Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from fluffy to naked to skinny to round, but they all share one thing in common: Sometimes, they stink.
Fur kids and funky odors go hand in hand, whether it’s lingering traces of housebreaking snafus or the pupper perfume your dog leaves around in hair and dander. Unfortunately, these smells can stick around if you have carpeting, but you can fight back with a carpet deodorizer.
Below, we’ll share our favorite pet-safe carpet deodorizers and discuss how you can keep your home smelling its best.
Best Pet-Safe Carpet Deoderizers: Quick Picks
- #1 Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator [Best Enzymatic Carpet Deodorizer] — A safe and powerful enzyme-based carpet deodorizer that works on an array of stinky Spot-related smells.
- #2 Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover [Best Oxidizing Carpet Deodorizer] — This oxidizing carpet deodorizer is very affordable and treats stains and odors alike.
- #3 Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator [Best Orange-Based Carpet Deodorizer] — One of the best-rated carpet deodorizers around, this orange-based deodorizer can handle even the strongest odors.
Are Carpet Deodorizers Safe for Pets?
Like all household cleaners, safety is important when you’re shopping for carpet deodorizers and have four-footers around.
Not all chemicals are fur-kid friendly, and since they can cause issues long after they’ve dried if licked or chewed, you must ensure any potential carpet deodorizer formula is safe for use around pets.
Start by looking for a dog or pet-friendly seal on the packaging before purchasing. If you’re ever unsure, it’s best to err on the side of caution and speak with your vet.
And, as with any cleaning agent, keep your pup away from the area during treatment and allow it to dry completely before letting him enjoy the carpet again.
Also, always keep the area well-ventilated during use, as strong smells are not only offensive to you but to your dog’s sensitive sniffer, too.
How to Pick a Pet-Safe Carpet Deodorizer
Pet-safe carpet deodorizers don’t come in a one-size-fits-all package, with various formulas offering differing results.
It’s important to determine your needs and end goals to ensure you get what you need.
The main ways carpet deodorizers take on odors are:
- Enzymes: Enzymes help support bacteria that eat away at the odor-causing molecules in biological materials, removing the stench.
- Oxidizing agents: Oxidizing cleaners strip away electrons from urine molecules, eliminating the foul scent.
- Orange oils: Orange oils and other citrus-based cleaners cancel out urine and other offensive smells using natural oils from the fruit.
- Neutralizers: Neutralizers, uh, neutralize the acids in a stain or foul-smelling spot, which cancels out the smell.
- Fragrances: Fragrance-based cleaners use a strong scent to cover any offensive odors.
If you have a mess on hand that needs cleaning, enzymes or oxidizing deodorizers are your best bets, provided that they’re carpet- and pet-friendly formulas. These are also likely the best option for treating set-in stains.
For lingering funky smells with no obvious cause, orange oils or neutralizers are ideal, while fragrances are best for touching up spaces between cleanings, such as your pup’s favorite lounging location.
Remember to read the instructions and spot test before using any carpet deodorizer or pet-safe floor cleaner. You don’t want to discover that it discolors your rug after dousing a large area in the center of the room.
The Best Pet Safe Carpet Deodorizers: Keep Your Carpets Smelling Great!
Stinky rugs aren’t fun to deal with, but you can save your nose with a carpet freshener for pet odors. There are a lot of options available today, but not all are pet-friendly.
We sniffed around and found the top dog-friendly performers in each carpet cleaner category and recommend the following:
1. Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator
Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator
Bio-enzymatic, color-safe formula that uses active bacteria to eliminate stains and odors.
About: Battle the stink with Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator, an enzymatic formula that uses active bacteria to remove stubborn pet messes and smells, leaving your carpet looking and smelling better.
A professional-strength formula, this deodorizer can be used on your carpets and many other surfaces too. It’s also featured in our collection of best carpet cleaners for dog urine, specifically.
- Made with a bio-enzymatic formula that eats away at the source of the stink
- Certified safe for all colorfast carpets by the Carpet and Rug Institute
- Can be used on multiple surfaces, including carpets, hardwood, tile, and more
- Made in the USA
Options: Offered in convenient 32-ounce spray bottles or 1-gallon jugs.
- Works on a wide array of stains and odors
- Treats the source of the problem rather than masking it
- Backed by a money-back guarantee
- Strong scent offended some noses
- May cause discoloration on some carpets (while this is rare, always spot test)
2. Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover
About: Evict the Fido funk from your carpet with Woolite Advanced Pet Stain & Odor Remover, a cleaner that eliminates the cause of offensive smells while bringing your carpet back to its glory. It’s made for life with pets, as it works great on vomit, urine, poop, blood, and more.
- Can be used on carpet and upholstery
- Cleans, sanitizes, and deodorizes
- Kills 99.9% of bacteria, including E. aerogenes and S. aureus
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in a 22-ounce spray bottom and 22-ounce two-pack.
