While we love our pets and we couldn’t imagine our lives without them, there is a slight inconvenience to being a pet owner – namely odors. Whether we’re talking about bad breath, litter boxes, or simply the general pet odor, the unpleasant smell might become the most representative thing of your house, no matter how cozy and beautifully decorated it might be.
On that note, you might look for an efficient way of making your home smell good and fight the unpleasant odor that comes with the territory of having a pet.
Step 1 – Make cleaning a priority
While this might seem like common sense, there is more to keeping your house clean than what meets the eye. When you live with pets, it’s mandatory to clean your house on a regular basis – and you have to focus on the whole package, otherwise, the odor is less likely to go away.
The first thing on your list should be vacuuming. As you already know, pet fur and dander are proficient at getting trapped in rugs, furniture, and even in the fabric of window coverings. And this happens no matter how often you clean your house (or your companion). What is more, fur and dander might reach your non-carpeted floors as well.
That’s primarily why you should vacuum all the floors in your house – both carpeted and non-carpeted, on a regular basis. Another tip I’ve found to be particularly useful is sprinkling baking soda on rugs and upholstered surfaces. The key here is to allow the baking soda to stay there for a while so that it would absorb the disagreeable odors.
The good thing about baking soda is that it neutralizes strong odors – that is why you can successfully use it for getting rid of funky smells in the refrigerator.
Afterward, you should vacuum the baking soda from the surfaces, and you’ll notice that your carpets and furniture will look reinvigorated, and, most importantly, they will be smell free. Another great solution to nasty odors is vinegar – and you may use it in combination with baking soda, as this mix is more powerful.
Plus, if you intend to neutralize the odor in your house by using a perfumed product, you should check beforehand to ensure that it is non-toxic to animals. Numerous items that are safe for us, humans, aren’t recommendable for dogs, for example. When in doubt, it’s best to stick to the natural solutions, namely baking soda and vinegar.
At the same time, not only that you should vacuum regularly, but you should also wash the items that your pet uses constantly. These include cushion covers on the furniture, pet blankets, pet bed covers, sheets, and linens – considering that your pet is allowed on the bed.
Moreover, aside from bathing your companion regularly, you should also clean their toys, collars, food bowls, and even leashes. Not only that this will eliminate distasteful odors, but it also removes harmful bacteria.
If your dog dreads bathing, you might consider taking it to the groomer, instead – especially if you find it challenging to stay on top of things.
Having a cleaning routine can seriously help you maintain your house clean, without unwanted odors. And this applies especially to the areas in which your pet spends most of its time.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t wait for the mess to dig in until you clean the house again. Truth be told, the longer you wait to clean your house, the more challenging it will be to eliminate the smell completely. So, if you can, you should get on to it right away. As a rule of thumb, you could make a cleaning routine once a week, for example, and stick to it to deter buildup of odors and mess.
Step 2 – Get an air purifier
According to an official survey conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, roughly 50 million people in the US cope with nasal allergies. Concurrently, this official source indicates that 1 in 5 people in the US experience symptoms associated with asthma or allergies. What do these official reports say?
It is believed that there is a link between the increasing rate of allergies and asthma and the fact that more and more people own pets. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not the pet hair that determines the allergies. The trigger that leads to allergies and asthma is the microscopic pet dander – namely the flecks of skin shed with the hair, feathers or fur. And this applies to all sorts of pets, just to name a few – cats, dogs, hamsters, ferrets, birds, guinea pigs, and the list may go on.
Plus, as your pet gets older, experts indicate that the allergic reactions experienced by humans can worsen. That’s the main reason why many people end up with allergies as their pets grow older. On the other side, pet hair isn’t known to cause any allergic reactions – while it does cause a mess and makes your house smell, it isn’t as harmful as the dander.
What is the solution to this problem?
Getting a HEPA filter is an ideal solution to this problem. Truthfully, this option is worth considering especially if you already suffer from allergies. Not only that it will minimize the severity of your condition.
