Best Air Fresheners for Pet-Friendly Households

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
New Africa/Shutterstock
New Africa/Shutterstock

There are many joys to life with pets, but the array of smells you’ll experience is definitely not on that list. While there are some hypoallergenic breeds of cats and dogs that produce little to no smell, the reality is that all pets do have a smell to them – some people don’t mind it, and others are bothered by the faintest whiff of it. In addition to their bodily scent, pets can also be messy – a dirty litter box, a dog mucked in a stinky substance, or gassiness all contribute to a certain smell in the home. To eliminate all pet-related odors in their home and to keep everything fresh-smelling at all times, your best bet is air fresheners that are specially formulated to tackle pet odors. We’ve selected the best air fresheners for pet-friendly households that will leave your home smelling lovely and clean and banish pet odors once and for all, without causing harm or irritating your pet’s sensitive respiratory system.

Editor’s Choice: One Fur All Pet House Pet Friendly Freshening Room Spray

Designed precisely with pets and their owners in mind, this air freshener is both safe to use around cats and dogs and formulated to battle the strongest of pet odors. It will instantly neutralize bad smells, whether they’re coming from the litter or from your dog’s wet coat, and all it takes is 1 to 3 spritzes for the stench to disappear completely. Made in the USA without dyes, paraffin, parabens, formaldehyde, synthetic preservatives, and other toxic ingredients, these concentrated air fresheners come in 5 scents: lavender green tea, evergreen forest, mango peach, pumpkin spice, and sunwashed cotton.

Pros

  • Made in the USA from safe ingredients
  • Effectively battles pet odors
  • Convenient to use whenever and wherever
  • 5 different fragrances available

Cons

  • The scent doesn’t last long

Runner Up: Arm & Hammer Air Care Pet Scents Electric Oil Diffuser Plug-in

If you prefer the set-it-and-forget-it method, you’ll love this oil diffuser plug-in: it banishes all pet odors and leaves behind a pleasant scent of your choice. The process is simple, you just plug it in an outlet, and it will diffuse oil-based air freshener, which lasts about 30 days before you need a refill. The fresh, gentle scent of the essential oils is enhanced with a baking soda infusion which is there to neutralize all odors – the natural way. You can pick between fresh breeze or lavender fields fragrances.

Pros

  • Gentle but pleasant essential oil scents
  • Infused with baking soda to eliminate odors
  • Just plug it in and it will last for up to 30 days
  • Great for any room of the house

Cons

  • The scent might be too weak-smelling for some people

Customer’s Choice: Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel

Whether it’s your pet’s stinky paws or their potty training pad you don’t want your guests (or you) whiffing in, this discreet but highly efficient air freshener does the trick. It works by absorbing the unpleasant smells in the gel and neutralizing them, while at the same time, as gel naturally evaporates, it releases fragrance from natural oils in the formula. This means that this air freshener won’t just mask pet odors, but fully eliminate them before pleasantly scenting your space. The gel formula is non-toxic, non-GMO, and non-hazardous, and contains no harsh chemicals, synthetic perfumes, alcohol, or phthalates – no wonder it earned Safer Choice Certification from the EPA! You get to choose between original, lavender, or lemon scent.

Pros

  • Natural and pet-safe
  • Eliminates odors
  • Pleasant natural essential oil smell
  • Safer Choice Certification from the EPA

Cons

  • Doesn’t last long

Best Air Freshener for Home: Bright Air Solid Pet Odor Eliminator

No matter how much you clean after your pets, sometimes, the smell lingers. And no one wants their home smelling like a used litter box or dog farts, especially not after putting in all that effort into keeping everything tidy. That’s where air fresheners such as this one come to the rescue – not only will it whisk away the odors, but it will diffuse a cool, citrusy aroma all over your home. The plant-based gel is completely safe and the formula is based on natural essential oils, so it contains no phthalates, triclosan, or BHT. It will work for up to 60 days and one piece covers medium-sized spaces, but since you get 6 air fresheners in the pack, you can strategically place them all over your home for absolute, lasting freshness.

Pros

  • Natural, plant-based formula
  • No phthalates, triclosan, or BHT
  • Eliminates odors
  • 6-piece pack

Cons

  • The smell is somewhat faint

Best Air Freshener for Car: Enviroscent Non-Toxic Hanging Car Air Freshener

If you travel with your pet in tow, your car can quickly lose that “new car smell” and adopt a, well, muskier aroma. Sharing that small space with a stinky pet isn’t all that fun, so a pet-safe car freshener is a must-have if you want to enjoy your pet’s company in the car without worrying about any odors lingering after your road trip. These eco-friendly, pet-safe, and non-toxic car fresheners are a fantastic alternative to toxic commercial options: they are made from paper, fully recyclable, and non-toxic ingredients from nature for a fragrance, to make them safe to breathe in. You get 3 packs of two slim “auto stix” fresheners, so you can customize the intensity of the fragrance – the more “stix” you hang in your car, the stronger the scent. There are 3 fragrances available – Coastal Storm + Teakwood, Black Vanilla + Mandarin, and Seaside Coconut + Verbena.

