How to get rid of Pet Odor


“What is the best way to deal with smell? I’m always afraid I’m going to be one of THOSE houses where you can tell they have animals. Any advice? Also, litter boxes. What is the best way to container odors? I know the litters say “order control”, but yeah, not so much. I try to keep it clean the best I can, but……..”


This is a great question, and something I’ve thought about many times.  We all love our animals but I know we all want to have a houses that smells delicious and are refreshing to walk into.  When you have pets it can take a little extra work, but luckily there’s a solution!


The number one thing is to be aware of the “smells” of your home.  It easy to grow accustom to the smell of our home, and not notice the pet odors.  After you’ve been gone for awhile, pay attention to what you smell when you first walk in your house, or ask a friend to tell you what they smell when they walk in.  Does it smell like animals, does it smell clean, does it smell like something was just freshly baked, etc.   Just because you have animals doesn’t mean your house has to smell like it, luckily there are lots of easy ways to get rid of and/or mask the odors!

Here are a few ways to get rid of the odors and prevent them:

#1 Cleaning.  Vacuuming consistently, when you have pets, is very important.  Vacuuming will help to get dander, dirt, oils, etc. off your carpet and furniture.  Most animals have a “favorite spot” in the house, whether it’s the couch, your bed, an animal pillow, etc.  Make sure that you clean this spot often.  My cat loves to lay on the couch so I vacuum the couch, every time I vacuum the house.

#2 Deodorizing.  After vacuuming your pet’s favorite spot, the next step is to de-odor it.  Spray the entire area with Febreeze, or a homemade version of it.  Personally I prefer the homemade deodorizer because it contains baking soda which is great for eliminating odors.

#3 Bathe your animals.  Bathe your animals often to keep them clean and unstinky (yes I am making up words now).  We used to have a cat that wasn’t good at cleaning himself so I used to bathe him!  Animals have a lot of fur, and get dirty easily, so it’s important to keep them clean.  Keeping them clean will help to keep your home clean and less stinky. 

#4 Fill your house with good smells.  If you fill your home with delicious smells then you, and guests, will be less likely to even notice the pet smells.  Here are a few products that I really like, and use to make my house smell delicious.

* Glade Plugins.  I love plugins because you can control how much scent is being released and you can change the scents as often as you’d like.  Right now I have the maple pumpkin plugins and my house smells like fall deliciousness! 


I think a plugin in each room is a good way to keep the entire house smelling good, which will help to mask the pet odor.  If you have a litter box make sure to plug one in near the box!

* Scentsy Burner.  I have a few friends that every time I go over to their house I notice that it smells amazing (some that have animals and some that don’t).  I asked each of them what the trick was and the common theme was a Scentsy burner. 


I’d had one for awhile but didn’t use it much but now that I know the difference it can make, mine is always on!  My favorite thing about the Scentsy burner is that the scented wax is heated by a small light bulb, which means is flame-less and save to leave on even when you’re not at home.  

* Scented Reed Diffuser.  Another great solution for getting rid of pet odors are the scented reed diffusers. 


These come in a variety of scents and they can be placed anywhere (they don’t need a plug).  These are a great solution for covering up the “little box smell”, placing a diffuser near the litter box will cover up any offensive odors coming from the box.  The funny thing about this tip is that I got it from a checkout clerk that the Dollar Tree!  The reed diffusers are also great for bathroom or other places around the house that could use a little freshening up.

* Scented candles.  Scented candles are another great way to eliminate odors but make sure that you don’t ever leave a candle burning when you’re not home, and make sure the candle is placed high enough so your animals & children can’t reach it.

* Homemade scents. There are lots of great ways to make your house smell amazing, and simmering spices on the stove is one of them.  This Pinterest board has tons of great recipes and ideas!  Just make sure that you don’t ever leave the stove burning when you leave the house!


These are just a few ways to help eliminate and prevent pet odors in your home.  Remember to vacuum often, be consistent with cleaning your pet’s favorite spot, clean the litter box frequently (if you have a cat), and fill your home with delicious scents that will leave your guests drooling, rather than gagging. {wink}

How do you get rid of the pet odors in your home?  Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your ideas too!