- Impressive stain remover for treating set-in messes
- One of the most affordable pet-friendly cleaners
- Every purchase supports the Bissell Pet Foundation
- A few pup parents found the scent overwhelming
- Can’t be used on wool or polypropylene rugs (once again, always spot test)
3. Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
Orange-based pet odor remover that’s effective and safe for just about any surface.
About: Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator harnesses the power of citrus to work through stubborn scents, including bile and urine. Best of all, it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals that’ll make you or your doggo ill.
- Okay for use on carpet, wood, upholstery, litter boxes, and more
- Easy to use — just spritz on the affected area and chase away the stink
- Can be used outdoors on kennels, beds, and barns
- Made in the USA
Options: One 8-ounce bottle of concentrated formula makes 1 gallon of solution, but it also comes in pre-mixed 24-ounce spray bottles and 1-gallon premixed tubs.
- Doesn’t have a strong chemical smell
- Reasonably priced
- You can select undiluted or ready-to-use versions, which provides additional convenience
- Just an odor eliminator — doesn’t treat the stain, though they do make an enzyme cleaner, too
- Mixing the concentrated formula can be a pain
- Not everyone likes citrus scents
4. TriNova Natural Pet Stain & Odor Remover
TriNova Natural Pet Stain & Odor Remover
Plant-based odor and stain remover that’s safe for use around pets and kids.
About: Conquer your pooch’s poopourri with TriNova Natural Pet Stain & Odor Remover. Safe for use around pets and kids, this formula doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or toxins, nor will it leave any dangerous residues.
- Uses a natural blend of enzymes to eliminate stubborn odors
- All ingredients are listed on the product label
- Can be safely used on most home surfaces
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in a 32-ounce spray bottle and 1-gallon jug.
- Great option for those who prefer natural cleaners in the home
- Money-back guarantee offered
- Pleasant scent compared to similar cleaners
- The spray bottle’s inner straw is a tad short, making end use a pain
- Some disliked the perfume-like scent of the product
5. Bubba’s Stain & Odor Terminator
About: Pup parents who regularly clean up pet messes can prevent lingering traces of them with Bubba’s Stain & Odor Terminator. An enzymatic formula, this pet-safe carpet cleaner removes the source of the smell rather than hiding the problem.
- Certified safe for carpets by the Carpet and Rug Institute
- Professional-grade formula that’s tough on odor but gentle on carpets
- Can be used on several surfaces, including carpet, furniture, shoes, and more
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in 32-ounce spray bottles and 1-gallon containers.
- Ideal for those dealing with ongoing dog odor issues since it tackles the source
- Effective against a variety of stains, including urine, blood, poop, and vomit
- Backed by a money-back guarantee
- Seemed less effective on cat urine, according to user reviews
6. Febreze Fabric Refresher
About: Combat stubborn carpet smells with Febreze Fabric Refresher. Free of potentially risky dyes and ingredients that could sicken pets, this fabric mist has a light scent that won’t overwhelm your living space.
- Freshens carpet, upholstery, clothing, and curtains
- Safe for use around cats and dogs (caution should be used around birds)
- Doesn’t contain any flammable ingredients, which are common in fragrances
- Made in Canada
Options: Available in a 27-ounce spray bottle and a 2-liter refill jug.
- Light, pleasant scent
- Easy to use — just spray to refresh your carpet and pet’s bedding between washes
- Doesn’t treat stains or offer any cleaning perks
7. Bubba’s Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner
About: Tackle those deep-rooted messes with Bubba’s Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner, a powerful commercial-grade cleaner that’s still gentle enough for use around doggos. In addition to cleaning carpets, it can be used on upholstery, too.
- Cleans and deodorizes, leaving a lasting mint scent
- Compatible with most mainstream carpet shampooers
- Concentration can be diluted or used at full strength
- Made in the USA
Options: Each 32-ounce bottle of concentrate makes up to 32 gallons of solution.
- Powers through set-in stains and fresh messes alike
- Backed by a money-back guarantee
- Leaves a minty after scent, which some noses disapprove of
- Some areas may need repeat treatment
- Not as effective with cat urine, according to reviews
Can You Make a DIY Pet-Safe Carpet Deodorizer?
Yes, you can make a homemade pet-safe carpet deodorizer, and you probably have some ingredients in your home already.
That said, it’s important to keep your expectations in check, as a DIY fix likely won’t work as well as commercial carpet deodorizers.
Here’s a standard recipe for a DIY dog-friendly deodorizer:
DIY Candy Carpet Deodorizer
About: DIY Candy’s Carpet Deodorizer helps freshen your home with the odor neutralizing strength of baking soda and the fresh scent of your favorite pet-safe essential oil. Once applied, let it sit, and vacuum up when you’re ready.
