Tips to keep your home free of pet odour, during the monsoons

[] People who raise pets at home, often have to contend with pet odour, which can become particularly worse and noticeable during the monsoons. We look at some simple ways to combat this and keep your home smelling fresh, throughout the year

In the rainy season, an unpleasant smell often prevails in many homes, due to the dampness and moisture in the air. If you have a pet at home, the smell can only get worse. Rina Agarwal, who rescued a puppy, which she named ‘Muffins’, from urchins who were abusing it, shares how “My husband and in-laws welcomed her wholeheartedly, into our little flat. They also helped, in taking care of her. However, during the monsoons, they kept complaining about the persistent pet odour.” For pet owners who are faced with this problem, there are several safe ways to deal with pet odour at home, not only during the monsoons but throughout the year.

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Simmering solutions, to get rid of pet odour

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“Simmering fragrant spices, herbs, flowers or fruits in a pot on a stove, is a simple, environment-friendly way to freshen the quality of air at home. Simply add peels of fruits, such as apples, lemon or sticks of cinnamon or any other spice or herb that you prefer, into a pot of boiling water. Lower the flame and let it simmer, allowing the fragrance to envelop your house” suggests Agarwal.

[] How to make your home pet-friendly

Spray the pet odour away

Essential oils can also be used, to easily make the air fragrant in any room, adds Falguni Patel, who adopted two abandoned Labradors. “All you need to do, is fill a spray bottle with water, add several drops of an essential oil and spray the solution around. Alternatively, you can soak wads of cotton or pieces of cloth in water treated with an essential oil and place them in the rooms,” says Patel.

Keep your pet well groomed

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Dr Rahul Mulekar, a veterinary doctor, points out that “While using the fragrance of aromatic herbs and flowers, to camouflage or overcome the strong pet odour may be fine, it is more important to keep the pet healthy and clean. Pet hair has odour and moreover, it contains oil that attracts dirt to the fabric on which it sits. Therefore, it is important to trim your pet’s nails and brush and bathe them regularly, so that your pet and the premises remain clean. Dust and clean your furniture every day, to get rid of pet hair. Get your pet regularly checked by your vet, to ensure there is no underlying health condition that is causing the odour.”

Other traditional remedies, for a fragrant home

Here are some other simple, yet, effective ways to disinfect, purify and improve the smell of your house and maintain a healthy atmosphere for your family and pet:

  • The Greeks and Romans burned their herbs and spices in censers, keeping them in their rooms, to ward off infection. In rural Maharashtra, traditional herbs are burnt for the same purpose. You can take a heavy cast iron frying pan and burn a small amount of charcoal in it, upon which you then scatter locally available fragrant dried herbs, seeds, roots or powders. Alternatively, place your selection in a pan, held over a high flame. Once a pungent smell starts to emanate, remove the pan from the heat and carry it from room to room, to fumigate the air.
  • In many traditional Indian homes, the house is fumigated by burning the following mixture on a hot tawa: one spoon each of neem, tulsi, dhoop, vavding and chandan powders.
  • In urban areas, myrrh, frankincense, musk and sandalwood are popular choice of spices, for freshening up a house, while rosemary, eucalyptus, thyme and lavender are preferred among dried herbs.

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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