At this point, it’s not surprising if many homes are starting to feel (and smell) a little worse for wear. Follow these cleaning tips for pet owners to help banish cat and dog smells from your house.
1. Clean your pet at the door
Smelly grime and dirt – and potentially harmful germs – are trampled into your home on the paws, snout and fur of your pets.
Keeep a pet towel and bucket of water by the door to quickly wash your pet’s paws, face and belly when it comes home from a walk or in from the garden.
Put a mat outside the door and train your dog to sit there while having its paws wiped.
2. Groom your pet weekly
Pet hair and dander (microscopic shed skin) get deposited around our homes, building up in carpets, mattresses, duvets, pillows and cushions, causing malodorous scents.
Give your dog and cat a weekly brush to decrease the amount of hair and dander deposited.
Most dogs – and some cats – enjoy being brushed, so it’s a great bonding time. If your pet doesn’t enjoy it, book an appointment at the pet parlour.
3. Wash your pet regularly
Humans smell if they don’t bathe regularly and so do cats and dogs.
Keep your pet clean if you want it to smell sweeter. Some studies show that bathing your pet helps reduce dander by over 80%.
Vets recommend washing dogs at least once a month but no more than once a week. Set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget.
4. Clean and dry pet beds, pillows and cushions
Imagine the smell on your sheets and pillows if you didn’t wash them for months. Your pet’s bed is probably the most obvious cause of unwanted odour.
To stop your house smelling, regularly wash all the items that your pet uses on a daily basis, including bed covers, cushion covers on furniture and pet blankets.
5. Deep clean toys, bowls, collars and leads
Don’t forget to clean items like toys, food bowls, collars and leads.
They hold on to odours and bacteria, so it’s important to regularly wash them.
Most bowls, toys and collars can go in the dishwasher. Alternatively, put pet shampoo into a bowl with hot water and soak collar and toys for at least 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and dry.
6. Vacuum a few times a week
At least once – and preferably two to three times – a week, vacuum carpets, rugs, floors, sofas and chairs.
There are products that really make it easier to remove pet hair and dander. Consider investing in:
- a lint roller
- a handheld vacuum
- an electrostatic dust mop – the electrostatic charge attracts and holds hair for easy removal.
7. Clean your pet’s hidden hangouts
Your odour-tackling game plan mustn’t omit your pet’s secret hangouts – under the bed, in the cupboard, on the stairs…
Even if your pet doesn’t shed much hair, the place will still be covered in odour-inducing dander.
Vacuum and clean these areas regularly in order to stay on top of unwanted smells.
8. Use household products to banish smells
Most homes have items in the pantry that can be used to keep unwanted odours at bay.
Bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda neutralises most smells. Sprinkle it on your pet’s bed or on sofa cushions (check labels and test a small area first). Let it work for a few minutes, then vacuum.
Vinegar is a natural cleaning solution for serious pet odours. Dilute it with a bit of water in a spray bottle and spray on carpets and floors.
9. How to remove urine
You won’t miss a pet poo but sometimes you won’t know if a pet has had an indoor odour-inducing pee.
10. Regularly empty and clean kitty’s litter box
A kitty litter box can easily become a toxic-smelling dumping ground.
If your litter box is consistently smelly you’re probably not cleaning it often enough.
Ideally, the box should be emptied at least twice a day. Cut your litter clean-up time in half by lining the tray with a plastic bag.
Once a week, give it a deep, soaking clean and replace the litter box at least once a year.
11. Consider a HEPA filter
A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter can help tackle pet odours.
A HEPA filter forces air through a fine mesh to trap pongy and allergenic particles such as pet dander, dust mites and pollen.
Air purifiers and some vacuum cleaners come with HEPA filters.
Pets and periodic deep cleaning
This will help remove pet hair and pet dander, along with the unwanted creatures – like dust mites and bed bugs – that feed on it. Professional steam cleaning also kills stubborn flea eggs and mould spores.