can easily cling to your dog’s paws and fur.

And if not taken care of, those debris can create undesirable odors that radiate from your dog.

Frequent brushing and routine bathing can keeps debris from clinging to dog’s paws and fur and help him or her smell fresh.

Scent Glands

Healthy anal sacs and sweat glands usually don’t create an odor problem in dogs. However, if those areas get blocked or infected, they can become pungent.

If this happens, take your dog to a veterinarian.

Ear Infections

Ear infections can be quite common in dogs and with them come smells.

If you think this may have occurred in your dog, him or her to a veterinarian.

Skin Infections

Some dogs like Bulldogs are more prone to skin infections because their skin overlaps itself. This overlapping of the skin can cause moisture and bacteria to get trapped and create smelly infections.

Dogs with dry skin that causes excessive scratching can also produce infections that make the skin odorous.

Dental Infections

Dental infections produce bad breath in your dog and this can cause the air to smell bad.

If you can’t brush your dog’s teeth regularly, take him or her to a veterinarian to get the job done.


Well, there you have it.

A detailed list of tips on how to get the dog smell out of your house and reasons for why you dog leaves odors around the home.

You now know how to get dog smell out of carpet, couch and the air.

As a reminder, you can reduce the majority of dog odors by adding an air purifier to your home. This device will work consistently to remove the particles that create unpleasant dog smells.

Feel free to check out our guide on the best air purifier for pets and odors to see for yourself how it works and what more it can do for you as a dog owner. It’s also great for cutting down on dog dander and hair!