Dogs add happiness to a home and can truly become ‘one of the family,’ but the downside of dog ownership is that they sometimes have accidents in the house. Puppies, of course, are still learning and have small bladders that make them need to wet more often. Older dogs can become sick or incontinent and may begin wetting on the carpet as a result. Whatever the case, it is important to quickly clean dog urine from the carpet before the stain and odor has a chance to set in.
Fresh urine accidents are easier to clean than old, set-in stains, but a little persistence will help remove urine odor from the carpet no matter how long it has been there.
- An accident that is still wet should be soaked up using clean, absorbent towels. It’s best to use white towels since the dye in colored towels may bleed into the carpet and create a worse stain. Standing on the towels will help them absorb urine that has already soaked deep into the carpet and into the padding beneath. When one towel is saturated, it should be replaced with a new towel until no more urine can be absorbed.
- If a dog urine stain is found after it has dried, the entire area should be wet with cool water to help loosen the urine from the carpet. Cool water should be used because a warm or hot temperature can actually cause the urine to bond permanently with the carpet fibers. The newly wet area can then be blotted well with dry towels to absorb as much of the water and urine as possible.
- Commercial dog stain removal products work better than all-purpose carpet cleaners. A product that contains bacteria-digesting enzymes works best of all. The odor from dog urine is actually caused by bacteria, and these enzymes will eat and digest the bacteria so that it can create odors no longer.
- The cleaner’s product label should be read and carefully followed for best results. Some cleaners may need to be gently rubbed into the carpet while others may simply be sprayed on and blotted up.
- Before using any cleaner, it should be tested on a hidden area of carpet–in a closet or behind a piece of furniture, for example. After spraying on the product and allowing it to dry, the carpet should be checked for changes in color or texture.
- Because a dog’s sense of smell is a hundred times more keen than a human’s, all traces of the dog urine odor must be removed from the carpet. Otherwise, the dog may think the smell gives him license to continue wetting in that area. If the smell remains after cleaning with a commercial pet stain remover, baking soda or cornstarch could be sprinkled heavily over the entire area. Both of these powders are known for their odor-absorbing properties. They can be allowed to sit on the area anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight and should then be vacuumed up.
- Even after the carpet is clean of any dog urine stain, it may be necessary to apply an odor removing product especially if the dog continues to wet in the same area. These products have special odor-eliminating capabilities, and they contain fragrances that are not detectable by humans but are very unpleasant for dogs to smell. This will help discourage the dog from returning to the same area.