Money-Saving Ways to Eliminate Pet Odors

Money-Saving Ways to Eliminate Pet Odors
Photo (cc) by jeffreyw

The following post comes from Shireen Shah at partner site The Dollar Stretcher.

When most people bring home a pet, they don’t take into account the accompanying “pet smell.” As most pet owners know, there’s a variety of pet smells, none of them pleasant. The problem is worse when owners own multiple pets, especially dogs. Some dogs, particularly hound breeds, excrete more oils than other dogs. Golden Retrievers are another example of case-specific smells – they love to roll in any awful-smelling organic material that they find.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to combat this…

Carpet cleaning

While house-training your pets, it’s a given that there will be a few accidents on your carpet. However, while these messes are quickly picked up, the fact remains that many times traces of urine may still remain. Whether it’s a spot you missed, or there were minor leaks, over time these accidents contribute to foul odors commonly associated with pets.

To find the source of these odors, turn off the lights and switch on a black light bulb (which can be bought from any home goods store). This simple little trick will highlight any dried accident spots. When you use a black light to identify the source of the odor, keep in mind that stains may also be lingering around unseen on your couches, upholstery, and even your bed. Once you’ve discovered the source of the problem, outline it in chalk so you can see it when you switch the lights back on. To remove the stains and accompanying odor, deep clean the area with carpet shampoo and sprinkle an enzyme-containing pet odor neutralizing powder. You can normally get this special type of powder from your local vet or pet store. These powders contain live bacteria and enzymes that digest odor-causing proteins and bacteria. This process should also solve carpet discoloration problems in these areas.

But whatever you do, don’t use harsh household cleaners, such as ammonia or vinegar. These smells just draw your pet back to the spot, likely causing them to try and cover up the smell by urinating again. Additionally, many people also make the mistake of steam-cleaning urine-stained carpets, which only traps stains and odors by bonding the protein into the fibers.

Air purifiers

Air purifiers work to remove pollutants and odors from the air. This is slightly different from an ionizer, which is a type of air purifier. However, most ionizers don’t have the necessary filters that make air purifiers effective. Carbon filters are efficient at trapping odors and also trap allergens, which is great for allergy sufferers. Carbon filtered air purifiers would be able to effectively tackle odors; this is something that just an ionizer cannot do.

All air purifiers are effective air cleaners. They work to remove allergens, such as mold, bacterial, animal dander, fumes and house dust mites and their excretions. Purifiers with the above stated filters, such as carbon filters, will work that much harder to not only remove pollutants but also eliminate odors, such as pet odors, tobacco, and a number of odors associated with daily living.

All pet owners, whether you own a dog or a gerbil, will find it in their interest to invest in an air purifier. This rule of thumb becomes that much more important if you’re a pet owner and have a small child. Consider what not only you but also your small child are breathing in daily if you’re sharing your living space with an animal.

Why your pet may produce strong odors

As with anything, it’s better to prevent the situation than try to fix it later. The same goes with pets. There are a few reasons your pet may be giving off strong odors. Most of these smells are related to basic hygiene and health issues that can easily be addressed.

Shampoo baths – A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that just water alone is sufficient to clean your pet. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as you wouldn’t go weeks without shampooing your hair, your pet (who is covered with fur) can’t go weeks without being shampooed.

Before you bathe your dog, check for any obvious signs of muck they might have been rolling around in. Is there any dirt stuck to the paws? If so, loosen it first and wipe it away. The same goes for any feces that might still be stuck to their fur. Make sure you wash thoroughly and get all the soap out. Otherwise, it will dry up, flake, and cause your dog to produce excess oil.

Dog breath – There’s a reason why “dog breath” has become part of our vernacular. If you’ve had the pleasure of a dog exhaling straight onto your face, you know that this smell is far from pleasant. Your dog’s bad breath is likely due to his poor diet. If your dog is not getting a healthy diet, there’s a pretty good chance that s/he won’t be healthy, and if they’re not healthy, then their breath is going to reflect that. Talk to your vet about what special diet needs your dog may have.

Health problems – There are a range of standard health concerns that could also affect or increase odors. One of these concerns lies in your dog’s ears. Air does not circulate into the ears of drop-eared dogs. For long-haired dogs, hair will be growing inside the ears. As this hair accumulates, it restricts the amount of air-flow coming in. Additionally, in any type of dog, flaking, brown debris, gooey excretions, or redness is a sign that something is medically wrong. In either case, the ears become a breeding ground for bacteria.

The other standard odor-related problem that all dogs have has to do with anal glands, which groomers are trained in excreting during visits.

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