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If you live in an apartment and one of your roommates has four legs, there’s a good chance that your living space doesn’t smell amazing all the time. From unexpected potty accidents to old, stinky toys, it’s no secret that pets can create a wide range of smells.

If you don’t address the pet-related odors in your home, it not only creates hygiene concerns for both you and your pet, but could also mean that you have some unhappy neighbors and visitors.

Thankfully, with a few easy changes, no one will be able to tell you even have a pet. Here are eight easy tips for a stink-free space.

How to prevent your apartment from smelling like a pet

1. Ensure your pet is potty trained

To prevent your apartment from smelling, the first step is to get your pet potty trained. For dogs, there are some universal potty training best practices, such as building in lots of breaks, using positive reinforcement, and choosing a designated potty spot.

For cats, this means teaching them how to use a litter box, which involves getting the right supplies, properly introducing your cat to the litter box, and giving positive reinforcement.

While no pet is perfect, many of the worst smells come from potty accidents, so working extra hard on potty training will go a long way in keeping your apartment clean.

2. Properly dispose of pet waste

If your pet does happen to go potty indoors, it’s vital to properly dispose of their waste. For dogs, this means always having poop bags on hand and throwing their waste in a trash can outside of your apartment. Not even the best poop bags will keep that smell out of your living space.

For cats, this means regular and thorough cleaning of their litter box. This includes daily scooping of your cat’s waste and any urine-soaked litter, a partial litter change every 1-2 weeks, and fully emptying and cleaning the litter box every 2-4 weeks.

3. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule

We understand — you lead a busy life and sometimes cleaning isn’t always at the top of your priority list. It’s easy to let weeks pass between cleanings and not realize that things have gotten out of hand. It’s not until you notice the fur bunnies accumulating and a unique stench emerging that you think…maybe it’s time to get out the mop and broom.

Giving your space a regular scrub down can prevent pet-related smells from sticking around. Creating a weekly schedule for things like sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, and sanitizing will do wonders for avoiding a stinky living space.

When you do the laundry, don’t forget to throw your pet’s bedding and plush toys in there, too — even they will appreciate the fresh smell of clean belongings. 

4. Keep pet-safe cleaning supplies stocked

Even with the most potty-trained pets, accidents happen. Keep your apartment well stocked with pet-safe cleaning supplies so that when your furry companion slips up, you can quickly clean it up and avoid any lingering smells.

This can include odor eliminators (we’ll get into this more below), carpet cleaners, detergents, or mopping solutions.

5. Let the fresh air in

Fresh air will do wonders for the smell of your apartment, so don’t be afraid to crack the windows open and let the breeze in! Just make sure this doesn’t put your pet at risk of falling or escaping. Putting screens in your windows is a good solution that allows you to keep your windows open without fear of your pet getting out.

6. Use odor neutralizers and air purifiers

Odor neutralizers and air purifiers are another great way to keep unwanted smells at bay. Odor neutralizers contain specific ingredients that interact with odor-causing compounds and effectively break them down to eliminate the smell. 

On the other hand, air purifiers actively filter and cleanse the air by trapping and removing the particles that are responsible for causing bad smells. Together, these two tools can keep your living space smelling great.

If you decide to get a purifier, be sure to change it regularly so it can do its job effectively.

7. Keep up with regular vet checkups

Taking your pet to the vet for regular checkups can help prevent smells that may be related to medical conditions. Periodontal disease and a wide range of yeast and bacterial infections can all emit unpleasant odors.

If you notice any unusual smells emerging from your pet, get in touch with your veterinarian so they can help diagnose and treat the condition.

8. Groom your pet regularly

Getting your pet groomed regularly is one surefire way to prevent your apartment from smelling. Grooming helps prevent the accumulation of dirt, oils, and dander that can contribute to unpleasant odors. It also helps control shedding, which can be a common culprit of pet-related smells. Keep your pet on a regular grooming schedule and give them frequent baths at home (this can include cats, too!) to reduce the likelihood that these odor-causing particles are dispersed around your home.

At the end of the day, just because you have a pet doesn’t mean your home has to smell like one. Incorporating these simple tips will go a long way in keeping your living space smelling fresh and clean.