How to Get Rid of Dog Smell While Keeping the Dog

Beagle in Bathtub



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It’s a dilemma we all face at one time or another: you love your furry bestie, but their smell is starting to make you nauseous. What can you do? How to get rid of dog smell while keeping the dog?

Well, we’ve got some tips for you! Read on for ways to get rid of that pesky dog smell while still keeping your pup by your side.

Why Does My Dog Smell Funky?

One day I was preparing for a dinner party and my dog Indy decided to lay down right next to me as I was cooking. As I leaned over to give her a good scratch behind the ears, woof! I got a whiff of her odor and it wasn’t nearly as fresh as the herbs I was adding to the pasta sauce!

What was I to do? I couldn’t very well kick her out of the kitchen (or the house) every time I wanted to cook. And I certainly couldn’t get rid of her altogether – she’s part of the family!

Indy’s not a dirty dog. We’ve always been pretty good at keeping her clean, so why did she smell so bad? It couldn’t be because of our last camping trip! We did bathe her after that, didn’t we?

Well, there are a few things that could be to blame:

How Is Your Dog’s Diet?

Believe it or not, what your dog eats can affect how he smells. If he’s eating a lot of low-quality food, that could be the culprit. It will likely come out as flatulence. That’s right, a constant stream of gas passing through your pupperino can make an unpleasant smell.

Check the ingredients in your pup’s food and look for things like by-products, fillers, and artificial flavors – these can all contribute to that bad smell. This guide from the American Kennel Club could help.

Does Your Dog Have Any Health Conditions?

If your doggo has an infection, skin allergies, or a pre-existing condition, either of these could be the cause of the bad odor. These conditions can cause your dog to scratch a lot, which can lead to open sores and bald spots. Bacteria can then get into these open wounds and cause an infection. If you think your dog may have an infection, take him to the vet right away.

Anal Gland Issues

Dogs have two small glands located just inside their anus, and these glands produce a foul-smelling liquid that helps your dog mark her territory. If these glands become full or infected, they can cause your pupper a lot of discomfort and also make her smell bad.

Any Dental Problems?

Just like humans, dogs need to clean their teeth regularly to avoid dental problems. If there are issues with your dog’s teeth or gums, it could lead to bad breath. This includes gum infections, cracked teeth, and abscesses. 

Ear Infections

If your doggo is scratching his ears a lot or seems to be in pain, he may have an ear infection. Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria or allergies in the folds of the skin and can make your dog’s ears smell bad.

How Do I Keep My House From Smelling Like Dog?

The best way to keep your house from smelling like dog is to prevent the odor in the first place, and that means keeping your furry bestie clean and healthy. Here are some tips:

Give Your Dog Regular Baths

A good, old-fashioned bath is a great way to keep your dog clean and smelling fresh. Just be sure to use a shampoo that’s made specifically for dogs – human shampoo can dry out your doggie’s skin and make the odor worse.

Here are some of my favorite dog shampoos that specifically help to remove odors:

  1. Arm & Hammer Super Deodorizing Shampoo for Dogs
  2. Arm & Hammer Super Deodorizing Shampoo for Dogs

    Arm & Hammer is a popular brand that makes human and pet products. This dog and puppy shampoo contains baking soda, which is known for its ability to absorb that tough dog smell.

    It's made with all natural ingredients and is specifically pH balanced for dogs and great for pets with sensitive skin.

    Buy on Amazon

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  3. Nature's Miracle Odor Control Shampoo
  4. Nature's Miracle Odor Control Shampoo

    For those who prefer natural products, this lavender-scented shampoo neutralizes dog odors by balancing your pup's pH. If your pupper has dry skin, the B5 and Aloe added to the product will protect and moisturize her coat.

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    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  5. Paws & Pals 5-in-1 Medicated Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
  6. Paws & Pals 5-in-1 Medicated Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

    Allergies and infections can cause dogs to smell bad, so this medicated shampoo is great for treating those conditions while also cleansing and deodorizing your doggo’s coat.

    Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  7. Waterpik Pet Wand Pro Shower Sprayer Attachment
  8. Waterpik Pet Wand Pro Shower Sprayer Attachment

    This is not a dog shampoo, I know, but it’s an excellent professional grade dog shower to make bathing your pupperino easier, indoors or outdoors.

    Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Clean Your Dog’s Ears

If your dog has smelly ears, it could be a sign of an infection. Use a cotton ball soaked in dog ear cleaner to gently clean the inside of your doggerino’s ears. Be careful not to insert the cotton ball too far into the ear. You don’t want to hurt your dog or cause further irritation. Read more about cleaning your dog’s ears at home here.

If your dog’s ears are still smelly after cleaning, take him to the vet to rule out any infections or other problems.

Regularly Clean Your Dog’s Bed

Your dog’s bed is likely one of the places where the odor originates, so be sure to wash his bedding regularly – at least once a week – to keep the smell at bay. You may even want to consider investing in a dog bed that’s easy to clean, such as one with a removable cover that’s made from waterproof material.

Regularly Groom Your Pupper

Regularly grooming your dog, by brushing his fur, trimming his nails, etc. is not only important for his health, but it can also help to reduce the odor. This is because regular grooming helps to remove dirt, debris, and dead skin cells, which can contribute to the smell.

If you can afford to, consider taking your pup to a professional groomer every few months for a thorough cleaning. This will eliminate dog smell more permanently over time.

Love Your Air Purifier

If you’re struggling with dog odor, consider buying an air purifier for your home. Air purifiers help to remove odors, allergens, and other airborne particles from the air, leaving your home smelling fresh and clean.

