Dogs add unconditional love and immeasurable joy to our lives, and we don’t know what we’d do without them. But what happens when dog-related odors get out of control in your home or car?

We talked with Puracy’s co-founder, Sean Busch to get tips on keeping your home and car smelling better than ever before.

Why Does My Dog Smell?

A dog’s coat naturally contains 16 different odor-causing compounds that combine to create that distinct “dog smell.” When the dog gets wet, those 16 compounds chemically change – and 8 more compounds are created. Some dog breeds are smellier than others, and when you add slobber, drool, bad breath, and flatulence to the mix, you’ve got one stinky creature (who you wouldn’t trade for the world).

First, Find the Source of Odors

The first, most important step is to determine the source of the odor. You want to be certain that it’s just a typical dog smell and not something health-related that needs veterinarian attention.

Sean says, “Some areas of a dog are more prone to odors than others. Thoroughly clean their ears, in skin folds, under the tail, and around their backside.”

Regular teeth brushing will help limit mouth odor while a consistent, high-quality diet will do wonders to keep your dog’s breath, bowel movements, and coat healthy.

Visit a Vet if Something Doesn’t Seem Right

If you’re catching whiffs of an odor that’s different or smellier than regular dog smell, there could be something more serious going on. Contact your veterinarian if your dog has excessively bad breath or flatulence, or if you’re noticing anything at all that can’t be attributed to normal dog smell. Bad breath could be a sign of tooth decay, kidney disease, or diabetes. Sudden or excess gassiness could be related to diet or intestinal issues.

Avoid Toxic Cleaning Products Around Pets

Many ingredients in some conventional cleaning products are potentially harmful to pets (and people). The most common culprits include bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, and alcohol.

In college, Sean had a beagle who got sick.

“We couldn’t figure out why, because we were monitoring everything he ate, always had him on a leash during walks. With help from our vet, we finally realized that his significant GI upset was caused by him licking up crumbs in the kitchen – as well as the cleaning solution left behind from mopping.”

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pet safe shampoo

This event was one of the inspirations for Sean and Paul Tracy to start Puracy in 2013. Puracy products are thoroughly tested to be safe and non-toxic for the entire family – and that includes pets. Owing to the popularity of our line of home and personal care products, we introduced our Pet Shampoo and Pet Stain & Odor Remover in 2019.

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell on Toys and Bedding

To eradicate smells, you’ll want to clean everything that your dog touches. This includes plush toys, rubber toys, and your dog’s bed (or their favorite place to sleep).

Cleaning Rubber Dog Toys

Rubber dog toys can be cleaned in your sink – just like dishes. All you need is warm water, a dish brush, and natural, non-toxic dish soap.

Cleaning Plush Dog Toys and Bedding

Sean advises pretreating plush materials with our Pet Stain & Odor Remover, then letting them sit for at least 15 minutes) to allow the product’s stain-busting enzymes to do their work. The longer you wait, however, the more effective it will be.

how to clean dog bedding

Next, toss these toys into your washing machine with other washable pet-related items (e.g. blankets, dog bed cover). Launder in the warmest water the care instructions allow, using with an enzyme-based laundry detergent that breaks down odor-causing stains.

“Set a delay in the middle of the wash cycle so that the enzymes have more time to work,” Sean says. “When the load is done, you’ll likely spot pet hair and debris at the bottom of your machine. Simply run a cleaning cycle using distilled white vinegar to remove all traces of pet smell.”

washing dog bedding

Pro tip: For general cleaning, vacuum your dog’s bed at least once per week, and wash the cover about every other week.

How to Eliminate Dog Odor from Carpets and Furniture

We don’t blame you one bit if you allow your dog up on the furniture – nothing beats puppy snuggles on movie night. The fabric on most couches and chairs, however, is like a magnet for pet fur, dander, and slobber. So is the carpeting (and rugs) that your dog walks and sprawls out on every day.

Follow Sean’s steps for deodorizing carpeting, rugs, and upholstery:

1. Thoroughly Vacuum All Surfaces

“Regular vacuuming can easily get rid of 90% of the problem,” Sean says.

He recommends vacuuming carpets and upholstery at least twice per week. Also be sure to sweep and mop bare floors.

2. Pretreat Pet-Related Stains

Spray the stain thoroughly with our Pet Stain & Odor Remover. Using a portable blacklight flashlight will ensure that you’re covering every inch of it. Let any stains sit for at least an hour (longer if possible) to let the enzymes do their work.

puracy pet stain remover

3. Remove Excess Stain Remover

If you have a pet, we highly recommend investing $100-$150 in a carpet cleaning machine to remove excess product while preserving the life of your carpets and furniture. Be sure to select one with a carpet/upholstery tool for smaller crevices.

If you don’t have a machine, the excess Stain & Odor Remover will need to be blotted by hand to mimic the rinsing action of a machine.

4. Regularly Shampooing Carpets and Upholstery

Puracy Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo can be used with (or without) a carpet-cleaning machine. The non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula is safe to use around all family members and imparts a fresh, clean citrus scent. For dog-owning households, it might be good to shampoo your carpets at least once per year.

removing pet messes carpets

5. Get an Air Purifier

A portable air purifier can be used in the smelliest rooms to help freshen and deodorize the air. These handy little machines trap stale or stinky air, purify it, then push it back out into the room.

How to Eliminate Dog Smells from Your Car

But when your dog gets in the car, so do his odors. The problem is, when he hops out, the smells linger inside.

dirty dogs make bad smells in cars

Since Sean’s background is in high-end auto detailing, he’s got a lot to say about how to clean and deodorize interior surfaces of your vehicle. His #1 tip for cleaning your car is to get a special pet brush to easily grab all the loose fur and debris from your car seats, floor, and mats before vacuuming. Its compact size means you can keep in close by in the glove box.

Our carpet cleaning techniques (above) can be applied to all fabric and upholstery in the car. For removing slobber, Puracy Multi-Surface Cleaner is designed to work on vinyl, plastic, rubber, and leather materials. Simply spritz on one of our microfiber towels and wipe away.

Breathe Easy with Puracy Pet Stain & Odor Remover

best pet stain remover

Dog smells are no match for the power of Puracy’s natural home cleaners. Keep our line of essential products on hand to combat pet smells and stains – you’ll enjoy many more odor-free years with your furriest family member.