How to Get the Dog Pee Smell Out of Your Carpet

Trying to get the dog pee smell out of carpet is a frustrating task that comes with being a dog owner.

Over the years, I’ve had to deal a dog peeing in the house from:

  • A dog learning potty training
  • A dog with separation anxiety
  • Guest dogs we were sitting that were confused about where to go potty
  • A senior dog with incontinence issues

Although I’ve found many ways to deal with a senior dog that pees in the house, there will always be the occasional puddle on the carpet to clean up.

UPDATED: December 31, 2022

Dealing with dog pee on the carpet can be a real headache

Ideally, I would have wood floors in our house so we can use area rugs that can be replaced if they get too stained or smelly.

However, our house had carpet when we moved in and we haven’t been able to replace it.

If you have permanently installed carpet, dealing with dog pee can be a real mess – pun intended.

Once the pee soaks into the carpet pad below, getting the smell out is near impossible.

I try to clean any dog pee accidents on the rug as best I can but the pee smell is strong and I fear it my houseguests can smell it.

With the help of Sears Carpet Cleaning, I’ve compiled some of the best tips to remove the smell of dog urine out of your carpets.

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means that I receive a small commission if you make a purchase (at no extra cost to you.)

DIY Solutions for Getting the Dog Pee Smell Out of Your Carpet

With some good old fashioned elbow grease, and the right cleaning solution, you can get most pee smell and stains out of carpet, even after it has dried.

At least to a level where you no longer see or smell it.

Below are some different carpet cleaning solutions you can use.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Many people have tried the vinegar plus baking soda technique and been successful at removing pet stains and odors.

The great thing about this method is that it’s natural and you probably already have the supplies in your pantry.

This method isn’t 100% reliable, but it is always worth a try.

To clean using this method:

  • Start with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water.
  • Pour the solution on the spot, get out your scrub brush, and put some elbow grease into cleaning the mess up.

The vinegar neutralizes the ammonia in the urine, which is the first step of eliminating the odor.

  • Once the spot on the carpet is dry, sprinkle baking soda on top of it.
  • After that, get some detergent and hot water and scrub it again – this time like you’ve never scrubbed before!

Once the area is dry again, run the vacuum over it a couple of times and you’re set!

Scrubbing the carpet of pet stains Commercial Pet Stain & Odor Removers

Pre-made products designed to remove pet and stain odors from carpets are convenient.

They’re usually a one-step process and you can grab them in seconds.

As with the vinegar and baking soda method, they don’t always work but they’re certainly worth a try.

I’ve used several different ones and their effectiveness has really varied.

My favorites are:

The instructions for how to use the cleaner varies and can be found on the back of the container.

However, it usually requires that you to:

  1. Soak up as much of the dog pee as you can
  2. Saturate the area with the cleaner
  3. Wait a while (sometimes up to 30 minutes)
  4. Soak up as much of the cleaner as you can
  5. Allow the area to dry naturally.

Bleach + Carpet Cleaner

This should always be your worst-case-scenario option when it comes to cleaning stains.

Be sure to only use bleach on white carpets because colored carpets will fade. 

If you’re going to use bleach, make sure to open any nearby windows and keep your pets in a completely different room to prevent the fumes from affecting them.

One thing to keep in mind is that bleach itself won’t clean the carpet.

You will still need to thoroughly clean it using a carpet brush and carpet shampoo or cleaner to remove the pet odor.

Using bleach and the carpet cleaner can be effective, but should not be your first option.

Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

Call the professionals when you can't get pet stains and odors out of your carpet

While home remedies can work on light stains and smells on your carpet, pet owners who experience frequent accidents from their canines might need to bring out the big guns.

The most reliable and efficient way to get rid of those pet stains and smells is to get a professional carpet cleaning crew to your house.

Professional carpet cleaners are highly-skilled technicians who are trained in removing tough odors and stains.

They will get your carpet clean from top to bottom and rejuvenate spots that seem to be at the point of no return.

CLICK HERE to find a Sears carpet cleaning professional in your area.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with pet urine is certainly not fun, but it’s inevitable. Even the cutest of pups have accidents sometimes.

Most pet stains and odors can be removed, or at least greatly reduced, with one of several carpet cleaning techniques, even if the pet urine has already dried.

If you choose to use a home remedy, always make sure the items you’re using to clean your carpet are pet-friendly and block off the area of the room so your 4-legged pal doesn’t get hurt or sick from the carpet cleaning solution.

