How to Get Rid of Tough Pet Odors
Your pets love their odors! Whether it’s leaving a mark on a fire hydrant, rolling in leftover who-knows-what, or just natural bodily functions, your pet gets its identity by using different scents.
When that “identity” starts to permeate your house and disrupt your life, ozone offers a solution to quickly destroy those odors and keep harmony in your home.
If you’ve ever owned a pet, you know that they often find ways to find stink. Besides the obvious reasons like rolling in or eating something, pets have some natural functions that may amplify unpleasant odors.
Natural dog odors are most prominent near the ears, nose, and paws. The first common cause of dog odor is sweat. Dogs only produce sweat on areas not covered with fur, such as the nose and paw pads. It is believed that these sweat secretions produce an individual odor signal that is recognizable by other dogs.
The second common cause of dog odor is ear wax. Glands in dogs’ ears produce natural ear wax where odor-causing microorganisms live, and dogs with larger ears may have more issues. Finally, the third common cause of dog odor comes from anal sacs or scent glands. The musky secretion serves as a signal to other animals, but trust me, humans notice it too!
What About Cat Odors?
Cats don’t have nearly as many odor-seeking vices as dogs have. However, odors caused by cats can often be more pungent and more challenging to eliminate.
First, cats will frequently vomit (hairballs) onto the carpet. This is difficult to clean thoroughly.
second, a cat’s litter box area can quickly get malodorous, even with regular cleaning.
Third, perhaps the biggest problem, is the smell of cat urine. Cats urinating or marking territory can seep into carpets, foam backing, and even hardwood floors. The remaining odor seems to be immortal.
The reason these odors stick around so long? Traditional methods of eliminating smell requires nasty chemicals to come into contact with the sources of the odor. This is very difficult, as most of these chemicals are bad for common household materials (leather, carpet, wood, other fabrics,) and humans alike. They also leave residue behind, increasing the likelihood of adverse effects to you or your pets. This is where Ozone comes in; a few hours of shock treatment, and you are left with a clean, odor-free room with absolutely no residue or chemicals left behind - only pure oxygen!
Can Ozone Kill the Cause of Pet Odors?
No matter how much you clean and scrub, odors can still linger. Rather than overexertion or just trying to mask an odor, get to the source! Ozone can destroy the microorganisms that cause the odor once and for all. Odor-causing pathogens hide in the cracks and crevasses, in the carpet, behind those shelves that never move, under the stove, the big spaces that you just can’t reach and the small hidden that you just can’t see – ozone infiltrates those unreachable spots to eliminate the toughest odors, and it does it all naturally.
Ozone (O3) is created by separating an oxygen molecule (O2) into individual oxygen atoms (O) and then reattaching one atom to another oxygen molecule. The third atom is naturally unstable and will reattach itself to a pollutant, beginning the oxidation process. Ozone attacks pollutants, such as mold, bacteria, and other biologicals through this oxidation, breaking down the cell wall and destroying the cell so it can no longer reproduce.
More potent odors mean more odor-causing molecules are present – therefore, a longer treatment may be needed. After applying an ozone treatment, your space is left smelling like fresh laundry hung on the line! The only byproduct of the process is oxygen. No harsh chemicals are used. No harsh chemicals are left behind. It’s completely safe and environmentally friendly for you and your pets after treatment.
How Does Ozone Compare to Other Odor Removal Options?
Many pet owners can become “nose blind” to their pet odors and may only take action when the odor is very strong. Make sure pet health problems do not cause that any new odors. Always consult your veterinarian if you have questions.
Identifying the Odor
The first step in any odor elimination process is to cover the fundamentals. Assuming that you have done some basic cleaning, vacuuming, washing of pet bedding, and regular grooming, you should start by trying to identify the source of a strong odor. Does the odor make you tear up? It is likely urine. Is the odor a strong stale odor? It may be feces or vomit. Does the odor smell rancid? Your pet may have brought in something dead.
After identifying the odor, follow these steps for best results:
- Locate where the odor is the strongest
- Remove the harboring odor if possible
- Spot clean if needed
- If the odor has penetrated into the paint, wallpaper, wood or porous parts of the dwelling, prepare for ozone shock treatment
After eliminating the odor:
- Check for stained or damaged (by the pet) carpet, underlayment, wood, or walls that may need to be replaced.
- Vacuum or wipe down areas that do not need to be replaced
Odor Removal Options
When comparing ozone to other cleaning options, ozone stands out for its effectiveness, its efficiency, and its cost savings – either as a rental unit or a purchased unit for larger settings. Traditional cleaning methods generally fall into one of these categories:
- Change the air filters. This is a seemingly obvious step, and it will have some benefit in limiting the spread of odors. However, often odors are most noticeable in one room or area. New air filters will require a long time to address an odor situation like this. Low cost.
- Use an air purifier. This is a relatively effective method to address localized odor problems. Most low-cost air purifiers have limited range. Moderate to high cost.
- Call a professional. Steam clean your carpets or hire a professional service to do it. However, sometimes the change of carpet odor may actually confuse your pet, resulting in a marking of territory all over again. Moderate to high cost.
- Vinegar. For spot (not your dog) deodorizing, you can use diluted vinegar and baking soda to spray on fabrics such as curtains, carpets, or even the dog’s bed. You can even add some to the laundry. And who doesn’t love the smell of fresh vinegar? Low cost.
- Cover-up odors. Fill your house with stronger odors. An essential oil diffuser, scented candles or fresh flowers are sure to (mostly) cover up pet odors. And who knows, the combination of smells might be… interesting. Low to moderate cost.
As you can see, there are other options that may offer cost savings, but with the trade-off of limited effectiveness or frequent cleanings. On the other hand, ozone kills the source of the smell – in carpet, upholstery, bedding, walls, and other porous materials. An ozone generator does this in one of 2 methods: Low-flow continuous generation or shock treatment.
Low Flow Continuous. Continuous ozone circulation at low treatment levels is completely safe and effective. However, it would be best if you chose a generator that is designed and rated for continuous use and that the proper safety mechanisms are in place to keep ozone levels within the acceptable threshold. These are not air purifiers.
Shock Treatment. Ozone shock treatments are when high levels of ozone are generated to kill microorganisms quickly and thoroughly. A shock treatment should only be conducted in unoccupied spaces – no humans or pets. The space will be safe to reenter after just a few hours.
Ozone Solutions’ sales team can help you determine the most appropriate ozone generator for your needs – rental or purchase. Please contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Chepté Cormani