The most beautifully decorated home won’t be very appealing with a lingering smell of pet odor. Unfortunately, when we live with our own animals on a day-to-day basis, we sometimes become accustomed to certain scents. Even still, from litter boxes to dirty dog smells, nothing is attractive about a house with an unpleasant odor. Here are a few ways to combat pet odor problems and give your home a cleaner smell.
Find and Treat the Sources
One of the most common sources of pet odor is the lingering smell in a spot where a cat, dog or other animal has relieved themselves. Bacteria in the stain can penetrate both horizontal and vertical surfaces – including drywall, plaster, brick, paneling and woodwork. The first order of business is to clean the affected areas with a substance that can neutralize the bacteria.
White vinegar is a natural, low-cost and effective way to clean many odor-laden spaces. Baking soda will also absorb odors when generously sprinkled on an area, left for a couple of hours and then thoroughly vacuumed away. Bleach most kills germs on contact; however, it’s a strong and caustic chemical that can irritate skin and actually remove color from fabrics and other surfaces – so use extreme caution when cleaning with this liquid.
There are also a number of commercial cleaners available than can remove strong pet odors. A quick Internet search for “pet odor removers” on Yahoo! Shopping can bring back popular products like Nature’s Miracle, Simple Solution and Urine Off to remove all types of stains and odors.
When a simple cleaning is not effective, professional products can be used to remove stubborn and deeply ingrained pet odors. Consult a local qualified service to access your particular situation. There are actually products to treat the entire home with an air-borne odor-removing process – similar to bombing a house for fleas. However, these applications are best administered by a trained expert.
Once the effected areas have been cleaned, it may also be necessary to seal the surfaces to contain any residual bacteria that may linger after cleaning. Visit your local home improvement store or inquire with an odor remediation specialist to obtain sealing products that may greatly reduce long-standing odor damage in your home.
Check for Medical Conditions
If you’re unable to find a particular spot that has been odor damaged, it’s time to check your pets for medical conditions that can cause foul smells. A trip to a veterinarian can reveal conditions such as dental disease, ear or eye infections, skin infections, anal gland abscesses and urinary track infections that can lead to bad odors on your pet and, therefore, in your home.
Eric Barchas, DVM addresses many of these problems on his article entitled, “Bad Smelling Cat or Dog.” Proper bathing or medical treatment can often eliminate or greatly reduce the problems and make for a happier and healthier pet in the process.
Keep Fabrics Clean with Routine Maintenance
One last suggestion to keeping a pet-friendly home smelling fresh is to clean all fabrics on a periodic basis – this includes fabrics that your pet may not physically come in contact with, but can absorb pet odors. A routine cleaning schedule for pet bedding, household upholstery, family bedding, flooring and window coverings will go a long way in creating a fresher smelling environment.
Following these suggestions can help keep your home smelling a nice as it looks and make it a welcome place for friends, family and your furry companions.