How to prevent pet odor in your home

We love our pets, but that doesn’t mean that we want our homes to smell like them (there’s a reason that “Wet Dog” isn’t a popular scent for air fresheners). If you have pets, pets that visit you, or are considering getting a pet, here some strategies for keeping pet odor to a minimum.

Clean regularly

This means regularly clean your carpet and furniture yourself, as well as getting regular professional cleanings. Ensure that you vacuum and deodorize (i.e., Febreze) carpets and furniture weekly to get rid of pet hair, which traps unpleasant scents, and to reduce odors from hair and skin oils (from people and pets). It’s recommended that homes without pets get their carpets cleaned professionally at least once per year, and you should too, and possibly more often. If you have delicate, expensive, or just beautiful upholstery that you really like, you should also get that professionally cleaned every year, especially if you have pets and they get on the furniture (whether or not they’re allowed to be on the furniture…)

Wash your linens

Just as pet odor can get into your carpeting and furniture, it can get into your fabrics: blankets, pillowcases and shams, pillows themselves, sheets, clothing, and rugs. Even if you don’t let your pet sleep in your bed, your linens likely have trapped some pet scent, and regular washing of all of them (yes, even the duvet cover) can keep pet odor down.

Wash your pet’s stuff

If your bed linens can trap odor, imagine what your dog’s bed or cat’s carrier can do. Wash these items regularly to keep odor to a minimum. Washing toys can also help limit scent, as pet saliva can carry odors as well.

Clean up messes immediately

It’s gross and you don’t want to do it, but cleaning up pet messes, no matter what they are can help reduce lingering odor and decrease the likelihood or seriousness of any resulting stains. In the same vein, if you have a litter box, puppy pads, or caged/contained animals (hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, etc.) ensure that you clean waste up on a regular, tight schedule.

Groom your pet

Grooming your pet, especially when the seasons are changing can reduce the amount of hair shed in your home (which traps scent), reduce pet body odor (if people have it, so can other mammals), and clean off any contaminants, dirt, or scents from the outside that they’ve been carrying around, stinking up your home.

You don’t have to get rid of your pet to get rid of pet odor. Having a pet is work, and keeping your home smelling good with a pet (or two or three or more) is work too, but your pet is worth it. Follow the tips above to keep your home’s pet odor to a minimum.

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