How to Get Rid of the Smell of Dog Vomit

Both kids and fur-kids are likely to have an occasional bout of vomiting. Most of the time, it's normal, but knowing that doesn't make cleanup any more pleasant. Mitigating a dog vomit incident involves addressing both the stains and the smells.

Remove the Vomit

For the vomit cleanup task, fast hands are key. Though the attendant smells and textures are more repulsive, fresh vomit is much easier to clean, less likely to stain, and has less of a chance for the odor to permeate the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves

  • Spatula or wooden spoon (used exclusively for this purpose)

  • A dustpan

  • Cornstarch

  • Vinegar

  • Dish soap

  • Warm water

Use the spatula or spoon to scrape away any solids or chunks of fresh or dried vomit into the dustpan. For easy disposal, use a sandwich baggie instead of a pan.

Sprinkle cornstarch, baking soda or sawdust over the top of any residual liquid to muffle smells and create removable clumps. Wait a few minutes, and the cornstarch will absorb the liquid into removable clumps. Scoop up the clumps or use your vacuum's wet/dry function to vacuum them up.

Fight Vomit Stains

On hardwood or tile floor, treat the affected area with a mixture of warm water and dish soap with a generous splash of vinegar. This will help neutralize any bacteria and remove the last traces of vomit and its smell. Wipe clean.

If you're dealing with a vomit stain on carpet or fabric, use the same mixture of mild soapy water to wash by hand or in the gentle cycle of the washing machine.

In situations where the fabric cannot be washed -- such as non-removable slipcovers or carpeting -- use a mild liquid cleanser on the area and flush with plenty of warm water so the digestive acids don't work their way into the fabric. Use a gentle blotting motion to avoid damage to the fabric fibers.

Attack Smells

Dog vomit smells are a byproduct of the chemical reactions caused by digestive juices. An enzyme-based cleaner will help with any pungent aromas. These cleaners contain enzymes, a protein, that help speed up reactions and eliminate smells more quickly. Some cleaners are even targeted toward specific odors, like pet smells or bodily fluids.

For the lingering smells left by natural cleaners, like the vinegar solution, add essential oils or citrus peels to the cleaner itself. Run a desktop or box fan during and after cleaning to help dissipate unwelcome odors.


If your dog is vomiting more than usual or her vomit smells especially bad, take her to the vet. It may be a sign of a bowel obstruction or something even more serious.