How to Get Dog Smell Out of Couch

How to Get Dog Smell Out of Couch

You love your dog, there’s no question about that.  However, if you find yourself saying, “my couch smells like dog” while you’re trying to relax and unwind, you may not be so happy. 

Inviting your pup to snuggle up with you on the couch or letting them stretch out and enjoy a relaxing nap on their own at times is nice, but the lingering dog odor is definitely not very pleasant.  If you’re ready to learn how to get dog smell out of couch, you’re in the right place!  Keep reading to learn a few tips that can help you reclaim your couch!

couch smells like dog

How to Get Dog Odors Out of Your Couch

Your dog loves getting pets and rubs laying with you on the couch, right?  It’s nice to bond and enjoy the time together. However, sometimes that ‘dog’ odor lingers, even after your pup isn’t on the couch anymore.

If so, it is time to learn how to clean a couch that smells like dog.  Try one of the ideas shared below to remove the unpleasant odors from your couch. Return it to a relaxing space in your home where you can enjoy sitting.

Remove and Wash any Pillows and Blankets

One of the simplest ideas for how to get pet odors out of couch is to wash any of the pillows or blankets that you have laying on the couch.  These items can absorb pet odors, and washing them may be all that is needed to freshen up your couch. 

If you don’t already have washable pillows, you may want to consider investing in some. Or, you may want to find some washable slipcovers for your current pillows.

Wash the Cushion Covers

If your couch has removable cushion covers, washing them may be the best way to get dog smell out of couch.  Consider tossing the covers in the washing machine about once a month.  You can also add in about half a cup of vinegar along with your regular detergent to help neutralize odors.

Make a DIY Cleaning Solution

Rather than reaching for a chemical cleaner for removing pet odor from couch, consider making your own. You can control the ingredients and choose ones that are safer for your pup and the rest of the family. 

Below, you’ll find a few different DIY cleaning solutions you can try.  Before spraying any of these solutions on your couch, start by doing a patch test. Choose a hidden area of the fabric to test the solution. Let the test area dry for 15 to 30 minutes to confirm that the fabric looks fine.

Vinegar and Dish Soap

Vinegar is great at neutralizing odors.  To make your own vinegar spray, combine ⅓ cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, and 2 teaspoons of a mild dish soap. 

After conducting the patch test recommended above (vinegar’s acidity means it may stain some natural fibers), lightly spray your couch with the solution before heading to bed and allow it to dry overnight.  Vacuum the couch the following morning to help remove any lingering vinegar smells.  

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are effective by themselves at removing odors. But they can also be very very powerful when mixed together.  Combine ½ cup water, ¼ cup vinegar, and ⅛ cup baking soda in a spray bottle.

Be sure to choose a bottle large enough to leave room for the mixture to foam up.  After mixing the ingredients, let them sit until the foaming and bubbling up subsides.  Conduct the patch test as described above. Assuming all goes well, lightly spritz the couch, let it dry overnight, and vacuum the following morning.  You can repeat the process the next night if there are still odors present.


One contender for the best pet odor eliminator for couch cushions that may surprise you is vodka.  The alcohol can kill the odors. After it evaporates from the couch, it won’t leave behind any unpleasant scents of its own.  Combine ⅔ cup vodka with ⅓ cup of water in a spray bottle and stir.  Vacuum the couch, then perform a spot test.  Spray the couch with the solution and let it sit overnight.  Vacuum the couch the following morning and repeat if needed.  

Essential Oils

Remember that not all essential oils are safe for dogs. However, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils featured in this DIY spray are considered safe.  Combine ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar, ⅔ cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 ¼ cup baking soda,  7 drops lemon essential oil, and 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil in a spray bottle. 

Mix all the ingredients, let the bottle site for about 5 minutes, and conduct your spot test.  If the spot test goes well, spray your couch with the solution and let it dry overnight.  Vacuum your couch the following morning to remove any excess baking soda.  Keep in mind that some dogs may not be fond of the scent of the lemon and eucalyptus.  You may want to test this solution on a smaller area of the couch first to confirm that your dog is OK with the scent.  

Yucca Powder and Water

Yucca is a type of shrub with spiky leaves.  The powder made from the shrub may help when you’re searching for how to get dog smell out of a couch.  Put ½ cup water to a spray bottle, and add in 1.5 teaspoons of yucca powder.  Mix or shake until the powder dissolves in the water.  Conduct your spot test, then spray the mixture onto the couch and let it dry.  Vacuum the couch and repeat a few times to get rid of all the odors.

Enzyme Deodorizers

To get dog smell out of couch, you can also try using an enzyme cleaner.  These sprays contain active enzymes that break down stains and odors, effectively neutralizing them.  They can be quite effective, but as with the DIY sprays above, you should conduct a patch test to make sure your fabric reacts OK to the solution.


You vacuum your floors all the time to get rid of dog hair and debris, but do you vacuum your couch?  If not, you should start.  Vacuuming can help get the dog smell out of couch by removing the hair, dirt, and other debris that your pup leaves behind. You can use the hand tools from your current vacuum. Alternatively, you may want to consider looking for a smaller hand vacuum that will be easier to use.

