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How to Get Dog Odors Out of a Couch – 11 Possible Ways

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever dog on a couch

How to Get Dog Odors Out of a Couch – 11 Possible Ways

We all love our dogs, but they can certainly make our homes stink terribly at times! Foul-smelling dog hair and odors can cling and quickly build up—especially on soft furnishings, and cleaning up after these smells can be a difficult and sometimes unpleasant task.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to get pet odors out of your couch. Whichever method you choose, the most important thing is to do it regularly—the more often you clean and treat your couch, the better it’ll smell, and the happier you’ll be about sharing it with your best friend. dogster face divider

Before You Begin

Keeping dog odors out of upholstery is a constant challenge, but you can take some preventative measures to avoid funky smells from arising in the first place, including:

  • Your dog should be bathed and groomed regularly—your couch will accumulate less hair, dirt, and dander if you brush your dog daily.
  • Add some great-looking slipcovers.
  • Buy throw blankets that are intended for your dog only.
  • Remove dog odor from the entire room with an air purifier.
  • You can eliminate some of the unpleasant outdoor odors that accumulate on your couch by wiping your dog’s feet when they come in from outside and drying them if they’re wet.

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The Top Methods for Removing Dog Odors From a Couch

1.  Remove Dog Odors with Baking Soda

If you have a strong, lingering doggie stench on your sofa, baking soda is an excellent odor remover. Simply scatter baking soda over the upholstery, let it sit overnight, and then vacuum your couch thoroughly the next morning. In most cases, the smell should have significantly lessened, if not disappeared entirely.

This natural cleaning method can be used as often as necessary since baking soda is completely safe for humans and dogs when used in this way.

jar of baking soda and spoon on white background
Image By: focal point, Shutterstock

2. Spritz Your Couch with Fabric Freshener

Sometimes, you have guests coming over and suddenly notice your couch smells like dog odor! When this happens, you can quickly freshen up the couch with a fabric freshener. Products like Febreze help to remove all of the unpleasant odors from a couch and make it smell new again. A few minutes after spraying, the odor is usually gone, leaving behind a pleasant, fresh scent.

Although fabric fresheners may contain loads of synthetic chemicals, they are considered safe to use around pets. Dogs may opt to sit on another piece of furniture if they dislike the smell of the fabric freshener you’ve chosen.

3. Throw Pillows and Blankets in the Washing Machine

Your pillows and blankets might be the real source of foul smells rather than your couch itself. If you use a blanket, check the tag to see if it can be machine-washed. Unzip and toss your cushion covers in your next load of laundry.

Cleaning them is a lot easier than cleaning a whole couch, and they just might be the cause of strong dog smells. Launder these items at least once a month to keep dog odors from taking hold.

washing machine
Image By: Pixabay

4. Get an Upholstery Cleaner

In cases of odors that are particularly tough, you may have to purchase an upholstery cleaner. In the past, these were heavy, cumbersome, and expensive machines. However, today’s more compact models are lightweight and portable, helping to control pet odors wherever they occur in the house. They’ve also really come down in price and are also available to rent.

They are a fantastic option for truly staying on top of smells, and with their powerful spray and suction, they easily remove pet stains and odors from your furniture in no time.

5. Thoroughly Vacuum Your Couch

Vacuuming alone can often be enough to remove pet hair and dander from your sofa, and vacuuming regularly helps keep dog odors at bay. If needed, vacuum every day to get rid of dog hair and any dirt your dog brings inside.

For best results, you’ll need a vacuum with powerful suction. Ideally, your vacuum will have an upholstery attachment that picks up as much hair and dirt as possible. It’s a great idea to invest in a dedicated hand vacuum for this purpose, as you can whip it out once a day to pick up after your pet and keep dog odors to a minimum.

