Is there anything more pungent than a urine stain? If you own a dog, you know all about it. Whether you own a puppy or an elderly pet who can no longer control their bladder, accidents happen. Unfortunately, they often happen on our carpets, and because we cannot be home all the time to supervise our pets, sometimes those pesky, offensive odors aren’t noticed in time for a quick and thorough cleanup.
Of course, urine stains are not always the result of a non-housebroken puppy or an incontinent older canine family member. Intact males will often mark their territory by urinating on your floors, clothes, and furniture. This is a far more challenging problem to deal with as it is not behavioral; it is instinctual. Once begun, it is nearly impossible to break the habit.
However, regardless of the source, the problem remains the same. Your house now smells like urine, and you’ve got to find a way to get rid of the odor.
The Best Action is Prevention
The very best thing that you can do if urine staining is becoming a recurring issue in your home is to put preventive measures in place. It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to pet “accidents”.
Here are some things that you can do to help prevent urine stains:
- Know the signs to look for
Dogs are creatures of habit. They tend to exhibit the same types of behavior just before they settle in for a pee. Being able to recognize these behaviors will go a long way to helping you correct the problem. Dogs generally need to go outside for a pee break after they have eaten and after a rigorous play session. Outside of these parameters, they will indicate to you that they need to go for a pee by a burst of seeming hyperactivity, rapid movements, and frequent sniffing and circling. If you catch sight of any of these behaviors, it’s time to pick Fido up and race outdoors.
- Praise your dog for peeing in the correct location
Dogs respond exceptionally well to praise. Should you find your dog in the act of peeing in the house, it is important to stop him and quickly relocate him to the correct spot. Rather than scolding a dog for doing what is wrong, it is far more effective to praise him for doing what is right.
When Fido is outside and finishing his pee, make certain to praise him. A little bit of praise for a job well done—even if it’s only half the job!—will go a long way to helping Fido learn that the outdoors is the appropriate place for him to relieve himself.
- Eliminate any residual urine scent from your home
Because dogs’ olfactory senses are between 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than our own, they will detect scents that we no longer realize are present. With this in mind, it is critical that you remove any trace of urine scent from your house.
How can you remove something that you don’t even know is there?
Make use of an enzymatic cleaner that is designed for pet urine odor removal. A product like Odoban is excellent for this. These types of cleaners don’t just mask unpleasant smells; they also break down their chemical composition to ensure complete eradication.
Why is this important?
Dogs are creatures of habit. They will continue to refresh scents that they find throughout their home when they are growing more faint. If your dog can sense even the slightest scent of old urine, he will gravitate towards that spot to urinate again. This is why it is critical to do a very thorough cleaning with a product designed to remove all traces of urine. It allows you to start with a clean slate and will set Fido up for success.
- Make use of belly bands
Belly bands are the best friend of every dog owner with a male who likes to “mark” in the house. Males that tend to shower their territory with their “scent” can be intact or neutered; both are equally at fault. Though people find territory marking unpleasant, it is a very natural canine behaviour, and it is futile to try to eradicate it as it is instinctual, and therefore, very much a part of your dog’s makeup.
You may not be able to eliminate it, but you can certainly discourage it. And that’s where a belly band comes into play. A belly band is a piece of fabric that is wide enough and long enough to enclose your dog’s penis. It wraps around his body and keeps his penis snug to his belly and secures at the top of his back with Velcro strips. It can be lined with panty liners to prevent the band from becoming urine soaked, and it is also completely washable.
What is the advantage of a belly band? The premise behind it is that dogs don’t like to make messes where they live. And they also don’t like to be dirty themselves, contrary to popular opinion. When a dog attempts to urine mark and he is wearing a belly band, he urinates all over himself. The theory behind this is that the dog will eventually learn not to mark in the house. This works for some dogs and not for others, but regardless, it is something you can make use of to protect your furniture if this is a problem for your dog.
- Be patient
Always remember that puppies and older dogs don’t have the same bladder control as an established adult dog and can often get caught “short”. But even adult dogs sometimes regress in their training or have accidents in the house. These could be the result of medical conditions, a behavioral stimulus, or even just a random one off. The best thing you can do is patient.
Getting Rid of the Odor
If you are still in the process of house training a dog or working with a puppy or senior, here are some things that you try to eliminate urine stains from your carpets or furniture:
- Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Enzymatic Cleaners
- Steam Cleaning
- Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
All of these methods work on a similar premise. You must first begin by blotting up as much of the mess as you can. Use old towels weighted with heavy books to ensure that you are absorbing as much of the urine as possible. The spot must then be treated with the solution of choice. For the vinegar or hydrogen peroxide approach, you want to dilute these ingredients with water then spray them directly on the stain and allow time for them to penetrate into the fabric. Once you have completed this step, blot the stain again with a clean dry towel, then sprinkle liberally with baking soda. When the soda has had sufficient time to set, you can then vacuum up any remaining residue, and the odor should be gone.
Enzymatic cleaners must be applied to well-blotted stains as well. They are also effective on old urine stains as is steam cleaning. To uncover if old urine stains linger on your furniture or carpets, you can make use of a black light. Black light causes urine stains to glow in the dark if they are present. Once you source them, you can then treat them.
As a worst case scenario, sometimes odors are so powerful that you will not be able to remove them. In that circumstance, the best course of action is to remove and replace your carpet and underpadding.
Yes, urine staining can be a problem if you own pets. Follow these few simple tips to help Fido learn where his bathroom is and to keep your house smelling like a rose!