Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

January 18th, 2015

How to Keep Your House from Smelling Like a Gentle Giant Zoo

By Tara


Great Danes will stink up your house.

Actually, I’m not sure if it’s a giant dog thing or a Bubba thing. Roxie never stunk up the house. But oh my god, our house has been smelling so bad since we got him!

When we first got him back in late November, I swept occasionally. Maybe once every two weeks. Then, obviously, the house started to smell worse. So I started mopping after I swept (Swiffer for the win!). Helped only a little. Then I started washing his bedding once a week.

With all of this, it still smelled bad. And my mood goes sour very quickly when the house smells bad. Plus, I don’t want it to be obvious by the way I smell that I have 5 animals in the house.

So I am now sweeping and mopping every inch of the floor once a week and washing his bedding every few days. The house still smells but thankfully, when I do all of this at once, the smell becomes tolerable. But then a day or two later, it starts again.

I actually just got done with my whole routine and I’m sitting in my living room. It smells like the Swiffer fuel in the air and it actually smells kind of unpleasant. I think I’ll look for another scent or something next time.

Anyway, I posted on Great Dane Lovers, a Facebook group of 26,000+ Great Dane owners. I asked them:

How often do you guys clean your houses to keep them from smelling like dogs?

I got a lot of responses. Here are the most popular answers:

Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming

How often they would do this varied. A small number of people said they did this routine once a week. Then more people said a few times a week. Some said once a day. And some said 3 times or more a day! I think the people who cleaned more often probably have multiple Danes. That’s not a very far fetched idea; from what I’ve heard, very rarely does a family own only one gentle giant.

Someone said they have three Danes and also use bleach and use a steam mop in addition to sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. Another person recommended vinegar for the floors. Another suggested dusting as well. I definitely wasn’t dusting. I will start dusting.

Air fresheners help with dog odor

Lots of people used the plugin-air fresheners. A surprising number of them said they use Scentsy Warmers. Christian isn’t a big fan of any sort of air freshener because he believes they don’t actually ever remove odors; they just mask them. We’ll probably not try this method.

Lots of washable material

Blankets and throw rugs everywhere. And I totally agree with this one. Bubba’s bed is a long reclining lawn chair cushion. Obviously we can’t wash that easily. So we have a mattress pad over it which is really easy to wash. He doesn’t go on furniture, so I don’t think having throws on the furniture is necessary for us but if it was, I would totally use more of them.


Grooming is an obvious one. It looks like most of the people who responded to my question bathe them once a month. I’ve given Bubba a bath once since getting him, so he’s probably due for another.

One person said they wipe them down with baby wipes, which I think is a really good idea. If Roxie and Bubba come back in from the yard and have muddy feet or wet feet, I will wipe them down. I think I might make it a habit to do it once a day. Not sure if I can stick to every single time they come in. Plus, I’m not always the one letting them in. Not sure if my mom or Christian would do it regularly.

Diet has a lot to do with a smelly dog

I had never considered this. What a dog eats has a lot to do with their bodies externally, not just internally. It affects their skin, their fur, their teeth, their nails, etc.

A few people said they feed raw and their dogs don’t smell. I think I’ve mentioned on here before that I want to eventually feed our own dogs raw for many health-related reasons. The reason I’m not doing it with Bubba is because he’s only temporarily in our home. I don’t want him to go through the digestive trouble of switching from dry to raw, and then most likely raw to dry once he gets adopted. Plus, I don’t currently have the time to dedicate to shopping and preparing raw meals.

But I will reach out to the rescue and see what they recommend in terms of food. We just bought a big bag of Blue Wilderness for him so we’ll probably go through that before switching him, if we do. Won’t be long though, probably about 2 weeks.

After this little study I’ll be upping my cleaning game:

  • Sweeping: every day
  • Wiping paws: every day
  • Cleaning bedding: every two-three days
  • Mopping: every few days
  • Dusting: every few days
  • Brushing all pets: every few days

I’ll also be looking into alternative food for him. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Blue Wilderness. It might just not be right for him and his body.

My study is not done! I want to hear from you guys: what do you do to keep your houses from smelling like dogs?

P.S. It was really hard to get that shot of Bubba with the cleaning supplies. I originally tried getting Roxie in there but it was hard to wrangle them by myself. Then Christian ended up helping me and even with two of us, we could only get Bubba to do what we wanted him to do. Once he was in position, we would turn to Roxie and try to get her in position and then Bubba would get up and oh, it was a nightmare!




  • Jill Wilder January 19, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Roxie is her own girl and pretty sure “wrangling” her will be only in your own mind. lol I adore her independent spirit. Love watching her at the dog park.

    Back to the smells-I think you’ve got some good ideas going there. Without knowing what your flooring is, a steam mop seems like a great idea. Vinegar is a great cleaner-diluted, and leaves a neutral scent. Regular vacuuming as well. I’m with Christian, added scents might smell nice but they aren’t actually removing the smell. Bubs may need a bath more often. If once a month doesn’t do it, once every couple of weeks might. I would suspect it might not be the most fun thing to do but the payoff could be huge. Older dogs seem to just smell more but I’m with the folks that suggest brushing his teeth. Careful on the bleach around the dogs. Their noses would be much more sensitive to strong scents like that. Just watch how they react. We have to be careful with stuff like that due to our birdies.

    Good luck!

  • Jill Wilder January 19, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I meant to add re: the bleach. Watch the kitties behavior as well. I’ve heard more than once when strong scents assault their much more sensitive noses they can end up using parts of your home for a litter box in trying to mask those scents with their own.

    • Tara February 4, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Oh snap, thanks for the tip! I probably won’t use bleach because I’m terrified of not washing things down well enough or burning someones face off lol. I may try steam mopping. I’m -definitely- going to start brushing Bubba’s teeth more. He has some stinky-ass breath!!

  • 2 Brown Dawgs January 21, 2015 at 7:28 am

    I will admit that I do not do any of that very often. Perhaps I am used to whatever smell there is…lol.

    • Tara February 4, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Ahhh after two months, I still haven’t gotten used to it.

  • Annette March 18, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Unless you are fortunate enough to own a dog that doesn’t smell like a dog (like my chihuahua) then you have to sweep and mop once a day MINIMUM or your house will smell like dog. If you have a particular stinker, once a week is not enough, nor is 2 or 3 times a week unless you’re happy with a certain level of dog stink. If you’re not happy with dog stink at all, once a DAY is the absolute minimum you can get away with. I’ve owned several dogs and with my English Cocker Spaniel who was the stinkiest, I had to sweep and mop twice a day. Once in the morning and again in the late afternoon. If you allow your dogs on your furniture then they have to be cleaned daily as well. If you have carpets you have to vacuum daily and steam clean monthly. Carpets are the worst at trapping dog odours so you have to keep on top of your dogs cleanliness or the build up of stink over time will be so bad, no amount of steam cleaning will help and you’ll need new carpet. You definitely do get used to the smell if you’re not cleaning your house regularly, most people will be too polite to say anything, but I make sure my friends and family tell me if it smells funky since my nose has acclimatised to life with indoor pets.

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