At my daughter's sleepover last night one of the girls said "your house smells bad". :(
January 31, 2010 9:13 AM Subscribe
How do I get rid of - after first identifying - a weird "animal smell" in my house?
posted by lilnublet to Pets & Animals (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The short version I guess is that my house smells terrible. We have an elderly dog and 2 cats, but the smell isn't "dog" or "dirty litterbox" or "pee" or any of the traditional complaints. This is like a ... ugh I can't even describe it... hot animal, wet, rotten - but not like SOMETHING rotten. Its hard to explain, and decidedly organic. But I think to get the whole picture I need to back up.
About 6 months ago the whole family went on vacation for 10 days. A friend stayed at the house and watched the pets. I love the guy to death, but I think he did the bare minimum to keep the animals alive but didnt actually clean anything while he was there (to be fair I didn't ask him to) and as a result, when we got home I noticed that the whole house smelled like a kennel. You know that smell that vet clinics have? That smell.
So we cleaned and aired out the house and went back to our regular cleaning schedule and no more smell. We NEVER have a smell, aside from occasional catbox smell in the mudroom. Months go by. No smells. I'm trying to illustrate the fact that I know what comprises typical living with animal smells and this is NOT it.
Then about... a month ago? Maybe just under? I walked into the house and smelled it. This... funk. Not pee, not poo, not 'dog', not garbage, not dead thing... but terrible. There is definitely a 'rotten' component or undertone, with a hint of sharpness, acrid; the first thing I did was take out the garbage and compost and scrub out all the bins. Still a smell. I smelled all the pets. Nothing. Took the dog immediately for a bath anyway. House still reeks.
When you walk in you are immediately hit in the face with it, but you adjust within a few minutes. My husband was just gone to a funeral for a few days and when he got home couldn't stop exclaiming about it. We have cleaned EVERYTHING. We clean on a regular basis: no standing dishes, garbage out regularly, vacuum furniture weekly, rugs 2-3 times weekly, and on top we have a cleaning person come in and deep clean (move furniture, mop floors, scrub all the forgotten cracks) every 2 weeks. Usually when I come home from her coming the whole house smells like lemon. This week it smelled like lemon... and funky hot rot.
Here are some things that may be contributing:
1. Old dog. He's a "big dog" (german shepherd/malamute) and just turned 11. He has a worry spot on his front leg that comes and goes (and has for years). When he starts licking we tell him to stop and he does, but occasionally he'll work it when we're not looking and make it bleed. The vet knows its there and there's not really anything to do about it. We've also had anal glad problems in the past... but it's not anal gland smell. We have been all over the dog and HE doesn't smell. But we are not ruling him out yet.
2. Location. This smell is only on the main floor of the house - not in the basement or upstairs. It is stronger by the back door/mudroom (where litterboxes and dog bowls are - its a sizable room), living room, kitchen area. I have an open floorplan so it's hard to isolate it to one location (eg shutting doors and seeing where it's worse). There's no way to get under the house and Ive never seen a mouse or other critter in the house. This isn't "Dead thing" smell anyway.
This is driving me insane and I am ready to launch a full scale attack... but where to start?? I put a citrus air freshener in the mudroom, which is where all the pet stuff is, but it just lies over the stink.