“THE MONKEY LIVES HERE”—PET ODORS
1st in a series on Pets and Marketing your Home
Richard Pryor had a skit where his pet monkey kept bothering a guest. When the guest complained, his response was “The monkey lives here. . . you’re just visiting!” While this is a good solution for getting rid of guests who have outstayed their welcome, it is not the attitude a home seller should take!
As pet owners we need to realize that not everyone likes animals. And truthfully, even animal lovers may be put-off by pet odors and don’t really appreciate seeing pet hair on carpet and furniture, animal waste in the litter box (or on the lawn for that matter), or dirty pet food dishes—especially offensive in the kitchen—where many pet owners tend to feed their animals.
But let’s face it, “the monkey (substitute animal of your choice) lives here. . . .” We need to accept that fact and come up with workable solutions to common pet related problems.
Regularly bathing your dog is the basic essential while you are marketing your home, but you should take further steps to ensure that odor is not a concern in your listing. Sweet smelling sprays and air fresheners usually don’t work. Here are possible solutions for even the toughest problems:
Ø Start at the source—help eliminate odor before it gets started: Pet SuperJuice www.petsuperjuice.com is advertised as a breakthrough digestive product on the cutting edge of natural, organic preventative health tools. Testimonials claim it reduces fecal odor waste, curbs gas, breath and body odor naturally and safely. It is made for dogs, cats and ferrets. (Some of us are waiting for the people version!) Using a 4 oz bottle ($18.00), 2 sprays will treat 1 cup of food, 375 cups total. Using a 12 oz bottle ($48.00), 1 spray will treat 5 cups of dog food, 1200 cups total. (Prices do not include shipping and handling.)
Ø Absorb Odors—working on the principal of baking soda in a refrigerator, the all natural volcanic ingredients of Pet Clear Crystals www.drsfostersmith.com are advertised to remove even the strongest odors. You hang a bag (or two for larger areas) and forget it for months. To renew its effectiveness, every 8 months place in direct sunlight and soak in saltwater every 3 years. Use one bag for every two pets in household. Lifetime guarantee. 32 oz. $9.99 plus S&H
Ø Eliminate Odors—
o Nature’s Miracle www.drsfostersmith.com is purported to eliminate pet stains and odor with a "free enzyme" system that attacks odor molecules. Enzymes penetrate to remove stains and odor from your pet’s environment. Use as quickly as possible after pet accidents. 24 oz. trigger spray $6.79 plus S&H
o PureAyre www.pureayre.com is also made from enzymes (plant-derived), purified water and essential oils. They offer various sizes, including a room fogger and a “pet kit” which both come with a black light for finding urine sources. The products carry a satisfaction guarantee. 22 oz. trigger spray $19.99 includes shipping
o Pet Odor Home Remedy—Annie B. Bond offers this solution:
1. Neutralize the odor by alternating baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle the area with baking soda, leave overnight, and then sweep or vacuum it up.
2. Neutralize the alkaline baking soda and residual alkaline odor using a strong vinegar wash—2 cups of white distilled vinegar to 1 gallon of water.
3. Wash the area with the vinegar wash, and then rinse. The strong smell of the vinegar will dissipate in a few hours.
o Professional Carpet Cleaning— Carpets need to be cleaned at least once a year! Use an Enzymatic Based Pet Urine Removal Solution and a steam extraction method. For a detailed explanation of removing pet odors and stains from carpet, see www.ase-inc.com
o Pet Urine in Flooring--Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles. This is what he says:
1. Purchase an enzymatic based cleaner from your local pet supply store.
2. Soak the affected area thoroughly, and allow the solution a long time to dry, whether you have carpet, wood floors, or masonry flooring.
3. Place a piece of cardboard over the affected area to slow down evaporation. The solution works to eat away at the natural enzymes that are causing the odor in the first place, and they need time to do their work.
4. If this fails, with carpeting, you'll probably need to replace it. If the pet urine has made it into the subfloor, you may have to replace that as well. The same goes for wood flooring.
Be sure to look for more articles in “The Monkey Lives Here” series by Kim Dillon, Founder of Creative Eye Home Staging. We will be addressing Litter Boxes, and Animal Shedding.