The Dog House Series, Part 2: Six Things to Keep Your House From Smelling Like a Dog

*DISCLAIMER* The following is written by a house-automysophobic {one who fears a dirty house}.

You have all been there. To that house where the moment you walk in the door, your nose tells you that there is a dog or cat in residence. You pretend not to notice the hair on the furniture, but you secretly can’t wait to get home and lint roll your clothes.

I have always loved animals, dogs in particular, but I didn’t want a house dog for fear my house would become one of “those” houses. You can then see my dilemma when my husband wanted a house dog. After some thought, I decided to give it a try.

But I made a solemn vow to myself that my house would NOT smell like a dog.

Those are brave words.

It’s been well over a year now since Miss Mia joined our household, and I am happy to say that my home doesn’t smell like a dog! With some strict cleaning regimens and a few tricks of the trade, I think I have learned how to keep my house from becoming “doggy.” Although our dog is a light shedder, I am still incredibly particular about cleaning up any stray hair I find. I care very much about how my house looks and smells. Perhaps I do more than I have to. Perhaps I am a bit of an over-achiever when it comes to battling the dog smell; but, let me tell you, it works.

Here is what I have discovered:

1. If the dog stinks, so does everything else. Giving your dog regular baths is essential! I know some people caution against giving too many baths as it may dry out a dog’s skin. I have not found that to be the case for my dog, however this may depend on the breed. I give my dog a bath every other week, and I use FURminator Deodorizing Waterless Spray every few days to keep my pooch smelling clean in between baths.

2. Brush, brush, brush! Regular brushing serves two purposes. First of all, it keeps your dog’s fur clean, and clean fur looks nicer and smells better. Second, it does an amazing job of keeping hair outside. I recommend brushing at least twice a week. If you’re really disciplined, you can brush every day. It’s also good to get your dog used to brushing. It’s calming for them, and it teaches them to stand still, which is very useful when it comes to giving hair cuts and going to the vet.

3. I hope you like vacuuming. This will sound absurd: I vacuum every day. I am paranoid of my house having dog hair, so I vacuum every day. It works, too. Since we have leather furniture, what little hair our dog does shed all collects on the carpet. If I only vacuum once a week, hairs can become ingrained in the carpet and difficult for the vacuum cleaner to pick up. If I vacuum every day, there is no hair on my carpet. Now, to be realistic, I only vacuum the main carpeted room in our downstairs daily. I don’t do the entire house every day. Oh, and I cheat, too. I have a iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner that is set on a schedule to come out of its corner and vacuum every day. All I have to do is empty the dirt bin and rescue it if it gets stuck. {Best birthday gift EVER.}

4. Buy a lint roller. Use this as often as you please on pillows, furniture, and clothing.

5. Baking soda is your new best friend. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer. If you have thick, plush carpet, it can trap the doggy smell. It can help to sprinkle the carpet with baking soda a few hours before vacuuming once a week to help keep the carpet smelling fresh. I also make a baking soda air freshener. Fill a spray bottle with warm water. Add roughly 4 tablespoons of baking soda per quart of water. (The ratio can vary.) This will not have a scent; it will simply neutralize the smell of your house. For an extra boost of fresh scent, add a few drops of an essential oil. Spray this throughout your home every few days to keep the dog smell from ever catching hold.

6. Candles never hurt. It’s always good to keep candles on hand for those long winter months when your windows are closed or those damp spring and summer days that have a habit of drawing out strange smells from the woodwork. Candles are a quick way to freshen up the house when company is coming (just to make extra, extra sure there is no hint of dog smell in the air).

Although having a dog in the house means extra cleaning, I have come to love having a four-legged companion by my side. Now that I know it’s possible to have a clean house and a house dog at the same time, I never want to be without a dog in the house. If you have a house dog or are considering getting one, have hope! Find what works for you, and you can have a clean and fresh-smelling house with a dog bed in the corner.

What about you? What have you found helpful (or not helpful) in your home? Please leave a comment with any tips, advice, or questions!

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