- Baking soda
- Lavender, peppermint, or some other pet-safe essential oil
- Combine 1 cup of baking soda with 7 to 8 drops of a pup-friendly essential oil in a 16-ounce container.
- Once mixed well, fill the container the rest of the way with baking soda and add another 7 to 8 drops of your chosen essential oil.
- Mix well again.
- Let the mixture rest for one day for best results before use.
To use, sprinkle the mixture on your rug lightly and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming. While it sits, keep your dog away from the area. For set-in smells, a longer sitting period is recommended (up to 24 hours).
- Easy to use
- Cheap to make
- Powerful scent booster that isn’t as harsh as commercial fresheners
- Powder-based formulas can be rough on your vacuum
- This is a freshener, not a cleaner
- Use caution in which essential oil you select, as some are dangerous to dogs (when in doubt, ask your vet!)
Other recipes use freshly ground lavender in place of essential oils, but these can be harder to come by and messier to clean up. When using these powder-based formulas, remember to clean your vacuum thoroughly after use, including the filter.
Why Do Dogs Make Carpets Smell Bad, Anyway?
Even if your well-groomed woofer doesn’t physically stink, he produces plenty of stinky smells besides his after dinner toots.
These scents can vary significantly by your dog’s age, with puppies and senior pooches cooking up notably noxious odor bombs. Worse, we don’t always notice them right away, and they can settle into carpeting and other soft surfaces.
The most common canine-caused culprits of carpet odors are:
- Urine: From ongoing piddle problems to new issues with marking the carpet, pee is a major source of lingering odors. Because urine can seep deep into your rug’s fibers and padding, cleanup can be tricky and require repeat treatments with a pet-safe carpet cleaner to banish it once and for all.
- Poop: Housetraining mishaps and late-night cases of tummy trouble are more just than repulsive to clean up — they can stick around long after the poo’s left the carpet.
- Hair and dander: Those fur tumbleweeds aren’t only annoying to chase around. They contain dander and debris that have all sorts of funky scents embedded within them.
- Vomit: A case of sour stomach can be tricky to clean, but bile is the worst offender here, leaving a distinct, sour scent that persists.
- Paw pad sweat: Contrary to popular belief, your dog does sweat — through his feet! The merocrine glands in your pup’s feet help keep him cool. Of course, this also means he can leave sweat prints all over your floors that leave his scent behind.
- Drool: Those of us with jowled doggos know the trials and tribulations of this slobbery mess, but your dog may also drool if he’s chewing his favorite bone on the rug or salivating over your movie-night snacks.
- Anal gland secretions: If you’re smelling a persistent fishy scent, your dog may need his anal glands expressed. Unfortunately, he might butt–scoot that funky aroma all over your carpet, too.
Regular cleaning cuts down on these scents, but some may persist if they’re hiding deep within your rug, making a carpet freshener for pet odors a must.
Your dog’s belongings can also be breeding grounds for unpleasant paw-pourri. To cut down on these, make sure you wash his bedding and toys regularly with a pup-friendly detergent or soap.
Additional Home and Carpet Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners
Preventing pet odor buildup in the home is possible by switching up your routine, even if you have a house full of fur kids. It can be as simple as incorporating an extra round of cleaning or trying out a new product.
Following these few steps and keep things smelling fresh around your house:
- Regular grooming: Your pup should be bathed as needed, and if his coat is long, keeping it tangle and mess-free helps his surroundings just as clean.
- Frequent vacuuming: Daily vacuuming keeps doggy odors from accumulating on your carpets and flooring. Better yet, upgrade to a vacuum that can handle dog hair.
- Carpet broom: If you have a heavy shedder like a husky, a carpet broom can be a game changer in removing stubborn hair that your vacuum misses. Prepare to be shocked at what these fur grabbers uncover!
- Seasonal carpet cleaning: Cutting down deep-rooted dirt, debris, and dander in your rugs and soft surfaces through quarterly cleanings helps keep your carpets looking and smelling their best.
- Proper ventilation: Stagnant air can get stinky, which means your home’s soft surfaces like carpeting and furniture can suck up odors. So, open your doors and windows when the weather permits to keep fresh air circulating. A pet-friendly air purifier isn’t a bad idea either!
- Airing out area rugs: On nice days, take your area rugs outside to hang on a clothesline, fence, or rail. This can help flush out stagnant odors and lets you clean under the rug with a pet-safe floor cleaner.
- Paw washers: Cut down on outdoor debris sneaking inside by keeping paw washers handy near the doors to keep your pup’s paws fresh. Similarly, you can use an old towel to dry or clean his feet when he comes in from outside.
- Light a candle: Burn a pet-friendly candle when guests are over if you’re worried about your pup’s aroma offending anyone.
Do you use any of these pet-friendly carpet deodorizers? Do you use another that kicks doggo odors to the curb? Let us know in the comments.