wikiHow to Get Dog Smell Out of a Basement

Four Parts:Removing general doggy odor from the basementRemoving dog urine odor from the basementKeeping your dog freshShifting the source of the doggy odors

Dog smell in the basement is unpleasant; it can prevent you from making use of the basement space, the odor can waft upstairs and it can put off future buyers. To remove doggy odors from the basement, you'll need to know as best as possible the source of the odor (urine, general doggy odor) and perhaps change the arrangements for housing your dog.

Part 1
Removing general doggy odor from the basement

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    If possible, open windows to the outside. Letting in fresh air can help a lot, as basements tend to accumulate bad odors due to the lack of circulating air. Mildew, dust and doggy odor can all mingle together in that dank air, making for one rotten odor. If you do have windows that can be opened, do so regularly, to ensure new boosts of fresh air in the basement.
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    Locate the source of the odor. When it's a general odor of dog, this may be harder but look at the areas the dog tends to spend most of its time. This might include a sleeping area, favorite resting spots, favorite furniture and lookout areas.
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    Remove anything that can be washed and wash it. In particular, this involved the dog's bedding and any materials under resting spots, such as sofa covers, chair covers, cushions, rugs, etc.
    • Wash in a hot wash if possible, with laundry detergent.
    • Dry in fresh air outdoors if possible.
    • Keep these items regularly washed if the dog continues to spend a lot of time in the basement.
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    Spray the basement with an air freshener. There are products on the market that cover up odors, under various proprietary names, including ones aimed at neutralizing pet odors. Remember that all you are doing is covering up the odor, so it's recommended that you couple this solution with some of the other solutions aimed at actually ridding the basement of the odor.
    • If you decide to make your own air freshener, be sure that the ingredients are safe for pets in the house.
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    Use odor absorber products. These differ from air fresheners in that they are meant to absorb the odors, not mask them. Just be aware that the effectiveness of these will vary, depending on the nature of the odor, the size of the area that stinks and the odor absorber used. There are many possibilities here, from homemade charcoal and baking soda hacks, to proprietary liquids and volcanic rocks. Ask your local pet or hardware store for advice. These are best used in conjunction with a good clean-up and airing.
    • Removal of the odor absorber may result in the doggy smell returning, especially if you haven't tackled the source through cleaning and/or removal.

Part 2
Removing dog urine odor from the basement

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    Locate the source of the urine. This might require the use of a UV light if you cannot find it with the naked eye.
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    Make a hydrogen peroxide urine removal solution. Mix together 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Add a small squeeze of liquid dish detergent. Tip onto the urine-stained area and leave to evaporate off; there is no need to wipe it. The odor and the urine will be removed. This can be added to carpet (but do test an inconspicuous spot first), concrete floors and soft furnishings.
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    Use a proprietary product for cleaning the urine. Instead of making your own urine removal product, you could purchase one that is made for the task. Just be sure to choose one that has enzymes in it and that it is specifically meant for getting rid of dog urine.
    • Check the label to see what the product can be used on; there will likely be some variation between products with respect to wood, concrete, linoleum, tile, fabric, etc.

Part 3
Keeping your dog fresh

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    Wash your dog regularly. A lot of doggy odor can be minimized by regular washing using a good dog shampoo and conditioner.
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    Brush your dog's teeth daily. Use a dog toothpaste and dog toothbrush to keep your dog's teeth and gums fresh and clean. This can help to minimize doggy breath.
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    Feed your dog high quality food with adequate nutrients. A diet poor in nutrients or quality ingredients can add doggy odor.
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    Keep bones out of the basement. If your dog is going to be chewing bones, only permit this to occur outdoors. Rotting bones add to the stink.

Part 4
Shifting the source of the doggy odors

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    Reconsider keeping your dog in the basement. If it is at all possible, it's better for the dog to spend most of its time outdoors, benefiting from the sunshine and fresh air, as well as having room to run around. If you dog is in at night for safety, be sure to walk it before bringing it down, then let it out as early as possible each day, thereby minimizing the time spent in the basement and giving it as little reason as possible for defecating or urinating in the basement.
    • Consider marking off an area of the basement where the dog can stay but not roam elsewhere in the basement. For example, a bathroom or wet room area. Lay a tarpaulin down, add the dog's bed and some old pillows and let it enjoy this area as its own. Only do this for a minimal time (such as a few nighttime hours) before letting it back outside each day; dogs should not be confined in small places long term.


  • Air fresheners mask bad odors; they do not remove them. In time, when the chemical patch wears off, the doggy odor may simply bounce back.
  • If showing your home to prospective buyers, never keep the dog in the basement during viewings. It might also be a good idea to have a friend, family member or neighbor keep the dog at their place for a time, to ensure that your home stays smelling fresh during the selling time.
  • A dehumidifier might help to rid the basement of a "wet dog" smell. Experiment with running it for both a short time and a longer, ongoing period, to see if it helps. It can be especially helpful if you live in a very humid area.
  • Odor-killing paint can be used to rid a house of an awful embedded wall odor. This might be useful if you are renovating and there is an old odor from dogs that used to live in your house. Inquire at your local hardware store for advice on suitable proprietary products.


  • A dog that isn't allowed outside to do its toilet will make use of whatever it can. That is something over which you have complete control, so be sure to let your dog go outside a lot.
  • If the dog has destroyed or ruined something, such as carpet or rug, or a lounge chair, it's best to just get rid of them (and the odor) and start afresh. The cost of replacement may cause you to think twice about allowing your dog back there though, so consider alternative arrangements.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh air
  • Washing liquid
  • Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish detergent for the urine removal
  • Items for making a sleeping area for the dog (optional)
  • Outdoors area for the dog


  • How to Remove Urine Odor from Concrete

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Indoor Air Improvement | Dog Grooming