While we love our dogs to the moon and back, there are times when they are real stinkers – literally.
And after living with your dogs, you may have become “nose blind,” but the smell is still there, lurking in dog beds and human beds and on carpets and hardwood floors. If you have dogs that wear t-shirts and sweaters to keep warm, by spring there’s undoubtedly a musty “aroma” wafting from their dresser drawer.
Or maybe your dog is getting older, and her bladder control isn’t what it used to be. Or there’s some change in the household that’s creating anxiety, and your four-legged man of the house has started marking his territory. Whatever the reason, it’s no fun to live with the smell and the stains from our dogs – no matter how much we love them.
Deep cleaning will discourage your dog from marking in that spot, and dog-friendly washing loads will freshen up your dog’s apparel. But be careful; don’t raid the under-the-sink cabinet and get scrubbing because the majority of household cleaning products are highly toxic to dogs.
Our dogs live much closer to the floor than we do, and the typical household cleaning products we use to mop up messes ultimately create a toxic environment. Even the products we use to clean surfaces above our dogs’ level, like counters and sinks, rise into the air and fall to the ground.
Common household cleaners contain extremely toxic ingredients, including ammonia, bleach, phthalates, glycol ethers, dioxane, formaldehyde, phenol and isopropyl alcohol and other impossible-to-pronounce ingredients. These chemicals contaminate both surfaces in your home and increase the air pollution level inside, which can be two to five times higher than the pollution outside, according to the EPA.
Luckily, science, technology, nature (and desperation) have collaborated to invent revolutionary stain-removing, odor blasting products — and they’re pet safe! There are a ton of these products on the market, but which ones do the best job at cleaning and disinfecting while being the safest for Fido and Fifi?
We’ve dug deep and gone shopping to find the very best cleaners — and companies — on the market today. These products are safe for your dog, yet strong enough to effectively remove nasty stains and odors.
1. Skout’s Honor
Skout’s Honor is a next-generation, enzyme-free, cleaning powerhouse. It removes stains and odors from dog accidents, as well as vomit, blood, mud, and grease. The cleaner is vegetable based, using their own formula called BioKore™, which works by osmosis to absorb and break the stain down. The natural fragrance is made from citrus pulp, and it’s totally pet-safe (some essential oil fragrances can actually be toxic).
What we love: The company goes the extra step. If you are having trouble removing a stain completely, just give them a call, and they will develop a plan to remove it. They also partner with RescueBank.org: for every bottle sold, they provide a day’s worth of food for an animal in need.
2. Common Good
Common Good laundry detergent will take the stink and stains out of your dogs’ clothes, blankets and beds. The cleanser is super concentrated, so a little goes a long way. It contains enzymes to eat away stains and plant-based ingredients for biodegradable safety. All fragrance comes from essential oils, or you can get the unscented version. Its products are also cruelty-free and refillable.
What we love: The company was founded originally as a small initiative aimed at reducing the amount of single-use plastic that household use; it has refill stations in stores worldwide. Then the company went the extra step to get Leaping Bunny certification and invested in eco-friendly, biodegradable and pet-friendly formulas. You can also check out its All Purpose Cleaner.
3. Rocco & Roxie
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator is an enzyme-based cleaner that uses a stain-activated bacteria, which actually feeds on the substances in poop and pee to remove both the stain and odor completely. It’s been Certified Safe for all carpets, and it contains no chlorine, bleach or other toxic chemicals. It can be used on everything in your home and car, from carpet to clothing, and it works on any organic stain your dog can produce.
What we love: The family business was named after a Labradoodle named Rocco and rescue tabby cat named Roxie. Between the two of them, they provide enough samples to thoroughly test their products. We’re guessing that one of them is sneaky: if you even suspect your dog has peed where he shouldn’t, the company sells a UV Urine Detector Flashlight that lights up the source of the stink in your home.
