How to Get Dog Smell Out of Carpet? Try These 3 Ways

Jeff Berry

By Jeff Berry

Last Updated on July, 2024

One of the many cute things dogs do is roll around or take naps on our carpets. It’s fun to watch them, but soon, the dog odour from your carpet will make you wrinkle your nose. 

If you’re expecting visitors, it can send you into full panic mode. 

We love our dogs, but we also like having nice-smelling carpets, so what’s the solution? 

This article will help you understand why your carpet develops an odour, and some easy ways to remove dog smells. 

Let’s have a look! 

Quick Summary

  • Pets, particularly dogs, can cause odors in carpets due to their fur, dirty paws, and urine stains.
  • There are various methods to remove pet odors from carpets, including doing a preliminary cleaning, using baking soda and vinegar, and using an enzyme cleaner.
  • It may be necessary to call a professional carpet cleaning service if the smell persists, as they have the expertise and equipment to effectively remove pet odors and hair.

How to Get Dog Smell Out of Carpet?

Trying to get the pet odour out of your carpet can be frustrating. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to accomplish this. 

Prepare Your Carpet for Cleaning 

a dog standing next to a urine stain in a carpet

The first step is to do a quick preliminary carpet cleaning. The goal here is not to remove the odour altogether but to make your job easier later on. 

If you notice a wet dog smell coming from your carpet, it indicates that the carpet fibres have absorbed dog urine or pet stains. Use a clean cloth or damp paper towels to soak the urine with cool water. 

Remember to also place an extra paper towel under the stained area. This will prevent another stain from forming on your floor. 

Next, vacuum your carpet thoroughly. Vacuum cleaners with pet hair filters are ideal, as they are designed to remove dog fur and pet dander. They can also clean the gaps in your carpet fibres where food and solid waste hide. 

These initial measures will prepare your carpet for the next stage of cleaning. 

Use the Baking Soda Method

The vinegar and baking soda method is one of the best home remedies to get rid of pet odour. Both vinegar and baking soda are powerful odour-removal substances. Combined, they create a cheap and simple solution that you can use regularly.

Pour one cup of water into a spray bottle and add one cup of distilled white vinegar, followed by two tablespoons of baking soda. Mix the substances by shaking the bottle and spray it on the pet stain or affected area. 

You can also get the dog smell out of your carpet with just baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda over the entire area. For high-pile carpets, use a carpet brush to ensure the substance goes through the fibres.

Be liberal with the amount you use, as this is the best way to avoid lingering smells. We recommend leaving the baking soda on carpets for at least thirty minutes, but you can let it sit overnight in case of extreme odour. 

After the appropriate time passes, vacuum your carpet once more to remove the baking soda and finish cleaning. 

Use an Enzymatic Cleaner 

The next best solution is chemical cleaners if the dog smell persists even after these measures. These products are specifically designed to attack bacteria and remove pet odours from your carpet. They can also better eliminate stubborn stains than vinegar and baking soda.

However, some enzyme cleaners can harm pets, so ensure that you get one that is safe to use around your dog and children. You should conduct a thorough search online and consult your vet for recommendations.

Worth reading:

Why Do Carpets Develop Dog Smells? 

a person cleaning a carpet at home

Figuring out the cause of pet odours is helpful when cleaning your carpet and will help you prevent them in the future. Here are some common causes for dog smell in carpets. 

Dirty Paws or Fur 

Shedding is a common problem for most dog owners, particularly with breeds like Labrador Retrievers or German Shepherds. Because of their oily coats, your dog’s fur will easily stick to your carpet, and as more dog hair accumulates on it, it will start to develop a smell. 

Along with oily fur, dogs have oily paws that carry dirt from outside and transfer it to your rug. These two factors combined create a wet dog smell that can quickly become intolerable. 

Odour From Urine Stains

Pets not toilet-trained will be happy to relieve themselves on carpets, resulting in dog urine stains that create a sharp, unpleasant smell. 

This problem only worsens with time, as when pet urine soaks into the carpet padding, the stains become more challenging to get rid of and might also affect your floorboards.

Drool and Food Particles Collected on Your Carpet

Another reason for the pet smell is your dog’s food and saliva accumulating on your rug. While dogs find kibble delicious, it doesn’t smell great–and your dog’s drool smells even worse.

Combined, the two create a truly nasty odour and a real headache for pet owners when it comes to cleaning time. 

Tips for Pet Odour and Stain Removal From Carpets

When dealing with smelly carpets, acting quickly and wisely is essential. Here are some tips to remember when removing pet stains and odour. 

  • Vacuum regularly to prevent pet hair and dander from accumulating on your carpet. Depending on the affected area, you can use a handheld vacuum cleaner or a larger one with a filter attachment. 
  • Remove urine stains as early as possible. Switch off all other lights and hold a black light about half a metre above your rug. Using a black light, you can identify urine by dull yellow stains, though they can sometimes be dull green. 
  • Avoid making direct contact when removing stains, as the bacteria might stick to your skin. 
  • Too much heat will cause the urine stain to be permanently set on your carpet, so avoid using a steam cleaner. 
  • When using baking soda, be sure to keep your pets away from the carpet during cleaning, as exposure to it might cause health problems. 
  • Avoid cleaning chemicals that contain ammonia, as they can be highly toxic for your dog.
  • When cleaning is done, turn on the air purifier or open the windows to allow fresh air to enter the room. As clean air circulates your house, it will help drive away any lingering smells.

When Should You Call a Carpet Cleaning Service?

a carpet cleaning professional cleaning carpets

While it’s possible to handle pet stains and odours by yourself, there are times when you’ll need the help of a professional carpet cleaning service

No matter how thoroughly you clean your carpet, your pet will make it smelly again before you know it. As a pet owner, your schedule won’t always give you the time or energy to clean your rug properly. 

On such occasions, calling for professional help may be your only option. However, this might be for the better. Because of their expertise and equipment, professional cleaners are more suited to remove dog hair and odour from carpets. 

A good service will do a far better job than you could, and you won’t need to have your carpet cleaned again for 6-9 months, making it well worth the cost. 


As a pet owner, the last thing you want to do is prevent your furry friend from entering the living room. This article outlines some easy ways to keep your pet happy and your carpet stain—and odour-free. 

Many factors contribute to your carpet’s development of a pet odour, so there’s no one-step fix to get rid of the dog smell. However, by following some simple steps and getting help when needed, you should be able to get your house smelling clean and fresh once again. 

Happy cleaning!


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