Pet odors inside your house can easily turn off potential buyers. Maybe you are used to them, so you don’t notice them anymore, but a real estate agent and visitors will feel the pet smell right away. This article will give you some useful advice and methods to get rid of pet odors before selling a house – from cleaning the carpets before putting your home on the market to valuable tips and much more.

Air out your house

Whenever you can, open all the windows in your home and allow fresh air to circulate. It is an effective way to get rid of pet odors, but you must do it regularly. Right before showing a house, do a deep cleaning of each room, and do whatever you can to keep the smells from returning. If you can, keep your dog outdoors. If you have a cat, limit it to one room or one floor – if you find it manageable. Replace pet bedding regularly.

Scrub floors

You can scrub your floors with a floor cleaner, vinegar, or (preferably) an odor-neutralizing product from a pet shop. For cement floors and walls, you can make a 1:9 bleach-to-water solution. It won’t damage them, but it will neutralize the odor. If pet scents in your house cover a large area and are very stubborn, hire professional cleaners specialized for pet odors and hard-to-clean stains.

Experienced movers know very well how important it is for a family to move to a new home that is clean and tidy. Movers from have witnessed many new homeowners’ enthusiasm when they first enter a home with their belongings, so dealing with pet odors before even showing a home is of immense importance. Don’t leave these house tasks for later because buyers’ first impression is always the strongest one.

Wash everything you can

Pet odors are very stubborn when they get into fabrics. Wash (launder/steam clean/dry clean) all your fabric coverings and blankets. All pieces of upholstered furniture need to be steam cleaned. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, consider buying it, or hire upholstery cleaning experts to do the job. It’s an excellent option for cleaning upholstered sofas and chairs.

If the pillows are smelly, too, check if it’s safe to put them in your washer, and if not, replace them. After you’ve done all this, your home will already smell much more pleasant.



A cat sitting on a chair

Clean the carpets to get rid of pet odors

When it comes to cleaning your carpets, you have the same decision to make – decide whether you will do it by yourself or you will leave the job to carpet cleaning professionals.

When determining what the best solution is, consider these factors:

  • How many carpets and rugs do you have?
  • What sizes are they?
  • The level of filth and pets’ odors embedded in them

It’s improbable that pet odors will remain after a deep cleaning, deodorizing, and drying when done by a professional. Still, if the smells come back, you have two alternatives. First, try the cheap one – sprinkle baking soda all over the smelly area of the rug, and let it stay there for a few hours or overnight. Then run a vacuum over it to remove the powder. If that doesn’t work for you, you still have an expensive alternative. Scrub the subfloor with odor removing product or vinegar, buy and install new padding and carpeting. If you think that smells come from the subfloors, maybe you’ll need to replace them also, as a last resort. Then, finally, you’ll be able to say goodbye to bad odors.

An English bulldog lying on a black rug

Check the walls

If different cleaners didn’t do the job of eradicating smells from drywall, plaster, and wood, you need to add a fresh coat of paint. Another option is to replace the drywall and woodwork completely. For bricks and cement, you can apply an appropriate sealant. It will seal in the odor and keep it from reemerging.

Use potpourri and scented candles

When everything is clean and tidy, feel free to place potpourri and scented candles in a few locations in your home. Just don’t go overboard, because some buyers are very sensitive to perfumes. Place a bowl of mild potpourri in your hallway to create a welcoming impression right from the start. You can add other mild scents in the kitchen and bathroom and a scented candle in the living room.

Deal with urine smells

In case your dog uses indoor pee pads, ensure that you replace a pad with a new one each time the dog pees. Then throw them away outside in a trash can, and make sure that the lid is properly closed. Furthermore, remove any clean pads from view before each property showing. If you have a cat, remember to replace kitty litter daily and put away the litter box before showing.

Relocate your pets

Find a person who will take care of your pet while you’re selling the house. It can be your friend or a family member – a person you can trust and an animal lover who knows a pet’s routine. Probably it will be hard to you to stay away from your pet, but consider it as sending it on a temporary vacation, where everything will be taken care of, while you deal with the important tasks such as selling your home is. Make the relocation easier for your furry friend by visiting a vet before moving them to a new place, and prepare their essential items for moving and adjusting to a new home.

If your pet has to stay with you, at least remove them from the house for showings. Put their bowls, toys, and fabrics away – so it won’t impede looking around.

Adorable cat with blue eyes lying near a basket


Once you’ve tried all the different ways to get rid of pet odors before selling a house, it should be smelling super fresh (or preferably – not smelling at all). Living with a furry friend doesn’t mean that you have to live in a house that stinks, and you certainly couldn’t sell it in such a condition. Do a regular deep cleaning, and if needed – call professionals for better results and time-saving purposes.