How To Remove Dog And Cat Smell From Carpet

Whether you’re dotty about dogs or crazy about cats, our furry friends are part of the family and provide companionship, entertainment and, can even be extremely beneficial to our wellbeing.  It’s natural to want to keep our pets indoors with us and, while cats and dogs love carpets, the feeling is often not mutual.  If you’re a cat or dog owner, you’ll probably aware that  they can leave our carpets smelling less than fresh but, don’t worry, in this article, we’re going to take you through some effective and affordable ways to remove dog and cat odours from carpets and keep them smelling clean all year long.

On the spot

To begin with, it’s a good idea to figure out the extent of the odour – i.e, if the entire carpet is affected or, just a particular section.  You can do this by simply using your nose or, for a more comprehensive result, you can use a blacklight to identify badly stained sections of carpet which may be responsible for making your room a little whiffy. 

Wet? No sweat

If you’re quick on the draw and manage to catch your pet’s ‘accidents’ while they’re still wet, you can act fast to stop odours settling in and pervading your home: 

  • Grab a thick wad of kitchen roll or tissue and soak up as much of the liquid as possible
  • Next, place a fresh wad of tissue over the affected area and, then, place a few sheets of newspaper on top of that
  • Place a heavy object on top of the padding (or stand on it, if you don’t have a heavy object to hand}
  • Remove the padding
  • Rinse the affected area with cold, clean water 
  • Repeat if necessary

Leading by the nose

Unfortunately, there will be times when you won’t manage to catch accidents in time but, don’t worry, there are a few ways in which you can eliminate dried in odours: 

A breath of fresh air

For everyday, dried in pet odours, a home or upholstery air freshener like Febreze should do the trick.  Spray lightly over the part of the carpet which is a little smelly and, if the problem persists, rinse and then repeat. Opening doors and windows on a regular basis will also help to keep pesky pet odours at bay.

Bake off

If the carpet is stained, you can use a stain remover – these are widely available from supermarkets and DIY stores and are relatively inexpensive.  After using the stain remover, cover the affected area with baking soda and leave overnight.  The following morning, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda and wipe down with a damp cloth if necessary. 

A solution worth its salt

If pet smells are persistent, try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda – mix this together well and apply directly to the carpet.  Leave for several hours (or overnight if possible) and then rinse thoroughly to make sure that your living room doesn’t end up smelling like a fish and chip shop!

Power down

OK, so none of the above have worked for you – don’t panic, you just need a solution with a little more oomph:

Mix together the following ingredients: 

  • ¾ of a cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ of a cup of white vinegar
  • 5 drops of essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of washing up liquid
  • 2 tablespoons of fabric softener
  • 1 gallon of hot water (not boiling)

Use a soft cloth to rub the mixture into the carpet and leave for an hour or so and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. 

What not to do

If you’re an internet user, you’ll know that the world wide web is jam packed full of advice and, unfortunately, not all of it is good.  The following are a few things that you absolutely should not do when trying to remove pet odours from your carpets: 

Steam –  A lot of people mistakenly believe that using a steam cleaner on stained or smelly carpets is the way forward.  In reality, the steam will only drive the stains and odours deeper – and then seal them into the carpet for good measure. 

Rub – Although it’s natural to assume that using a bit of elbow grease to rub stains and smells from carpet will work, unfortunately, this won’t tend to do much more than damage the fibres of your carpet and make it look more dirty.


The occasional smelly carpet is a small price to pay for the company of our beloved pets but, these tips should help you to get your home smelling fresh again.  As with anything, prevention is better than a cure so, always make sure that you regularly vacuum up pet hair from carpets and, air your rooms whenever possible to keep nasty niffs at bay. 

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