Dogs, cats, birds, and lizards have evolved from wild animals and outdoor companions to become beloved, largely domesticated members of the family. The number of pets in homes across the country continues to grow. According to Statista, as of March 2017, 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs were estimated to live in the United States as pets. Canada's Pet Wellness report estimates that there are approximately 7.9 million cats and 5.9 million dogs in Canada.
Over time, pet owners grow accustomed to their pets' antics, messes and even their odors. Dealing with smells is par for the course for pet owners, and many become desensitized to certain common smells. But when company is on the way or people are thinking about selling their homes, pet odors must be addressed. Even though it will take effort, homeowners can freshen their homes and eliminate unpleasant pet-related smells.
- Find ways to ventilate. Odors can build up inside closed environments and prove overpowering. Opening windows when applicable, using exhaust fans and encouraging cross-breezes can air certain odors from the home.
- Clean frequently. Cats and dogs can leave behind fur, dander, food messes, and more. Eliminating the debris that pets create can reduce odors. Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping floors can help as well. Don't forget to vacuum draperies and furniture, and consider purchasing cleaning appliances specifically designed for homes with pets.
- Keep on top of accidents and litter boxes. Puppies and even adult dogs may have their share of accidents. Cats may avoid litter boxes if they are not cleaned frequently and then soil around the house. Be sure to clean up pet waste messes promptly. Baking soda and vinegar solutions are all-natural ways to clean up and can help remove urine odors more readily. Also, look for safe deodorizing cleaning products that can be used on carpeting, flooring and upholstery.
- Purchase an air purifier. Air purifiers can help remove odors and allergens from the air. They're relatively inexpensive and can be placed in rooms that pets frequent.
- Wash pet blankets and beds. Launder pet beds, cloth toys, blankets, and any other items that pets lounge on. Sweat, saliva and dander can cause these fabrics to become stinky, and, in turn, make the house smell worse.
- Keep pets clean. Most pets are very good at self-grooming, but can benefit from a spa treatment once in awhile. Dogs that spend ample time outdoors or frequently get wet and dirty may need routine baths. Ask a professional groomer what he or she recommends to address potent pet odors.
Neutralizing pet odors takes effort, but it can make for a more pleasant-smelling home environment.