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Our pets are more than just animals who roam our homes—they’re family. However, these furry family members can, unfortunately, leave your home with a less than pleasant odor. Luckily, there are ways you can lessen the effect of pet odors.
Pet odor doesn’t need a Halloween mask, in fact, that would not be a good idea at all. Plug-ins and candles might make a room smell better, but you’re only covering the actual odors, not removing any of them. Natural ionizers or neutralizers, such as baking soda, vinegar, or Lysol, can be applied to the sources of a bad smell, successfully eliminating it. This is useful if your pet has an accident. It is important to remember that these deodorizers serve more as a reaction to an incident causing a bad smell, not as a preventative measure.
Just like us, your pet’s supplies need to be cleaned regularly to effectively keep odors at bay. This means washing their dishes (just like you wash your own), running a load of washing machine-friendly toys, and laundering their bedding/pillows weekly. Pets also are prone to leaving fur everywhere they go, so be sure to vacuum regularly. Don’t forget to clean any areas that your pet might come into contact with, like the couch and bed. Remove all cushions, pillows, and so forth, and vacuum the furniture thoroughly.
If pet odor gets into your furnace or air conditioning filters, the smell will continually recirculate throughout your home. You’ll want to check your filters frequently, changing or cleaning them once a month. Doing this will also have other positive effects, such as making your HVAC system last even longer.
We know, this one always seem to be the last thing you ever want to do. However, if you have cats, you need to be sure to scoop their little boxes daily—the bacteria can be a major source of the smell. Scented litters are actually a bad idea because they really are only serving as a mask. They won’t remove the smell, they’ll only cover it up. You will find that unscented is always the best way to go. Thoroughly clean the litter box a few times per month (including changing the litter and washing out the box). Plastic boxes will absorb bacteria over time, so they should be replaced once a year.
Animals will often sweep against and lie down on walls, leaving their natural oils. These can get to be a little smelly so be sure to wipe your walls down using a cleaner. In an extreme case, you can repaint the walls to get rid of the smell. If the smell is trapped in plaster, brick, paneling, masonry or woodwork, you can use a sealer to trap the smell and keep it from spreading.
Since pet hair can be a key source of the odor, you should brush and groom your pet frequently to minimize shedding. By doing this, you will have more control of where the excess fur ends up.