There are a few different types of air purifiers on the market, so be sure to do your research. Look for a carbon filter air purifier, as these are specifically designed to remove odors.

How to Get Rid of Bad Dog Breath

Get Rid of Dog Smell - Golden Retriever with Toothbrush

If a bad dog smell is coming from your pup’s mouth, there may be many different causes of the odor. There may be plaque buildup, a dental infection, or even gastrointestinal issues.

The best way to get rid of bad dog breath is to brush your pup’s teeth regularly.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important for his overall health and can cut down on that pesky dog smell. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs, as human toothpaste is not safe for dogs.

You can also make your own dog toothpaste by mixing 2½ tbsp of baking soda, 1 tbsp of water, and a little bit of beef or chicken broth for flavor. Keep it in the fridge for two weeks max.

If your dog won’t let you brush his teeth, there are many different types of dental treats and chew toys that can help remove plaque and tartar buildup. These products will also help to freshen your pup’s breath.

When your pet friend needs a more heavy-duty dental cleaning, you can use a dog dental gel or take him to the vet for professional teeth cleaning.

How to Get Dog Smell Out of Couch

It can be tough to eliminate the dog smell from your furniture if your pupper likes to lounge around on the couch or chairs. Whenever possible, try to keep your pup off of the furniture altogether.

If that’s not an option (it isn’t with Indy!), there are a few things you can do to remove the dog smell from your upholstered furniture:

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural odor absorber, so sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on your couch or chair, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

Make Your Own Fabric Freshener

You can make your own fabric freshener by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of lavender oil (or any other essential oil) and shake well.

Test the solution on a section that is not too visible, then spray it on your couch or chair, let it dry, and enjoy the fresh smell.

Use a Commercial Fabric Freshener

If you don’t want to make your own fabric freshener, many commercially-available products can help to remove dog smell from the furniture. Look for a product that contains enzymes, which will help to break down the odor-causing bacteria.

Shampoo Your Couch or Chair

If your couch or chair has a washable-fabric cover, you can remove the dog smell by shampooing this cover. Be sure to test a small hidden area of the fabric first to make sure that the shampoo doesn’t damage it. This can get rid of dog smell issues without simply covering it up with a spray.

Cover Your Couch With a Blanket

After you’ve taken the time to clean your furniture, you probably don’t want that bad dog smell to return for a while. Using a durable blanket or throw can help to keep your furniture clean and free of dog hair and odor. You can also use a fitted dog bed cover, which will fit snuggly on your couch.

How to Get Rid of Dog Pee Smell from Carpet

Carpets can hold the scent of your dog’s urine odors and intensify it over time. If your pupper has an accident on the carpet, it’s important to clean it up as soon as possible. The longer the urine sits, the harder it will be to remove the smell as it absorbs into the oils, dust, and fibers.

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell - Golden Retriever Peed on Carpet

To clean pet urine from your carpet:

  • Blot up as much urine as possible
  • Use a paper towel or clean cloth to blot up as much of the urine as possible.
  • Make a cleaning solution (or use a commercial cleaner, such as the fabric freshener mentioned above)
  • Mix one part of water with one part of white vinegar in a bowl.
  • Use a spray bottle or clean cloth to apply the cleaning solution to the stain.
  • Blot up the stain again

You can further deodorize your carpet by sprinkling baking soda on the stain and letting it sit for a few hours before you vacuum it up.

If the urine smell is still lingering, you can repeat the above steps or hire a professional carpet cleaner. You can also steam clean your carpet to remove any lingering odors.

How to Get Skunk Smell off Dog

Sometimes, even the best-behaved dog can get into a little mischief. If your pupperino has been sprayed by a skunk, there are a few things you can do to remove the odor:

Try Using Tomato Juice or Vinegar

Tomato juice and white vinegar are both acidic substances that can help to neutralize the skunk smell. Pour either one over your pet, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse with water.

Make a Baking Soda Solution

Baking soda is another effective skunk odor neutralizer. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon of dish soap. Apply the solution to your doggo, let it sit for five minutes, and then rinse with water.

Use a Commercial Skunk Odor Remover

If you don’t have any of the above ingredients on hand, you can purchase a commercial skunk odor remover from your local pet store. To get rid of the odors, follow the instructions on the package.

Prevent Your Dog From Getting Sprayed by a Skunk

This may sound obvious, but the best way to deal with a skunked dog is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you live in an area where skunks are common, keep your dog on a leash and supervise him when he’s outside.

You can also purchase a skunk deterrent spray from your local pet store, which can be sprayed on the perimeter of your property to help keep skunks away.

Final Thoughts: How To Get Rid of Dog Smell

As any pupperino owner knows, dogs can be smelly, but there are a few things you can do to get rid of dog smell issues (click here for dog hair removal tools, if that’s also a challenge with your pupper). From shampooing your couch to using a skunk deterrent spray, there are plenty of options available to help keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

Do you have any tips for neutralizing your doggo’s smells? Share them in the comments below!

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About the Author


I’m Alex and I’ve always wanted the best for my pupper Indy, so she could have a healthy and happy life. I’m pretty sure this also applies to you and your doggie, otherwise you wouldn’t have made it to the end of this post.

I started Pampered Puppers as a family-owned business, based in Australia, to help all dog lovers around the world achieve this easily. So that’s our mission, to help improve your dog’s safety and quality of life with entertaining and helpful articles via our blog 🐶

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