Skip to Content

How to Get Rid of Dog Odor in Carpet: 13 Tips that Work!

how to get rid of dog odor in carpet brown and white puppy laying on a beige carpet

I grew up with dogs and cats both and both had pretty terrible effects on our carpet. So once I got my own place, I knew I had to figure out how to get rid of dog odor in carpet.

Here’s what I figured out:

To get rid of dog odor in carpet, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Scrub in with a brush and allow to sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming. For really tough odors you can also mix essential oils with baking soda or borax, sprinkle on, allow to sit overnight, and then vacuum.

Most people consider the breed, looks, and the size of a dog when deciding to get one.  Many think that these are things that matter most. In the midst of the excitement though, we almost always forget about pet hair, dander and how to keep our house from smelling like a kennel.

Besides that stinky dog odor, there is also accidents during potty training that leave their carpets smelling bad. Many pet owners have considered ripping up the carpet to escape that ammonia smell.

Luckily for you, there are natural, effective, and inexpensive ways on how to get rid of dog odor in carpet that will freshen up your entire home without removing the dog from it.

Co-authored with pet lover and dog lover Lisa Jennings over at DogBedZone.

What home remedy gets dog smell out of carpet?

There are a number of home remedies that can work great on getting rid of pet odor in carpet.

For starters, try sprinkling baking soda down on the carpet. Using a scrub brush you can scrub in the baking soda, which is a natural odor neutralizer.

For really tough pet odors, adding a little essential oil to baking soda or borax and sprinkling and scrubbing works great too. In the case of really bad odors, try leaving overnight before vacuuming too.

But one of the best home remedies for getting rid of pet odor in carpet is vinegar, so let’s dig into exactly how to do that.

How does vinegar get rid of pet odor in carpet?

Despite the obvious urine-like smell that vinegar has, it’s actually a great odor neutralizer.

Start by mixing equal parts water and white vinegar, ideally in a spray bottle. We want to get the affected parts of the carpet wet with the vinegar solution, but not soaking.

Once you have given the smelly area a good spraying, using cloth or paper towels gently try and remove the excess water & vinegar.

Use a portable fan to blow directly on the wet carpet to dry it as fast as possible.

Once dry, go ahead and sprinkle baking soda on the areas and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Vacuum the baking soda and you’re done!

Will professional carpet cleaning remove pet odors?

The short answer is yes; professional carpet cleaning companies do usually have the right tools and products to get rid of dog odor in carpet along with cat odor and stains too.

Personally, though, I would try all of the home methods first both due to the higher cost of hiring a pro and the fact that all of the home remedies we list out below are non-toxic and all-natural and many carpet cleaning companies may very well use harsh cleaners.

Always check reviews on Yelp too when hiring pros to make sure you’re getting the very best to help.

Does replacing carpet remove pet odor?

In short, it depends on how bad the odor is and what kind of floor is under the carpet.

In most cases, the carpet would be on top of foam insulation. Usually, if we’re talking about dog or cat urine, most of the urine would be soaked into the carpet and the pad.

But under the pad, you have a sub-floor.

That sub-floor could be a wood floor (fairly porous but possibly sealed which would minimize how much urine could soak in.) But it could be a concrete slab. Concrete us sometimes sealed, but if not, concrete if also surprisingly porous and some of the urine could have been absorbed into the concrete.

Lastly, you could just have a wood sub-floor of sheets of plywood.  That would not likely be sealed and would probably be the most porous of the types of sub-floor we’ve talked about.

If you do replace the carpet, you’ll most certainly want to replace the pad and it may be worth doing a deep clean or professional clean of your sub-floor.

But certainly, most of the dog odor problem will go away with removing the carpet and pad.

So let’s review the . . . 

13 Proven Tips on How to Get Rid of Dog Odor in Carpet

how to get rid of dog odor in carpet brown and black puppy sitting inside small red polka dot cup

1. Vacuum frequently

Some dogs shed less, some more, but the fact is all of them are bound to leave their hair and dander on your carpet.

Vacuuming your carpets every day will prevent the hairs embedding in it and making it smell like your dog. If daily vacuuming seems excessive, do it at least three times a week.

2. Sprinkle baking soda

Baking soda is a great odor remover solution for how to get rid of dog odor in carpet. It also works wonders on that distinctive urine smell.

Sprinkle baking soda over the stain or the entire carpet and use a soft brush to work it into the carpet. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and for persistent smells leave it all night before vacuuming.

Luckily baking soda is one of the least expensive pet odor products you can buy. If you’re concerned about keeping costs low, check out all the best tips on Reducing the Cost of Owning a Pet (click to read my article).

3. Mix essential oils with water

Fill the spray bottle with water and add in it a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Mix the contents together and then spray it on a freshly vacuumed carpet. You can use this solution as often as you like but you might need something stronger to remove the urine smell.

4. Mix borax with essential oils

Buy a box of borax if you don’t already have it in your home and mix two cups of it with 24 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Mix the ingredients thoroughly so that borax soaks the essential oil and then sprinkle it on the carpet. Let the powder sit for 10 minutes before thoroughly vacuuming it. Not only is it a great solution for how to get rid of dog odor in carpet, but it will leave your house smelling great!

