You're washing your pet wrong

A dog taking a shower with soap and water
A dog taking a shower with soap and water

No matter how cute or cuddly they may be, sometimes our four-legged family members can't help but leave a trail of foul-smelling destruction around the house. It's all part and parcel of owning a pet - and it's just a matter of knowing how to both prevent these questionable odours and to combat them when they happen unexpectedly. Try our tips below for dealing with some of the most common pet odour problems:

1. Always have carpet freshener

Carpeted floors are a luxury in cold weather, but for many pet owners they can be the source of many a bad stench. Without adequate care and regular cleaning, a fresh and fluffy carpet can soon become a hotbed for bacteria and bad smells. While it's important to routinely get carpets professionally cleaned, for pet owners it's always helpful to have a good spot-cleaning product under the sink.

2. Don't discount natural solutions

If you can find the perfect product for spot-cleaning your carpet at the supermarket, great - but don't forget that there's a whole range of options already sitting in your pantry.

Never underestimate the power of baking soda to absorb excess moisture and trap unpleasant smells - just be sure to leave it overnight and vacuum it up the next day. Essential oils are also a great addition to this method, as is vinegar (in a spray bottle) and even vodka!

3. Bathe your pet and their bedding

This one's simple, folks - but you'd be amazed how many pet owners are willing to relax the rules when it comes to bath time for pets. How often you bathe your cat or dog is dependent on breed (some dogs only need to be bathed once a month, while others with oilier or heavier coats could need a bath as often as once a week, for example), so make sure you're giving your pet the clean coat they deserve. Not only will you have a cleaner, happier pet - your house will be better for it too.

4. Dental hygiene

Sometimes we get so blinded by our love for our pets, and get so used to having them around, that we become immune to noticing things like bad breath. With dogs in particular, it's important to take care of their dental hygiene with regular cleaning, special breath-improving treats, high-quality food and regular visits to the vet. (Dog breath that smells really bad can be a sign of more serious health issues like diabetes or kidney disease, so when in doubt - always visit the vet.)

5. Find the root of the problem

A common issue with cats in particular is their tendency to urinate when something is wrong, so to avoid dealing with this particularly foul-smelling problem, it's important to get to the root of the cause - which is often medical. The first port of call is the litter tray: is it cleaned regularly and is it accessible? Once you've ruled out any reasons around the house, a trip to the vet may be in order for a correct diagnosis.

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