Urine leaves the body (either dogs urine or human) as an acid with a pH that is typically between 5 and 6. It is sterile containing no harmful bacteria, pathogens or microorganisms unless the dog has a urinary or bladder infection.
- The principle ingredient in urine (from dogs) is uric acid.
- Urine also contains urochrome (yellow pigment)
- Cholesterol (lipids)(animal fats)
- And other ingredients.
The exact make-up of urine will vary depending on the dog’s diet, health and other factors. The urine begins to change immediately upon leaving the body. The urine comes in contact with bacteria on the skin along with microorganisms in the carpet and elsewhere. The warm acid conditions offer a perfect breeding ground for bacteria which begin to flourish. Uric acid begins to be broken down into ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia is highly alkaline (base).
A strong concentrated alkaline can damage dyes and create a permanent color loss. Be aware that what appears to be a urine stain may actually be color loss that can not be corrected by cleaning. The urine odor can still be removed and you can sometimes correct the color loss with carpet dying techniques or patching. But cleaning will not restore color that has been removed.
As the dogs acidic urine reacts with the ammonia that is being created it forms alkaline salt crystals (white residue). When dry urine is re-moistened it gives off ammonia gas. The odor of ammonia gas is one part of the distinctive odor that helps us to identify and locate dogs urine. The other component of urine’s odor is off-gassing from bacteria that grow abundantly in warm, dark places with a never-ending food supply. The pet urine feeds the bacteria daily!
The complex composition of urine and the many chemicals formed as the urine is decomposed by bacteria present a challenging situation. With time, some of these complex organic compounds can actually become part of the fiber.
Even if the bacteria are killed the ammonia and other chemicals still produce an odor. This is the reason that more than a sanitizing agent is necessary to neutralize odors from dogs urine.