About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. I have 2 big indoor dogs so I worry about the smell. Because we have no carpet in the house, it is alot easier and less smell. I do vacuum every day, give baths, and have candles burning frequently (I love Bath & Body works candles). I do wash their bedding every week. Have a great day!!

  2. I have to say I’m partial to Scentsy because I’m a consultant. I became a consultant because of how much I love it. When my Scentsy warmer is going it’s the first thing guests notice when they walk in. Their prices are very reasonable. Each bar of wax has 640 hours of burn time and they are only $5. They are safe for your home too. They don’t release any harmful chemicals and it won’t burn your kids if they touch it. (Believe me I know) Check out my website or give me a call. I’m as close as your mailbox.
    501 545-3352

  3. Hi! I recently bought 2 guinea pigs and have found that bathing them once a month as well as cleaning their play pen and cage every other day is necessary to avoid the litter smelling up the house. I use Nature’s Miracle to disinfect and deodorize the areas, which is great at getting rid of the odors, and then I have some Scentsy plug-ins going all the time. Thanks for your article! I’ll try the homemade scents and will check out that Pinterest board!

  4. Along with their great scents and warmers Scentsy also has Odor Out room spray specifically designed to get rid of pet odors. Let me know if you want to order some.

  5. By far and away, the best cat litter I’ve ever used is Fresh Step. I’ve been using it for about a year now and find that there is no smelly odor from the litter box even after numerous uses by my cat. In fact, I often just add litter to the box when it starts to get low rather than empty it out and start fresh. Of course, I scoop once day but even when I miss a day scooping there is no ammonia odor. I highly recommend this litter to cat owners.

  6. What is the best way to clean a tile shower and a glass shower door?

  7. To get rid of Cat urine odor… Use apple cider vinegar… you can remove it from clothing by adding it to your water in washing machine along with laundry detergent it wont damage anything I promise! Also you can use it on carpet and anything else that has the smell. I had tryed everything from lemon to baking soda to pet odor eliminator in the bottle at walmart … I even ordered spendy stuff online NOTHING WORKED. It has to be apple cider vinegar… any other vinegar will not work!

  8. Apple cider vinegar!!! It removes the smell from laundry, carpet, furniture… I promise it works! I have tried everything under the sun to get rid of the smell and nothing works it just Masks the odor… APPLE CIDER VINEGAR REMOVES THE ODOR! Add it with detergent in your water before you put your laundry in… if something is soaked in urine you need to let it dry trust me on that or it will make the whole load smell like urine. You can use tide detergent and mix apple cider vinegar and put it in a bucket with hot water and use a scrub brush to get it out of carpet and furniture. You can use it on your kitchen floor as a pre wash or your walls…. Its safe wont harm anything and doesnt stain anything. DO not bleach clothing with cat urine on them unless you washed in apple cider vinegar first… It masks the smell and if you still have the cat the min you leave that laundry sit out it will go on it again.

  9. Cindi Strong says:

    Anna, I appreciate your contributions so much but as someone who suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity I groaned when I saw your enthusiastic promotion of plug-ins. So many doctors offices, shops, homes and churches have begun to use plug-ins and chemical fragrances that those of us who are allergic to VOCs cannot go anywhere without getting sick. Please do the research on the dangers of chemical fragrances and go for all-natural products! Thanks, Cindi

    • I have to agree with Cindi. Although I’m not sensitive to fragrances, a neighbor of mine is a firefighter and said scent plug-ins are a bad idea. I hated to hear that because I used to love them, but just had to put it out there. It is definitely a chore to get rid of pet smells. Thanks for the info.

  10. I love your blog. I see that you pinned my post on natural pet odor removal. Thank you! I would encourage you to research some of the chemicals in air fresheners like Glade, Freeze and scented candles. They are dangerous.

    My essential oil solutions are actually less expensive and good for you!

  11. I appreciate your advice but just want to mention that reed diffusers can be quite toxic for cats so need to be used with extreme caution in a home with pets..

  12. the best way I know to do is to put a humidifier and add some essential oils. it is not enough that will save you from unpleasant odor, but would also have beneficial effects for health.