Air Purifiers Can Help Against Smelly Pets And Their Odors

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

“If you make a purchase using our provided links, we may receive a commission. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, air purifiers can remove unpleasant smells of your pets along with their fur, allergens, and dander.
  • It is a recommended to use an air purifier with HEPA filter along with activated carbon to completely get rid of pet smells.
  • Pay attention to your pet's hygiene, diet, and general health to remove the underlying cause of unpleasant smell.

When you love your pets as much as I love mine, you can ignore some unfavorable things about them – like their smell. The odors my pets produce can be potent and difficult to control, and if you have pets, you understand where I’m coming from.

Living with pets is an amazing thing, but a home with offensive smells is anything but. Fortunately, my air purifier has helped remove pet odors and keeps my home smelling fresh.

If you invest in an air purifier, it can make it easier to enjoy your pets AND the smell of your home

Let’s take a look at how an air purifier can help control the smell of your pets.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Pet Smells?

Air purifiers are great for helping with pet smells.

Purifiers remove several types of airborne contaminants such as hair follicles, toxins, dust, pollen, mold spores, and allergens.

Some models have activated carbon filters that eliminate smoke, chemicals, and VOCs. These filters will effectively reduce pet odors since they contain charcoal that’s been treated to absorb more contaminants.

HEPA filters can capture 99.97% of airborne particles of 0.3 microns or larger, but they can’t trap odor-causing molecules. However, they’re great for removing pet dander that contributes to pet odors.

For the best results in your home, choose a three-stage filter with a standard filter for hair, an activated carbon filter, and a HEPA filter.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Dog Smell?

An air purifier can help with your dog’s unpleasant smells.

If your dog is anything like mine, it produces some strong and unpleasant smells.

When my dog comes inside after running around in the rain and stomping in the mud, the smell he brings in with him is enough to make me want to leave the house!

Other smells he produces are often the result of secretions, skin oil, urine, and feces. The odor produced when those things mix can be overpowering and difficult to remove.

To make matters worse, dogs have anal glands near their anus that release a foul-smelling substance when frightened or excited. Unfortunately, this excretion can also make your dog’s rear end smell pretty bad.

If you think buying a new house would be easier than getting rid of these odors like I did, an air purifier with a three-stage filter might just save your home.

The filter will capture hair, dust, and other allergens and eliminate odor-causing molecules from the air. After it’s run for a while, it will leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Cat Smell?

Your air purifier can also help battle your cat’s smells. I love my cat, but just like my dog, he is also pretty infamous for creating strong odors of its own when it secretes, urinates, and defecates.

Sometimes my entire house smells like the little litter box in the corner. It seems like even when I’ve cleaned it (for the fifth time of the day!), the smell still lingers in the house.

The good news is that I bought an air purifier with a three-stage filter that is as effective at eliminating cat smells. So, if your entire house smells like the litter tray, an air purifier can help keep your air fresh and clean.

Other Household Animals

I love animals, so I don’t just have a dog and a cat. If you have other household animals as well, an air purifier with an activated carbon filter can work wonders in removing their unpleasant smells.

Activated carbon filters effectively absorb airborne contaminants, including bird, rodent, or reptile odors.

So, if you’re finding it difficult to eliminate the odors created by your feathered, furry, or scaly companions, investing in an air purifier with an activated carbon filter is well worth it.

Causes Of Pet Odors

Pet odors are caused by several factors. Understanding these causes can help you control or remove unpleasant smells. Here are some common causes of pet odors:

  • Lack of grooming:
    If your pet isn’t regularly brushed and washed, their fur can accumulate dirt and bacteria, leading to a musty smell.
  • Diet:
    Feeding pets cheap processed food or food with intense flavors and smells can cause bad breath or body odor.
  • Dental issues:
    Bad breath can be caused by dental problems, which can transfer to your pet’s fur if not regularly groomed.
  • Skin infections:
    Greasy or oily fur and scratching may indicate skin infections that require treatment.
  • Scent glands:
    Mammals have scent glands that can secrete a strong-smelling oil. Or, they may spray urine to mark their territory.
  • Health problems:
    Skin infections, incontinence, bad breath, or other smells may indicate health problems that require a visit to the vet.
  • Accidents in the house:
    Even the most well-trained pets can have accidents, leaving persistent odors in carpets or furniture. Use a blacklight to spot old urine stains for deep cleaning.
  • Dirty cages or tanks:
    Excess food or debris can accumulate in a cage or tank, rot, and create unpleasant smells. Frequent cleaning can prevent this.
  • Poor diet:
    Feeding dogs too many table scraps or other inappropriate foods can cause digestive issues with a particularly unpleasant smell.

