Uh-Oh - Even the most conscientious and careful pet owner will have a puppy or house trained dog that will have an accident and pee in the house.
When an accident does happen, it is important that you quickly and properly clean up the accident to avoid any lingering smells and eliminate the temptation to revisit the same spot as a bathroom.
Removing the odor of urine can be tricky as it is a combination of ammonia, bacteria, hormones and uric acid - and it is important to remove the scent entirely as your dog’s sense of smell is hundreds, if not thousands of times more powerful than yours. If you don’t get the smell out of your carpet, chances are very good your dog will keep returning to that spot any time he/she can’t get outside or feels the pressure to go.
Tips for Cleaning Up Dog Urine
- As soon as you see a puddle or wet spot on your hardwood, tile or linoleum flooring mop it up using paper towels, rags or old bath towels. Throw away used paper towels and set rags aside for washing later.
- For a Carpet Accident Blot or sop. Don’t scrub or wipe. Wiping rubs the urine deeper into the carpet and doesn’t help clean up the mess any better. Continue to mop up the area until the paper towels no longer turn yellow. Keep in mind carpets have a padding underneath and that can also soak in urine, be sure to press down and soak the paper towel to be certain you are reaching the padding as well.
- Once you stop seeing the yellow stain on your paper towels, bring out some plain room temperature water. Pour it over the spot and keep blotting as you were before. The water will dilute what urine was remaining after your initial effort. Repeat the water and mop process at least three times or until you can’t see any more yellow on the towels.
- Apply an enzyme-based ‘digester’ preparation like Nature’s Miracle or Urine Off to the spot. Don’t try a non-pet specific formula first. Products made specifically for pet urine and messes contain bacteria and enzyme digesters that other products do not. They are made to eliminate staining and odor in both the carpet and carpet padding without damaging the carpet or padding. If you try a regular stain remover first, you won’t get the same good results you’ll get using the pet product only. Enzyme-based carpet cleaners use chemicals filled with bio-enzymes that destroy odor-causing bacteria. As the digesters in the chemical eat the “food source” (bacteria, vomit, pet urine, etc.) the bacteria is converted into carbon dioxide and water. Use them instead of other cleaners because enzyme-based preparations actually remove the source of bad smells rather than masking them.
- Follow the product directions and let the product sit for the prescribed amount of time.
- Break out the paper towels again. Using more clean paper towels, blot up as much moisture as you can and allow the spot to air dry.
- If the spot is fresh - meaning you caught your dog in the act - you’ll less likely to need to repeat these steps. However, if the urine spot has been there for a day or more you will need to repeat the enzyme-based product at least 3-4 times to remove all the odor and yellow staining.
Natural, homemade alternatives to enzyme-based products
Not everyone wants to use store-bought specialty products on their carpets. If you prefer to make your own product try these recipes. If one doesn’t work, try another. Sometimes it will take several treatments of natural products to achieve the same results as using an enzyme-based product:
- Hydrogen peroxide and water. Combine one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water. Pour the mixture onto the spot just as you would an enzyme-based product. Let the mixture sit on the spot for at least ten minutes before blotting up the moisture.
- Baking soda. Baking soda removes smells from a lot of things, including refrigerators, carpets, mattresses and more. After you’ve blotted the spot cover the area with baking soda. Let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum. Repeat.
- Undiluted white vinegar. Soak the area completely and let it sit for several minutes before blotting dry.
Preventing Dog Pee Accidents
- Walk your dog often, especially if they’re puppies and especially after playing with your dog. Puppy’s bladders don’t finish growing until they’re almost six months old. According to dogtime.com, puppies have a 45-minute bladder capacity at three weeks of age, a 75-minute capacity at eight weeks, a 90-minute capacity at twelve weeks and two-hour capacity at 18 weeks. Playing with your puppy can stimulate them to urinate, so take them for a quick walk after they’ve been playing inside for more than a few minutes.
- See your vet regularly. Dogs are masters at hiding their pain and problems until they can’t. Get regular checkups and watch your dog carefully for any changes in behavior that can signal a medical problem - like increased or decreased thirst or appetite.
- Use a pee pad that doesn’t leak. Not all pee pads are created equal. Buy and use dog pee pads that have a protective backing that protects your floors and can be adhered to your floor with its own self-adhesive tabs. It’s a good idea to use these pads for a few weeks even after your puppy is house-trained.