Sharing life with pets brings incredible joy, but adorable dogs and cats also come with their fair share of odors.
Whether you share your heart and home with a new puppy, an adopted adult cat, or a dog whose paws leave tell-tale prints behind, pet odor eliminators are must haves in any pet household.
Fortunately, I’ve tried the majority of pet odor eliminators available these days and amassed a list of the hits while eliminating the misses. Just because the odor says “best dog deodorizing spray” or “best pet enzymatic cleaner” doesn’t mean they are effective. In fact, we encourage you to peruse our list of the best pet odor eliminators and spend your dollars wisely.
In addition to first-hand experience with these products, we also considered a variety of other factors from safety to consumer reviews and much more. Here are our top product picks for best pet odor eliminators.
Why Pet Odors Cause A Big Stink
Learning to train a puppy to pee and poop outside is something most pet parents will encounter in their lives. While a dog is being housetrained, there will be indoor accidents. Urine odors can linger and if not properly cleaned will not completely go away.
Puppies and adult dogs who have indoor accidents will often return to the same spot again and again. This is why a pet enzymatic cleaner with safe ingredients is important to use on the stain and odor.
If your dog has ever scooted across the floor, you know that fishy trail stink that is left behind. Anal sac material carries with it one of the most pungent odors on the planet.
Sometimes dogs and cats may have urinary tract infections, anal gland problems, and yeast infections of the paws or skin that cause unpleasant smells. Or our pets simply emit natural odors from their bodies. For these reasons, we recommend always having safe deodorizing products handy so you can stop pet odors in their tracks.
How Do Pet Odor Eliminators Work?
Enzymatic cleaners break the odor down so that it disappears without harmful chemicals. Most enzymatic pet cleaners target stains in addition to odors. After color testing with an enzymatic pet odor eliminator, the offending material and odor should be gone.
Pet odor eliminators for carpets should safely neutralize the smell so pets are discouraged from relieving themselves in the same spot. Odor eliminators for the home include sprays, atomizers, candles, oils, misters, and plug-ins. But picking safe options is essential. Prying paws and wagging tails may knock candles over and plug-ins are tempting to curious puppies and bored dogs.
Pet-safe deodorizers are handy for in-between baths and like all pet odor eliminators should be non-toxic and safe for people and pets.
Pet Odor Eliminators: What To Look For
When you reach for a potential pet odor eliminator or find one of interest online, flip the bottle or container around and read the label’s ingredients. Here are some key pointers to help you find the most effective and safe products to fight dog and cat odors:
Ingredients: Do not use anything with formaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol, phenols, or bleach to clean stains or attempt pet odor elimination. The health and safety of your pets is worth understanding the ingredients in odor eliminators.
Safety Testing: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages pet parents to use EPA-registered products with the EPA’s Safer Choice Label, which are considered to be less harmful. Some brands will tout studies and proof of safety testing on their label or “EPA registered” text.
Some products meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred program standards and can display the USDA BioPreferred label on their products.
Environmental Friendliness: Many pet parents want pet odors to disappear without causing harm to the environment. Some odor eliminators are plant-based and contain natural extracts or cultures.
Ease of Use: Gone are the days of lugging a heavy shampoo machine into your home to get rid of pet odors on the carpet. Pets should not be inhaling unnecessary scents while traipsing through damp or wet chemically-treated areas. Today’s modern pet parent demands a product that gets the job done safely, efficiently, and with a minimal amount of time spent.
Reviews: Hop over to Amazon.com or Chewy.com and read through the verified reviews. What do people say about the pet odor eliminators, deodorizers, and cleaners? Consider the cleaners that have the best overall feedback.
How We Ranked Our Top Pet Odor Eliminators
Over the course of several dogs and several decades, there aren’t many odor eliminators I haven’t tried. If a product has toxic chemicals, negative reviews, or could harm me or my dog, I won’t allow it in my home or on my floors, carpeting, and dog’s paws.
In order to make our list, we looked at all of the variables mentioned above—from safe ingredients to reviews—and coupled that with real-life testing. We tried these products on various odors and different situations. We sprayed them on carpeting, poured them in a litter box, and misted one onto our dog’s fur.
Cost is also an important factor. Many products these days provide pet parents more bang for their buck with a “less is more” philosophy. Our overall winner did not require much product to produce outstanding pet odor and stain elimination.
Best Pet Odor Eliminator: Overall Winner
When dogsitting for a friend a few years ago, my dog and her dog got into a battle for who could mark their scent the most times on my living room rug. I had a bottle of Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator on hand and decided to try it. It completely eliminated the stink and the stain in seven different areas without harmful chemicals.
Enzymes are key in this product, which start working on contact and actually work to break down the stink and stain. Most magnificent of all, cleaning took minutes, didn’t require a lot of elbow grease, and it is safe to use on carpets, floors, kennels, furniture, and even clothing.
