How to Get Dog Smell Out of the Couch? The Ultimate Guide for Pet Owners!

Having a dog as a beloved member of the family brings joy and companionship. However, dogs can also leave behind unpleasant odors, especially on the couch. In this ultimate guide, we will explore various methods and techniques to effectively get rid of dog smells from your couch, ensuring a fresh-smelling home for you and your four-legged friend.


Fact 1: Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors, while humans only have about 6 million.
Fact 2: Certain dog breeds tend to have stronger odors than others due to their natural oils.
Fact 3: The term “wet dog smell” comes from the bacteria that live on a dog’s skin and produce a foul odor when the dog gets wet.
Fact 4: Regular grooming can reduce the intensity of a dog’s natural odor.
Fact 5: Dogs have a unique “paw print” scent, just like human fingerprints.

What Causes A Couch To Smell Like A Dog?

Before diving into the solutions, let’s understand the common causes of dog smells on the couch:

  • Natural dog odors and oils: Dogs naturally have an odor that comes from their skin and coat. This odor can transfer onto furniture, including the couch.
  • Environmental factors: Dogs can pick up scents from their surroundings, such as mud, rain, and other animals, and transfer them to the couch.
  • Accidents and spills: If your dog has had an accident on the couch or spilled something on it, the smell can linger.

Why Do Dogs Smell?

Dogs have various reasons for emitting odors:

  • Natural scent markers: Dogs use their scent glands to mark their territory, which can result in a lingering smell on surfaces like the couch.
  • Environmental factors and play: Dogs explore the outdoors and engage in various activities, which can lead to them bringing back unpleasant smells into your home.
  • Medical reasons for stinking: In some cases, dogs may have underlying medical conditions that cause excessive odor. It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian if you notice a significant change in your dog’s scent.

Environmental Smells That Stink Up Your Dog

Dogs can pick up various smells from their environment, which can contribute to the odor on your couch:

  • Outdoor elements: Dogs love to explore the outdoors, rolling in mud and encountering other animals. These outdoor smells can easily transfer onto the couch.
  • Household smells: Cooking, smoke, and chemicals from cleaning products can all contribute to the overall smell in your home, including your couch.

Here are 9 Tips to Get Rid of Dog Smells from Your Couch

Vacuum Thoroughly

Vacuuming your couch regularly is an essential step in keeping it clean and smelling fresh. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a high-quality pet hair attachment to remove any loose fur and dander from the couch.
  • Pay attention to the crevices and corners where dog hair and odor can accumulate.
  • Consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture smaller particles and allergens.
PRO TIP: For maximum effectiveness, vacuum your couch at least once a week, or more frequently if you have multiple dogs or dogs that shed heavily. This will help minimize the buildup of dog hair and dander, reducing the overall smell.

Sprinkle Some Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural and affordable way to absorb odors from your couch. Follow these steps:

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda all over the couch, focusing on areas with strong odors.
  • Let the baking soda sit on the couch for at least 30 minutes to allow it to absorb the odors.
  • Vacuum the baking soda thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.

Baking soda is safe for most couch materials, but it’s always a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is known for its natural deodorizing properties. Here’s how you can use it to eliminate dog smells from your couch:

  • Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • Mist the solution onto the couch, focusing on areas with strong odors.
  • Allow the vinegar solution to air dry. The vinegar scent will dissipate as it dries, taking the dog smell with it.

It’s important to note that vinegar should not be used on certain couch materials, such as leather. Always check the care instructions or consult with the manufacturer before using vinegar or any other cleaning solution.

Hydrogen Peroxide

If your couch has specific stains or areas affected by dog smells, hydrogen peroxide can be an effective spot treatment:

  • Dampen a clean cloth with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Gently blot the stained area, applying slight pressure to lift the odor-causing substances.
  • Rinse the cloth with water and blot the area again to remove any residual hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide may lighten the color of certain fabrics, so it’s crucial to test it on a hidden area of the couch first and proceed with caution.

Air Dry And Air Purifiers

Allowing your couch to air dry can help eliminate odors by allowing fresh air to circulate. Additionally, using air purifiers in your home can help remove airborne particles that contribute to the smell:

  • Open windows or use fans to increase airflow, helping to dry the couch faster.
  • Consider placing air purifiers in the room where the couch is located to help remove odors and particles from the air.
  • Choose an air purifier with a HEPA filter and activated carbon for optimal odor removal.

