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How to Get Dog Smell Out of Carpet

How to Get Dog Smell Out of Carpet (4 Ways)

You love your dog, but its smell left on the carpet is a different story. That familiar musk can be caused by urine, dander, or a forgotten accident. 

Your carpet works like a filter for your home, catching and holding onto the smells from your dog, which can create an unpleasant environment. Therefore, you’d better clean your carpet immediately. 

Why You Need to Get Dog Smell Out of Carpet Right Now

When you first notice the pungent smell, what you’re actually detecting is the presence of bacteria that thrive in damp or soiled environments, like the one your beloved pooch has created on your carpet. 

Not only can the odor be uncomfortable for you and your guests, but it can also lead to more significant hygiene issues in your household if left untreated. The scent might mask underlying problems such as mold growth, which poses health risks.

Moreover, dogs are creatures of habit. If they smell their odor in a particular spot on the carpet, they may continue to use it as a bathroom, exacerbating the problem. 

Getting rid of the smell isn’t just about having a clean-smelling home; it’s about maintaining a healthy and hygienic space for you and your furry friend.

Here are 4 ways to get rid of dog odor from your carpet.

1. Sprinkle Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a natural odor absorber and neutralizer. This method is the most common way to get rid of the dog smell on your carpet. 

Although baking soda is useful, but it should be used in moderation. An overuse can hurt your pets, potentially leading to a range of health issues, including muscle problems and heart irregularities. 

So when you use baking soda on the carpet, keep pets away. Ensure your pets are in a different room, away from the area you’re treating, to prevent inhalation or ingestion. After you’ve vacuumed up the powder, it’s safe for your pets to return to the area.

Also, consider the color fastness of your carpet. Although baking soda is typically safe for most types of carpet, it’s a good practice to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t affect the color or texture.

To use it effectively, follow these detailed steps:

Step 1. Vacuum First

Before applying baking soda to your carpet, thoroughly vacuum the area to remove any loose dirt or pet hair that could hinder the baking soda’s absorption capabilities.

Step 2. Apply Baking Soda

There isn’t a precise measurement for how much baking soda to use, as it depends on the size of the area you’re treating on the carpet. 

Aim to lightly cover the entire smelly area with an even layer. For an average-sized room (as the smell also in your room), you might use anywhere from a half cup to two cups of baking soda.

If you want to boost the deodorizing power, you can mix the baking soda with a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender before sprinkling it onto the carpet. Essential oils add a pleasant fragrance and many have additional antibacterial properties.

A typical ratio is 10-15 drops of essential oil per cup of baking soda. Mix well to ensure the oil is evenly distributed.

Step 3. Work it into the carpet

Gently use a soft brush or broom to press the baking soda into your carpet’s fibers. This can help the baking soda reach deeper into the carpet’s pile where odors may be lingering.

Step 4. Let it Sit

Allow the baking soda to rest on the carpet for a substantial period, preferably overnight or a minimum of several hours. The longer the baking soda remains, the more time it has to absorb odors.

Step 5. Vacuum Up the Baking Soda

Once the time has elapsed, thoroughly vacuum the treated area to remove all the baking soda. Go over the area multiple times to ensure that the fine powder is completely sucked away, as any residue left behind can attract dirt and lead to a grimy carpet over time.

2. Use Boiling Water

Using boiling water is a simple yet effective method for breaking down and eliminating organic matter that may be causing odors in your carpet. 

Using boiling water as a method for odor removal is best-suited for carpets that are colorfast and made of synthetic fibers that won’t shrink or be damaged by high temperatures. It’s always a good idea to perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area before treating the whole carpet.

Here’s how to use it properly:

Step 1. Blot the area

If there’s a fresh spill, use a clean, absorbent cloth to blot as much liquid as possible from the carpet. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain and odor deeper into the carpet fibers.

Step 2. Boil water

Bring water to a rolling boil. You’ll want enough water to cover the affected area of your carpet, but not so much that it oversaturates and damages the underlying padding or floor.

Step 3. Carefully apply to the carpet

Carefully pour the boiling water over the smelly area of your carpet. It’s crucial to do this slowly and meticulously to avoid burns and not to flood the area. The heat and water will help break down and dilute the odorous substance.

