Carpet Smells Like Dog

Cat Wendt/flickr

I love my dog. I love him with all of my heart, even though he hogs the bed and his untamable dragon talons tear holes in my stuff and he drools in the car and I had to put him on doggie Prozac to curb his intense separation anxiety. He is my baby boy and I love him.

However. When you live in a beach town, like I do, you spend a lot of canine time down at the beach . . . followed by bath time with the garden hose in the backyard . . . inevitably leading to damp dog gallivanting around the house, and then promptly passing out in a beach-spent slumber, smack dab in the middle of your carpet.

Now really, who’s idea was it to put carpet in a beach cottage?

Obviously someone who doesn’t have a dog, that’s who. Because now my carpet’s begun to take on a distinctly “doggie” aroma. And friends, it is not cute.

Whether it’s ocean-induced or not, whether your pooch was the culprit or you just moved in and discovered the odor – whatever the case – when your carpet smells like dog, you need a solution and STAT. Unfortunately, it can be harder than you’d think to de-dog a carpet, but here’s where you should start:

Take a go at it yourself, using a natural enzyme-based cleaner. The enzymes work to break down the proteins so that the odor can be completely removed. Natural enzyme cleaners are available at most pet stores and some natural markets, and they’re your best bet for an at-home DIY job.

If the enzyme-based cleanser doesn’t work, you’re going to need to bring in the big guns. Call a carpet cleaning service and make sure it’s a quality operation that extracts the maximum amount of water after the cleaning. Dampness is your enemy, remember.

It may take a couple of professional cleanings before the smell totally disappears. On hot/dry days, leave all the windows open to air the space out and thoroughly dry the carpet pad. That’s where most of the odor hides, and it won’t go away until that carpet pad is completely dry.

If worse comes to worst and you’ve had the carpet cleaned multiple times to no avail, you may just have to replace the padding itself. It’s entirely possible – and quite a bit cheaper – to pull up the carpet, install new padding, and then put the old carpet back down on top. If the carpet itself has been cleaned and looks good, this is your best bet.

If the carpet itself is damaged though, it’s time to do a complete makeover. Replace the padding, replace the carpet. But if you’re a devoted dog owner, maybe consider hardwood floors this time?

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