How to Get Rid of Dog Urine Smell?

Hi, my name’s Caitlin and I’m the proud mum of my adorable Jack Russel called Harvey!

Now, unfortunately, bodily fluids in the wrong places are inevitable if you have a dog, as I’ve found out before…

However, I personally consider it lucky if it’s just a wee, it’s the best of two evils!

In this Article I am only going to focus on the number 1 (yes, wee) side of things.

Everyone wants their dog to be toilet trained but there are a number of reasons why your dog may have an accident in the house.

Here are some of the reasons why your dog might pee inside…

1) They are just a puppy, and they should grow out of it with time and training

2) They get over excited

3) Submission or fear or stress

4) They are marking their territory

5) Medical disorders such as urinary tract infections , kidney disease etc meaning they just simply cannot get outside quickly enough

6) Incontinence especially in older dogs

7) Side effects of medication

Prevention is always better than cure. This is our suggestions to prevent other accidents from happening, as shown above, there are two main categories; behavioural and medical.

It is always important to make a mental note about when the accidents happen.

Puppies are always going to have accidents in the house while they learn that you rather they asked to go in the garden. This is also true if you have an older dog but do not know their past such as rescue dog.

Training is essential and if you’re struggling then it may be time to consult a dog trainer. 

I understand visiting a dog trainer can be difficult and may be expensive, so instead  you could check out Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Training Course.

Regardless of how you train your dog, you should never punish your dog for urinating. It is common for people to get angry, and it is annoying but yelling will not help.

This can lead to your dog weeing because they are scared or anxious and other unwanted behaviours.

They are also more likely to hide a wee, for example, behind the sofa leaving the odour to absorb in its full glory. Cleaning it quickly makes a world of difference, even though this isn’t always an option.

What Does it Mean, if Your Normally House Trained Pup Starts Relieving Themselves Indoors?

You need to ask yourselves when did the issue start and what scenario?

They may be jumping around, tails wagging. This means they are likely over excited, a hard one to break but a dog trainer or behaviourist should be able to help.

Has something changed in your life? Has someone left for university? These small changes can lead to stress and anxiety in these caring creatures. Are you redecorating? The new carpet doesn’t smell like them…

Hopefully, these should settle down with some loving support from you. Again, if it doesn’t, and it becomes habit then research into training techniques or hiring a dog trainer.

It might just be a simple as you do not notice your dog asking to go out or leave them alone too long without a toilet break.

The other side of these are medical. You should consult your vet if there is a change in toilet needs. There is a wide range of medical needs and side effects to medicines.

Many of these are curable or can be managed with medications and therefore it is better for both you and your dog to sort the issue or at least rule this out.

How do You Get Rid of Dog Urine Smells in Your House?

The best methods all depend on what surface has been offended but for all surfaces, first things first, if you see your dog weeing or the puddle grab your old clothes or kitchen towel immediately.

Mop up all the fresh urine, even stand on it to help absorb as much up as possible.

Keep doing this until it is all absorbed, place towels underneath as well if it’s possible e.g. a rug.

Then rinse the affected area with water to dilute the residue of wee as much as possible and dry the area. Repeat this process a few times. You can always add a few drops of soap. This should be done even if the pee has dried in to dilute the strain.

The towels used will be a bit grim, but any smell on them is less of stink in your carpet. Just chuck them in the washing machine.

It may also help to light a candle of some sort. We’ve covered this before, so check out our article on the best odor eliminating candles here.

What should you do if the smell still remains?

I’m going to split this section into surfaces.

How to Get Rid of That Dog Urine Smell That Won’t go Away?

1) Carpet

I have personally replaced my carpet (and the underlay) after training my puppy, but it had been abused and was many years old. It did remove the stench for my puppy favourite ‘accident’ corner but this is not a viable solution and I suffered for too long with that unpleasant smell.

Good news is there is better ways. Cheap and readily available, baking soda is the wonder ingredient.

Sprinkle some baking soda over the offending area and leave for several hours or overnight. Simple Hoover it up in the morning. This may take a few attempts to remove the baking soda, the less you use the easier it will be to clean up. There are suggestions of no more than a quarter of a cup.

Don’t want to be patient? Then try a mix of a cup of distilled white vinegar and two teaspoons of baking soda. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and get spraying. Dab the area dry with another cloth a few minutes later.

When the area has dried, the above methods may not work and you will likely need to rent a wet vac and keep saturating and drying the area until the odour dissipates.


This will not get rid of the smell and actually make it harder to remove.

Finally, you may use an enzymatic cleaner. This uses enzymes, active proteins to break down the chemicals causing the odours. It is best to check this chemical doesn’t affect your carpet on a small patch and make sure you get one designed for pet stains or is it unlikely to work.