It took me some time, but identifying the cause of my pet’s odors helped me take the appropriate steps to address the underlying issue and improve my air quality. Regular grooming, a balanced diet, and frequent cleaning helps keep my home smelling fresh and clean.

Things To Consider When Choosing Air Purifier For Pet Odors & Smells

Investing in an air purifier was a worthy investment because it put a considerable dent in the pet odors in my house. However, there are certain things to consider when shopping for an air cleaner to eliminate these odors.

Look for an air purifier that has a high CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate). This rating measures the cubic feet per minute processed by a purifier, ensuring that a large amount of the smell disappears.

In addition to a high CADR rating, it’s essential to consider the type of filter in the air purifier. As previously mentioned, activated carbon is great for removing pet odors. The best air purifiers, though, include additional filters, such as pre-filters, UV-C lights, or ionizers.

Pre-filters capture larger particles like pet hair and dander. UV-C lights and ionizers work to kill bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause unpleasant smells.

Another consideration when choosing an air purifier for pet odors is the size of the unit. Make sure to choose an air purifier that is appropriately sized for the room it will be used in.

Since I have so many animals spread throughout my house, I needed a larger unit to tackle the smells. A larger unit is necessary for large rooms or open-concept spaces like mine, while a smaller unit may suffice for a small bedroom or living area.

How Long Should You Run An Air Purifier To Get Rid Of Dog, Cat, Or Other Pet Smell?

When I first got my air purifier, I ran it continuously for a week to stomp out those stubborn pet odors. If you run your purifier continuously though, be sure to regularly clean and maintain it. Replace the filters on schedule to ensure optimal performance.

Where Should The Purifier Be Placed?

Placing the air purifier in the area where the pet spends the most time is crucial when dealing with pet odors. This way, you can ensure that the air purifier is targeting the source of the smell and removing it effectively.

Always put the cleaner in the room where your pet spends the most time (my dog is ALWAYS in my bedroom in MY bed). Proper placement will help target the odor source and get rid of it quickly.

However, if you have multiple pets or a larger space, you should consider getting multiple purifiers or a larger one (like a whole-house air purifier) to cover the entire area adequately.

Other Ways To Get Rid Of Dog, Cat & Pet Smell In Your House

Along with running my purifier, I also do the following to keep the pet odors out of my home:

  • Wash your pet’s bedding and toys regularly. These items can hold onto smells and contribute to odors in your home.
  • Bathe your pet regularly with a pet-specific shampoo. This can help reduce dander and dirt buildup that leads to odor.
  • Use an enzymatic cleaner on pet urine stains to eliminate the odor at the source.
  • Place bowls of vinegar around the house to absorb pet odors.
  • To freshen the air, consider using an essential oil diffuser with pet-safe essential oils like lavender or peppermint.
  • Install an exhaust fan in the room where your pet spends the most time to increase ventilation and reduce odor buildup.
  • Use baking soda to deodorize carpets and upholstery. Sprinkle it on, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

Remember, the best way to keep your home smelling fresh and clean is to regularly clean and groom your pets and use air cleaners and other methods to keep the air clean and odor-free.

How Effective Are They?

The effectiveness of these methods can vary depending on various factors like the severity of your pet’s odor, the size of your house, and the type of air purifier you have.

If the pet odor is powerful, more than one method may be necessary to remove the smell altogether.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Does an air purifier remove pet hair?

Air purifiers with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can remove some pet hair. However, their primary function is to remove airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, and allergens.

Does an air purifier help with cat & dog allergies?

A HEPA filter can help with pet allergies. They will capture pet dander, a common allergen for many people.

Are air purifiers safe for dogs?

Most air purifiers are safe for dogs. However, ozone purifiers are not safe for pets, but activated carbon and HEPA filters are entirely safe.

Are air purifiers safe for cats?

Air purifiers are safe for cats. Again, as with dogs, ozone purifiers are not safe to use around cats. Activated carbon and HEPA filters are fine.


The odors my pets produce are almost as strong as my love for them. Thankfully, air purifiers are a great way to help combat pet smells in your house.

Not only have they helped remove allergens and other contaminants from my home, but the filters also capture pet dander and eliminate odors.

If you’re dealing with pet allergies or simply can’t stand the smell of your furry friend, investing in an air purifier is a great first step in eliminating pet smells so you can keep your fur babies close.

Was This Article Helpful?

Josh Mitchell


Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

See Our Editorial Processes

Meet Our Team

Share Feedback