Commercial Pet Odor Eliminators

There are many commercial pet odor eliminators available on the market. Look for products specifically designed to neutralize dog odors. Here are a few recommended brands:

Brand Description
Nature’s Miracle A popular brand is known for its effective pet odor removal products, including sprays, wipes, and stain and odor removers.
Rocco & Roxie Offers a range of pet stain and odor eliminators, including enzymatic cleaners that break down odor-causing molecules.
Simple Solution Provides a variety of products for pet stain and odor removal, including sprays, wipes, and stain and odor removers.

Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal results.

Wash The Couch Washables

If your couch has removable covers or cushion covers, washing them can help eliminate odors:

  • Check the care instructions for your couch covers and cushions to determine if they are machine washable.
  • If they are, remove the covers and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing.
  • Consider adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash to boost odor removal.

Allow the covers to air dry completely before putting them back on the couch.

Train Your Dog Not To Get On The Couch

If your dog has a habit of getting on the couch, training them to stay off can help minimize the smell. Here are some training tips:

  • Consistently enforce rules about not allowing your dog on the couch.
  • Provide an alternative comfortable spot for your dog, such as a dog bed or blanket.
  • Reward your dog for staying off the couch with treats and praise.

Training your dog not to get on the couch not only helps keep it clean and free of dog smells but also establishes boundaries and prevents potential damage to the furniture.

Get Professional Cleaning Services

If you’ve tried various methods without success or if your couch requires deep cleaning, it may be time to consider professional cleaning services:

  • Research reputable cleaning companies in your area that specialize in furniture and upholstery cleaning.
  • Inquire about their methods, equipment, and products to ensure they are safe for your couch.
  • Read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family who have used professional cleaning services.

A professional cleaning service can provide a deep clean that penetrates the fabric and removes stubborn dog odors.

PRO TIP: Once you have successfully removed the dog smell from your couch, consider using a protective spray specifically designed for upholstery. This can act as a barrier against future odors and stains, prolonging the freshness of your couch.

Ways to Get Dog Smell Out of the Couch

Alternative Ways to Get Dog Smell Out of the Couch

Steam Clean Your Furniture

Steam cleaning is an effective method for deep cleaning and sanitizing your furniture. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Use a steam cleaner specifically designed for upholstery.
  • Fill the steam cleaner with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Run the steam cleaner over the entire surface of the couch, focusing on areas with strong odors.
  • Allow the couch to air dry completely.

If you’re not comfortable using a steam cleaner yourself, you can also hire professional steam cleaning services to ensure a thorough cleaning.

Air Out the Cushions

In addition to airing out the entire couch, you can also focus on airing out the individual cushions:

  • Remove the cushions from the couch.
  • Place them outside in a well-ventilated area on a sunny day.
  • Allow the cushions to air out for a few hours, flipping them periodically.
  • If possible, consider placing activated charcoal or baking soda near the cushions to further absorb any remaining odor.

Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners are effective at breaking down odor-causing molecules. Here’s how you can use them on your couch:

  • Choose an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for upholstery.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal usage.
  • Apply the enzymatic cleaner to the affected areas of the couch.
  • Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended amount of time before blotting it dry.

Enzymatic cleaners work by breaking down organic material, including pet odors, at a molecular level. This ensures effective odor removal without leaving behind any residue.

Spot Treat Urine Stains

If your dog has had an accident on the couch, it’s important to address it promptly. Here’s how:

  • Blot up any excess urine using paper towels or a clean cloth.
  • Mix a solution of equal parts water and mild dish soap.
  • Apply the solution to the stained area, gently rubbing it in with a clean cloth.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry.
  • Consider using an enzymatic cleaner specifically formulated for removing urine stains and odors.

Spot-treating urine stains as soon as possible is crucial to prevent them from penetrating deeper into the couch and causing lingering odors.

