Dog Urine Odor

Dog urine odor question emailed to me recently from a reader:

“My dog has urinated on the tile and grout in my kitchen.  On humid days the smell of urine is very obvious, I am assuming because the urine has penetrated the grout.  Can you recommend product(s) to help get rid of  the odor?  Thank you




We have several good urine odor products we can recommend. I would suggest ” Severe Urine Neutralizer (SUN)” because it is very effective for dog urine odor and easy to use. The key is to get it in contact with the urine residue. If the urine has penetrated the grout (and it usually will unless the grout has recently been sealed with a very good sealer) then the SUN (or any product you use) will need to penetrate that area also. If there are cracks in the grout the urine can run down and get under the tile and into the wood or concrete underneath. Also pay attention to around the edges of the tile, under the baseboard and toe-kick on the cabinets. Anywhere the urine might have run. A black light in a dark room helps to locate any urine residue areas. Then you can concentrate on those areas. Let the SUN solution run down and soak into the areas that you think the urine has done the same. SUN solution will neutralize the odor in just a few minutes. Give it  five to ten minutes. You can wet vac or wipe up any excess solution after this period of time and then let it dry naturally or you can put a fan on it to aid drying. If there is still an odor after you have used SUN that indicates the SUN solution has not come in contact with all the dog urine residue.

What Causes Urine Odor

Urine odor

What causes urine Odor? There are over 75 compounds that have been found in animal waste that cause odor. Understanding these compounds helps us know what we can do to eliminate it. Urine is decomposed by anaerobic bacteria. Some of the groups of compounds that smell, and are a result of this breakdown are sulfides, phenols, ketones, volatile organic acids and more. Carbohydrates in animal waste include sugars, starch, and cellulose. Starch and cellulose are broken into glucose (sugar) units as the first step of decomposition. Under anaerobic conditions, sugars are broken into alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and organic acids. These intermediate compounds are odorous. They are a part of what causes urine odor. These compounds can be further metabolized and transformed into methane, carbon dioxide, and water (nonodorous end-products)

The odor of ammonia gas is one part of the distinctive odor that helps us to identify and locate 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 feeds the bacteria daily with its urine!­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ There are several types of chemicals that are very affective in eliminating the urine odor. Each of these chemicals has to come in contact with the urine to be affective at neutralizing the odor. Some work immediately on contact and others need time to work. Enzyme products need time to digest the urine. These chemicals also need to be applied in sufficient quantities to be affective.

Urine Odor 1

Urine odor

Part one Locate the source

When you are dealing with urine odor often you do not have a stain or anything visible indication to show you where the urine odor is originating from, or where the problem is. I am going to discuss the different methods of finding these areas. We have several tools available to locate them.

It is very important to locate each area because if you don’t find all the problem areas, you will not be able to completely eliminate the urine smell. Each spot needs to be treated. It needs to be treated with the correct chemicals and in the correct way if you want to get 100% odor removal. The steps you take change depending on how severe your urine odor problem is.

The tools available are our eyes, our nose, ultraviolet (UV) lights, and moisture detector.

Eye’s If you actually see the area where the dog is urinating,  or when there is a yellow stain left on the surface of the carpet, this is when we use our eyes to locate the area. If you can look at the back of a loose carpet or rug and inspect it, many times there will be stains left that are obvious when nothing is visible otherwise. This is true with other fabrics also. The stains will look like water stains and sometimes there will be a white salt residue.  If the carpet is not loose but is installed you can still pull it up off the tack strip and look at the backing. This then will need to be stretched or kicked back in again onto the tack strip. You can also use the alternative injection method of treating  the urine odor.

NOSE Obviously the nose is a great tool for locating the contaminated areas. We may enter a home or a room and immediately smell the presence of odors associated with urine. Sometimes it is strong and sometimes it is a faint urine odor.  Determining the precise location of the smell is more difficult. In part this is because air currents diffuse the odor. Closing any open windows, turning off ceiling fans, heating or air conditioner and other sources of air movement will make it easier to locate the source. Remember that most women are more sensitive to odors than men. If you are a male with less than a great nose for odors you may benefit from a female assisting you.

Continue with part two “Urine Odor, locate the source”