Dyson vacuum smells like dog: cause and solution

dyson vacuum smells like dog
© Vacuumtester
In short: a Dyson can smell like dog if it is not maintained properly. You can easily prevent this odor by regularly emptying your vacuum cleaner, keeping it clean and providing it with new filters in good time. View compatible filters for your Dyson.

The dust container of a vacuum cleaner is a collection point for dirt: from pet hair to dust. If you don't empty the dust container regularly and your vacuum cleaner is poorly maintained, a vacuum cleaner can quickly start to smell.

This problem also occurs with Dyson vacuum cleaners. For example, your Dyson can smell like a dog, which does not make vacuuming more pleasant. Let's find out why your Dyson smells like a dog and how to get it smelling good again.

Why does my Dyson smell like dog?

There are several reasons why a Dyson can start to smell like a dog. It often has to do with poor maintenance of your Dyson vacuum cleaner: if you often vacuum up dog hair and do not empty the dust container regularly, there can soon be a dog smell when you start vacuuming.

Some important causes:

  • Dust container that has not been emptied for a long time
  • Deteriorated Dyson filters
  • Poor maintenance of Dyson parts
  • Vacuuming damp dirt (including wet dog hair)

To understand how your Dyson can spread a dog smell, it is interesting to know how a vacuum cleaner works. When you vacuum, the sucked in air passes the already collected dirt into the dust container.

This air is then filtered, after which it leaves the vacuum cleaner again. If filters no longer work properly, the unfiltered air (which can smell like dog if there are often dog hairs in the dust container) is distributed again. This often causes not only an odor, but also an increased dust emission.

Stinky Dyson doesn't just happen in households with a dog

It's worth noting that a Dyson that smells like a dog doesn't always have to be caused by a dog. In fact, many of the people I've spoken to who experience a doggy smell when vacuuming with a Dyson don't even have a pet.

It's worth noting that a Dyson that smells like a dog doesn't always have to be caused by a dog.

It may well be that the smell that arises when you vacuum ‘look' like the smell of a dog. Often people also talk about a musty smell or even an odor that resembles vomit.

Other descriptions of a Dyson vacuum cleaner that smells:

  • Dyson smells like vomit
  • Dyson smells like poop
  • Dyson smells musty
  • Dyson smells like rotten eggs

If a vacuum cleaner gives off a burning smell, it is important to switch off the vacuum immediately. This is often not a question of poor maintenance, but there can also be a mechanical problem. This scent is often described as:

  • Dyson smells of burning rubber
  • Dyson smells like burning
  • Dyson smells like burning hair

Making Dyson smell nice again

Time to get rid of these nasty odors! Once your Dyson vacuum cleaner smells, you have no choice but to thoroughly clean your entire vacuum cleaner. And yes: that is more than just emptying the dust container.

In my guide ‘How to clean a Dyson vacuum‘ I help you step by step with a thorough cleaning. In addition to cleaning the vacuum cleaner and its parts, it is also important to replace wear-sensitive parts.

As I just indicated, there may be outdated HEPA filters. You need to replace a HEPA filter regularly. Even if there is a washable filter. With the filter of a Dyson, I recommend that you replace it at least once every twelve months. A Dyson filter replacement is very easy. Watch the video below.

If you need a new Dyson filter, it is important to know which model you have. Find out where you can find the serial number on your Dyson vacuum cleaner in the article ‘Which Dyson do I have?‘.

Do you know which Dyson vacuum cleaner you have? Discover suitable filters in the overview below.

Vacuum cleanerFilter levelCompatible filters
Dyson V8 ULPA 15View filter
Dyson V10 HEPA 13View filter
Dyson V11 HEPA 13View filter
Dyson V12 ULPA 15View filter
Dyson V15 ULPA 15View filter

Preventing a Dyson vacuum that smells bad

Once you've managed to get rid of the dog smell, it's smart to be able to prevent it in the future. Below are some interesting tips to prevent a smelly Dyson in the future.

  • Empty the dust container more often: this way, dirt does not have time to mold and start to smell.
  • Cleaning Dyson filters regularly: I recommend that you clean the filter at least once a month
  • Different vacuum cleaner for pet hair: Some people choose to use a separate vacuum cleaner for removing pet hair.

I hope your Dyson smells good again soon with the help of my tips!

In summary: a Dyson can eventually smell like a dog. You can prevent this problem by cleaning the vacuum cleaner regularly. If your vacuum cleaner continues to smell, you can solve this problem right away by buying new Dyson filters.
Robbert Tigchelaar
Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar has made testing vacuum cleaners his life's work. He has dedicated himself to conducting fully independent and valuable tests of vacuum cleaners to provide consumers with honest advice. His expertise in vacuum cleaners has been highlighted in The Washington Post and the Daily Express.

  1. Hello, I’m another victim of the Dyson V10 animal+ doggy smell vacuum cleaner. It’s less than 2 yrs old, only used on 2 rooms of carpet, rest are tiles. The dog came in house a few times, so definitely not a house dog. The vacuum gets emptied after 5mins. of cleaning and filter washed every month. The house is cleaned weekly or fortnightly. The head of the cleaner is missing the thin black bristles, worn out in no time. Took the problem of the rancid smell up with Dyson. The vacuum is being sent to Dyson, leaving me without a vacuum for months because of transit time. Loaned the vacuum to daughter while she was waiting on parts for her Dyson, her family complained of the horrible smell. So if my vacuum arrives minus the smell, I’m too scared to use it because I’ll be back to where I started (smelly vacuum). The vacuum cost me $1,000. I absolutely feel ripped off and would never recommend a Dyson. My old $100 Hoover barrel vac. never had that issue.

    • Hi Helen, thanks for your response. I’m sorry to hear that your Dyson has started to smell like a dog. What I’ve heard from many people is that they still use their old vacuum for places with a lot of dog hair to prevent odors in the future! I hope you haven’t gotten rid of your old Hoover yet! 🙂

  2. Hi Robbert,

    I wanted to thank you for suggesting possible reasons for the foul-smelling filter. Here’s the thing: about two months ago, I purchased a Dyson V15. I don’t own a dog (or any pets at all, for that matter), yet it oddly has this wet dog odor. Any idea what might be causing this? I’ve already cleaned the filter multiple times using soap and water, but that doesn’t seem to be solving the issue.

    Thanks in advance!

    Philip Fc

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