Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eliminating Pet Odors

NOTE FROM SUSAN: We all love our pets, but not the odors they produce. So, when Shireen at Air Conditioner Home offered to do a guest post on eliminating pet odors, I knew it could be very helpful to families with pets. Following are her helpful hints.

When most people bring home a pet, they don’t take into account the accompanying “pet smell.” As most pet owners know, these smells are never pleasant. The problem is compounded when owners own multiple pets, especially canines. Bad smells can be traced to a variety of reasons. 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.

Reasons Your Pet May Be Producing Strong Odors...

As with anything, it’s better to prevent the situation rather 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 their 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 it 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 the fur. Make sure you rinse 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. For anyone who’s had the pleasure of a dog exhaling straight onto their face, you know that this smell is far from pleasant! Your dog’s bad breath is likely due to his diet. If your dog is not getting a healthy diet, there’s a pretty good chance that it won’t be healthy, and the breath is going to reflect that. Talk to your vet about what special dietary needs your dog may have.

Health Problems

A range of standard health concerns can also affect or increase pet 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. Ears often become a breeding ground for bacteria. Flaking, brown debris, gooey excretions, or redness are signs that something is medically wrong. Another standard odor-related problem that all dogs have has to do with anal glands, which groomers are trained in excreting during visits.


Luckily, in addition to addressing the problems listed above, there are a few other things you can do to combat pet odors. Any one of the following, especially if you take all the steps listed, will make your pooch nose-friendly to both you and your guests.

Carpet Cleaning

While toilet 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 traces of urine may still remain. Whether it’s a spot you missed or the few times 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. 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 it 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. They are slightly different from ionizers, which don’t have the necessary filters that make air purifiers effective. Carbon-filtered air purifiers are efficient at trapping odors and also trap allergens, which is great for allergy sufferers. If this sounds like what you need, try the AirTube Air Purifier, which includes both a carbon and HEPA filter.

All air purifiers are effective air cleaners. They work to remove allergens such as mold, bacteria, animal dander, fumes, and house dust mites and their excretions. Purifiers with carbon filters will work that much harder to not only remove pollutants, but also eliminate odors from pets, tobacco, and other sources associated with daily living.

Source: Air Conditioner Home

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