Comparison of Cleaning Methods (Baking Soda, Vinegar, Commercial Cleaners, Steam Cleaning)

Cleaning Method Pros Cons
Baking Soda – Natural and affordable
– Absorbs odors effectively
– Can leave a white residue if not thoroughly vacuumed
– May not remove deep stains
Vinegar – Natural deodorizer
– Safe for most couch materials
– Removes odors
– Can leave a vinegar smell temporarily
– Not suitable for all couch materials
Commercial Cleaners – Specifically designed for pet odors
– Effective at removing stubborn smells
– Some cleaners may contain harsh chemicals
– Not all products are suitable for all couch materials
Steam Cleaning – Deep cleans and sanitizes upholstery
– Removes dirt, stains, and odors
– Requires a steam cleaner or professional services
– Couch may take a while to dry completely

Considering these factors can help you determine the most suitable cleaning method for your specific couch material and odor issue.

What NOT to Use as a Deodorizer for Dogs

While there are various effective ways to remove dog smells from your couch, it’s important to avoid certain substances and methods that can be harmful:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, as they can damage the fabric of your couch and pose health risks to both you and your dog.
  • Fragrances, including air fresheners and scented sprays, may temporarily mask the odor but won’t eliminate it entirely. They can also irritate your dog’s sensitive nose.
  • Enzyme cleaners that contain alcohol or other harmful chemicals should be avoided, as they can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation in both humans and dogs.

When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a professional or refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and deodorizing your specific couch material.

PRO TIP: Before using any new cleaning products or methods on your couch, always perform a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

Preventative Measures

Groom Your Pet Regularly

Regular grooming plays a significant role in reducing dog odors. Here’s why grooming is essential:

  • Bathing your dog regularly helps remove dirt and oils from their skin and coat, reducing overall odor.
  • Brushing your dog’s fur regularly helps remove loose hair and prevents it from accumulating on your furniture.
  • Trimming your dog’s nails regularly can help prevent them from scratching or damaging the couch, which can lead to odors.

Establishing a regular grooming routine can significantly minimize the amount of hair and odor transferred to your couch.

Use Throw Blankets and Other Washable Barriers

Another effective method for protecting your couch from dog smells is to use throw blankets or other washable barriers:

  • Cover your couch with washable blankets or slipcovers that can be easily removed and cleaned.
  • Choose materials that are resistant to odors and easy to clean, such as microfiber or machine-washable fabrics.
  • Wash the covers regularly to prevent the buildup of dog hair and odor.

These washable barriers provide an extra layer of protection for your couch, making it easier to remove hair and odors.

Vacuum Your Couch Often and Thoroughly

Regular vacuuming is essential to keep your couch clean and free of dog smells. Here are some tips for effective vacuuming:

  • Set a weekly vacuuming schedule for your couch.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a pet hair attachment or brush to remove loose hair and dander.
  • Pay attention to the crevices, corners, and cushions where dog hair and odor tend to accumulate.
  • Consider investing in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to capture smaller particles and allergens effectively.

Vacuuming regularly helps prevent the buildup of dog hair and dander, reducing the overall smell on your couch.

Use Non-Chemical Cleaning Solutions

If you prefer to avoid chemical cleaning solutions, there are several natural alternatives you can try:

  • A mixture of water and mild dish soap can be used to clean small spots or stains on your couch.
  • Baking soda is an excellent natural deodorizer that can be sprinkled on your couch and vacuumed up after a few minutes.
  • White vinegar diluted with water can help neutralize odors.

Using non-chemical cleaning solutions provides a safer and more natural approach to removing dog smells from your couch.


A fresh-smelling home is essential for both your and your dog’s comfort. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this ultimate guide, you can effectively eliminate dog smells from your couch. Establishing a regular cleaning routine, incorporating preventative measures, and exploring alternative cleaning methods will help keep your couch smelling fresh and inviting. Remember, a happy, healthy home starts with an odor-free couch!


Does vinegar get the dog smell out of a couch?

Yes, vinegar is an effective natural deodorizer that can help eliminate dog smells from your couch. However, it’s important to use it properly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging your couch.

How often should you clean the dog smell out of a couch?

The frequency of cleaning depends on various factors, such as the number of dogs in your home, their shedding levels, and the specific couch material. In general, it’s recommended to vacuum your couch weekly and perform deeper cleaning every few months or as needed.

What’s the best pet odor eliminator plugin?

There are several pet odor eliminator plugins available on the market, but the best one for your specific needs may vary. Some popular options include the Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator Plugin and the Renuzit Super Odor Neutralizer Plugin. It’s important to read reviews and choose a product that suits your preferences and requirements.

