You come home to your furry friend waiting for you at the door. But as you kick off your shoes and walk around at home, suddenly you step in a sizable wet spot on your carpet. You didn’t spill a drink, and your canine friend suddenly seems to drop his tail and shy away from you. He had an accident and peed inside. Now the problem is that the urine soaked in, and it’s going to start to smell in a few hours. What should you do?
Initial Response When You Walk in the Door
First off, don’t physically punish the dog. Your pet likely is already potty trained and knows where it should normally go; but being locked up all day sometimes doesn’t have the ability to wait until you get home. It’s like being in a car for a long trip, and no stops for a bathroom break.
Second, be glad you’re dealing with a dog and not a cat. Cat urine is 100 times worse than that of a dog, doesn’t respond well to treatments, and practically requires you to rip up the carpet.
Third, time is of the essence. Get any sponges and absorbent power towels or similar, and soak up as much of the wet spot as you can. The more urine you pull up squeezing it out of the carpet, the less will be available to continue causing problems.
Time to Roll Up Your Sleeves
Now you’re at the point where the next steps involve more work. Get changed, and be ready to put in a bit of elbow grease. The primary goal is to remove the wet urine from the carpet. So, if you have a shop vac in the garage, great. Get it out and run the shop vac over the wet area until you think you’ve pulled out everything you can. You’ll be surprised by how much moisture you still pick up with vacuum pressure. What remains will be the leftover urine in the carpet.
Next comes the treatment stage. If you have it, a number of pet cleaning products with bacterial enzymes work very well. Essentially, the enzymes are specific to eat the proteins in urine that cause the smell. The rest just evaporates with time. However, if you don’t have one of these products, a natural approach is also possible.
A natural treatment requires liquid dishwashing detergent, warm water, a spray bottle, and ammonia. Apply the treatment as follows:
- Use a teaspoon of any brand name dishwashing detergent in liquid form. Add it to a cup of warm water. Don’t substitute the soap with laundry soap or regular sink soap because those have additives that can damage your carpet like bleach.
- Once mixed, put the solution in a spray bottle and then apply the mixture to the urine stain location. Make sure to apply the spray downward from the top versus at an angle. This improves direct application into the carpet and doesn’t miss any spots. You’ll know if you did it wrong later as the urine smell will be present.
- Once fairly soaked in, use either a shop vac, steam cleaner or absorbent towels to pull the moisture out of the carpet like you did originally.
- Next, apply clean warm water to the area and soak up that moisture as well. Repeat this process until the stain disappears. The additional moisture will also loosen and dilute the urine to make it easier to remove.
- Finally, if the stain is stubborn, you can mix two tablespoons of pure ammonia into water and rinse/absorb the remainder out as well. Keep in mind that ammonia has strong fumes, so ventilate the area if you do this last step.
Other Considerations to Keep in Mind
You may need to apply the above natural treatment a few times, depending on how intense the dog urine is in the affected location. However, most folks find after about two or three applications, the problem has been resolved.
Finally, remember your pet is just doing what it normally does. So, if urine accidents are more than occasional, think about changing your schedule to let your dog out more often. If this is not possible, alternatives include dog pee pads or dog diapers that at least give the dog a place to go if trained to do so instead of on your carpet. Dog cranberry supplements can also improve a dog’s kidney and bladder health. And again, just be glad you’re not dealing with a cat urine accident.