How to Clean Dog Urine

Dogs are notorious for marking their territories and returning to do it again. Whether your pooch has had an accident or is making sure everyone knows the house is his, you want to rid the area completely of the urine and any lingering odors that accompany it. 

You Will Need: 

  • Rubber gloves
  • Pet urine remover or vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Old cloths or towels 

Steps to Remove the Urine: 

  1. Whenever cleaning pet urine, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Start by mopping up the mess or use old towels or paper towels to soak it up.
  3. Next, you will need to treat the area for odors and stains.
  4. There are a variety of pet urine removers available. Nature’s Miracle is a well known brand with a high success rate. Kids ‘n Pets is another product designed for removing a variety of stains and odors. Both are effective removing the stains and lingering odors that come from dog urine. Some have also found simple, white vinegar to be effective in removing pet odors as well.
  5. Apply you selected cleaning product liberally to the area.
  6. For carpet or padded furniture, make sure you apply enough to reach the bottom of the stain so all of the odor is removed.
  7. Some cleaning products will recommend that the product be scrubbed and rinsed, while most are left to air dry. The extra time on the stain allows the product time to break down the urine proteins and odors to remove them completely.
  8. If cleaning a hard floor, simply apply the product and wipe the area clean with paper towels. Note that cloths or old towels can be used as well, but they will also hold the odor, even after a regular washing.
  9. Once the area is dry, vacuum carpeted areas to restore the texture of the carpet. 

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Be sure to treat the entire area to avoid a repeat occurrence. Pets are likely to return to the same spot and urinate gain if they smell any of their “markings” in the area.
  • The best indicator to determine if the smell is still there is to watch your pet. They will smell an area with a scent more intently, giving you time to move them outdoors and retreat the area.


  1. Lynn says:

    Dogs have accidents, it’s a fact of life. They sell special dog urine removal solutions at the pet store, or even in the grocery store pet food department. The solutions work like any other carpet spot cleaner, but they’re specially formulated to kill the urine smell so the dog won’t come back to that spot.

  2. Lynn says:

    Soak up as much of the urine as you can, then pour table salt all over the wet spot, lay down a good thick layer of it. The salt will soak up the rest of the urine, then you can pick up the crusted salt – use gloves – and vacuum up the rest.

  3. Lynn says:

    We found out the hard way that using an ammonia-based cleaner is an open invitation to our dogs to return to the scene of the crime. Make sure that anything you use to clean up dog urine doesn’t also smell like dog urine.

  4. Lynn says:

    You can teach a small dog, like a chihuahua, to use a litter box just like a cat. It takes a little more work, but since dogs like to go in a place they’ve gone before they catch on pretty quickly. And once the dog is used to the box, you won’t have to run for the door first thing in the morning to head off a wet spot on the rug.

  5. Lynn says:

    Get the kind that foams and has a carpet brush attached to the can. Blot up the urine, spray on the foam and wait however long it says to wait on the can before vacuuming up the dried foam. Repeat if the spot still smells.

  6. Lynn says:

    Be sure to check the baseboard next to an accident site, and clean down between the carpet and the wall as much as you can. Leftover urine isn’t just nasty, it will draw your dog back to that place to do the deed again.

  7. N. Stevens says:

    Mop up the urine until the area is as near to dry as possible. Spray white vinegar all over the area and allow it to dry. The vinegar breaks down the crystals that form. If the accident spot is on carpet, then after the vinegar has dried (once dried you cannot smell the urine or the vinegar) sprinkle Bicarbonate of Soda over the area, brush it into the carpet, leave it for a few hours then vacuum up.

  8. GayLynn says:

    A professional carpet cleaner told me to use vinegar for the three “P’s,” pee, poop and puke. After picking up or blotting up as much of the offending material as possible, saturate the area with white vinegar, blot and then rub north and south and east and west to make sure that you are getting all sides of the fibers. Vinegar does not leave a residue like some cleaning products do, and it eliminates the odors too.

  9. Juenell says:

    I read on one site that Listerine works well to clean up after dog (and cat) urine. Our Lab/Chow used to be an outside dog and had trouble making the transition to living inside; consequently, we had lakes, not puddles, to clean up. We also had to deal with the long-lasting smell. After mopping the floor, I poured Listerine over the scene of the crime, let it soak in a bit, and then dried the area. The anti-bacterial forces in the mouthwash killed the smell. I’m cheap, so I bought the store-brand or generic versions of Listerine, and they worked the same.

    For really bad messes, I recommend a steam mop. I bought a Shark steam mop and have noticed that the areas where she left her mark smell better and she is less likely to return to the scene of the crime.

  10. Wilma says:

    Use pine sol and water, saturate the area well and let it dry. May take more than one application. Make sure you have good ventilation.

  11. David says:

    Our golden retriever peed on a light-colored persian carpet (rug) a number of times before we realized. We had it cleaned, but they could only do a light clean, as the dye began to run. Any idea how we can remove/reduce the yellow staining, and to remove the final residue of smell? Thanks.

  12. Jean says:

    I cleaned the spot that my dog had an accident on during the night, when it dried, it looked very bad. It is a round spot that looks dirty. How can I clean this and make my carpet look the same? Thanks.

  13. Laura says:

    I’ve tried everything and ended up putting 1/4 water and 3/4 white vinegar in a spray bottle. I have only used this on tile, pergola, and linoleum. It works great. Spray, let sit for just a minute, and wipe up with a towel. Works great!