Pros

  • Natural and non-toxic
  • Eco-friendly and recyclable
  • You can customize the scent intensity
  • 3 beautiful fragrance combinations

Cons

  • “Perfumey” scent – bit overpowering to some people

Best Air Freshener for Bathroom: Smells Begone Air Freshener Pet Odor Absorber Gel

Most pet owners keep their cat’s litter box in the bathroom which can cause some pretty potent odor – but even without one in it, bathrooms are not known as the freshest-smelling place inside the home, so an air freshener is a must-have. This absorber gel air freshener is formulated to tackle the most persistent odors, including pet odors, and will fully neutralize any bad smell for up to 90 days in up to 450 square feet of space. The scent it leaves behind is a “soothing breeze” which is best described as light and pleasant. Made in the USA from plant-derived ingredients and formulated with a blend of essential oil-based fragrances, this air freshener is safe for kids and pets both.

Pros

  • Eliminates toughest (pet) odors
  • Pleasantly scented
  • Covers big areas and lasts long
  • Made in the USA from natural ingredients

Cons

  • Fragrance too faint for some people

Best Air Freshener with Essential Oils: Natural Flower Power Air Freshener

What’s not to like about essential oils? They are completely natural, come in a ton of different scent options, the fragrance is pleasant and usually not too overpowering, and inhaling certain essential oil aromas can have certain benefits – e.g. help you relax and unwind after a long day. This air freshener spray mist is based on essential oils and contains no synthetic fragrances or toxic ingredients and can be used to scent rooms, cars, laundry, and everything else you can think of. There are 3 fragrances available, zesty lemongrass, soothing lavender, and refreshing citrus and spice – although the last one might not be the best choice for pet owners, as cinnamon can irritate some cats and dogs.

Pros

  • Natural essential oil fragrance
  • No toxic ingredients
  • Versatile – can be used anywhere
  • Pleasant but not overpowering scents

Cons

  • Doesn’t eliminate odors, just adds scent

Best Purifying Air Freshener: Germ Guardian GG1100W 7” Pluggable Small Air Purifier

Why not get rid of odors and at the same time, airborne viruses and germs? If you want the air in your home to be truly fresh as it can be, this air purifier is the way to go. Not only it will fully neutralize any pet (and other) odors inside the house, but thanks to the UV-C light and titanium dioxide, it also eliminates airborne viruses and germs such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and reduces volatile organic compounds. Just plug in this filter-free air purifier and freshener and it will cover up to 56 square feet of space for a period of 10 to 12 months when it will need to be replaced.

Pros

  • Purifies and freshens air at the same time
  • Effectively eliminates all odors
  • Kills airborne germs and viruses
  • Ideal for smaller spaces

Cons

  • Noisy operation

Best Automatic Air Freshener: Air Wick Automatic Air Freshener Spray Starter Kit

Want to have a refreshing spritz of air freshener every now and then during the day and come home from work to an already beautifully smelling, odor-free home? An automatic air freshener such as this spray starter kit will do the job perfectly. Automatically releasing bursts of fragrance at 9, 18, or 40-minute intervals (you can choose which works best for you), this air freshener both neutralizes odors and disperses a fresh scent all over your house. You can also set the fragrance intensity at one of 3 levels so you can customize the air freshener to the smallest details.

Pros

  • Helps with odors 24/7
  • Varying fragrance intensity levels
  • Customizable burst intervals
  • Formulated to tackle pet odors

Cons

  • A bit noisy when releases scent

Best Air Freshener Candle: Pet's Favorite Odor Eliminating Candle

Sit back, relax, light a candle and witness any pet-related stinkiness evaporate from the air – a perfect ending to a long day. Lab-tested and proven to eliminate 99% of pet odors from the air, this candle is made from soy wax and comes in 7 different scents, including clean laundry, calming lavender, forest pine, french vanilla, lemon zest, pumpkin spice, and very berry. The fragrances are non-toxic and the combination of soy paraffin blend and a 100% cotton wick ensures that the candle burns clean and long-lasting for up to 70 hours of burn time. Handpoured in the USA, these candles are also paraben, phthalate, and dye-free.

Pros

  • Non-toxic fragrances
  • Made from soy wax with a cotton wick
  • Paraben, phthalate, and dye-free
  • Impressive selection of scents
  • Removes 99% of pet odors

Cons

  • Scent intensity varies with each fragrance formula

What Air Fresheners Are Safe for Pets?


Not all air fresheners on the market are made from clean, non-toxic ingredients – sometimes, companies compromise on the cleanliness of their formula in favor of more exotic or more potent fragrance notes. This is not only problematic for pets, but for people inhaling them, too. To make sure that an air freshener is safe for your pet to be around, check if the ingredients are natural and labeled non-toxic. Also, if it’s a solid air freshener or a candle, or anything you suspect your pet could try chewing on, be sure to put it out of their reach – no matter how safe an air freshener is, it’s not meant to be ingested.


Can Air Fresheners Eliminate Pet Odors?


There are various air fresheners out there, and not all of them are formulated to tackle pet odors – some just mask smells with a strong fragrance without neutralizing the stinkiness first, and others aren’t equipped to target specific smells that come with co-living with a cat or a dog, such as dirty litter or “wet dog smell”. When choosing an air freshener for your pet-friendly household, always opt for those that note that their formula eliminates pet odors, as you’ll know that it’s up to the task. Additionally, always make sure that the formula of the air freshener neutralizes odors and doesn’t just add a pleasant scent to the air – masking pet smells with a flowery, citrusy, or any other fragrance can only make them smell worse and won’t solve your problem.



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Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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