Urine has one of the most persistent smells, no matter how hard you try to scrub and scour it.
The truth is:
Most people simply wash their home with soap and water, and it just isn’t enough.
Besides, some dogs tinkles in hidden places which are hard to find or reach. Not to mention that treating heavy carpets is often harder than cleaning hard floors.
In fact, some carpets may need a deeper treatment, or even be replaced altogether.
However, in most cases, the following solutions are more than enough to get rid of this bothersome problem.
In this post, I’ll share my 6 favorite ways to tackle pet pee odors, even if your whole house smells like dog urine.
I’ll also talk about what not to do to remove urine odor and how to avoid this situation in the first place.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Having Pee Accidents?
Canines are territorial animals.
When your dog is marking spots around the house, he’s probably trying to make a statement rather than to get on your nerves.
Needless to say that this kind of behavior isn’t acceptable, but what can you do to stop it?
Start Doing Potty Training
The most important thing you should do to avoid potty accidents is to housebreak your dog. Whether you decide to do potty training indoors or outside is your choice, as long as Fido knows where he’s allowed to relieve himself.
If your dog is soiling around the house mostly when he’s alone, you may want to learn more about separation anxiety in dogs to solve this behavioral problem.
Walk Your Dog Frequently
If you chose to potty train your dog to eliminate outdoors, then you need to take him out often, or he will have no other choice than to do his business inside the house. You should take your dog out 3-4 times a day and even more in case he’s a senior or a puppy.
You can always hire a dog walker to help you out.
Get Your Dog Checked
If your dog is potty trained, and you take him out frequently enough, but the urination problem persists, then maybe it’s a health issue you should talk to your vet about.
Aging, urinary tract infections and urinary stones can cause a lack of bladder control in dogs, making them more prone to accidents.
Wrong Ways To Remove Dog Urine Odors
Using A Floor Cleaner
A floor cleaner is simply not enough. Even if you don’t notice the smell, your dog, who has a much more developed sense of smell than yours, can still smell remnants of his urine on the floor.
Using Ammonia Or Ammonia-based Products
Dog urine smells like ammonia, so if you try to use a product that has ammonia in it, your dog will continue to mark the same spot you’re trying to clean.
Bleach is made to disinfect areas, not to neutralize dog urine odors. Besides, bleach fumes are harmful, and it’s highly toxic if ingested. Not exactly pet-friendly.
Whole House Smells Like Dog Urine? Learn How To Eliminate Urine Odor
1. Use A Black Light To Find The Odor Source
TaoTronics Black Light is one of the essential tools in fighting pee odors since it can reveal long-dried stains and urine traces that you may have missed, especially if you’re trying to potty train your dog indoors.
Make sure the room is completely dark before you start searching for dog urine. The pee stain should look like a shiny mark so it shouldn’t be difficult to locate it. Use the black light on floors, walls, and carpets to make sure you don’t miss anything.
2. Grab A Natural Urine Odor Remover
Once you find the urine residue, you should remove it entirely or else your dog will keep marking this place again and again.
I prefer to use a natural enzymatic pet odor neutralizer (without harmful ingredients) because it might as well be safe for our dogs.
If you want to check one out, Rocco & Roxie is considered to be the best odor and stain removers out there.
This product will break down the bacteria that causes the bad smell and neutralize it. Test the cleaner in a hidden place first and then apply it for 10 minutes before you soak it in a paper towel (you may need to repeat this process more than once for persistent smells).
I should mention that it will be quite challenging to treat a heavily soiled carpet using just an enzyme cleaner. In that case, you should think about other options which I’ll talk about later.
3. Make Your Own Homemade Pet Odor Neutralizer
Does vinegar remove urine odor? It depends.
Highly concentrated urine tend to have a strong ammonia smell, which has alkaline properties. Vinegar, on the other hand, is acidic, so it has the ability to neutralize the urine scent.
Vinegar isn’t the most powerful pet odor neutralizer, and it doesn’t seem to be that effective with really stubborn urine odor. In that case, I would use it along with another odor remover.
If the urine smell is rather weak, using vinegar may be enough.
First, don’t apply the vinegar right on the soiled area. Instead, absorb everything using a few paper towels, then mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, and saturate the pee spot.
At this point, you can use a toothbrush or a carpet brush to work the mixture into the stain. After that, let it sit for about 10 minutes and clean the whole thing using some paper towels.
Reapply if needed.
4. Consider An Air Purifier For Pet Odors
Dog urine odors can be hard to remove, even if you do everything right.
Because urine contains compounds that release strong chemicals into the air, they eventually get oxidized, and that, along with the presence of bacteria, is what causes the strong smell.
Additionally, your dog can leave traces of urine in places you can’t reach, or you don’t even know about.
So how does an air purifier helps?
To remove these nasty compounds, you’ll need a charcoal filter for capturing odors. You’ll also need a true HEPA filter that can trap dust, dander, and hair, which can also cause an odd smell.
GermGuardian AC4825 has both of these filters.
An Air Purifying Bag is a cheaper option for clearing the air from unpleasent odors and allergens but it only covers small rooms. This product is safe to use around pets and will stay effective up to two years.
5. Rent A Wet Vac To Clean Your Carpet
I see this question a lot: “how can I remove dog urine odor from carpet?”
Older stains that managed to soak into carpet padding and backing may need a deeper cleaning. You can rent a wet vac to remove tracks of heavy stains and lingering urine odor in the carpet. Some vacuums will even do mattresses.
The cleaning process is simple — the carpet-cleaning machine will push clean water through your carpet and then pull out the dirty water.
You can use a pet urine odor remover or vinegar at this point to scrub out what’s left of the stain and give it some time to dry completely. While you’re at it, clean the whole carpet so that it won’t look uneven.
Avoid using steam cleaners to remove urine odors from your carpet as the heat will set the stain in the fibers for good.
You might also want to pick up hair and dander using a robot vacuum for dogs to reduce pet smells and allergens.
6. Light Up An Odor-fighting Candle
When you’re done looking for the smell, treating it with urine odor remover or vinegar, and perhaps cleaning your entire carpet — it’s time to sit back, dim the lights and finish the work with a pet odor eliminator candle.
Pet House candles are available in 15 different scents (from Pumpkin Spice to Vanilla Creme Brulee), and they also include a pet odor neutralizer to remove unpleasant smells.
There’s a full money back satisfaction guarantee if for some reason you’re not satisfied with the product.
These candles are safe for pets (and the earth) as they contain 100% soy wax instead of paraffin, and you can expect them to last up to 70 hours of use. After you’re done with the candle, you can reuse the glass jar for your dog’s treats.