Step 4. Blot the moisture

After allowing the water a few minutes to work on the odor, use a clean towel to blot up the warm water. The heat will have helped to break down the odor-causing substances, and the towel should absorb these along with the water. 

Be sure not to rub the carpet, as this could cause the fibers to wear or the stain to spread. Continue blotting until no more moisture is transferring to the towel.

Step 5. Dry the area thoroughly

It’s essential to ensure the carpet dries completely to prevent mold growth. You can help speed up the drying process by using fans or a dehumidifier. 

If the weather permits and the carpet is near a window, you could also open the window to let in the fresh air and sunshine, which are natural odor eliminators and disinfectants.

3. Shampoo the Carpet

Deep cleaning your carpet with a carpet shampoo can address odors at their source. This can either be done by renting a carpet cleaner from a local store or by using a commercial carpet shampoo.

Step 1. Choose the right carpet shampoo

Look for a formula that’s designed for pet odors. These shampoos typically contain enzymes that break down the proteins in urine and other waste, helping to neutralize the smelly compounds rather than just covering them up. 

Step 2. Pre-treatment 

If there are any heavily soiled or particularly smelly areas, pre-treat them with the carpet shampoo or a specialized pet odor remover before going over the area with the carpet cleaner. Follow the instructions on your product for the best results.

Step 3. Use the carpet cleaner

Fill the carpet cleaner with water and carpet shampoo according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Slowly pass the cleaner over the carpet, allowing it to spray the mixture and then suck up the dirty water. Make sure not to over-wet the carpet, as this can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Step 4. Rinse if required

Some carpet shampoos will need rinsing while others are no-rinse formulas. If the product you are using requires rinsing, refill your carpet cleaner with clean, warm water and go over the area to wash out any leftover soap.

Step 5. Dry the area well

As with the boiling water method, it’s crucial to let the carpet dry completely. Fans, dehumidifiers, or a well-ventilated room can facilitate this process. Avoid walking on the carpet until it’s fully dry, as this can bring new dirt onto the clean, damp fibers and might also compress the carpet, affecting its fluffiness and texture.

4. Call Professional Cleaning Services

For particularly stubborn odors or when DIY solutions have failed to remove the smell, or your carpet is expensive, it might be time to call in the professionals. Professional carpet cleaners have the experience and equipment necessary to deeply clean and deodorize your carpet.

Additional Tips

Don’t Use Cleaners with Ammonia or Vinegar

While ammonia and vinegar are often touted as household cleaning miracles, they have their drawbacks. Ammonia smells a lot like canine urine to a dog, and as such, it can encourage your pet to mark the same spot again. 

Avoid Steam Cleaners for Pet Odors in Carpets

It’s a common misconception that steam cleaning can eliminate pet odors. In reality, the high heat can actually set the stain and the odor, making it harder to remove. Steam cleaning also leaves your carpet damp, which can provide the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, worsening the odor problem.

Preventative Tips

Keep Your Dog Clean

One of the best ways to prevent dog odors from permeating your carpet is regular pet hygiene. Bathing your dog according to a schedule suitable for their breed and coat type, as well as quick clean-ups after outdoor adventures, can significantly cut down the amount of odor that your dog brings into the house. 

A clean dog means less transferred dirt, oils, and odors to your carpets and furniture.

  • Brush your dog regularly: This will help reduce the amount of hair and dander that gets into your carpet, which are common contributors to the dog smell.
  • Paw cleaning: After walks, wipe your dog’s paws to remove any dirt that might be tracked onto the carpet. Use a damp cloth or pet-friendly wipes.
  • Use dog wipes: Dog-specific wipes can be a quick way to freshen up your pup between baths, especially if they get into something smelly.

Regular Grooming

Another aspect of keeping your dog and your home’s scent pleasant is regular grooming. This includes trimming nails to prevent carpet snags that trap dirt and bacteria, and cleaning ears and teeth, which if neglected, can add to the overall pet odor in your home.


Removing dog smell from carpets may not easy, but using baking soda, boiling water, treating with enzyme cleaners, calling in professionals when needed, and maintaining your dog’s cleanliness and health can help you enjoy a clean, odor-free home that both you and your dog can relax in comfortably.

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