To use, you simply blot the stain (in my case, urine) as much as possible first. After pouring a few ounces of warm water on the accident area, absorb the stain again and repeat a few times. The more urine you extract through diluting and extracting, the better. Spray the cleaner on the stain or odor and wait about 10 minutes.
Once the area is dried, you simply vacuum over it and inspect. The odor completely disappeared seven times over from my rug—and the stain was gone, too!
- Seal of Approval by the trusted Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).
- Gentle and safe around kids and pets.
- Nicely priced.
- Chlorine-free and color safe.
- Anywhere pet odors happen, this product can be applied (except on your pet – never apply to your pet’s skin or fur).
- Enzymes break down the odor until it is eliminated.
Things To Consider
- Older stains require an overnight treatment.
- Some say the smell of the product is a bit strong, but we didn’t mind it.
Sample buyer review: “Shockingly impressed. Really does work. 13-year old-old Dachshund having urination issues and carpet was awful. I think if we had this at the beginning of the issues we would have been better off.”
See more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.
Best Enzymatic Cleaner For Pets
This bacteria-based formula uses enzymes to target urine, feces, vomit, and other pet stains and odors. This is the perfect go-to in a pinch when your pet has an oops moment. This Nature’s Miracle product will continue to work as long as the odor or stain is present. I’ve used it on carpets, my kitchen tiles, even on a curtain a dog urinated on when he visited my home.
Because the sole purpose of this post is to spotlight our favorite pet odor eliminators, Nature’s Miracle works to first remove the stink and then cast a light citrus scent over it. It isn’t a powerful scent.
After wiping up the stain or upon finding the pet odor, soak it with Nature’s Miracle. The enzymatic cleaner takes about 10 minutes before you need to blot it with a clean cloth. The area should be left to dry for 24 hours. Over and over, this product never disappoints to remove an odor pets leave behind.
- Saturation is important with this product so the odor can be deeply penetrated.
- The odor will fade as the product dries.
- Money-back guarantee
- When used and stored as directed, it is safe for use around pets.
Things To Consider
- Older, more stubborn stains require a longer process including saturating a towel with water for up to two hours after applying Nature’s Miracle.
- Available in many different formulas and variations for both dog and cat odors.
Sample buyer review: “The only thing I’ve used that works. This product works better than anything else I have used to remove urine smells.”
See more buyer reviews at Chewy.com.
Best Pet Air Odor Eliminator
Our pick: Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
Hands down and paws down, the best-smelling and most effective pet air odor eliminator is Angry Orange. Because it is made with the oil found in orange peels, it is both biodegradable and non-toxic. This can be sprayed in the air but serves multiple purposes in kennels, on yard surfaces (think dog urine baking in the hot sun on grass), and anywhere else pet odors are a problem. Of course, none of these products should be sprayed directly on pets unless otherwise indicated.
The company’s tag line is “Smells like heaven, works like he*l,” and it is safe to use around pets and kids. I’ve actually placed a small spray bottle in my bathroom and used it in the car a few years back to eliminate a wet dog smell. It can be sprayed on carpet, hard surfaces, fabric, or into the air.
Angry Orange makes a lot of promises in its advertising and those promises are delivered on every time I’ve used it. One 32-ounce bottle of Angry Orange concentrate version makes four 32-ounce bottles when diluted with water, which is the proper way to use it in pet households for odor elimination.
- Can be used as often as you like for bad smells.
- Can be used outside to eliminate urine and barn smells.
- Can be purchased full-strength or as a concentrate to be mixed with water.
- Made in the USA.
Things To Consider
- For those not fond of a strong orange scent, this product should be avoided.
- Also available in a pet odor and stain eliminator.
Sample buyer review: “I absolutely love it, and it has proven to be a total life saver in combating stinky pet smells. Angry Orange would be effective in eliminating any kind of odor problem for that matter.”
See more buyer reviews at Amazon.com
Best Pet Odor Eliminator For Carpets
Our pick: MisterMax Anti-Icky-Poo Odor Remover
A few years back, I asked my dog’s veterinarian how he kept his place smelling fresh. He showed me a bottle of MisterMax Anti-Icky-Poo Odor Remover. Since my dog’s veterinarian used it, I had to give it a try.
He used it for diaper pails, directly on his rug, and to eliminate the scent of cat urine when his kitty missed the litter box.
When my first Cocker Spaniel had a bout of diarrhea, I was able to eliminate the stain but could not seem to eradicate the odor. MisterMax was so simple to use and wiped out the stink thanks to its enzymatic properties.
- Environmentally friendly and pet safe .
- MisterMax has been around since 1984 and is used by veterinary professionals.
- Doesn’t mask the scent—removes it.
