Is the Smell of Dog Urine in a House Bad for You?

Dog urine doesn't just smell bad, it can pose health hazards. In addition to the bacteria that may be present in the urine, one of the primary components of urine is ammonia, which can be dangerous in high concentrations. Clean up after indoor accidents promptly and ventilate the area thoroughly.

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Ammonia Fumes

Ammonia fumes are irritating to the nose, throat and lungs. When ammonia contacts mucous membranes like the eyes, nose or mouth, it bonds with the water, creating ammonium hydroxide.The caustic action of this compound creates respiratory distress that can lead to respiratory failure. When your dog urinates outdoors, the ammonia tends to dissipate in the air. However, in areas with reduced ventilation -- such as a home -- the amount of ammonia present in the air can cause serious health problems. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires protective breathing gear anytime the air contains more than 50 parts of ammonia per million parts of air. However, according to the Hoarding Animals Research Consortium, ammonia levels may be triple that amount in neglected homes.

Allergies and Asthma

The odor of dog urine may exacerbate asthma for some people. Additionally, while animal hair and fur often cause pet-related allergies in people, droplets of saliva or urine-associated proteins may also trigger allergic reactions. Because of this, allergy sufferers may experience problems.

Finding Dog Urine

Properly cleaning dog urine will help prevent lingering odors and discourage your pet from urinating in the same spot in the future. While new stains are easy to find and treat, you must also locate old urine stains, which may no longer be particularly odiferous. To do so, the Humane Society of the United States recommends turning out the lights and using a black light to locate such areas.

Cleaning Old Urine

Outline the stains with chalk, then rinse them thoroughly with clean, cold water. Use a rented extractor to suck up the liquid. Finally, apply a heavy-duty pet odor neutralizer to the area. Avoid using steam cleaners on soiled carpet -- they can lock in the odor.