Pet owners agree that there are many benefits to owning a pet. They can be whimsical, comforting and entertaining, enhancing an individual’s life in many wonderful ways. One of the few drawbacks to owning a pet is dealing with pet odor in one’s home, especially when this odor seems to cling to the furnishings, the flooring and even the air. It can be so embarrassing that one refuses to have company over, reluctant to share with others the fact that controlling pet odor can be a frustrating, and apparently fruitless, battle.
Controlling Pet Odor
Owning pets should not mean that one has to suffer olfactory unpleasantness, but it does mean that one will have to invest some time and effort into controlling pet odors. Following are six tips for how to be successful in the fight against unpleasant pet odors in the home:
1. Keep your pets clean. Dogs, cats and birds all have natural odors that can be difficult to eliminate entirely, but it is the odors they pick up while going to the bathroom, playing outdoors and even hanging around the kitchen that can cause them to smell quite unpleasant. A regular bathing routine is therefore just as beneficial for our pets to participate in as it is for us. And just like for humans, the products used on pets should be specific to their own needs so as not to irritate the skin or cause an overproduction of dirt-trapping oils.
2. Promote good health. Your pet’s veterinarian may have suggested that keeping your pet’s ears and teeth clean contributes to their overall good health, but what they may not have told you is that this can also help to reduce unpleasant pet odor. Dirty ears can lead to yeast build-up, and periodontal disease can yield a serious case of halitosis. Your pet’s veterinarian can inform you about what other health conditions may also contribute to unpleasant pet odor so that you can take action to prevent these conditions from occurring.
3. Wash pet bedding often. Like your pet’s fur or feathers, their bedding can also trap odors and begin to smell. If you are regularly cleaning your pet, but they are returning to lie down on stinky bedding, your efforts at odor elimination may seem fruitless. Bedding should be washed often in hot water, with white vinegar added to the rinse cycle in order to help remove any lingering odors.
4. Eliminate odors before they leave the litter box. Litter boxes are the undoubtedly the source of some of the worst pet odors. The ammonia gas from feline urine rises out of soiled litter and travels quickly around the home. Obviously, scooping pet waste out of the litter box daily and cleaning the box frequently can aid in reducing these odors, but one should also take action to try and eliminate these odors before they can leave the litter box area. A product that is safe, non-toxic and without perfumes other scents and that eliminates odors on a molecular level can be very helpful in reducing unpleasant litter box odors.
5. Confine the activities that tend to cause odors. It is highly advisable to feed your pet in a room of your house that is away from main living spaces, and to wash their food and water dishes at least once every day. Cat litter boxes can be confined to a laundry room and also cleaned at least once every day. It is highly advisable to purchase an air filter for that room as well, so it can help with odor reduction efforts.
6. Clean crates and cages regularly. Steam can be highly helpful for thorough crate and cage cleaning, as it is much safer for pets than many commercial cleaning products. That said, steam cleaners should not be used for pet odors in carpets or upholstery, as the heat can permanently set the stain and odor by bonding the protein to the fibers.
By taking action to help reduce or even eliminate pet odors from one’s home, you can enjoy a much more pleasant relationship with your pet, and feel no embarrassment when company comes by to visit.