How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Carpet (New & Set-in Stains)

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get dog pee smell out of carpetDogs are man’s best friend, but you can’t always say the same about their relationship with our carpets.

Puppies who haven’t yet been housebroken and older dogs with less control over their bladders are prone to having accidents on the rug or just going there because they haven’t been taught not to.

Unfortunately, if you don’t clean, your dog will mistake his spot as territory and continue to go there.

We can tell you how to get dog pee stains out of carpet to prevent further accidents. If you catch the behavior in time, it’s easily corrected, but if not you may end up having to replace your entire carpet.

Removing New Stains

removing new urine stainsFirst, get your dog out of the area while you clean. It doesn’t need to stick around and get the scent of his urine.

Next, you need to get a few paper towels. You’re going to soak up as much of the urine spot as you can.

The less liquid is on the carpet, the easier it can be cleaned. Lie the wad of paper towels down on the stain and gently press and blot it up; avoid scrubbing.

If you scrub the stain, all you’re doing is working the urine deeper in, and it does a fine enough job of that on its own.

Keep blotting until you can’t see the urine stain on the carpet anymore. Your job isn’t done yet; even though you can’t see it, the residue is still going to be on the carpet, and your dog will be able to smell where it urinated, making it inclined to think that particular spot should be where it goes.

Next, get some white vinegar and mix it with water in equal proportions. Spray it on the stain. Using an old toothbrush or a scrubbing brush, work from the outside of the stain inward to prevent it from spreading further on the carpet. You’ll need to make sure the urine spot has completely vanished before moving forward.

Sprinkle baking soda on top of the spot where you just scrubbed and allow it to sit there for an hour or two. Baking soda has natural odor absorption properties and will counteract the urine and the vinegar. After the baking soda has done its work, you can vacuum it up.

If you want to be extra sure, then you can use a mixture of color-safe washing detergent and hot water on the spot, but baking soda and vinegar should do the trick in most cases.

Removing Set-in Urine Stains

It may be harder to get out old stains that have soaked into the carpet, but it’s usually doable. As long as it hasn’t gone through the pad, you should be fine. The hardest part is finding them.

If your dog tends to sniff around at a certain spot on the carpet even if it looks clean, odds are it’s trying to find an old pee spot.

The best and easiest way to remove old set in dog or cat pee stains is using a carpet cleaning machine.

You can easily find old urine stains with a bit of technology: a black light. Make the room dark and place old newspaper on all the spots you find. You’d be surprised and a little shocked what a lack light will reveal.

Home remedies likely won’t work with set-in stains.

You’ll need to use a pet urine cleaner that lacks a specific odor and has enzymes. Enzymes react with the urine and break it down so it can be removed from the fibers.

You might find this interesting too: How to get dog poop out of carpet.

Using a Carpet Shampooer and Cleaner

A carpet shampooer is very helpful to have at hand when you are keeping dogs inside the house.

Stains are always easier to get out when they are fresh, but a carpet cleaner will deep clean to remove both old and new stains, and some cleaners also deodorize the carpet to make it smell fresh.

Carpet cleaning machines start at around $100 and the more powerful models are around $250-$400.

See our list of the best carpet cleaners for pet stains here.


take your dog for a walkNow that you’ve cleaned up a dog pee stain, you need to prevent it from occurring again. If your dog is housebroken and simply had an accident, watch your dog for signs that it needs to go to the bathroom and take it for a walk. These signs include:

  • Whimpering/whining
  • Circling
  • Pawing at doors
  • Sniffing at floors
  • Sitting at the door and barking
  • General agitation

If you notice your dog exhibiting any of these behaviors, it’s time to put its leash on and take it for a walk.

You can teach your dog to ring a bell, rewarding it with a treat when completed. Then, by attaching the bell to the door and teaching the dog to ring it before you open the door, it reinforces the idea that the sound of the bell translates to opening the door. Take the dog for a walk or get someone else to do so before you leave for work.


Even though pee stains are unpleasant, it doesn’t have to be hard to clean dog pee stains from carpets or rugs. When you’re cleaning, make sure you wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Just follow the advice we’ve outlined and your carpet should be left as good as new.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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