D og urine neutralizer, machines for deep cleaning your carpet, spot remover... there are so many products geared toward addressing one of the stinkier issues that dog owners face—urine spots. So how do you know what to use and when to use it? That's a good question and it's not really as complicated as it sounds. The sooner you figure it out the more pleasant life will be for you and your dog.
Proper dog urine cleaning begins with understanding what urine is and why it's such a problem. Dog urine is acidic when it's first sprayed. After it sits for a while, bacteria begin to feed on the enzymes contained in the urine and then expel their own waste, which is ammonia based. That's where the problem really comes in because it's that ammonia that produces the pungent smell that is associated with urine.
That smell may be unpleasant to your nose, but to your dog it's actually attractive. That's why dogs will continually return to the same spot to urinate over and over again. So if you really want to prevent the behavior, you need to do more than use a simple dog urine remover, you also need to be sure that you are eliminating the odor so there won't be any temptation for your dog to return to the scene of the crime.
Even the best trained dog can still have the occasional accident, often due to anxiety or distress. The introduction of a new person into the home can cause confusion, as can moving to a new home. There might also be an underlying health issue that is causing the dog to urinate, so if it becomes a regular problem you may want to consult with your vet to find out if there is an illness or other issue, like a bladder infection or urinary tract infection, involved.
Aussies are very smart and generally take well to training, but even they can sometimes have their issues, including urinating in the house. As with any breed, the key to overcoming this problem with your Aussie is patience. Dogs don't draw a direct connection between the act of urinating and punishment, so getting angry about it won't really help to correct the problem.
Dogs exhibit certain behavior when they prepare to urinate. If you notice this happening, try to get him outside before anything happens. Of course, making sure that you take them out regularly is always a good idea too. Remember that whenever they come back in from successfully doing their business outside you should praise them and give them plenty of love. This will help to get the idea across that they should only go outside and reduce your need for dog urine cleaning in the first place. :)
Unfortunately, no dog is perfect and problems may still occur, at which point you'll need to find a dog urine remover that can help to clean the spots quickly and thoroughly. The most important thing to remember about cleaning dog urine spots is that the faster you clean them, the better. The longer the urine remains, the more the ammonia will build up and that can eventually cause a loss of color in carpets and other fabrics, making the staining permanent.
For "fresh" stains, the first step in cleaning is to thoroughly blot the stain with a thick layer of paper towels, or other absorbent material, until the area of the stain is barely damp. Hopefully, this will pick up most of the urine.
You can then spray the affected area with a mix of 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of baking soda and repeat the blotting process. Some might feel the job is done at this point, however, it is not if you want to preserve your carpet and discourage your dog from being a repeat offender.
At this point you can rinse the area with water and pick it up with a wet/dry vacuum or spot cleaner vacuum, repeating as necessary. There are many portable carpet cleaning machines available that are designed for pet stains. When it comes to pet stains that can include urine, vomit, feces, and who knows what else, it's very handy to have one available when time is of the essence and every second counts.
After thoroughly cleaning the spot you'll then want to use an enzymatic dog urine neutralizer to break down the molecules in the urine to eliminate any remaining odor. Enzyme cleaners contain bacteria that release enzymes that break down organic material, like that found in urine and "other deposits" left by your dog. These enzymes break down the odor causing material at the molecular level thereby eliminating the odor completely, rather than just masking the smell.
Getting rid of the odor is vital to prevent your dog from being attracted to that spot in the future and an enzymatic dog urine neutralizer is the best tool for the job.
However, stains that soak through can be more difficult to address. If the urine reaches the padding, you may need to replace the padding or even the carpet itself in order to completely resolve the issue. This is another reason why it's important to treat a urine stain as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get to it, the easier and less costly it will be to remove.
For hardwood surfaces you would follow a similar procedure for initial blotting, washing with a dilute vinegar and water solution. (Be sure to test in an out-of-the-way area first. More dilute is better to start. ie. 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon, up to a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water.) Then you can follow-up with an enzymatic cleaner. (Again, test before using in a visible area!)
In order to avoid further issues, it's important to ensure that you remove all traces of urine. You may want to invest in an inexpensive black light flashlight to help you locate difficult to see urine stains.
Remember that accidents will happen no matter how well trained your dog may be, so don't stress over it. Instead, choose an effective dog urine neutralizer to help keep the problem from getting any worse. Act quickly and treat the urine stain thoroughly before it has a chance to set, doing permanent damage to carpets and other surfaces and causing odors that encourage more urination.
Have Dog Training Questions?
Check out these introductory dog training videos...
Get Australian Shepherd Info, Website Updates, Special Offers, and Cartoons...
You'll also receive a free copy of the ebook
My Everyday Dog Training Tools
by professional dog trainer Daniel Abdelnoor, "Doggy Dan"