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Controlling pet odour

Most pet owners deal with odors in their home, and odors can remain from pet owners who previously lived in your home. Here's what to do about pet odors.

Most pet owners deal with odours in their home at one time or another. Sometimes, the pet itself is the source of the odour. Other times it’s soiled carpets, cages or beds that are the problem. Even if you don’t own a pet, odours from the pet of a previous owner or tenant can affect your Indoor Air Quality months or even years later.

Pet odours generally fall into two categories:

  • Pet body odours: Odours from the body of the pet itself
  • Habitat odours: Odours caused by the pet living in your home

What to do about pet odours

A few simple steps will help keep your home smelling fresh and help keep your pet healthier as well.

1. Control the source of the odour. Find and quickly clean any soiled areas in the home, including carpets, upholstery, floors and walls. Use paper towels to soak up moisture in soiled areas, then sprinkle baking soda on the affected area. Keep cages clean by establishing a daily routine of inspecting and removing sources of odour.

2. Improve ventilation. Adding outdoor air to the indoor environment can reduce the overall level of odours from all sources. In addition to opening doors and windows, use exhaust fans and consider whole-house ventilation systems if needed.

3. Use a high-performance air cleaner. A high-performance air cleaner with activated carbon and other media for gas and odour filtration will help keep the air smelling fresh. The IQAir GC MultiGas is the best choice for all types of pet odours.

4. Keep pets clean. From gerbils to German Shepherds, all pets benefit from grooming and bathing. Brushing helps remove dirt, lessen airborne dander and distribute skin oils. Check ears regularly for infections, and keep pets’ teeth clean with a special toothbrush and toothpaste.

5. Wash pet bedding often. A mild detergent without dyes will work best. Also, add a cup of baking soda to the wash water to neutralize odours. After washing your pet’s laundry, run a cycle of hot water with bleach before running the next load.

6. Control litter box odours. The key to controlling litter box odours is keeping the litter box clean. Scoop out contents every day or, even better, twice a day. Change litter often. Scrub the box clean whenever you change the litter. A general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in your home.

7. Use a high-performance vacuum. Keeping your home clean is essential to controlling odours, and a high-quality vacuum will help. Many vacuum cleaners simply exhaust odours and pet dander right back into the room. Choose a high-quality vacuum with a HEPA filter.

By addressing odour issues early and by taking these few simple steps to keep pets and their environment healthy, everyone benefits. 

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