The Dangerous Truth About Pet Urine Odor


We all know pets are prone to accidents and those accidents should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. It becomes much harder to get rid of the odor if the liquid is penetrated into the padding. One or two small accidents that have been cleaned up quickly and easily are not normally cause for concern, primarily when it comes to the development of mold. However, if pet urine spots are not cleaned up immediately and the carpet becomes soaked through the carpet and into the padding or on a mattress, the lingering strong odor most likely will cause the pet to have an “accident” in the same spot again and again.

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Many times, people will use a product that will eliminate both the urine spot and the bacteria, but they have only treated the top of the carpet and not the urine that has seeped deep into the fibers and the padding underneath. This results in a bad pet urine odor along with stains that cannot be removed without careful assessment. Pet urine spots can be cleaned properly and do not always result in a permanent mark on your carpet. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in with a pet “accident”, there is always a solution to be found.

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Cat urine is not really different from any other animals’ urine, yet many people think of cat urine as one of the hardest smells in nature, and that could be because of the distinctive odor of the cat litter mixed with cat urine. Urine is actually a concentrate of metabolic waste and is composed of urea, creatine, uric acid, various detoxified substances, sodium chloride and other electrolytes. The characteristic yellow color is due to urobilinogen.

One reason cat urine has a bad name is due to the fact that the urine is sometimes left unnoticed until it becomes a problem. Cats have a propensity to “mark” their territory near or outside of their litter box, be it on the carpet or in hidden corners. After some time, bacteria decompose the urea and the odor has an ammoniacal characteristic to it, which smells like stale old urine, this is the first stage of decomposition. The second stage of the decomposition process emits mercaptans, compounds that also give skunk spray it’s nasty scent. Of course other factors give each animal its own unique smell. Older animals have kidneys that have lost some of their efficiency and as a consequence tend to have the worst smelling urine. Urine from older male cats can sometimes smell worse than female cats, due to the presence of certain steroids.


The first challenge is to locate the pee. If you have already stepped in it or spotted the stain on the carpet, your first challenge is complete. If you can not seem to locate the urine, using ultraviolet light will make it glow. Once the urine is located, it is so important to act fast to remove it. Most products sold on the market as ‘cat urine removers’ make use of a specific enzymatic reaction: the hydrolysis of urea. Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions. In other words, the enzymes break up the urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia, two gases that evaporate quickly. So there it is, the urine is gone before it had the chance to turn nasty. The only problem with cleaning agents containing enzymes is their limited shelf life. Enzymes lose their efficiency with time.


“Uh Oh! My dog peed on the floor”

No matter how well trained your dog is as well as how diligently you keep your potty-break schedule, sometimes pee happens. Whether on the carpet, hardwood floor or anywhere else, prompt action is the best way to make sure that dog pee will not leave a lasting impression and smell. Even if you come across a dried up puddle or stain, there are still things to do to remove the smell of pet urine odor.


Pee deposited on the carpet does not usually stay on the top of the carpeting, it penetrates into the fibers and contaminates both the backing, the padding and the floor below the carpet, which creates the odor. Often without you knowing, pets will urinate continually in the same general location. Urine odor can permeate from the floor, be it cement, wood, tile or vinyl, from the tack strip and even the framework of the house behind the walls. As urine dries, the liquid evaporates, but urine crystals become more concentrated and pungent. Simple cleaning will not remove the odor.

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Every pet owner has to deal with an “accident” indoors from time to time before a young pet can be properly toilet trained, whether it’s the effects of an illness, a pet’s aging, or an over-excited or stressed-out pet that may have less control. However, one thing no pet owner should deal with is the persistent odor of urine accidents. With the right steps, it is easy to control odors and completely eliminate the smell of pet urine odor.

7 easy ways to remove pet urine odors depending on a pet’s diet, health, and accident frequency, pee odors can be quite overwhelming. Fortunately, there are easy ways to get rid of these odors.

1) Soak It Up. When a pet has an accident, it is very important to absorb as much urine as possible as soon as possible. Use kitchen paper towel and blot or dry the puddle, but do not spread it around, otherwise more areas will be stained and soiled. Remember to wear rubber gloves to avoid being exposed to unhealthy elements in the urine.

Wear rubber gloves to clean up pet urine odor

If the puddle is on carpet or fabric, apply firm pressure to press the area until it is as dry as possible. The paper towel should be disposed of immediately, preferably in an outside bin, so that no lingering odors remain.

2) Using Enzymatic Cleaners to break down pet urine molecules to remove odors. Several types are available and must be used according to the appropriate instructions. Use cleaners as soon as possible to minimize odors or permanent stains.  

3) Use Baking Soda sparingly to naturally neutralizes odors. Sprinkle a little on a damp area after soaking up urine with cloth and gently pat the powder into the fibers of any fabric, rug or carpet. Let the baking soda sit then vacuum completely to remove the odor.

4) Keep dry. All urine odors will be stronger when fresh and damp, and the longer the fabrics are damp, the stronger the odor will appear. After cleaning the puddle, the fabric, rug or carpet should be dried thoroughly. Use a fan to improve air circulation and, if possible, open windows to circulate fresh air to minimize odors.

5) Find Old Stains. If new puddles have been cleared but the odor persists, there may be old, smelly stains nearby. Use a black light to see old urine stains on carpets and fabrics and treat them with enzymatic cleaners, baking soda, and other deodorizing treatments.

6) Try wet vacuuming. When a carpet or rug has an older or deeper stain, a thorough carpet cleaning may be required. Use only cold water for this cleaning (high temperatures can bind urine to fabric so,cannot be removed) and add an enzymatic detergent for more thorough breakdown of odor-causing proteins. Allow the area to dry out completely.

7) Removing Rugs and Carpets. Too many accidents can happen, or the pet’s health can make it difficult to completely remove odors or prevent unwanted pee in the future. In this case, it may be best to remove it.

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