  14. Teresa says:

    I will be sticking to a vinegar solution from now on. In a pinch, I have used ammonia and water to clean an accident. Now I understand that it may attract a repeat performance. Thanks!

  15. RJ says:

    Windex with ammonia D is very effective for blood stains and dog accident stains, if you use it before anything else. Soak it in slightly watered-down Windex for large areas, or spray out of the bottle and saturate. Let it sit or soak for a 1/2 hr. or so. Use carpet cleaner, a washing machine or just scrub and blot. Very good on clothing for blood from fishing, hunting etc.

  16. Corey says:

    My dog continuously pees everywhere in the house. Her favorite spot is the kitchen. The smell seems to never disappear, even when I clean it up. My house smells like dog pee (also, she’s a puppy so the urine is strong). How can I remove the smell from my home?

  17. Tami says:

    I have a rescue Papillon who has had an extremely difficult life. Her favorite place to urinate when she cannot make it outside is on the tile floor in the kitchen. Her urine would get down in the grout and leave a foul smell. I have found “Urine Gone” stain and odor eliminator with enzyme action will completely wipe out the smell.

  18. Linda says:

    What will remove the stain and odors from dog pee on the cement patio? It is killing me. Thanks.

  19. Linda says:

    I have the same problem with my mix. She pees on the kitchen floor by the back door every time she cannot wait to go outside. It goes into the grout, and into the wood on the side. I know for a fact that vinegar brings her right back to that area. Windex, after cleaning the ceramic, will draw her like steak. I have used ammonia with lemon scent. Nope, though I did clean that up, after. I am puzzled. I will try Urine Gone.

  20. Kim says:

    What is the best thing to do when it comes to disciplining our puppy. . .some people say put her nose it it and others say never to do that. This is my first puppy. What should I do?

  21. Melanie says:

    Dogs are a generally clean species; they prefer not to defecate in the same place that they eat or sleep. Dogs are also incredibly perceptive and eager to communicate with their human. That is likely where the practice of “rubbing their nose in it” comes from – dogs are civilized enough to be disgusted by it and perceptive enough to understand the emotions that you express when doing that – anger, hatred, dominance, etc. Essentially, this method teaches your dog to fear you (and humans in general), which often leads to behavioral problems. Hence, this practice has fallen into disrepute with the advancement of basic rights, knowledge, legality, etc.
    A better way to train your dog is to build trust. Your need is for your pet not to soil the house. Your pet’s need is to relieve themselves. Learn more about the dietary system of puppies (ie. taking a puppy outside immediately before and after a nap or meal, providing your puppy with the necessary number of outings for their development stage and breed size, etc.) to be sure you are meeting their needs. Listen for the tell-tale yip that is a request for a bathroom break or consider using a dog doorbell to train your puppy. Also, reward your puppy with praise or treats when they properly relieve themselves outside.
    I have trained a number of puppies and I have never rubbed their nose in it. Positive reinforcement works wonders. Make your own treats or use Cheerios if you can’t afford commercial dog treats with all the other puppy start-up costs. Taking the puppy out every few hours is definitely a hassle, but the training is valuable and the bonding is sweet – waking up in the middle of the night to take your puppy outside, etc.
    Positive reinforcement is basically the opposite principle of nose-rubbing; giving your puppy praise for doing things right instead of discipline for doing things wrong. Be extremely expressive with the praise; give a big smile and do a little dance and cheer for your puppy – really sell it. :) Be patient and consistent. The more times they repeat an action, the more ingrained it will become.
    Lastly, make sure that you thoroughly clean the scent from the area where your puppy had an accident. Their nose is stronger than ours, so be sure to follow-up your cleaning with an odor-removing treatment, such as diluted vinegar or baking soda.

    Source: wikiHow – 5 Ways to House Train a Puppy
    Source: wikiHow – How to House Train Your Dog in Ten Days
    Source: Pets Adviser – Rubbing a Dog’s Nose in Pee Does Not Work!
    Source: American Humane Association – Housetraining Puppies and Dogs
    Source: Cesar’s Way – Dog Problem: Puppy Soiling Crate
    Source: – Ribbon Dog Doorbell

  22. Louise says:

    I would like to know how to get rid of a pee smell on laminate floor and stop them from peeing there again.

  23. Gail wants to know says:

    I would like to know how to get rid of a pee smell on laminate floor and stop them from peeing there again. What works best: a vinegar solution or an enzyme product for urine accidents. It cannot just be poured onto the laminate, it would ruin it. What do I do?

  24. Bruce says:

    My dog urinates and defecates in my basement while I’m gone. I have a gas water heater and furnace near where he goes. Is it safe to use the products you mention because of the flame from the pilot light? There is no ventilation and I don’t really want to blow myself up. Thank you.

  25. Don says:

    This will not work. I own a carpet cleaning service. Everyone tries these methods, then calls me. Call a professional. You need to treat the bacteria, then deal with the urine and you need a truck mount carpet cleaning unit.

  26. Pat says:

    We have Shaw laminate flooring in our house, and our dog peed on it, leaving a residue. I tried my 50/50 vinegar and water mist, then plain water mist, using my Leiber mop. The residue remained, and became very tacky to walk on, and we actually spread the residue over a larger space by foot traffic. I called Shaw, and they recommended 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol applied with a clean
    cloth (no fabric softener in it). Wipe it on affected areas, turn the cloth often to keep a clean application surface going, and let it dry. Works like a charm!! Thought I was going to have to replace a lot of flooring, but the rubbing alcohol took care of the problem.

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