How to get the wet dog smell out of the couch?

To remove the wet dog smell from your couch, start by blotting up any excess moisture using clean towels or paper towels. Then, sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for 30 minutes to absorb the odor. Vacuum the baking soda thoroughly, and if necessary, follow up with a vinegar solution or enzymatic cleaner for additional odor removal.

Can I use Febreze on my couch to remove the dog smell?

Febreze can be used as a temporary solution to mask dog odors on your couch. However, it’s important to note that Febreze does not eliminate odors permanently. It is best used in combination with other cleaning and deodorizing methods for more effective results.

How often should I groom my dog to reduce odors?

The grooming frequency for your dog depends on various factors, including their breed, coat type, and activity level. In general, most dogs benefit from regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Bathing should be done as needed, typically every 4-8 weeks, or as recommended by your veterinarian.

Are there any couch materials that resist dog odors better than others?

Some couch materials are more resistant to dog odors and stains than others. Leather and synthetic materials like microfiber are known for their durability and ability to repel odors. However, it’s important to choose a material that suits your needs and preferences while considering factors such as ease of cleaning and comfort.

How do I stop my house from smelling like a dog?

In addition to cleaning your couch, there are several steps you can take to minimize dog odors throughout your home:

  • Regularly clean your dog’s bedding and toys.
  • Wash your dog’s collar, leash, and other accessories regularly.
  • Keep litter boxes clean and properly ventilated.
  • Vacuum and mop your floors regularly.
  • Use air purifiers or open windows to improve indoor air quality.
  • Consider using odor-absorbing products like activated charcoal or baking soda in problem areas.

By implementing these measures, you can help maintain a fresh-smelling home for both you and your dog.

Is it safe to use carpet cleaners on my couch?

Using carpet cleaners on your couch depends on the specific cleaner and couch material. Some carpet cleaners may be suitable for use on certain types of upholstery, but it’s essential to read the manufacturer’s instructions and perform a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area before full application. Additionally, be cautious with steam cleaners as excessive moisture can damage certain couch materials.

What should I do if my dog has an accident on the couch?

If your dog has an accident on the couch, act quickly to minimize the odor and prevent staining:

  • Blot up any excess moisture using clean towels or paper towels.
  • Spot treat the stained area using a mixture of water and mild dish soap.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.
  • Follow up with a pet-friendly enzymatic cleaner to neutralize odors.

If the accident has soaked into the couch cushions or fabric, it may be necessary to remove the covers or seek professional cleaning services.

How can I prevent my dog from getting on the couch in the first place?

Training your dog to stay off the couch can help prevent them from leaving behind odors. Here are some tips:

  • Establish clear rules and consistently enforce them.
  • Provide your dog with an alternative comfortable spot, such as a dog bed or blanket.
  • Reward your dog for staying off the couch with treats and praise.

With patience and consistency, your dog can learn to respect the boundaries and avoid getting on the couch.

Are there any natural remedies for dog odors on furniture?

Yes, there are several natural remedies you can try to eliminate dog odors from your furniture:

  • Baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda on the furniture, let it sit for some time, and then vacuum it up.
  • Vinegar: Spray a mixture of water and vinegar on the furniture, and allow it to dry naturally.
  • Activated charcoal: Place activated charcoal in small sachets or bowls near the furniture to absorb odors.

Remember to test these remedies on a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture before applying them to the entire surface.

How do I know if the smell is from my dog or something else in my home?

Distinguishing between dog odors and other smells in your home can sometimes be challenging. Here are a few indicators that the smell may be from your dog:

  • The odor is most noticeable near areas where your dog spends a lot of time, such as the couch.
  • You can detect a distinct “doggy” smell on your furniture even after cleaning and deodorizing.
  • Your dog’s bedding or toys also emit a similar odor.

If you’re unsure about the source of the smell, it’s best to thoroughly clean and deodorize your couch and monitor if the smell persists.

Can I use essential oils to deodorize my couch?

While essential oils may have pleasant scents, it’s important to be cautious when using them around dogs. Some essential oils can be toxic to dogs and may cause adverse reactions, especially if ingested or applied directly to their skin. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian before using essential oils near your dog or on your couch.