Why would you need a black light flashlight? No matter how well trained your dog may be, it's inevitable that the occasional "accident" will happen, particularly with high energy breeds like the Australian Shepherd. Once a dog has peed on a carpet or patch of floor, his keen sense of smell will keep drawing him back to that spot to re-mark it. So if you want to break that cycle, you need to find and thoroughly clean that spot as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, it's not always easy to pinpoint the exact location of stains, which is where a black light flashlight can come in handy. Even though a urine stain will always have a distinct odor, it may not be clearly visible to the naked eye. For this reason, you'll need to employ other measures in order to find the stain. Luckily, the phosphorus in urine reacts to the ultra violet rays of the black light, causing it to glow. Just like that you can locate and mark the stain so that you can wash it out of your carpet.
There are actually quite a few models of handheld black light or UV flashlights available through major retailers such as Amazon. For example, you can see several UV flashlights on Amazon here. The lights give you all of the ultra violet black light coverage you need in a sleek, easy to use package. Most use high intensity LED lights for maximum effect and are designed to emit a high level of UV wavelengths. This makes them highly effective and a handy tool for any responsible pet owner.
Rokfeler / stock.adobe.com; Photo Illustration: Anton Hout
Before inspecting carpet for urine stains, you should begin by thoroughly vacuuming as the black light will illuminate lint, fur and other small particles as well as urine. Once the carpet is clean, turn off the lights, cover the windows and shut the door as black lights work best in complete darkness. If the room has windows, you may want to wait until it's dark out to eliminate all light and give yourself a better view. You'll also want to use safety goggles to protect your eyes from the UV rays of the black light.
Once you have darkened the room and put on your goggles, you can train the black light flashlight on the carpet or floor to locate the urine stains. You'll want to scan the carpet in a back and forth pattern with the light about 1 to 2 feet away from the carpet. Bear in mind that various particles will react differently to the black light. Food and fluid stains will show up bright white, blue or green but urine shows up as a dull pea-soup green or brownish-yellow.
When you locate a urine stain, you can confirm it easily by sniffing. No matter how old the stain, urine will always have a unique odor. Once confirmed, mark the center with a small piece of masking tape. For larger stains you may also want to mark the outer perimeter. You'll want to clean the stain thoroughly starting a few inches outside the perimeter and working in to the center. Since older and deeper stains often require more than one round of cleaning before they are completely eradicated, check again in a few days.
Remember not to let your dog back on the carpet again until you are sure that you've completely removed the stain, as his acute sense of smell will enable him to pick up even a trace of scent left in a carpet. Accidents may happen but with a handy black light flashlight, dog owners can stay one step ahead of even the most rambunctious dog.
As a bonus you can also use your black light flashlight to find things like scorpions as they stand out like a sore thumb under the light. You can also use the flashlight when you stay at a hotel or motel to see what previous guests have left behind—if you dare!
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