- Works on any organic waste scent include urine, vomit, feces, and even smoke.
Things To Consider
- If applying directly to carpet, ensure you get the product deep down into the carpet padding.
- Safe for wood surfaces, but always pre-test a spot.
Sample buyer review: “I have been using this for years, and it is the best cleaner for my cats messes and accidents. This is the only enzymatic cleaner I use anymore, and I recommend it to everyone I talk to about animals.”
Read more sample buyer reviews on Chewy.com.
Best Dog Deodorizing Spray
Our pick: TropiClean Deodorizing Pet Spray
In between baths or after rolling in something at the park, a pet-safe deodorizing spray comes in handy. Designed to be used on your dog, TropiClean’s line of deodorizing pet sprays eliminate odor from things like skunk, urine, rabbit poo, vomit, and glandular secretions.
Cocker Spaniels tend to have sensitive skin, but I feel safe spritzing this on my dog’s coat and working it through his fur and onto his skin. The smell is not overpowering but actually seems to help my dog get through until bathtime. You can also spritz it lightly on your dog after he’s had his bath.
It contains no soap, no detergents, and is available in a variety of scents like berry breeze and lime and coconut. It can help reduce static and adds a nice moisturizing touch to the skin.
- Cruelty-free and not tested on animals.
- Can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, hamsters, rabbits, and other small animals.
- Paraben and dye-free.
- Conditions the coat as it soothes skin.
- Great for road trips, vacations, or before guests visit.
Things To Consider
- If pets show an allergic reaction, discontinue use immediately
- Some online reviewers say they wish the scent lasted longer—but we still think it does the trick!
Sample buyer review: “Got this to stretch bathtimes for my Dane (who hates baths). Works great and doesn’t smell overly perfumed, just fresh.”
See more buyer reviews at Petco.com.
Best Dog Deodorizing Wipes
Our Pick: Earth Rated Dog Wipes
Hands and paws down, these are my favorite all-over pet wipes. The folks at Earth Rated are well-known for their biodegradable popular poop bags, but they’ve set the bar higher with these wipes.
Alcohol-free, hypoallergenic, 99% bio-based USDA certified, cruelty-free, paraben and dye-free, no alcohol, and they are compostable. These dog deodorizing wipes are a pet parent’s dream come true, and I am never without these wipes in my Cocker Spaniel’s road trip bag. Sometimes dogs are notorious for getting into things that require more than a deodorizing spray to cover up.
Earth Rated Dog Wipes are infused with shea butter, aloe, and chamomile and are both wide and sturdy. If you’ve ever purchased dog wipes and were disappointed in their size, fret not. The resealable package contains 100 8” x 8” dog grooming wipes.
- Available in unscented or lavender scent. If you don’t like scented items, the unscented is a GREAT option!
- Good to wipe off dog paws after a walk or around a dog’s tush after potty breaks.
- Safe enough to use daily.
- Hard plastic snap makes it easy to pull out one and at a time and not dry out.
- Safe for cats, too!
Things To Consider
- Some online reviewers said that the wipes can be difficult to get out of the packaging once you get near the bottom.
- A few online reviewers wished the wipes were larger in size.
Sample buyer review: “The wipes are extra damp (and stay that way even after opening) which means one wipe goes a long way. They also smell great, have a thick feel, and are hypoallergenic.”
Best Litter Box Deodorizer
Our pick: Arm & Hammer Cat Litter Deodorizer
Cats use the litter box, and the litterbox produces odors strong enough to knock over a zombie. Fortunately, my dog and I are friends with a lot of cat parents, so we asked several to share their favorite cat litter deodorizer and why.
Time and again, this product from Arm & Hammer was the frontrunner. Aside from the power of baking soda, you simply sprinkle a layer in when changing the box or between cleaning for a bit of a feline spruce up. The smell is light and not overpowering, and the baking soda removes any lingering odors. Plus, it is safe for cats.
An added bonus to this product is its ability to prevent urine clumps from sticking to the litter box, which means less work when cleaning up. According to Arm & Hammer, each time a cat uses the litter box, the moisture-activated scent is released. It can be used with any litter including clay, scoopable, natural, scented, or unscented.
- Lab tests demonstrated lower odor levels after 9 days versus litter alone.
- Great for multiple cat households.
- Very mild scent, not overpowering.
- Small granules mix easily with litter to distribute evenly throughout.
- Product goes a long way for the price.
Things To Consider
- Honestly, most reviews are really positive. We don’t have any things to note!
Sample buyer review: “I could not find any other product that helped reduce the litter box smell in my house. This deodorizer has made a difference! The litter boxes always smell fresh.”
See more buyer reviews at Petco.com.
Life is messy and sometimes stinky—especially when pets are involved. Keep this list of pet odor eliminators handy and stock up on our tried-and-true favorites.
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