We know when something smells ‘good’, like baking bread; we also know when something smells ‘bad’, like wet-dog coming in from a rainy walk. Our noses have receptors that consciously and unconsciously pick up various types of smells and send them off to our brain for analysis.
Exactly how they do that can be a subject for another article. This article will discuss and compare three common ways that pet odors can be controlled.
Most of the pet odor eliminators on the market today use the principle of Odorant Suppression, sometimes called ‘masking’. As the name implies, one scent or a combination of scents is used to suppress the original scent. The goal is to mask the bad odor with a pleasant smelling alternative. This principle does work, however, it normally doesn’t last very long. In masking, suppressing a strong bad odor is accomplished by using an equal or stronger odor. While going down a supermarket or pet store aisle, everyone has seen the bottles and cans with various vivid illustrations combined with luscious sounding names: “Fresh Pine and Cedar”, “Jasmine and Wild Orchid” and my favorite “Sheer White Cotton tm “.
Immediately, the new scent takes over and for a short time the bad odor is suppressed. As most people have experienced, the fresh scent doesn’t last. As the spray settles the fresh scent seems to mix with the original smell creating a situation where your nose can perceive both scents only to find that the original pet smell has returned. The only solution is to keep using the product. “Spray liberally” is a common instruction.
A second way odors can be controlled is through the use of enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that are catalysts in chemical reactions. They are wonderful and uselfull and neither humans nor pets could live without them. An easy way to think of enzymes is to think of our digestive system. We ingest food and the enzymes in our body rapidly convert our food into the nutrients we need to survive and the waste we need to eliminate. Consider people who are lactose intolerant. They are missing the enzyme that helps digest dairy products. Easily, we can see the benefits of enzymes.
Now it gets tricky. Enzymes are proteins that can be considered ‘alive’, and to be effective, they must be kept ‘alive’. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions in order to be able to maintain fresh and working enzymes in their products. Most enzymes have a shelf life and are also susceptible to quick deterioration when being transported through various temperatures.
Companies selling pet odor elimination sprays that advertise utilizing enzymes as their method of odor elimination are aware of the fragility of enzymes. Once they fill the bottles at their plant and seal the cartons for shipping, they cannot control what happens. Warehousing, time in transit, temperature changes and sitting on a shelf all take their toll and it is not uncommon for those enzymes to be totally ineffective by the time a customer sprays it in their home. That is why the vast majority of manufacturers of enzyme products also add a fragrance to their spray. If the enzymes in the spray are ineffective the back up plan is to have a fragrance released that reverts back to masking or odor suppression.
Odor Conjugation is a scientific principle that has been around and available to all. The simple chemistry is to have one molecule of spray attach itself to one molecule of smell and together they become totally neutralized. In effect 1 + 1= 0!
While the theory seems simple, finding a formula to make it work is quite difficult. While there are products on the market that seem to use this theory, they fall short because they still utilize fragrances and alcohol. Adding to the challenge to find a workable product with no fragrance at all is to make a GREEN product which is biodegradable, eco-friendly, sustainable and safe for humans and pets.
One company has tackled this challenge and has more than succeeded. NOSE Offense…For Pets has paved the way for pet odor neutralizers that provide fragrance-free results while simultaneously acknowledging the importance of manufacturing their product/packaging as environmentally friendly.