Vacuum using Baking Soda

If vacuuming alone just isn’t cutting it, try sprinkling a little baking soda over the cushions before you vacuum.  Baking soda is an excellent couch odor eliminator.  Plus, it’s cheap and easy to use, so it’s really a win-win!

Rent or Purchase a Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

If you’re looking for how to remove dog smell from couch, consider trying a carpet cleaner.  Many carpet cleaners have upholstery attachments that can be used to clean furniture.  You can find pet-safe cleaning solutions to use with the carpet cleaner that are specially formulated to break down the odors you are looking to remove.

Fabric Refreshing Sprays

Another idea for how to get pet odor out of couch is to use Febreze or another fabric refresher.  Spraying Febreze lightly over the cushions, pillows, and blankets can help neutralize the odors.  If your dog is sensitive to fragrances, look for a more neutral scent to try.  It is also possible that your dog won’t like the scent left behind by the Febreze.  They may try to find a different spot to relax until the Febreze scent disappears.

Pay for a Professional Couch Cleaning

If all else fails, or you just want to leave the job to someone else, hiring a professional cleaning service is another idea for how to get dog odor out of couch.  Professional cleaners will also be able to choose the right cleaning solutions that won’t damage your couch.  Plus, they can do a really thorough job and leave you with a couch that looks just like new!

how to remove dog smell from couch

Ways to Keep Your Couch from Smelling

Ok, so now you know how to get the dog smell out of furniture.  Once you remove the dog odor from your couch using one of the suggestions above, wouldn’t it be nice to keep it away?  Consider trying some of the tips below to prevent that dog odor from creeping back in after you remove it from your couch.

Clean and Groom Your Dog 

Regular bathing and brushing is important when you want to keep dog odor to a minimum.  Brushing your dog once a day will remove excess dirt and debris from their coat that could otherwise wind up on the couch.  Daily bathing is excessive, but consider giving your dog a bath about once a month or bringing them into the groomer to keep them clean.

Just remember, if your dog has a fishy smell, it means that they’re more than just dirty.  It is often a sign that their anal glands need to be expressed, or even that they have an infection.

Wipe Dog’s Feet After Coming Inside

You probably don’t put your shoes all over the couch, but if your dog is hopping up on the couch after being outside, it will have about the same effect.  Dogs’ paws can pick up lots of dirt, debris, and bacteria when they go outside, and if they get on the couch some may fall off and lead to those unpleasant odors.  Making it a habit of wiping down your dog’s paws every time they come inside can cut back on all the debris that gets deposited on the couch and reduce odors.

Use Slipcovers

Covering your couch with a slipcover makes it easier to remove odors.  The slipcover can be taken off and put through the washing machine much more easily than trying to clean the cushions or remove the covers. 

Consider purchasing two slipcovers so that when one goes in the washing machine, the other can be put right on the couch to keep it nice and clean.  You could even purchase two different designs or colors to change up your decor, if you’d like.

Cover the Couch with Washable Pillows and Blankets

Placing pillows and blankets that can easily be washed on the couch is another alternative to using a slipcover.  You can just take them off and toss them in the washing machine when that dog smell starts creeping in again. 

If your dog seems to favor sleeping on one area of the couch, do a more thorough job covering that section to help contain the odors to the blankets and pillows, rather than letting them get onto the couch itself.

Put an Air Purifier in the Room

Investing in an air purifier for your room may also help.  Air purifiers can remove pet odors from couch cushions, other items, and the air in the room for an overall purer and cleaner smell.  Some air purifiers are even designed specifically for homes with pets and feature special filters designed to eliminate pet odors.

Choose Pet-Friendly Materials When Purchasing a New Couch 

If you don’t want to keep saying that your couch smells like dog, consider choosing a couch made using pet friendly materials when you’re ready to shop for some new furniture.  Leather is one of the best material for pets.  It is very easy to clean and doesn’t absorb odors, unlike many fabrics.  Genuine, high-quality leather is also thick and won’t easily be scratched or torn by a dog’s nails.  

If you don’t want a leather couch, you could also consider one with a microfiber cover.  Microfiber is a very easy to clean material, is tightly woven to resist scratches, comes in more colors than leather, and is more budget-friendly.

Don’t Let Your Dog on the Couch

Finally, you can also consider making the couch off-limits for your pup if you really want it to be an odor-free zone.  If your dog is already used to being allowed on the couch, teaching him not to come up anymore will require some training, but is definitely doable. 

Consider purchasing a new pet bed for your pup and placing it next to the couch.  Use treats to positively reinforce when your dog lays in his or her bed, instead of on the couch.  If your dog does get up on the couch, be very consistent with telling them to get off and to go to their bed (or even physically moving them if they’re a smaller dog).  Reward them with a treat when they listen.

Getting Dog Smell Out of Your Couch

If you started reading this article feeling defeated and like you’d never be able to remove the dog smell from your couch, hopefully you’re feeling a bit more hopeful now.  As we shared above, you have many different strategies and methods you can try to remove the dog smell from your couch and keep the odor from returning.  Which tips are you most excited to try?

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