how to get rid of dog smell in car

How to Get Rid of Dog Smell

We love our canines but they can be seriously stinky. Discover how to get dog smell out of a car and home with basic upkeep & natural cleaners!

Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by Sean Busch.

We love our dogs unconditionally – but it's impossible to love the nose-wrinkling dog smell in cars or homes.

Before you reach for caustic chemicals or products that are loaded with artificial fragrances, check out these natural cleaning tips. They go straight to the source to keep things smelling fresher than ever!

Why Does My Dog Smell?

how to get rid of dog smell

When dry, a dog’s coat contains 16 different odor-causing compounds that create that distinct “doggy" smell. And when fur gets wet, that number rises to 22 compounds.

Add in slobber, drool, bad breath, and flatulence and you’ve got one seriously stinky creature (that you wouldn’t trade for the world).

Ask Your Vet If Something Doesn't Seem Right

Certain dog breeds are smellier than others and some areas (like the ears, between skin folds, and under the tail) produce more odors.

If it feels impossible to remove dog smells from your house – or you're catching whiffs of something more intense than normal – ask your vet. Common health concerns like bad breath could be a sign of tooth decay, an infection, diabetes, or kidney disease. Excess flatulence might be related to food or an intestinal issue. Stinky skin can even be caused by allergic reactions and intense itching.

Don't Sleep on Bath Time

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Wondering how to get rid of dog bad breath? Regularly brush your dog's teeth and add a higher-quality diet. Baths are also one of the easiest ways to dislodge odors – directly at their source.

Our 99.7% Natural Pet Shampoo removes grime while nourishing skin with coconut-based cleansers. The sulfate-free formula also uses naturally-derived sodium zinc polyitaconate to remove "dog smell" instead of blanketing them in artificial fragrances.

This means a fresher scent for longer – before your four-legged friend rolls in something.

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How to Get Dog Smells out of a Car

When your dog gets in the car, their odors also come along for a ride.

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To clean and deodorize interior surfaces of your vehicle, invest in a special pet brush that grabs loose fur and debris from your car seats, floor, and mats – before you even start vacuuming. Since it's small, you can probably keep it in the glove box.

Our carpet cleaning techniques (below) 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.

Start at the Source: Wash Toys & Bedding

The most concentrated dog smells will probably be on plush toys, chew toys, and their preferred sleeping places.

Rubber Toys

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

Plush Toys & Bedding

Treat fabric with our Pet Stain & Odor Remover then let the formula sit for at least 15 minutes. Note: The longer you wait, the more effective these stain-busting enzymes will be. Toss everything into your washing machine, selecting the warmest cycle the care instructions allow.

Pro Tip: We recommend vacuuming your dog’s bed at least once per week and washing the cover every other week.

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Use an enzyme-based laundry detergent to break down odor-causing stains, then set a delay in the middle of the wash cycle to give these enzymes more time to work. When the load is done, pull everything out to dry.

Spot pet hair and debris at the bottom of your machine? Run a cleaning cycle with distilled white vinegar to remove all traces of pet smell.

Getting Dog Odors out of Carpets & Furniture

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Nothing beats puppy snuggles on movie night, but the fabric on most furniture acts as a magnet for pet fur, dander, and slobber. So do carpets and rugs.

1. Vacuum & Mop Regularly

Regular vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping (twice per week) can easily get rid of 90% of the problem.

2. Pretreat Pet Stains

Spray stains thoroughly with our Pet Stain & Odor Remover and follow our pet stain removal guide.

Pro Tip: A portable blacklight flashlight will ensure that you’re covering every inch of the stain.

3. Regularly Shampoo Carpets & Upholstery

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Puracy Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo can be used with (or without) a carpet-cleaning machine. We recommend doing so at least once per year.

Pro Tip: The citrus scent of this physician-developed formula is derived from pet-safe essential oils.

4. Get an Air Purifier

A portable air purifier can help trap stale or stinky air, purify it, then push it back out into the room. Voila! Instantly fresher air.

Get Rid of Dog Smells – for Good – with Puracy

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Unlike conventional cleaners (which can be potentially harmful), Puracy products are effective, physician-developed, and safe for the entire family. Whether you're removing pet smells from your house or car, you can count on our entire lineup of plant-based products to do the job right.