The Bad Effects of Dog Urine Odor in Our Homes

Updated: July 12, 2022

Yes, we love having our dogs around and we love having them inside our homes, too. But if there's one thing we don’t love about having dogs around the home, it is when they pee indoors. If dogs pee in your house, especially continuously, a strong urine odor takes over the house.

It’s no secret that dog pee smells bad. So, in this article, we’ll talk about the bad effects on dog urine odor in our homes and ways how to eliminate strong urine odor - or better yet, prevent accidents from happening inside your house.

"With your dog's strong urine odor, it may seem like your lungs are burning, including your respiratory tract and nose."

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The bad effects

Have you ever wondered, “why does my dog’s pee smell like ammonia?” Most of the time, dog urine odor smells strongly of ammonia which is an irritant to your lungs. According to Cuteness, even human urine has ammonia in it. But it has a stronger concentration stronger in your furbaby's pee, making it noticeable that dog pee smells bad in your home.

Ammonia is considered to be a lung irritant and could worsen the symptoms for those family members at home with asthma, allergies, or COPD. While those little accidents that occur during potty training almost certainly do not cause any health concerns, frequent indoor pet urination and accidents could be a problem in your home.

With your dog's strong urine odor, it may seem like your lungs are burning, including your respiratory tract and nose. Prolonged exposure to the odor can also cause skin and eye irritations like skin burns, permanent eye damage, and even blindness!

Additionally, your dog's urine can also cause tracheal burns, airway damages, cough, shortness of breath, the list just goes on. All these may possibly lead to respiratory distress and infection.

Dog urine has strong odors to it. If residue of your dog's pee is not completely & immediately cleaned and strong urine odor is not entirely neutralized in your home, it can create potential health risks for:

  • Family members who have weakened immune system, asthma, allergies or some health conditions
  • Children who are most at risk for problems in the eyes and nose from ammonia inhalation

Guide to an effective cleanup

Remember that you constantly use your furniture and your carpets, so you should do everything you can to keep your home clean. Here are some of the most effective clean up methods for how to eliminate urine odor.

Soak it up. As soon as you find out your dog had an accident, soak up the dog urine using wet towels or rags over their pee. Remember to wet the towels or rags first with cool water so it will absorb the urine better. If your dog peed on your carpet, put something heavy on top of the wet towels or rags to press it down further into the spot. Let it soak for ten minutes or so.

Wet the spot. After soaking the mess for a few minutes, remove the heavy object and the towels. Then pour water on the spot, with the direction of it moving towards the center. This is to prevent further spreading of the urine stain on your floor or carpet. Leave it for a minute.

Neutralize odor. Dog urine has strong odors. To neutralize the odor, you can use enzymatic cleaners on the area. Enzymatic cleaners are biological compounds that speed up chemical reactions and this makes it perfect for eliminating urine odor. According to Chicago Tribune, enzymatic cleaners are any cleaning products that use enzymes in their formulas.

It is important to neutralize the odor so that your dog won't keep coming back peeing on the same spot over again. After applying the enzymatic cleaner, soak the area again (the first step), but this time leave it overnight.

Wash thoroughly or throw-away towels and rags used. As long as your dog can smell traces of their urine on things at home, they will always pee on it. That's why it is important to immediately wash the towels and rags you used with warm water. If you use paper towels, seal them first in a garbage bag before disposing to avoid your dog from finding it.

Note: There is also danger when it comes to getting in contact with your dog’s urine. When cleaning up after your dog’s pee inside your home, always wear rubber gloves. As much as possible, avoid touching the urine, as pathogens it contains may cause health problems, especially if you have a compromised or weakened immune system.

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Kidney and liver damage, fatigue, fever, vomiting, skin burns, and diarrhea are just a few of the problems caused by the harmful pathogens present in your furbaby's pee. If your skin comes in contact with your dog’s pee while cleaning, simply wash the area right away with running water and soap.

Health concerns regarding getting in contact with your furbaby’s pee seldom occur, but it’s always better to educate yourself about it and take safety precautions.

Preventive measures

Prevention is better than cure (and cleanups!). The stress of cleanups just isn't worth it. But there are multiple preventive measures you can do for your pet to avoid accidents at home and prevent your dog peeing on your floors, carpets, or furniture.

House training. House training your dog will teach them where and where not to urinate which will, in turn, lead to fewer accidents or none at all. While most pet parents potty train their dogs while they are still puppies, there are lots of situations in which you might have to potty train an adult or senior dog. For example, some rescue dogs will not be potty trained or will need a refresher course. With a little bit of time and consistency, your dog can learn not to go potty inside.

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Dog Diapers and Belly bands. Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers are diapers that can be worn by both male and female furbabies. Pet Parents® Washable Belly Bands, on the other hand, are belly wraps particularly for male dogs. It wraps around a dog’s midsection, thereby enclosing their private areas.

Dog diapers and belly bands are wonderful for senior pets who suffer from incontinence and may not be able to hold their bladder or dogs who are in the process of potty training. Belly bands can also help stop your male dog from marking. Both prevent dog urine from leaking onto your furniture or house.

These are small but great investments that can help prevent accidents and improve your dog’s quality of life while protecting your home and sanity.

Pawtect® Pads. You can use Pawtect® Pads as your furbaby's designated potty area inside your house. Pawtect® Pads are washable dog pee pads made from proprietary fabric blend that absorbs more liquid compared to other pads in the market. These dog pee pads are also made with WickQuick® anti-tracking feature that lock in moisture and liquid so your furbaby won’t be able to track mess all over your house. Dog pee pads are a great option for potty training as well. By teaching your dog to use Pawtect® Pads, you won’t have to worry about odors in your carpet and around your house. You can simply wash the pee pad in your washing machine once soiled.

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"Pawtect® Pads are washable dog pee pads made from proprietary fabric blend that absorbs more liquid compared to other pads in the market."

Dog urine has strong odors, but your dog's urine can have bad effects in your home beyond the fact that dog pee smells bad. The ammonia in dog urine can be an irritant to your lungs, skin, or eyes. That's why it's important to thoroughly clean the peed-on area and prevent messes from happening at all. Accidents can be tough to deal with, but you are tougher. You can keep your home clean with these methods so that you don’t have to worry about the strong urine smell in your home.