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A lot of dog lover households have a strict “no dogs on the furniture” rule.
I get it! After all, no one wants to welcome company into their home and invite them to sit on a big heap of dog smell disguised as a couch. Even if your home is perfectly clean otherwise, pet smell can make it feel gross.
But CAN YOU IMAGINE Kol’s face if I told him he wasn’t allowed to snuggle on the couch with me?! I couldn’t do it to him.
He isn’t the only one that would be sad. I love our daily snuggle sesh and if I couldn’t let him on the furniture, I don’t think our bond would be nearly as tight. Since voluntary physical closeness is one of the ways that dogs express affection, I would be very reluctant to cut off or limit chances for Kol to assure me that he does, in fact, like me. He really likes me!*
*Statement has not been independently verified and may be wishful thinking.
But the fact is, we’ve been spending a lot more time at home this year. And a whole lot of that time has been spend on the couch. Let’s hear it for the real MVP of 2020: cozy couches. Since we’ve been using it so. darn. much. I’ve also had to work a little harder to make sure the couch doesn’t smell like those PJs you wear for like four days…
The good news is that, with a little effort, it’s fairly easy to keep dog smell at bay.
The key is consistency and routine that works, but isn’t so cumbersome you spend all your time cleaning the couch. My routine takes me 10 – 15 minutes a week, an extra half hour every month or so, and a few hours a couple of times a year. It seems like a hassle at first, but once you get in the habit, it becomes second nature and feels like no big deal.
How to Keep Dog Smell Off Your Couch
Good grooming habits can save the furniture.
Dogs with a rock-solid grooming routine will smell less and that means they will leave less dog smell behind on the furniture. Here are a few things I do to make sure Kol smells his best:
• Frequent brush outs. Kolchak sheds like it’s his job. Sometimes I feel like he’s Pigpen from Peanuts just wandering around enveloped in a cloud of fur. But even if your dog isn’t a shedding breed, I strongly recommend frequent brushing as a way to prevent dog smell. Dead hair traps odors and those odors can easily jump to any fabric your dog touches.
• Baths when needed. Dog hair holds moisture and can be a prime spot for yeast and bacteria growth. (That link is like…ew, but also kind of fascinating.) While lots of grooming methods work by masking dog odors, baths work by removing the grungy stuff causing the odor to create a longer-lasting solution.
We help extend the time between baths by using dog grooming spray and alternating water baths with DIY Dry Dog shampoo baths.
Your cleaning routine needs to be consistent, but not super time-consuming.
I don’t want to spend my whole life cleaning, but I know that making a consistent effort is much more effective than only acting after dog smell has taken over your furniture.
• Vacuum your couch weekly. It honestly doesn’t take very long to pop the upholstery attachment onto your vacuum and give the couch a quick once over while you’re doing the floors.
• Use a lint roller. These sticky rollers are super handy to give accessories like pillows a quick once over to remove hair. I love this jumbo lint roller for big jobs.
• Choose pillows and accents that have removable covers as opposed to being a single piece. This makes it so easy to pull the covers off and toss them in the washing machine. We have a few throw pillows we love that were a single piece, so we added our own zippers using this tutorial.
• Snuggly blankets protect your couch from dog smell, are easy to wash, and add so much coziness. We have three or four (or like ten) of these micro plush blankets and I rotate them every couple days, so there’s always a fresh one to snuggle up with. While Kol doesn’t use a blanket 100% of the time, he uses them often enough to save the couch.
• Regular Ol’ White Vinegar makes a great deodorizing spray. We use white vinegar in a fine mist spray bottle to help keep fabrics fresh. Our furniture (plus rugs and curtains) get a spritz weekly. And while it does make the house smell a little like salt & vinegar chips, I swear this is short-lived. As soon as the spray dries, the acidic smell will dissipate.
Even with your best efforts, sometimes dog smell gets away from you.
We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s been a super rainy month or you’ve been sick. Maybe your dog is having some allergy trouble and they’ve been yeastier than normal. Maybe it’s 2020, you’re not allowed to go anywhere and your whole life is now limited to your living room. Never fear. It’s easier to clean dog smell out of your couch than people realize.
• We love our Bissel Lil Green Pro-Heat. It’s affordable and it’s small enough that pulling it out to give your couch a quick clean isn’t too big of a hassle, plus it does a GREAT job. The key to a great upholstery clean is to keep sucking up the water until none comes out, otherwise, your couch can stay damp, get musty, and come out smellier than before.