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Why Does My House Smell Like Wet Dog? (Answered)

There are many reasons why your house smells like a wet dog. Usually, this unpleasant odor is caused by some of your mistakes. As a result of this reaction, a foul smell can be detected in nearly any environment. 

Fortunately, this issue can be addressed in a variety of ways. Here’s why your house smells like a wet dog.

Why does my house smell like wet dog?

A buildup of germs in the soil or on the outside and air conditioning system of your home may be the origin of the wet dog odor. When a faucet, sink, or toilet springs get a leak, water can also cause a wet dog smell. This fungus stinks. Poor pet hygiene can also cause disagreeable scents.

However, the odor can sometimes be caused by other factors. Things that can cause moisture and wet dog smell include:


Bacteria is the primary cause of wet dog odor. This layer of bacteria and stink is caused not just by your dogs, but also by things like leaves, dirt, rotting plants, and even urine. These pollutants’ cells ferment, producing a foul odor that dogs appear to particularly like.

Latent odors:

Wet dog odor can also be caused by adding perfumes or other aromas to your house. Because the bacterium breaks down organic material, the smells are released. 

These odors may not be noticed when you initially move in, but they can accumulate over time and produce an unpleasant stench.


Mold spores grow when moisture builds up. Wet dog odor can sometimes be mistaken for the musty smell of an old house because of this type of fungus.

Bad hygiene:

As bacteria grow in your bathroom or waste if you don’t clean it regularly or dispose of it properly, you will increase your risk of getting sick. This will not only cause an unpleasant odor in the air, but it can also lead to potential health risks like respiratory problems.

Fungus in Ac:

A fungal spore will grow in AC when moisture is present in the air. These tiny organisms can produce a variety of smells, but their most common alias is wet dog odor.

Leak in your roof:

Mold and fungus thrive in damp environments, such as those produced by water leaking into your roof. A wet dog smell results from such damp conditions.

Plumbing system:

A leaking faucet, toilet, or sink can cause moisture to accumulate, which can then cause mold to form. In turn, this creates the ideal environment for mold and fungus to grow and cause a bad smell.

What can cause these smells in the house?

There are several reasons why your home may begin to smell like a wet dog. Uncleaned household items, such as furniture, carpeting, and air vents, might be the source of lingering scents. Here are some frequent issues associated with wet dog odors in homes.

Smells like wet dog when it rains:

If it’s pouring heavily outside and your roof is leaking, water will pour in from all sides. Not only will there be additional areas for mildew and fungus to grow, but any liquid leftover from the leaks will mingle with the natural moisture in the air to create a foul wet dog odor.

Smells like wet dog after carpet cleaning:

If you recently had your carpets cleaned, there’s a strong possibility an odor-eliminating chemical was utilized. This strong solution can eliminate scents from the source, but it also leaves a transient stench that smells like a wet dog.

Smells like wet dog after mopping:

Mold and fungus thrive in moist environments, such as those created by mopping. Mops, much like rain, can gather up liquid residue from cleaning jobs and leave behind a musty odor that smells like a wet dog.

The kitchen smells like wet dog:

Several reasons are likely to blame for the wet dog odors in your kitchen. Food scents that seep from the refrigerator and into the air vent, travel through the flooring, and build up over time are typical culprits. Leftover cooking, as well as filthy waste disposal water, cause odor issues.

Laundry room smells like wet dog:

A messy laundry room, like the kitchen, may be a breeding ground for mold and fungus. Dirt and food particles can collect in high-traffic areas like the washer and dryer, which mix with moisture in the air to create the odor of a wet dog.

Do these smell like wet dog in the house?

The stench of a wet dog is most frequently the consequence of mold or fungus infestation. Anything from a roof leak to soiled clothes might be the culprit. Here are a few frequent causes that we consider.

Bed bugs:

Bed bugs do not have the odor of a wet dog. Their droppings, on the other hand, can have an unpleasant skunky odor. They also leave a stink in their hiding places, so carpeted floors or rugs might be the reason. However, you can be certain that bed bugs aren’t causing wet dog odors.


While some molds emit a musty odor, the one that emits a wet dog odor is usually a more dangerous form. Black mold, white mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, and Aspergillus are all examples of this. Mold is most likely to blame if you smell wetness and a wet dog.


If you have recently experienced a leak, the gas that is leaking out may cause your kitchen and laundry area to smell like a wet dog. Even if you don’t smell anything, there’s a good likelihood the leak is in one of these locations.

How to get rid of wet dog smell in the house?

The best technique to get rid of a wet dog stench in your house relies on the cause of the odor and the steps you take to get rid of it. 

However, utilizing a dehumidifier and airing out areas damaged by mold or gas leaks are some basic ideas that may assist. Here’s how to get rid of the scent of a wet dog.

Determine the source of odors:

The first step is to figure out where the odor is coming from. It might be anything as simple as a roof leak or something more complex like mold. Once you’ve identified the problem, neutralize and eliminate it. You may also need to replace any defective materials.

Clean the air:

After you’ve found and eradicated the source of the scents, refresh the space with new window curtains or furniture pieces like fume diffusers, which offer perfume while keeping allergens out. 

Consider purchasing a humidifier or a water evaporator device, which may remove stale air from your house.

Stop the leaks:

Repair any water leaks as soon as possible. If you have a mold problem, start by cleaning and airing out the area. A dehumidifier can also aid in the reduction of moisture in the air. However, observe safety precautions to avoid over-drying the area and preventing the growth of mold.

Spills must be cleaned:

If there is a spill that has to be cleaned up, do it as soon as feasible. Cleaning damp goods can cause unpleasant odors, so be careful not to aggravate the situation. As a result, take care not to duct tape anything that is still damp.

Areas should be ventilated:

If you suspect mold or gas, the first step is to ventilate the area. If the odor is coming from a carpeted area, wash the surfaces with water and chlorine to get rid of it.

Make an odor barrier:

Consider adding essential oils to your home’s air if you’re experiencing difficulty with foul odors. This will assist to hide offensive scents and make the place more livable. Vacuuming and steaming the carpet with a dehumidifier are two methods for cleaning it. 

Check for mold when this has been completed. If not, air out the space well before removing any odor-causing objects, such as thick drapes or furniture (furniture can also help absorb odors).

Chemicals are used:

If everything else fails, consider using ammonia or vinegar as a home cleaning. Make sure these chemicals are appropriately vented out of your house so they don’t damage anyone’s health. It’s crucial to remember that mold and gas exposures are fatal, so proceed with caution.

Additional Suggestions:

If the stench makes you nauseous, try to spend less time in enclosed settings. Every hour, open the windows and doors for a few minutes to help circulate fresh air throughout the house. 

If you’ve been in an area where the scent is the greatest, wash your hands often and avoid touching your face or drinking water.

Final thoughts

Bacteria and fungi are the most prevalent causes of damp dog odor. Mold development might be a concern if there is too much moisture in your house since mold demands arid (dry) conditions to flourish. Cleaning properly might assist to eliminate the odor of a wet dog.