2) Hardwood

Wooden floors can absorb the wee. Act fast to dry up any remaining liquid as soon as possible.

To remove the odour, mix a half a cup of warm water to half a cup of vinegar. Be sure to test this on a patch of floor just in case it marks, and you can always use a more diluted formula.

Rub the solution into the stain and leave to soak for up to ten minutes.

If this doesn’t remove the odour, sprinkle baking soda over the area while damp and leave till morning before hoovering it up.

Again, if these fail an enzyme cleaner may help, although ensure it is safe to use on wood floors.

Alternatively, a hydrogen peroxide mask can be used. Soak a towel with a 3% solution until saturated but not dripping. Place over the strain for a few hours and then dry the area if necessary.

The smell still hasn’t gone? Then a more extreme approach may be to sand down and refinish your wooden floor. This should remove the layer of wood with the offending smell and leave an odour free, smooth top layer.

This is likely to need a good contractor and therefore is expensive so be sure to try the other methods first unless you were doing to redo your floor anyway.

3) Laminate flooring

This is very similar to the above, blot it up and sprinkle some baking soda if the smell still remains.

You can always use an enzymatic cleaner if needs be.

4) Ceramic tiles

It is easy to wipe pee of the tiles, but remember the grout between them. This is more porous.

Methods include soaking a towel in vinegar and laying it over the poor tile for ten minutes or so. Wipe this away and if needed repeat with hydrogen peroxide. For an exact method see hardwood flooring.

For the grout, make a paste of baking soda and water and place into the grooves. You can reuse an old toothbrush to rub it in for easier application. Remember to rinse the floor to remove the remaining paste.

5) Stone floor

Even the grandeur of marble can be eroded; therefore it is important to ensure a deep clean to ensure the acidic dog wee doesn’t penetrate the pores in the stone and cause erosion and more immediately a smell.

Firstly, wipe down the affected area with soapy water, then with a new cloth apply rubbing alcohol and leave to dry.

One dried, soak a cloth in a two to one ratio of water to bleach and rub the area.

Repeat this until the stain lifts and then wipe down with a wet cloth and dry.

6) Brick

Brick is another annoyingly porous material. This may be more applicable to your male dog marking, meaning it is up the walls rather than on the floor. The good news, that if it’s the wall the stain is more likely to run off and be shallower than on the floor.

Quickly absorb the remaining urine. The less urine in the brick, the easier it is to clean.

Pour a water and enzymatic cleaner mix onto the brick until it is saturated. This may be time-consuming, keep going until as much as possible is absorbed into the brick.

Soak a new town in enzymatic cleaner and lay over the affected area and leave this till the towel is dry. This could be overnight.

Repeat this process and use diluted bleach, a suggestion would be a third of a cup of bleach to about 4 litres of water but it is best to try a diluted version to see if your particular bleach causes any colour changes to any surface you apply it to.

7) Leather

The leather sofa can be an area of pride within a house. They are not cheap. Fortunately, you do pay for quality and leather can be easy to clean.

It is important to use mild, leather safe products or you could STAIN YOUR LEATHER.

Start with mopping up the excess wee. Then you want to wipe the area with a very diluted white vinegar and dish washing soap mixture. Repeat this couple of times.

Dry the area with a clean cloth and if you desire, the next day treat your sofa with your usual polishing product to keep it in tip-top condition.

Final Thoughts

Our research shows that even if baking is not your thing, you can’t go wrong with keeping some baking soda in the cupboard. This mild alkali can also be used to clean pretty much everything from the oven to hair combs.

Vinegar is also helpful. This has been used as a disinfectant for years. People used to place money in jars of vinegar to help prevent the spread of the plague. It does kill some bacteria and viruses and is a good natural alternative but it is not as effective as commercial detergents.To make your house smell pleasant again, essential oils can be sprayed once the area has been cleaned. Just add a few drops to water and get spraying.

To prevent future accidents you can always get a pee deterrent spray. This would prove especially effective if it is a certain area or marking. These can be brought from a pet store or, if you rather you can make your own.

Try adding some white vinegar to some water and add some citrus essential oils. They personally suggest orange. Mix this us in a spray bottle and spray where you really don’t want them relieving themselves.

These all work by having smells which dogs hate, but be sure to test whatever you intent to spray with a small patch first to ensure it doesn’t stain your surface.

Finally, if you can’t find the area which is the culprit, then try a UV light. Any remaining pet pee will glow under this light because they contain phosphorous.

This makes the stain visible and easier to clean. They are also reasonably priced, with many options for under $15.

We hope that this helps you eliminate the toilet smell in your house.

Got any more suggestions or questions? Please comment below!

Brain Training for Dogs