A HEPA filter eliminates 99.97 percent of the allergens – pet dander included. Also, it targets particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in size. What does this item do? It absorbs and traps the dander particles into the filter, preventing them from being released.
In other words, the harmful particles are trapped inside the filter, with no means of getting out. At the same time, you must know that there are vacuum cleaners that are equipped with HEPA filters, as well. You should bear this in mind, especially if you have allergies, or you are prone to developing them.
But, what about unpleasant pet odors? Can a HEPA filter help with that? Unfortunately, no it cannot.
While HEPA filters are great at removing microscopic allergens, they don’t have the necessary features for getting rid of smells. What you’ll want instead is an air purifier that uses an Activated Carbon filter.
Activated Carbon is a porous material that is excellent at absorbing odors and gases, including the various smells release by our pets. An additional benefit of this filter is that it also reduces other types of smells around the home too, like those from cooking, cleaning products, fireplace smoke and more.
Using an air purifier in the home that includes both a HEPA filter and Activated Carbon filter is your best option for keeping your home fresh and clean when living with pets.
Step 3 – Focus on your pet’s health
Did you know that most of the distasteful pet odor we all dread comes from the pet’s fur? And every time your companion touches a piece of furniture, a carpet or floor, this instantly changes the smell in your house’s. Aside from bathing your pet – which we’ve already mentioned beforehand, regular grooming is mandatory. A simple procedure such as grooming your pet with a brush eliminates dead skin cells.
Keep in mind that dead skin cells trap unwanted odors. If you make a habit out of grooming your pet, you’ll instantly eliminate a factor that causes this problem. And this applies particularly to pets with long hair. A helpful tip would be adding pet fragrance to the grooming process, in order to replace the disagreeable odor with something more manageable.
Concurrently, although you might not realize it, your pet’s nutrition influences the odor it releases, as well. While occasional flatulence is common for most pets, when it becomes frequent this indicates that there is a problem you should take care of. It might outline that your companion suffers from a disease, or might need a dietary adjustment.
For instance, the market abounds with food options that are not quite the healthiest choices for your furry companion. In other words, some foods on the market might lead to digestive issues, diarrhea being one of the most commonly met. Of course, this will inevitably lead to small particles remaining stuck on the pet’s fur – which will worsen the odor you’re dealing with.
At the same time, if your dog’s food includes fish, there is also a slight risk of unwanted odors. That’s why it’s advisable to check the flavor associated with the food you purchase for your companion.
Moving on, another condition that causes nasty odors is a dental disease. Did you know that bad breath and drooling are associated with mouth ulcers? On that note, you should look for symptoms such as appetite loss, thick saliva, swollen gums, and plaque, as these might indicate that your dog suffers from mouth ulcers.
The bad odor might also be caused by ear disease. This condition determines the accumulation of cerumen in the outer ear canal. And this could happen due to excessive moisture, allergies, infection or ear mites. So, make sure you have your pet checked for this, as well.
Contrary to popular belief, pet odors aren’t normal; hence, they shouldn’t be considered commonplace, as much as we love our pets. If you don’t want your house to have an unpleasant odor, the steps we outlined in this guide will definitely help.
To begin with, you should make cleaning your house a priority. Secondly, you must invest in a high-quality air purifier that will maintain the air in your house free of harmful particles. And lastly, you shouldn’t overlook your pet’s health – as many of the odors we find most disagreeable could be caused by health issues. Now tell us, what other methods do you consider useful for coping with pet odor?
About the Author:
Patrick is a pet lover at heart and enjoys all animals. He’s the proud owner of two energetic dogs and one laid-back cat. When he’s not playing with or cuddling his pals, he’s working as an indoor air quality specialist at Home Air Quality Guides. His passion is to help people create cleaner, healthier and more comforting environments inside their homes by sharing expert advice that’s simple to follow.