How to banish pet odors from a home

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
• Keep pets clean. Most pets are very good
at self-grooming, but can benefit from a spa
treatment once in a while. 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.

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