4. Only Natural Pet
Only Natural Pet Stain & Odor Remover is formulated to remove the stain and smell of the worst your dog can do using only non-toxic ingredients. It contains a blend of organic enzymes and plant-sourced cleaning agents to break down the stain and odor and remove it completely. It tackles all stains and odors, including mildew, blood and food. Not only that, but instead of that weird enzyme odor, it leaves behind a natural scent of mandarin orange and green tea.
What we love: The company is dedicated to providing pet-safe, species-specific products that use human quality natural ingredients. It is also the first pet food and treat company in North America to become a Certified B Corporation. “B Corporations are leaders of the global movement of people using business as a force for good™.” These companies are legally mandated to consider the impact of their decisions not only on the bottom line, but on the workers, community, customers, suppliers and the environment.
Puracy Natural Pet Stain & Odor Remover uses active plant-based enzymes to remove the odor and stains of pet accidents, as well as freshen fabrics and carpet. It works on urine, poop, vomit, hairballs, drool and that wet dog odor. It’s hypoallergenic, free of parabens and sulfates, and is safe for use on all surfaces, including carpet, rugs, mattresses, sheets, upholstery, towels and countertops.
What we love: Puracy began as two best friends who set out to make non-toxic, plant-based cleaning and personal care products that were safe for their newborn daughters. They worked with a team of doctors and chemists to create products that were safe for the family and the environment but worked better than cleansers with harsh chemicals. Their products are also cruelty-free.
6. Earth Rated
Earth Rated Unscented Stain & Odor Remover is a powerful, bio-enzymatic cleaner that targets urine bacteria to remove the odor and stain, as well as removing common pet stains such as poop, blood and vomit. It helps prevent your dog from repeat soiling the same spot, and leaves your home smelling fresh and clean.
It’s also Carpet and Rug Institute-certified safe on carpets, which is great considering how rugs are a dog-magnet for inappropriate peeing. It’s also safe to use on upholstery, rugs, vinyl tile, stone, grout and concrete. It can even be used as a pre-soak on bedding or clothing if your dog has done his worst.
What we love: The company is committed to eco-friendly manufacturing and packaging, and they also support rescues and local shelters. They also make an a lavender version that still deodorizes.
Clean+Green’s Carpet Stain + Odor Remover and Cleaner For Dogs is a professional strength yet natural stain and odor remover for carpets and rugs. It works on just about everything your dog can dish out (or drop), permanently eliminating the stink and the stain.
What we love: Clean+Green products were created by a “Mother, Grandmother, Pet Lover and CEO/Founder” to work easily and effectively for busy moms (and dads) of both humans and pets. The products are non-toxic and environmentally-friendly, and they were ranked highly by one of the most demanding environmental review committees, EWG (Environmental Working Group).
Price: $9.99, available on its website
8. Bean & Lily
Bean & Lily floor cleaner Cedar & Cypress can be used on all hard floor finishes safely, including wood, stone, ceramic, vinyl, laminate, cork and rubber floors. Free of ammonia, dyes, bleach, chlorine, formaldehyde, and other toxic substances, it’s safe for pets and is cruelty free.
What we love: Bean & Lily was co-founded by a long-term flooring professional who “discovered the perfect pH neutral cleaner” and a former divinity student, pastor and flooring salesperson. (Bean and Lily are two black retrievers.) Their products are designed to “do no harm” to people, pets or the planet. They are pH neutral, so they won’t harm surfaces in any way, yet they remain extremely effective.
9. Angry Orange
Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator Spray and Enzyme Stain Cleaner uses orange peel oil and natural enzymatic bacteria to remove the toughest stains and odors and leave behind a fresh and gentle citrus scent. It’s a non-toxic disinfectant that’s safe for pets and people. It can be used on carpet, furniture, kennels, tile, wood floors and even grass.
What we love: Angry Orange products were originally created to eliminate the serious stink of barns, stables, and animal shelters. It safe for all animals and humans, yet it smells heavenly.
Price: $20.97, available on Amazon
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