It’s not easy to keep a house free of dog smell. I love dogs but I hate dog smell. Sometimes (especially when it rains) there’s nothing you can do about it, but what if you can minimise it, like, big time?
I don’t have kids (just yet), but I do have a fun and loving dog called Mia (she’s actually a female dog, so technically she’s my bitch! Ah ah ah! – it took me some years to realize bitch meant female dog, so yeah… Foreigners!). #duh
One of the things I’m most proud of is to ask my house visitors the question: “Does it smell of dog in the house?” and most times getting the answer: “Not at all!”. I’m so worried I’ll get used to the smell, that a fresh pair of noses is essential to keep me stress free. After all I live in a rented flat in London and our deposit is on the line.
Let me share 3 of my tips for a house free of dog smell.
Tip #1 Laminate/Wooden Flooring
OK. So, first of all, with or without animals I have a particular dislike of carpets. Yes, I agree, they’re cosy and warm and fluffy, “sound proof” and most London flats come with it. But honestly they’re so hard to clean and get dirty so fast!
Now, is it easy to find laminate/wooden flooring in a rented home in London? Honestly, no. It was quite hard to find a nice flat at a price we could afford. But they exist and we found two so far. They’re becoming a bit more popular as well, so don’t despair! (Well… the wooden floors… No the affordable flats…)
The thing is, it’s so much easier to clean. Whilst carpet can get moist and then get a smell and stains stuck to it, wooden floors don’t! Also, no matter how well-trained your dog is, when they get too excited, they sometimes forget that they drank too much water, and “accidents” happen! For wooden floors, you just grab a mop, and ta-da! Magicá!
As for dog hair you can simply vacuum clean it. It also tends to get together in bunches, so even when you don’t have time to vacuum clean it but want to just give a quick clean, at least you can grab them and put them in the bin. Simples!
So, tip #1: laminate flooring (as they are uber resistant to scratches as well – win-win!) that you can vacuum clean and then easily mop.
P.S. – If you live in a rented carpeted flat, there’s nothing you can do about laminate floors. But I will find out tips that could help keeping it clean and less dog-smell-free. Bear with me people of the world! Bear with me.
Tip #2 Clean their paws every time they come back in the house
I never realised dogs had stinky paws until I started living with Mia. My family has always had dogs that lived outdoors in the garden, so they stank but it was a general dog-smell. I never thought some of the smell came from their paws!
Cleaning their paws after a walk, can be a bit of a tedious task but ultimately it’s very rewarding. It is (in all honesty) especially annoying on those days when there’s plenty of lovely mud under each and every nail. But it helps so much in keeping her smelling nice and into making sure I don’t find mud on the sides of the sofa or on my clothes, that I never ever avoid it.
We vary a bit on the type of wipes we use. Most times we use generic baby wipes, but I find that using specific dog paw wipes actually make her paws a bit softer. I also always end the cleaning by wiping over her fur. And it’s great because she loves a good massage! #ohyeah
So, tip#2: clean their paws and fur when they come back from the outside world of smells and birds and city foxes and mud!
P.S. – I have tried thinking of a more environmentally friendly option, but I can’t get to the right solution. Do you have any other suggestions?
Tip #3 Brushing her once a week
This is Joao’s task (my fiancée and original owner of Mia), but I must put it out there: he’s been failing a bit on this topic lately. Nonetheless, brushing her once a week helps so much. Not only on having less amount of hair lying around the flat, but also on her smell.
Dogs don’t sweat like humans do, but they perspire from their paws and from their skin. You will also notice that your dog will stink more when the fur is wet or after some exercise. Most of the times, the smell comes from “dead” hair.
Dog hair doesn’t automatically fall from their bodies and most times, loads of it stays on them for a long time. Bacteria love “dead” stuff, so they get fed out of this “dead” hair and they are the ones that produce what we consider to be “dog smell”.
So tip #3: brush your dog at least once a week. The more you brush your dog, the less “dead” hair they’ll have on their fur, the less bacteria will live on them, and the less they’ll stink! Oh! And the more they’l love you because most dogs adore being brushed!
P.S. – There are several types of brushes and some work better than other, depending on the type of fur your dog has. I will investigate a bit on that as well, and come back with some answers when I have them.
How about you?
These are the main habits we have around the house that help a lot in keeping it clean when living with a dog.
And you? What are your habits? Or what solutions have you found that make wonders on keeping it free of dog smell?
Apart from not owning a dog. That obviously simplifies things. But I can assure you: it’s not as much fun.