Using Dog Urine Cleaner to
Safely Remove Dog Urine Odor and Stains
Because the wrong type of dog urine cleaner can cause setbacks during potty training, learning about the best pet urine cleaner products on the market is crucial so to grant success.
Dogs are creatures of habit. Once they learn to eliminate in a particular spot, they will continue doing so, provided the opportunity exists. And if it doesn't exist... they'll find one anyway!
Whether you own a young puppy or an older dog, it is important to know what type of dog urine cleaner to use so to effectively remove stains and lingering odors.
While most urine cleaners are effective, some are not. Some may even encourage your puppy to urinate in exactly the same spot you just cleaned.
What are Dog Urine Removers?
Dog urine removers, as the name implies, are products used to clean up areas soiled with urine. Not all dog urine remover products are created equal; indeed, some are considerably more effective than others.
In order to choose the best dog urine cleaner product, it helps to understand the chemistry of urine.
Upon exiting the dog's bladder, urine is on the acid spectrum of the pH scale, however, after some time, it becomes alkaline. Because alkaline-based products work against acid stains and acid-based products work best against alkaline stains, the use of specific cleaning products is necessary.
This means that alkaline-based products work best on fresh stains, whereas, acid-based products work best on urine stains that are dry.
The Right Dog Urine Cleaner Products Make a Difference
Cleaning up a dog urine stain using a regular household product may look like a good solution, but does it really work?
As humans, we tend to think that when a stain is no longer visible it no longer smells, and therefore, it is gone. While this may hold true for humans equipped with a mere 5 million olfactory receptors, things are drastically different from a dog's standpoint. Equipped with about 220 million receptors, dogs live in a world of smells; therefore, they are capable of detecting previously soiled areas.
Any lingering smells derived from previously soiled areas tell the dog that that area is the designated place to go, just as a bathroom sign would tell a human the restroom's location.
Failure to use the right products to clean up dog urine stains will encourage the dog to keep using such areas as his favorite restroom. A good way to detect previously soiled areas is by using an ultraviolet light; urine residues not visible to the human eye will fluoresce under the light.
Dog Urine Cleaners: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The right choice of dog urine cleaner products, therefore, plays a fundamental role in the successful house training of puppies and dogs. Which products work best?
The best dog urine cleaner products not only remove the stains but also concentrate on removing any trace of odors. Enzyme-based cleaners are optimal because they readily eat and "digest" any bacteria that give urine its typical odor. With no more lingering odors around, dogs feel less compelled to use certain areas to soil.
Regular household cleaning products do not work simply because they do not contain odor-fighting enzymes. Not only do they not work but some of them may even encourage a dog to soil!
Ammonia-based products encourage dogs to soil recently cleaned areas simply because ammonia is a component in urine. A vicious cycle may unfold before your eyes as you clean up soiled areas and the smell attracts your dog back to the same spot, bringing you back to square one!
How to Get Rid of Stains Safely
In order to protect carpets and hardwood floors from urine stains, it is important to clean up the urine stain as soon as possible. Once the urine stain dries, it is harder to clean.
If you are dealing with carpet and the stain is fresh, blot the area with an absorbent cloth and then use an alkaline-based cleaner. This will dilute the urine salts so that they can be easily removed by further blotting the area. Afterward, an enzyme-based product may be applied so to remove any lingering odors.
Older stains are more challenging to clean with the average dog urine cleaner. You can try to give the enzyme-based cleaner a shot, but if the area has been soiled repeatedly, it may not be effective. It may help to follow up with a mix made of 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water and then try the enzyme-based cleaner again. As a last resort, the stained carpet section along with the pad may need to removed and replaced with a patch taken from a hidden area such as beneath furniture or a rug.
With hardwood floors, the area can be easily cleaned if the accident just happened and the urine did not have a chance to seep into the floor. In this case, paper towel sheets can be placed on the soiled area and the area should be blotted, working from the outside inwards. Afterward, an enzyme-based product should be applied and allowed to soak for several hours.
Blotting the area with paper towels and finally applying an orange oil wood cleaner to restore some shine should do the trick. Should the urine stain be quite old, you may have to bleach the area and sand it, or alternatively, stain it.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
There are right and wrong things to do when it comes to protecting your flooring from urine stains and preventing your dog from soiling them over and over again. Following are some tips and guidelines to keep in mind.
- Skip the average detergents. These will not only fail to address the odor but will also leave a sticky residue that will attract dirt and debris.
- Be careful using deodorizers and air fresheners as they can be toxic to pets.
- As mentioned, avoid ammonia-based products unless you want to put a "here is the bathroom" sign!
- Don't focus on the stain only; think about the dog urine odor!
- Avoid reprimanding your puppy or dog for having an accident.
How to Address Accidents Around the Home
So what should you do if you come home one day and find a nice big puddle in the middle of the room?
First and foremost, avoid scolding your puppy, rubbing his nose in his mess, or worse, hitting him. After all, you would never dream of scolding, hitting or rubbing a baby's face in a dirty diaper for soiling, so why should you do that with a puppy that has yet to attain bladder control?
Regardless if you own a puppy or adult dog, keep in mind that dogs do not hold a grudge or soil out of spite. Most likely, your dog simply could no longer keep it.
While it is pointless getting angry at a puppy that has soiled minutes or hours ago simply because he would have no clue what he is being reprimanded for, what should you do if you catch your puppy in the act of soiling?
Again, avoid yelling, pushing his nose in his mess or hitting him as this will only confuse and frighten your puppy. Instead, you can try interrupting him in the act by clapping your hands and encouraging him to follow you outdoors so to finish his business outside. When he does, make sure to praise lavishly!
Here is a brief video that discusses some of the things we just covered. It offers good tips, just ignore the part where the guy tries to convince you that the product that he uses is the only one that works :)
As seen, the correct use of dog urine cleaner products can have a significant impact on the house training process of your puppy or dog. Keep in mind, however, that should you notice frequent urination in your dog despite offering plenty of opportunities to soil outdoors, there may be an underlying medical problem or behavioral problem at play.
After having ruled out these problems, make sure to invest some time on learning how to properly house train your puppy or dog and how the right choice of dog urine cleaner can really make a difference.
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Want to learn more?
To housetrain your puppy in the shortest time possible, I recommend that you follow this housetraining guide. In addition to other housebreaking topics, it covers several causes of excessive urination in puppies and older dogs.
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