From smaller living quarters to raising a fur-baby without a backyard, apartment pets come with their own challenging assortment of–ahem–smells. Here’s how to keep your living quarters breezy-fresh and odorless.

An Ounce of Prevention

Create a routine for cleaning on a regular schedule, before giving odors a chance to rise up and linger. Target your pet’s favorite areas first: wash bedding, favorite toys and pet blankets. Be sure to sprinkle a bit of baking soda inside his bed, where the stuffing is.

Wash out food and water bowls daily, and promptly clean up messes where your furry companion has his meals. Mop the floors regularly, especially around food bowls and kitty litter stations.

Be sure to pre-emptively deal with pet hair on a regular basis as well. Take care to remove hair thoroughly with a daily brush and vacuum. Don’t forget to use vacuum attachments to hit the baseboards and perimeter of the floor, and wipe walls to remove any stray hairs.

Carpet Care

When you spot a pet mess, clean it immediately and thoroughly. Don’t give accidents a chance to soak through the carpet to the pad. This can also be the key to preventing future messes, as pets typically return to the scene of the crime. If necessary, rent a carpet cleaner to do a comprehensive job.

Neutralize, Don’t Hide

Instead of trying to cover up bad pet smells with another, perfume-y smell, go with an enzyme cleaner. Enzyme sprays such as Nature’s Miracle break down the proteins in the mess to get to the root of the problem and truly clean. It can be surprisingly effective in attacking old messes too. Prefer natural cleaning products? Vinegar is also an effective odor neutralizer. Make your own natural spray by mixing equal parts water and vinegar.

Furniture Detail

Cover furniture with easy-to-remove, washable covers. While they’re in the wash, take the time to vacuum under cushions, and hit the floor underneath the furniture. Spend extra time doing a detailed cleaning on Fido’s favorite chair. And don’t forget your bed, which is typically a pet’s favorite place to hang out for long periods of time. Wash sheets, pillowcases, blankets and duvet cover frequently.

Pro Tip: Add a bit of vinegar to the wash cycle to deep clean and eliminate stubborn odors.

Get to the Source

Have an unidentified smell? Look in your pet’s favorite spots for the source. Be sure to check out his favorite hiding places to see if he’s stashed a snack or over-used toy. If you’re still having issues, deep-clean all the usual suspects.

Reconsider Potty Time

Set up a paw-washing station at the front door to keep from tracking in smells from outside every time you go for a walk. And if your furry companion is a feline, take an objective look at the kitty litter area. Keep it clean, change it out regularly and vacuum the surrounding area. Be sure to take time to scrub out the litter box with plenty of suds and elbow grease while you’re at it.

Freshen Up

Give your apartment a regular spring cleaning. Run an air purifier to improve the overall air quality in your apartment. Open windows to let in fresh air. And pre-empt problems by bathing, grooming and brushing your pup or cat as needed.

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