How Do I Get Rid of the Dog Smell on My Couch?

Wet dog, Frito feet, and urine, oh my! When your furry bestie is stinking up the couch, you need some serious deodorizing solutions, and FAST!

Is there anything worse than lying your head down on the couch, ready to binge your new favorite show, when BAM – a horrible whiff of dog hits you square in the face?

Been there, smelled that! But don’t worry, we’re going to give you some easy tricks to get rid of those stinky dog odors fast, whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or you like the convenience of a deodorizer for dogs.

You (And Your Smelly Couch) Are Not Alone

"I’ll never let the dog on the couch!" How cute, says the dog. Remember those best intentions? But then what happened? Yep, we were reeled in by the sad puppy dog eyes and our own innate need for cuddles. Before we knew it, they had claimed their own special spot on the couch and we were dealing with the fallout of nasty odors.

Most pet parents let their pooches on the couch

Whew, it’s not just us! According to a pet survey by Joybird, 63% of pet parents allow their pets on all the furniture, women even more so than men. The problem is when the couch starts to smell. And if it’s bad for us, just imagine (gasp!) what our houseguests must think!

Deodorizers 101: Why Is It Hard to Get Pet Smells Out of Couch?

Many organic odor-causing molecules are averse to water (aka, they don’t like it). Polymers used in couch fabric share the same trait. Hence, the molecules cling to the couch because they have the same aversion – birds-of-a-feather principle. This reduces the volatility of the molecules, which is a good thing, but nonetheless, the odor can still persist. Furthermore, just like the couch can be our own happy place, all the fabric pores can be a happy place for stinky molecules to imbed into. (Get your geek on and learn more about why smells linger.)

Most difficult smells to get rid of:

  • Pet odors
  • Smoke smell
  • Skunk smell

Is Baking Soda an Effective Deodorizer for Dogs?

Absolutely! Baking soda wouldn’t maintain the stellar reputation it’s had for decades if it didn’t work. The key to using it, however, is to spread it around. (That’s actually why it’s NOT that great sitting in the box in the fridge.) Baking soda works because most stinky smells are acidic. Baking soda is a pH neutralizer, essentially absorbing the odor.

How to use baking soda as a pet-safe deodorizer:

If you don’t mind the mess and you can keep your dog off the couch for a while, here’s how to use this kitchen staple as a couch deodorizer for dogs:

Deodorizing fabric couches with baking soda

  • Remove cushions
  • Sprinkle baking soda on all surfaces
  • Use a dry, soft-bristled brush to brush baking soda into fabric (going with the grain)
  • Let it sit for one hour (overnight is even better)
  • Vacuum it up with upholstery attachment

What NOT to Use as a Deodorizer for Dogs

Reaching for any number of fragrance-filled deodorizers and cleaners – so many scents to choose from! – is certainly tempting when faced with a couch that smells like wet dog, Frito feet and worse. But the problem is, those deodorizers only MASK the smells with overpowering perfumes. And that’s not even the biggest concern with using scented deodorizers and dog smell sprays.

Why fragrances don’t get the tails wagging

Sure, fragranced deodorizers are marketed as safe (and the people sure look happy blasting it about as a dog smell spray in commercials), but don’t get suckered! Artificial fragrances can negatively affect the health of both the humans and pets in the home. Additionally, researchers have found that dogs have even higher levels of certain fragrance chemicals in their bloodstreams, which they encounter by either inhaling the fumes or rubbing against our skin and clothes.

What Makes Fragrances Bad for Pets and People?

The "amazing smell" in scented laundry detergents, dog smell sprays, cleaning products and more is just a mix of chemicals, with the average fragrance containing 14 chemicals, many deemed as toxic, according to lab tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Which chemicals are in your favorite scent? Who knows? Fragrance formulas are protected under trade secret law! (To become a savvier consumer, read "The Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners.")

Scent of Danger? How Artificial Fragrances Can Affect Dogs.

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Weakened liver
  • Itching
  • Immune system problems

Are Enzyme Cleaners Top Dog for Pet Odor Removal?

Enzyme cleaners are all the buzz, especially with pet parents who have to deal with odors caused by messes on the carpet or couch. Enzymes are proteins that attack the proteins causing the odor, eliminating them versus covering them up like fragranced air fresheners. (However, many enzyme cleaners also have fragrances, so be sure to look for the all-encompassing word "fragrance" on the label and avoid it.)

The downside of enzyme cleaners

While enzyme cleaners break down protein and organic matter, getting rid of smells, they do come with a few problems if you’re using them on your couch or carpet:

  • Residue: Enzymes tend to leave residue behind, which can attract dirt and grime, things that can, ironically, lead to more odors. The oils from your dog’s feet and coat can also stick to the residue, and you don’t want them licking off any cleaner if it isn’t non-toxic.
  • Irritation: Since enzymes are a protein, they can cause sensitivities or allergies in certain pets and people.
  • Risk of staining: Enzyme-based dog smell sprays can cause staining or lightening of the couch material, especially leather.

Oxyfresh Pet-Safe Deodorizer Versus Enzyme Cleaners

Oxyfresh Pet Deodorizer is paws-down the best way to send stinky couch odors packing ... for good! Rather than using enzymes, which can leave residue behind or cause irritation, Oxyfresh pet-safe deodorizer uses the power of Oxygene® to completely eliminate stinky pet odors right at the microbial source.

Oxygene® is our non-toxic, proprietary ingredient that oxidizes (breaks down) the cellular structure of odors and nasty bacteria in just 60 seconds, leaving your couch truly fresh and clean. Best of all, Oxyfresh Pet Deodorizer with Oxygene® is safe for everyone in the pack, with no fragrances, bleach, parabens or harsh chemicals. We’re positive you and your favorite couch-surfing pooch will love it!

Oxyfresh Pet-Safe Deodorizer makes deodorizing couches a breeze!

  • You don’t have to douse the area.
  • You don't have to blot afterward.
  • You don’t have to rinse anything.
  • And there’s no residue or staining left behind.

Just lightly spray and walk away. Seriously, that’s it! Getting those couches fresh and clean has never been easier thanks to Oxyfresh Pet-Safe Deodorizer for Dogs.

True Freshness - Pet Safe Deodorizer eliminates odors. Shop Now.

melissa gulbranson oxyfresh cmo

Meet the Author

Melissa Gulbranson is the Co-Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer for Oxyfresh. A recipient of the Pet Age's "Women of Influence" Award, she’s passionate about educating pet parents in ways that really resonate with them. Melissa loves days on the lake and hiking with her fur kid, Parker, and husband, Doug. Parker (a total ham) can be spotted running laps through the office each morning, greeting every team member. You can find Parker near the treats, and Melissa on Linkedin.