Anyone who lives with pets benefits from an effective pet smell eliminator. Be careful your pet accident cleaner doesn’t cause more problems. A pet smelly carpet where the cat sprayed urine or the dog leg lifted could draw the culprit back to the scene of the accident. Switching litter too fast may also prompt the cat to “go” in the wrong place.
It can be tough to potty train dogs. You may wonder why your dog won’t go on grass.
Recently a friend complained about a horrible pet smell with her dogs, and ask about an effective pet smell remover for her home. In her case, the dogs found a skunk and I referred her to this page with 3 home remedies for de-skunking pets. De-skunking formulations also work well for dogs that roll in poop or other aromatic fun.
Cats and dogs can detect minute chemical scents humans can’t fathom. That’s one reason dogs love underwear! Simply mopping up the mess may satisfy your nose, but the smell lures pets back to the scene of the crime to repeat the dirty deed, time after time.
Common Pet “Accidents” That Stain
There are many reasons for pets messing in the house. Learn about hit-or-miss cat litter box problems in this blog post. For new puppies, read about house training tips in this post.
At our house, our old-lady cat Seren-Kitty’s potty stains remind us of her last year with us (she nearly made it to age 22, so cut her some slack!). And again during his last six months with us, Bravo-Dawg left carpet reminders. He never lost his appetite, but often drank too much water and URPed meals up in massive amounts. I think it’s a pet rule to only vomit on pale carpet rather than easily cleaned tile. Less frequently, Karma-Kat has a hairball issue that again hits pale carpet rather than easy to clean surfaces.
How to Clean Potty Accidents
Urine soaked into carpet proves particularly difficult to remove. With fresh accidents, pick up the solids and blot up as much liquid as possible. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaning products. Since urine has ammonia in it, such products may mimic the smell and make the area even more attractive as a potty spot.
Once urine dries on carpet or walls, “pee-mail” notes are even more difficult to locate and clean. Turn off all your lights and shine a high-quality black light on suspect areas. That makes urine glow in the dark. Don’t forget to check vertical areas such as walls and bedspreads that spraying cats and leg-lifting dogs like to target.
How to Clean Pet Smells & Eliminate Pet Odors
The best products don’t just clean the area or cover up with perfumes. They neutralize the chemicals that smell bad. Urine contains sticky urea, urochrome (the yellow color), and uric acid. You can wash the first two away; however, uric acid is nearly impossible to dissolve and remove from surfaces.
Successful products not only clean away the urea and urochrome, they also neutralize the uric acid. They commonly use enzymes or encapsulate the urine molecules to contain the odor. Here are a few examples I’ve found to be successful and/or other professionals and colleagues have recommended to me. Ask for them at pet products stores, your veterinarian, Target, Walmart and similar sources, as well as online (some affiliate links included).
8 Pet Smell Removers
- Pristine Pet touted as an eco-friendly option, lists more ingredients they WON’T use than those included in the formulation. I purchased the discounted product offer after seeing endorsements from pet lovers. It’s my new favorite because it removed years-old set-in stains, as well as new ones. It combines a professional-grade hydrogen peroxide, plus a micellar cleanser (borrowed from the beauty industry) to break down soil particles.
- MisterMax Anti Icky Poo Odor removeruses live bacteria to eliminate any organic material left behind by your pets.
- AtmosKlear Odor Eliminator developed for the automotive industry can be used straight or mixed with other cleaning preparations. Recommended for pet odors and other household odors (smoke, gym bags, basement mustiness, etc.).
- Petastic formerly known as Nature’s Miracle, has been recommended by pet professionals for years. It employs an enzyme that breaks down and neutralizers the odor.
- PetroTech Odor Eliminator is made from organic ingredients that “encapsulate” the odors. This product claims to be safe for use on “skunked” pets, too.
- Urine-Off employs an enzyme that digests the urine molecules. The website also offers quality black lights for aid in finding and cleaning problem spots.
- Zero Odor is not an enzyme, but composed of anti-odor molecules that bind with odor molecules and change them from smelly to non-offensive.
- For messes on solid surfaces, products like Sprinkle & Sweep offer a solution. Sprinkle the powder on your pet’s diarrhea, urine, or vomiting accident—or any kind of spill—and the product makes it easy to sweep away the mess. It helps clear away the smell, too, with a fresh pine aroma.
What’s your go-to product for getting rid of the “funk” in your pet household? Do tell!
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!
My go-to pet mess/odor cleaner is “My Pet Peed”; it contains enzymes that neutralize urine, feces, blood, vomit. Just blot up the mess, thoroughly soak the spot/stain, let it dry, and once the spot is dry, thoroughly vacuum it. The treatment may be repeated if necessary, but I find it usually works well the first time.
I have a small, male dog (about 12 pound ShihtzPoo [1/2 ShihTzu & 1/2 Teacup Poodle] who turned 12-years old on April 25, 2022. He was diagnosed in October 2020 with inoperable bladder cancer and given 6-12 months to live. He has trouble controlling his bladder and leaks urine and blood, but he’s still very active, eats well and drinks plenty of water, and does not appear to be in pain. He is checked every couple of months by our local vet (who is surprised he is still with me), takes liquid Meloxidyl (meloxicam) once daily. In addition to using “My Pet Peed”, I wash his pet beds and the water-resistant blankets I keep on my couch for him. In addition, every three months I have a professional carpet cleaner who uses a cleaning product with his steam cleaner, a blacklight to check for urine/blood, etc., and applies Scotch Guard when he has completed cleaning.
As long as Apple is active, eating and drinking, urinating and having regular bowel movements, and not showing any signs of being in pain, he will remain with me, giving and receiving love…he’s my fur baby!!!🥰🐶
I’ve seen that advertised a lot on Facebook but haven’t tried it. Glad to know it works so well. And how wonderful that your pupper continues to do well!
my go-to clean up product is anti-icky-poo. Seems to work great on pet and people accidents. My friend had kid barf stink in her car for months – one application of anti-icky-poo took care of the odor and stain…..also got rid of the tom-cat spray in my husband’s car along with the stain
Awesome, Nan. I’ve heard this from many folks, too. I hadn’t thought of the “kid barf” issue, but that’s a great additional benefit.
Thank you, as always, for the great information. I look forward to your blog every week.
Really great information. Thank you, as always.
Go to product? Haven’t got one, which is why I dropped in!
But you don’t cover the odor I’m having issues with. My girls love rolling in poop. What is a good shampoo that will handle the poop (and green grass) odors?
Hi Wayne, For smells ON the dog, check out the link to the “skunked” blog post listed in the article. Those work well for aromatic dogs scented with other noxious stuff, too. *s* Sorry you’re dealing with this!
LOL. Rosie and Kleo are beagles. They love smells. Walking them can be interesting because both of them usually have their noses glued to the ground, and we move at less than 1/2 mile an hour!
Rosie is cuddled up next to me on the bed, and Kleo is lying next to Soot, my wife’s cat. She can’t get any closer because my daughter’s Siamese kitty Princess, the Evil Bitch Empress of the Universe won’t let her 😈
Siamese are hilarious at times. Never met one yet that didn’t have an attitude.
Hahaha! What we do for our pets!