Pets are a loving, welcome addition to any family, but sometimes they can leave our homes smelling less than fresh. Accidents happen, and they may In houses with more than one pet, accidents from one animal can lead to other animals soiling in the same area.

Odors in carpets result from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the air from a source. In the case of pets, this is most often urine and feces. Identify the source of the odor or stain to determine the most effective removal.

Follow these tips on how to get many pet smells, especially how to get dog urine smell, out of carpet, and get your home smelling great again.

Golden Retriever Smiling Photo

How to Remove Pet Odor from Carpets

The key to removing pet odor from carpet is to get to it as soon as possible.

Step 1: Identify the source

First, identify the source of the smell; there may be more than one. It might seem gross, but this requires getting down to floor level and sniffing the carpet all around the room. Often pets will do their business in out-of-the-way areas behind furniture or in corners.

Step 2: Dry the carpet & remove waste

If still fresh, physically remove dog urine from the carpet. You may try blotting up the liquid using paper towels, but do NOT  press hard and never stand or walk. If you press too hard you may push the liquid down deep into the padding or even the flooring beneath the carpet making removal even more difficult.

Step 3: Use small amounts of vinegar and hot water

Try using small amounts of vinegar and hot water to clean the area. The vinegar neutralizes the ammonia smell without fading the carpet fibers. However, this isn’t a professional or permanent solution. If you want to guarantee that your carpet isn’t damaged and the smell is removed, call a professional carpet cleaner near you.

Step 4: Use specialized cleaners to clean and scrub the area

When it comes to Pet odor caused by urine or fecal waste, the best process for removal is biological. Biological processes are based on genetically engineered bacteria that are activated with water prior to use. When applied to the carpet, the bacteria will produce enzymes which then digest the odors and staining, “eating” them away. Thus one of the best options is to use a highly-rated enzyme carpet cleaner.

These are widely available at pet supply stores and some grocery and hardware stores. CCAfter removing the source of the odor, there may be some residual staining. Home and store-bought remedies exist to remove these stubborn stains.

Step 5: Vaccum the carpet

Vacuum the area thoroughly to remove any dirt and dust. Always test any stain removal product in a small, inconspicuous area for colorfastness before applying to the rest of your carpet.

How to Remove Older Pet Stains From Carpet

If the initial accident is not thoroughly removed, staining may occur. Stains may not be noticeable for sometime after the accident and can cause greater difficulty in removing.

Older stains usually require multiple treatment applications. There are possibly layers of staining that will have to be removed one at a time. Start with the least harsh method first and work up to more chemical solutions if the first ones don’t work.

A commercial carpet cleaner, available from a rental or hardware store, is usually the most effective tool, especially if there are multiple stains or they cover a large area. Choose a cleaning solution that is safe for kids and pets. Follow the machine’s instructions to ensure the best clean possible and don’t damage your carpets.

Prevent Further Pet Stain Accidents

When following the previous recommendations on how to remove pet odor from carpet, avoid harsh chemical cleaners or scents meant to cover up smells. These may encourage your pet to eliminate in the same area, as a way to cover the overbearing smell with their own.

Try to limit your pet’s unsupervised access to the area where the soiling occurred. There may be lingering odors you can’t detect but are apparent to your pet. If the carpet still smells like your pet, it can encourage soiling in the same area.

Accidents do happen from time to time. If this frequently happens, you may want to take your pet to the veterinarian to determine if there is an underlying health issue responsible. Be aware that sometimes there is nothing to be done to prevent inappropriate elimination, especially for older pets. Make suitable arrangements to keep your pet away from the carpet.

Gently re-train your pet on where it should go. Be sure to provide a suitable place to eliminate and/or allow frequent trips outside to encourage appropriate habits. Re-training takes time, so remember patience.

When to Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner

Sometimes, despite a homeowner’s best efforts, smells linger in the home. Not only can this be unpleasant for residents, but it can also lead to animals continuing to soil the affected area. When all home remedies have failed, it is time to call a professional carpet cleaner.

Regular cleaning by a professional carpet cleaner can significantly extend your carpet’s life and protect your investment. Professionals have access to powerful equipment and supplies not available to the average homeowner. They also have the experience to target problem areas.

When interviewing businesses be sure to let them know the nature of the issue and ensure they specialize in how to remove pet odor from carpet. Look for companies like Crystal Carpet Care, who are IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) certified to clean pet stains and odors correctly.

In some instances, odors and stains cannot be removed. They may be too old or have soaked into the underlay, and will have to be replaced. With the proper know-how, industry professionals may be able to replace just the affected carpet section without purchasing all-new carpeting.

Final Thoughts

Having pets shouldn’t mean giving up a clean and fresh smelling home. Remember these tips on how to remove pet odor from carpet the next time your pet has an accident.

Try removing any pet soils as soon as possible. Treat the carpet with the mildest solution to start. Avoid harsh or strong smells in cleaning supplies. If home remedies fail, call a professional. They can save you the expense of replacing a whole carpet.