5. Urine odor remover

To remove urine odor from your carpet mix 5 oz of hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and ½ of a tablespoon of dishwasher soap in a spraying bottle.

Apply the mixture to the urine stain and let it completely dry before vacuuming it off.

6. Mix white vinegar and baking soda

Put one cup of white vinegar, one cup of water, and two full tablespoons of baking soda into a spraying bottle and shake it. Spray the mixture on a carpet and let it sit for 5-6 minutes before wiping it with a wet cloth in order to remove any doggy odors.

7. Vinegar water solution

To make this carpet odor remover you will have to mix equal parts of water and vinegar into a spraying bottle.

Spray generous amounts of mixture and scrub it to give it a chance to penetrate the deeper layers of the carpet before vacuuming it with a wet vacuum cleaner.

8. Combine baking soda with hydrogen peroxide

In order to neutralize the smell of urine in the carpet, cover the stain with baking soda and let it sit. In the meantime, mix 5 ml of dishwashing liquid with 250 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spraying bottle.

Spray the solution over the baking soda, scrub it in the carper and wait for it to completely dry before vacuuming it off.

9. Use vinegar

Vinegar is a great solution for how to get rid of dog odor in carpet and it will at the same time leave the carpet looking brighter and cleaner.

You can place vinegar in a carpet cleaner or simply pour it into a spray bottle and cover the entire carpet. It may take a few days for the smell of vinegar to exit your home, but when it does it will leave your carpet free of doggy odors.

10. Clean your carpet with vodka

A less expensive bottle of vodka is a great solution if you need to remove odor from your carpet since it kills bacteria and removes stains.

Use a spray bottle to apply vodka on a stain or the entire carpet and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. When the time is up, use a paper towel or a cloth to wipe away excess moisture.

11. Mix baking soda and ground spices

To deodorize your carpet and get rid of doggy odors you will have to mix ½ a cup of baking soda and ½ a cup of borax with a 1 tablespoon of the ground spice of your choosing.

Sprinkle the mixed ingredients together and leave them on the carpet for 30 minutes at least before vacuuming it away.

12. Try enzyme cleansers

These types of products contain enzymes that break off urine molecules and bacteria and neutralize the odor.

They are easily found in stores and you will have to soak the affected area of the carpet and let it sit for a while before wiping it away. In cases of persistent urine odor, you may have to repeat the process a couple of times in order to remove the smell completely.

Want to know the best-selling stain and odor eliminator on Amazon Prime?

It’s the Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator (click to check the current price on Amazon). Near-perfect reviews by well over 6,000 reviewers can’t be wrong!

13. Use a wet vacuum cleaner

In cases when you are dealing with hard-to-remove stains and odors, renting or investing in a wet vacuum cleaner might be a solution.

Don’t use harsh chemicals to remove the odors from your carpet, instead use a combination of white vinegar and water to get rid of persistent doggy aromas.

The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer (click to check the current price on Amazon) is the best-selling wet vacuum on Amazon Prime and has 4.5 stars out of over 11,000 reviews!

And at just a little over $100, you may wonder why you didn’t buy one years ago! Lightweight, upholstery tool, and a built-in heater for quick drying time are just a few of the reasons people are buying this for their pet odor issues!

Final Thoughts

We know how much you love your dog, but the same can’t be said for that stinky dog smell that can sink into our carpets.

And while you may feel hopeless enough to think about moving your dog to the backyard, there is no need for such desperate measures.

In this post, we reviewed some amazing tips on how to get rid of dog odor in carpet.

Baking soda and vinegar are one of the best odor removals and you probably won’t have to go shopping because you already have them in your pantry.

What’s your favorite type of dog?

About the co-author of this post:
Lisa Jennings is a writer and an editor for DogBedZone, a site dedicated to dogs and their owners.

Read our buyer’s guides on everything you need for your dog.

Not ready to get rid of the odor yet? Why not save this pin to your favorite Pinterest boards so it will be there when you need it?

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

Jeff Campbell

Betty Figueroa

Thursday 11th of July 2019

Awesome ideas on removing pet orders love them all I am definitely saving them I also wrote a few down, now my next question is I have bought sprays and pads but I still have issues with my puppy still going on the carpet what is a good diy remedy to deter her from going on the carpet those sprays they don’t work and I’m getting frustrated we just bought and moved into this house..

Jeff Campbell

Friday 12th of July 2019

Hi Betty

Thanks for the comment. I can totally understand your frustration!

I think there's a few things to try, such as:

A set feeding and water schedule of 2-4 times a day (maybe check with a vet if you feel unsure) where the food and water goes away after 20 minutes. Then simply take the dog outside once you pull the food and water, and stay outside until the dog goes. Don't rub the dog's nose in it or hit or yell; it will just make the dog afraid of you and they'll learn to go on the carpet when and where you aren't looking. Have a treat they love that you only give them after they tinkle outside Make sure to clean the carpet really well in the places the dog has gone. If any smell remains, they will smell it and think they are supposed to go there. That Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator I mentioned in the article should work great for that.

I hope those tips help. Thanks for being here,