How to Eliminate – and Prevent – Pet Odors

You’re reading a page-turner: The Mystery of the Malodorous Smell. You know whodunit, or at least you have a few good suspects. Now you’ve got to investigate the scene of the crime and make sure the petpetrator never does it again. The difficulty with pet urine is that it is always a bigger problem than you realize. How can you eliminate the smell, keep your pet from making future messes on your carpets, and create a happy ending?

When pets detect traces of urine, they assume they have carte blanche to repeat the behavior. Many people apply a product and believe the problem has been solved because, to humans, it smells better. But odors have to be degraded to the point where dogs and cats can no longer smell it –and their olfactory powers are much better than ours.  The best way to clean the area and prevent more “accidents”:

  • Find the source of the smell. If you have light carpet, this is easy enough. You’ll see a dark or soiled spot. If you have dark carpet, though, pet messes easily blend in and you won’t know where to direct your cleaning efforts. Get down on your hands and knees and start sniffing until you find the source.
  • Soak it. Don’t be shy! If you have a spot on the carpet the size of a quarter, look at the reverse side. The affected area will be the size of a dinner plate because as urine penetrates the layers of the carpet, it spreads. Even if you get 90 percent of the spot out, the 10 percent you didn’t get will continue to smell. Once you’ve found the original source, saturate the carpet.  If you feel like you’ve used more than enough product, use a bit more.
  • Allow the carpet to dry completely. After the carpet is treated, the enzymes in the cleaning products need time to break down the odor completely. Before that happens, your pet will still be drawn to the area. If you can, close off the room, or place a laundry basket or box upside down over the spot until it dries thoroughly. Whatever you can do to restrict your pet’s access to this area is worth it because, once the odor is eliminated, his blank check will be voided.

When you take the time to completely eliminate pet urine, your house will not only smell fresh and clean, it will stay that way because your pet will not be drawn to the area. Case closed. Now you can move on to more important matters: fetch, playing with string, treats, and loving snuggles.