If large area of carpet needs to be cleaned, or the pet stains have been there for a long time, you may want to consider hiring a commercial carpet cleaning company.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


  1. I have this problem too. There are a few cleaners that I like, but recently my boyfriend started trying out the vinegar/baking soda thing. I really need to rent a carpet cleaner. Or a professional cleaning service might be nice too. 🙂

    1. I have a good non-commercial carpet cleaning machine. It doesn’t do me much good now but I did use it a couple of times in my old, carpeted place. It was great. I think it’s the Bissel 12x power. My model is almost 10 years old but I see it’s still one of the higher end models available. It definitely doesn’t get as deep into the carpet and pad as a commercial cleaning though.

    2. Hello,
      We have a brand New polypropylene area rug with a tight weave that my dogs decided to use as their indoor outhouse. I’ve used Nature’s Miracle, then Icky Poo, then poured baking soda on the rug and left for 24 hours to deodorize and I still can’t get the smell out. I see I can try detergent and hot water next. What kind of detergent? Dish soap? Laundry detergent? Which one? I’m at my wits end on this.

  2. I find that Nature’s Miracle can work wonders for both dog and cat pee. In fact, we would be pretty lost without it. We have recently downsized to an apartment with carpet so we really need to keep it clean. Our daughter had an old, sick cat who made quite a mess, and we went crawling on the floor to find areas to treat with Nature’s Miracle. It worked great! Unfortunately the cat has since passed away. But Nature’s Miracle saved her apartment! I also agree…wood floors are the way to go…if you can!!!

    1. Nature’s Miracle was my top choice for years. I still think it’s one of the best. Unfortunately, I have to use it so much that the smell makes me a little nauseous… eww, now it smells like Nature’s Miracle and dog pee (just until it dries but…). 😉

  3. The firt thing I do it grab a large stack of facial tissues. Place the pile of tissues on the wer spot and stand on it for a minute. Then repeat until the tissues are dry. It takes a whole box of tissues. Then I use a mixture of half water and half peroxide in a spray bottle. I soak the spot. Scrub with a rag. Blot up the excess and spray once more letting it air dry for a day. This is on my light blue and light mauve carpets. I haven’t tried the peroxide mix on my new dark brown carpet. It may lighten the spot.

  4. I have used Natures Miracle for years with additional instructions that I picked up from the book the “Queen of Clean” wrote & my own experiments … soak up as much as possible of the urine on a paper towel (do not rub), pour a cup of boiling water on stain & soak up with paper towel (do not rub) now pour a generous amount of Natures Miracle & lightly spray with cold water. Cover the treated area with plastic wrap. Leave for 24-48 hours. You can repeat if necessary such as vomit stains that are tougher to remove. The author explained that the slight amount of water along with the plastic wrap (I prefer Press N Seal) help the enzymes work. I understood that they need moisture to perform the task & the plastic wrap helps it from drying out. And no stinky smell either…it works great for me.

    1. Hi Marta. That sounds like an effective system. Personally, I have hardwood floors and Chester pees on our area rug. I must clean it up and dry it out right away or it will ruin our wood floor. I do still find Nature’s Miracle to be pretty effective. If the carpet gets too soiled, I just throw it away and buy another cheap on on 😉

  5. As a mom to two boys, one who didn’t potty train until after age 4, I could have used this trick back then. It was a crazy time of urine on mattresses, having to get new ones all of the time as you could never get them clean or smell out. I am certain this will be helpful for parents who had to deal with the same thing!

  6. I love reading all the in and outs of what others use to clean up doggie urine but I’m hoping it work on a nice rug I have which is pretty big ,I love this rug but I’ve tried scrubbing and shampooing with my machine front and back side and still smells after a year so I’m gonna try the vineger way and see and then the miracles solution so thank you all

  7. Thank you for helping me to understand that it is important to use vinegar to neutralize the ammonia that is found in dog urine in carpet stains. A couple of days ago, I cleaned up a mess that my dog left in my house but it still smells really bad. It seems like it would probably be a good idea to just hire a professional cleaning service in order to remove the odor.

  8. Thank you. We have been having such a hard time keeping our new puppy from peeing in the home. We have paid people for pet urine removal to clean stains and remove poor smells. We tried your tips for the last week and… No accidents. Thank you so much

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