How to Remove Dog Urine Odor with Vinegar

Your precious dog has peed inside once again. He goes just about everywhere—in his crate, on the sofa, on your nice wood floors and the carpet—and now your whole house smells like dog urine.

Cute dog sitting on the floor with carpet in a lovely home. brown with white fur
There are some simple solutions and steps you can take to rid your house of the urine smell and ensure your dog cuts out this nasty behavior.
credit: cerro_photography/iStock/GettyImages

There are some simple solutions and steps you can take to rid your house of the urine smell and ensure your dog cuts out this nasty behavior. The first plan of action is to concoct a way to clean the urine and eliminate the smell at the same time.

Vinegar for pet urine odor removal

Thankfully, you don't have to use smelly and possibly hazardous chemicals to clean up your dog's urine. Instead, you can go the natural way and create a vinegar solution for pet urine odor removal and apply it to the areas where your dog is peeing. If your dog is going somewhere that's easy to clean, like his crate or a hardwood floor, it's going to be much easier to get rid of the urine and its smell.

Hopefully, you'll be able to catch the urine and get rid of it before it dries. Otherwise, it could start to attract bacteria as well as stain the material into which it's seeping. First, take a wet paper towel and sop up the urine. Then, put together a mixture of one part water and one part distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Distilled white vinegar is an excellent cleaning solution because it is nontoxic, and it neutralizes the ammonia smell in your dog's pee. It also can kill 80 percent of germs and 99 percent of surface bacteria in the urine.

Dealing with urine in carpets

If you can't get the dog pee smell out of your carpet, a homemade pet odor remover as a carpet cleaner might work. Follow the same steps as you would when finding a stain anywhere else. Use multiple wet paper towels to soak up the urine and then pour the same solution—one part water, one part vinegar—onto your carpet. White vinegar will not fade your carpet fibers.

Let the carpet absorb the solution for about 10 minutes to ensure that it seeps into the lower fibers. Once it's dry, sprinkle a tiny bit of baking soda onto the carpet to get rid of the odor. Let the baking soda sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum it up. If you look at and smell the area, you'll realize that cleaning dog urine with vinegar and baking soda is highly effective.

The key part of the process is making sure the area doesn't smell anymore. Then, your dog won't be tempted to mark her territory there again.

Training your dog

If your dog is urinating in the house on a regular basis, you should first take him to the vet to see if there are any medical issues occurring. If you have a puppy, he's simply going through training and hasn't yet learned the best etiquette. You'll need to make sure you train him properly before your whole house smells like dog urine.

Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, remember that reward is much more effective than punishment. Give your dog a treat immediately after he pees outside and tell him, "good boy!" Keep your dog in your sight at all times when he's inside and make sure he's getting enough walks. Get a smaller crate if it's too big for your pup, and never rub his face in his mess.

With a little bit of training and some baking soda and vinegar for pet urine odor removal at your side, you can successfully ensure that your dog won't go in the house anymore.