How to Get Dog Smell Out of Blankets: Tips and Tricks

Last Updated on: May 7, 2024

If your blankets, especially those on the dog bed, have absorbed this unpleasant odor, fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the causes of dog odor and how to get dog smell out of blankets. We’ll also cover preventive measures to keep your blankets smelling fresh. 

So, whether you’re dealing with dog odor, urine smell, or even cat litter and other pet odor, we’ve got you covered.

How to Get Dog Smell Out of Blankets

Now that we’ve identified the causes, let’s explore effective ways to eliminate dog smell from blankets.

Odor Blasters

Odor blasters are specially formulated laundry additives designed to target and eliminate stubborn odors in fabrics. Look for high-quality odor blasters and follow the instructions on the label when washing your dog’s blankets. 

These products often contain enzymes that can break down odor-causing molecules. But, again, you should use them as instructed on the label so that they are effective.

Washing Soda

Washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate or soda ash, is another powerful odor-fighting agent. Add a cup of washing soda to your washing machine along with your regular laundry detergent. 

It can help neutralize odors and brighten fabrics. However, exercise caution when using washing soda on delicate or colored fabrics, as it can be abrasive.

Regular Cleaning Routine

Consistency is key to preventing and managing dog smells. Establish a regular cleaning routine for your dog’s bedding, and stick to it. Washing the blankets and any removable covers frequently will help prevent odors from becoming deeply ingrained in the fabric.

Neutralizing Dog Urine Smell

If your dog has accidents on blankets, quick action is essential to prevent lingering urine odors. Blot up as much of the dog urine as possible with paper towels, then clean the area with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. 

Follow up with a baking soda sprinkle, let it sit for a few hours, and vacuum it up. This method can also be used on washable blankets that have absorbed dog urine odors.

White Vinegar Spray

White vinegar is a versatile and natural odor neutralizer. Create a white vinegar spray by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the blanket and allow it to air dry. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries, taking the dog odor with it.

Essential Oil Sachets

To maintain a pleasant scent in your dog’s bedding, consider making small sachets filled with pet-safe essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or cedarwood. Place these sachets near the blankets or tuck them inside the cover. Essential oils can help mask odors and keep the area smelling fresh.

Professional Cleaning

For particularly stubborn or set-in odors, consider professional cleaning services that specialize in pet odor removal. They have access to industrial-strength equipment and specialized techniques to thoroughly clean and deodorize fabrics.

Pet-Friendly Air Purifiers

Invest in an air purifier designed for pet owners. Such an air purifier will typically have HEPA filters and activated carbon filters that are effective at removing airborne pet dander and odors. Place the air purifier near your dog’s bed for continuous odor control.

Crate Training

If you’re dealing with dog smells on blankets in a crate or confined space, ensure that the crate is the appropriate size for your dog. Dogs are less likely to soil their sleeping area if the crate is not too large, as they naturally avoid soiling their living space.

Preventing Dog Smell on Blankets

Prevention is the key to keeping your blankets odor-free. Here are some tips to avoid the dog smell in the first place:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wash your dog’s blankets and bedding regularly, at least once a week.
  • Vacuuming: Vacuum your dog’s bed and surrounding areas to remove dirt, dander, and loose fur.
  • Training: Properly train your dog to prevent accidents on blankets and beds.
  • Waterproof Covers: Consider using waterproof covers or liners for your dog’s bed. These are easier to clean and protect the underlying bedding.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming can help reduce the amount of loose fur and oils your dog sheds.

What To Do if Blankets Still Smell After Washing?

If your dog’s blankets still have a lingering smell after washing them, don’t worry; there are several steps you can take to address the issue:

Repeat the Washing Process 

Sometimes, one round of washing may not be enough to completely eliminate stubborn odors. Try washing the blankets again using the following steps:

  • Use a quality laundry detergent.
  • Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the blankets before washing.
  • Use hot water if the fabric allows.

Hang the blankets outside in direct sunlight. 

Sunlight has natural deodorizing properties and can help eliminate lingering odors. Ensure the blankets are fully dry before bringing them back inside.

Enzymatic Cleaners

Consider using enzymatic cleaners specifically designed to break down organic stains and odors. Apply the cleaner according to the product’s instructions, and ensure it penetrates the fabric thoroughly. Afterward, wash the blankets as usual.

Professional Cleaning

If the smell still persists, you may want to consider professional cleaning services that specialize in pet odor removal. They have access to industrial-strength equipment and cleaning agents that can effectively tackle stubborn odors.

Assess the Washing Machine

Make sure your washing machine is clean and odor-free. Sometimes, a smelly washing machine can transfer odors to your freshly cleaned blankets. Run an empty cycle with hot water and white vinegar to clean and deodorize the machine.

Check the Blanket Material

Certain materials, like wool, polyester, or heavy fabrics, may retain odors more stubbornly. In such cases, you might need to use more intensive cleaning methods or consider replacing the blankets with ones made of more odor-resistant materials.

Consult Your Veterinarian

If your dog has an underlying health issue that causes excessive odor, consult your veterinarian. Certain medical conditions can lead to persistent odors in dogs, and addressing the root cause may be necessary.

Place an air purifier with a HEPA filter near the blankets. This can help remove any airborne particles and odors that might be contributing to the smell.

Remember that patience and persistence are essential when dealing with persistent odors. It may take a combination of these methods to completely eliminate the smell from your dog’s blankets. 

Additionally, maintaining a regular cleaning routine and ensuring your dog is clean and well-groomed can help prevent odors from becoming deeply ingrained in the fabric in the first place.

Causes of Dog Smell on Blankets

Before we dive into solutions, it’s essential to understand the root causes of the lingering dog smell on blankets. Several factors contribute to this issue:

  • Natural Oils: Dogs naturally produce oils that can transfer onto blankets, leading to an unpleasant odor over time. This is especially the case if you don’t wash the dog’s blanket frequently.
  • Sweat and Saliva: Dogs sweat through their paws and salivate, both of which can contribute to a blanket’s odor. Make sure to keep this in mind if you have a bigger dog.
  • Urine and Accidents: Accidents happen, and if your dog urinates on the blanket, it can be particularly challenging to remove the urine smell. Make sure to regularly check the dog bed in case of such accidents.
  • Dirt and Dander: Dogs bring dirt and dander from outdoors into their beds and blankets, adding to the unpleasant odor. So, keep this in mind when cleaning out the dogs’ bed.
  • Bacterial Growth: Bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments. A dog’s blanket can provide an ideal breeding ground if not cleaned regularly.


By combining these methods and maintaining a diligent cleaning routine, you can effectively get rid of dog smells on blankets, keep your dog’s bedding fresh, and create a more pleasant living environment for both you and your furry companion. 

Remember that preventing odors is often easier than dealing with deeply ingrained smells, so establishing good habits from the beginning is crucial.


How often should I wash my dog’s blankets to prevent odors?

It’s advisable to wash your dog’s blankets and bedding at least once a week. If your dog has accidents or is particularly active, more frequent washing may be necessary to prevent odors from building up.

Can I use scented laundry detergents to eliminate dog odors from blankets?

While scented detergents can temporarily mask odors, they may not effectively eliminate the source of the smell. 

Are there any essential oils that are harmful to dogs when used to freshen blankets?

Some essential oils can be toxic to dogs when ingested or applied directly to their skin. So, pick the right essential oil if you need to use it around dogs. Safe options include lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood, but always ensure proper dilution and ventilation to prevent any adverse reactions.

© 2024 Creature Clinic - All Rights Reserved is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.