Try and get in all the corners and under the cushions and if your dog lies on a blanket on the couch, vacuum that too. Afterward, you can spray the fabric with a fabric freshener to add extra freshness.

handheld vacuum
Image Credit: sebra, Shutterstock

6. Steam Clean Your Furniture

With steam cleaners, bacteria—which contribute to pet odor—are killed by hot steam. In order to kill almost all bacteria, viruses, and pathogens on furniture and other surfaces in your home, steam cleaners create powerful steam that reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thankfully, using steam cleaners does not require any harsh chemicals, which is better for the environment and your health.

7. Dog-Specific Odor Eliminators

Unpleasant odors are a common problem for dog owners. ​​Veterinarians recommend using an enzyme deodorizer to get rid of dog odor from your couch. Unsurprisingly, there are many odor-eliminating products available on the market, including some that are specifically designed for furniture.

Veterinary offices, pet stores, and online retailers sell this non-toxic cleaner. Many of these products can be used on both fabric and hard surfaces. Dog dander and odor are eliminated by the deodorizing spray’s active enzymes. They chemically neutralize odors rather than masking them with fragrance.

Our favorite enzyme cleaner is the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. It is a highly effective solution that can permanently remove even the most stubborn pet stains and odors. This product makes cleaning up a breeze and leaves your home smelling fresh and clean. What's more, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Click here to order a bottle today and transform your home cleaning routine.

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...
  • FRESH, NATURAL ODOR - Our unique formulation doesn't rely on dangerous or unpleasant chemical...

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool pet company!

8. Air Your Cushions Out

Odors can be removed remarkably quickly by sunshine and fresh air. Take your couch cushions outside on a sunny day and let them sit in the sunlight for several hours. The ultraviolet rays in sunshine effectively kill odor-causing bacteria, leaving your sofa smelling fresh again.

9. Get Your Couch Professionally Cleaned

The only surefire way to eliminate a heavy canine stench from your sofa is to have it professionally cleaned. Many carpet cleaning companies offer upholstery cleaning, and they can generally handle a diverse range of materials and furniture.

In addition to having more powerful machines, they will also have access to industrial-grade deodorizing products. This combination of heavy-duty equipment and powerful compounds can eliminate even the most difficult pet odors.

a woman vacuuming furniture in a house with a hand-held portable vacuum cleaner
Image Credit: Den Rozhnovsky, Shutterstock

10. Remove Couch Covers

Some couches have removable covers. Take them off and wash them every three to four weeks. Unless they’re machine washable, wash them by hand or take them to the dry cleaner. To get rid of stubborn odors, you can add a cup of vinegar to the wash cycle.

Ensure that all dog odor has been removed from the couch covers before throwing them in the dryer and if necessary, wash them a second time. By drying the covers before they are completely odor-free, the smell can be baked into the fabric, and even after multiple launderings, you may not be able to remove the smell because it will have been sealed into the material!

If at all possible, let the covers dry naturally. If the smell persists, you can try repeating the process by washing and drying the covers again.

11. Mist with Vinegar

Vinegar is another common household product that eliminates odors, and it’s a popular choice for eliminating canine smells. Despite vinegar’s capability to neutralize odors, there is a drawback—it doesn’t smell great, either! It’s possible to minimize vinegar’s odor, though, by simply diluting one part vinegar to three parts water and two parts scented dish soap.

As you are going to spray this mixture on your couch, it’s best to use clear or white-colored dish soap. You also need to bear in mind that vinegar is acidic, meaning it may leave stains.

It’s best to test this mixture on a small hidden area first, such as the underside of a cushion, where your experiment won’t be seen. Allow the spray to sit on the fabric overnight. If it hasn’t left a stain, you can spray the rest of your sofa. Once you’ve finished, immediately vacuum the entire surface of your couch.



Even though you love your dog you don’t need unpleasant pet odors building up on your couch. Try some of the above techniques to get rid of any strong smells, and hopefully, one of the 11 solutions will assist you.

Eliminating pet odors is only half the battle. Once you have succeeded, try to repeat your efforts as frequently as possible to maintain freshness!

Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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