How to Get Rid of Pet Urine Smell in Your Home

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Pets. We love them. Collectively, Americans own over 80 million cats and over 70 million dogs, with dogs being voted the most popular pet year after year. Pets help combat loneliness and encourage physical activity, and can improve your overall health and wellbeing. But pets can also take a lot of looking after, especially when they have unexpected bathroom accidents.

Both cats and dogs may pee in the home from time to time. This happens when they’re very young and still training, or when they get older and don’t have as much control over their bladder. Incontinence can also be a sign of stress or overexcitement. However, there’s no need to panic that your whole house smells like dog urine as long as you know how to deal with spots of pee to avoid stains and odor.

Cat Pee vs. Dog Pee

Cat urine remover and dog urine remover may be very similar, but if you’ve ever owned both types of pets, you’ll probably know that the two types of pee are very different. Cat pee contains a lot more ammonia, which gives it the sharp, acrid smell that is off-putting. This is even stronger in some male cats who spray a concentrated type of urine to mark their territory.

Dogs also mark their territory with pee but are usually less likely to do this inside the home, and when accidents happen, their pee has less ammonia and smells more like human pee.

A cat urine cleaner has to be able to neutralize the smell of ammonia, or it can become overpowering. If you’ve wondered how to get cat pee smell out of carpet, you’re not alone. Even non-pet owners have to deal with this if a stray cat wanders in and becomes startled and sprays.

Dog urine has a less acrid smell but can certainly stain a carpet, so it also needs to be dealt with quickly. For those asking, “How can I remove dog urine odor from carpet?”, we have a whole host of ideas for you to try.

What Is the Best Carpet Cleaner for Pets?

Animal lovers spend a lot of time looking for the perfect pet carpet cleaner. Finding a pet odor eliminator that’s also kind to carpets and furniture can be a challenge. If you need to know how to get the dog pee smell out of carpet or how to get the cat urine smell out of carpet, these hints and tips are invaluable.

Top tip: When your pet is toilet training and has an accident, soak up the pee with paper and move some of that paper to the area your pet is supposed to go. They will learn to associate the smell of their own urine with their designated potty place.

Vinegar-Based Cleaner

Those wondering how to get urine smell out of carpet should give a vinegar spray a go. This DIY pet pee cleaner is a simple mix of half white vinegar and half water. Put the mix in a spray bottle, or alternatively, simply pour onto the affected area. Vinegar helps neutralize ammonia, which is particularly useful for cat pee.

Baking Soda

After wet-cleaning an area of cat or dog pee, make sure the carpet is thoroughly dry then sprinkle liberally with baking soda. Leave for 15 minutes then vacuum the area. This helps fight nasty odors.

Enzyme-Based Cleaners

Enzyme-based cleaners use natural enzymes that break down the organic material in the urine, naturally fighting stains and odor. Popular enzyme pet cleaners include:

Enzymatic cleaners are usually safe for all surfaces, although patch testing can be done if concerned. They can often be used on pet bedding too.

Fragranced Pet Urine Cleaners

Some commercial pet urine cleaners contain fragrances designed to either mask or neutralize the smell of pee. Popular fragrances include orange and lavender, which have the double impact of being naturally relaxing aromas. Fragranced pet carpet cleaning products include:

How to Get Old Dog Urine Stains Out of Carpet

For anyone wondering how to get dog pee out of carpet, the best way is to catch it while it’s still wet. Soak up the wet urine with a paper towel or a cloth that can be thrown straight in the laundry. Use your odor removal treatment of choice to get rid of the smell and clean the carpet thoroughly. That should prevent staining.

But what neutralizes dog urine stains and smells when the urine has had a chance to soak in and dry? The best pet carpet cleaner for dried in stains tends to be one that combines a strong stain removal action with complete odor removal. It’s especially important to deal with old stains as even when we can’t smell the pee anymore; your pet can. This could encourage them to revisit that spot- and maybe re-offend.

A carpet shampoo can help with stubborn stains if none of the above ideas work, and there’s also the option of hiring a professional carpet cleaner. Avoid steam cleaning or other heat treatments, though; this could permanently set the stain in and undo all your hard work.

If you’re really struggling, ask a vet about a good quality pet stain remover. They will have plenty of experience dealing with incontinent pets of all kinds and can recommend the best pet pee cleaner for your home.


Pets of all ages have accidents in the home from time to time. Knowing how to get rid of urine smell can make any home more fragrant and welcoming. There are various store-bought and DIY pet urine cleaners. Some fight odor, and others deal with stains. We look at how to get cat pee out of carpet and furnishings, and how to get dog urine smell out of the carpet.

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Annalise P.

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