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How To Get Urine Scent Out of Dog Fur (8 Potential Methods)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

dog lying on its pee spot

Most dogs quickly learn to alert their owners when they need to go outside, but minor accidents are bound to occur. Whether you have a puppy or an adult canine, it is vital to clean and groom your pup to reduce odors and prevent skin conditions from developing. Urine stains on fur can cause the hair to mat, and they can damage the animal’s skin if they’re not removed promptly.

Luckily, stained fur is easy to clean, and most of the cleaning products are probably part of your household supplies.

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Before You Start

Puppies and aging dogs with mobility or behavioral issues are more likely to urinate on their fur than healthy adults, but frequent incontinence is a sign your pet needs to see the veterinarian. Urinary problems can be caused by several factors, including prostate issues, kidney disease, diabetes, kidney stones, spinal injuries, anatomic abnormalities, and hormonal imbalances. When you speak to the doctor, you can help determine the cause of the by mentioning these facts:

  • The frequency of urine leaks
  • When the problem first occurred
  • Any other unusual symptoms
  • Medications or supplements used by your pet

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The 8 Ways to Get Urine Scent Out of Dog Fur

These methods will remove wet and dry stains on fur, but dry stains require a little more work than wet ones. However, if your dog’s skin is irritated or burned from urine, use extreme caution when giving a bath or applying a cleaning agent to the fur. Soft microfiber towels are less abrasive than linen cloths and typically grab more debris and loose hair.

1. Shampoo and Bath

Although you may not be lucky enough to have a water-loving dog, your pet will be much happier after a warm bath. A shampoo bath is more effective at loosening and removing dried urine than other techniques, and it cleans your entire dog instead of a small spot. The bath water should be warm to the touch but slightly warmer than lukewarm.

Besides being unformattable to the dog, a hot bath can dry out the skin and damage it if it’s too hot. You can find several suggestions for DIY shampoos, but we suggest only using a product formulated for canines. Human shampoos contain fragrances that can irritate your dog, and dish soap is too strong to use on pups.

After lathering your pet from head to toe, focus on the stained spots and gently massage the shampoo into the area to loosen the fur and release the dried particles.

Our Recommendations

Adding a shampoo and conditioner duo to your pet's grooming routine could be the difference in creating a soft, fluffy coat and hydrated, nourished skin. Heppers Oatmeal Pet Shampoo gently lifts dander, dirt, and excess fur without scrubbing away the natural oils important to your cat's derma health. The Pet Conditioner restores any moisture that may have been washed away and will prevent tangles and static. Both are all natural and formulated to soothe irritated skin. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo - 2000 x 2000 square
Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo
Hepper Pet Conditioner - 2000x2000 square
Hepper Pet Conditioner
All-natural :
All-natural :
Fresh, light scent
Fresh, light scent :
Fresh, light scent :
Cleans fur and skin
Cleans fur and skin:
Cleans fur and skin:
Combats tangles & static
Combats tangles & static:
Combats tangles & static:

2. Self-Rinse Shampoos

If you do not have time to give your dog a full bath, you can save time with a self-rinse shampoo. Self-rinse products are beneficial in the summer when the temperature is warm enough to clean your pet outdoors. After wetting your dog with warm water, work in the lather just like ordinary shampoo. Use a soft towel to dry your dog and brush its hair to remove any residue. If the smell remains, you can repeat the process.

Dry shampoos are another option for a quick clean, but some products leave the fur sticky. Instead of a pricey dry shampoo, we suggest using corn starch.

3. Corn Starch and Bath

Sprinkling corn starch on urine stains will absorb the odor, but you will have to moisten the area first if the urine has dried. Corn starch is safe to use on your dog’s skin, but you may want to back away if your dog tries to shake the powder off. The fine powder can create quite a cloud if it is shaken away prematurely. Wait 5 minutes for the powder to work, then thoroughly brush the dog’s fur. Give your dog a warm bath using dog shampoo to ensure the dried bits are gone.

4. Vinegar and Water

The vinegar aisle in grocery stores has grown to include several flavors and infusions in recent years. Although most vinegar will remove urine odors, we suggest only using apple cider vinegar to prevent skin irritation. Darker vinegar, like balsamic, is less acidic than other varieties and can stain fur. Mix a half-gallon of warm water with one cup of apple cider vinegar and pour the solution over the urine stain. Gently rub the area with a wet towel to break up dried pieces and wait 5 minutes before bathing your dog.

5. Baking Soda and Water

Another inexpensive technique for removing urine scents is a mixture of baking soda and water. For fresh urine stains, sprinkle baking soda over the spot without water. Wait a few minutes for the powder to absorb the smell and brush thoroughly to remove the debris. If you’re treating dried urine, wet the area with a warm cloth before applying the baking soda. For minor urine stains, you may not have to give your dog a full bath, but a large spot on the belly or hindquarters will probably require a soapy tub.

6. Daily Grooming

While grooming will not eliminate urine odors, it will make cleaning a stain much easier. Some breeds do not require daily grooming, but some dogs, like poodles, need frequent brushing to prevent matting and lingering odors. If your pet becomes anxious or upset during grooming sessions, you can provide a treat before and after brushing to convince your pup to relax. Treating a urine stain requires a cleaning agent, but daily brushing can remove loose fur that contributes to the doggy smell in your home.

Grooming the Shih Tzu dog
Image Credit: siamionau pavel, Shutterstock

7. Pet Wipes

Using pet wipes to clean stained fur is a quick alternative to a bath, and you can find several products with deodorizing agents to freshen the coat. If your dog has sensitive skin, you can use a hypoallergenic wipe that’s free of fragrances or harsh chemicals. Pet wipes remove dirt, loose hair, and stains from urine, but they will not eliminate a urine odor if the stain is substantial. For significant leakage on the dog’s coat, you’ll need to use one of the previous methods and a bath to ensure the scent is gone.

High-quality wet wipes can help you keep your dog clean from head to tail. Our Hepper Wash Wipes are infused with natural, moisturizing ingredients that will soothe your dog's skin while effectively removing dirt and grime. These soft, hypoallergenic wipes are made in the USA and safe for dogs and puppies of all breeds.

Hepper Pet Wash Wipes - Soft Pet Cleaning Wipes...
  • Gentle Care For All Pets - Infused with moisturizing hypoallergenic ingredients & enriched with...
  • Deep Cleans From Head to Tail - Tackle the toughest dirt & messes with our extra strong pet wipes...

8. New Bedding

If you’ve cleaned urine-soaked fur on your pet, it’s best to check the dog’s bed for any signs of staining. Most dog beds have washable covers, but some are not water-resistant. If the bed’s core is not sealed in a waterproof covering, the foam center can become contaminated with urine and must be thrown away. Although you can successfully eliminate urine odors from clothing and carpets, you cannot clean foam stuffing or memory foam.

beagle on his dog bed
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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Keeping Your Dog and Home Clean When Your Dog Has Urinary Problems

Recovery periods for urinary infections or conditions vary depending on the cause, but your dog may have a few accidents before the treatment is complete. Watching your beloved pet struggle with incontinence can be difficult, but you can keep your dog healthy and comfortable by following these tips.

  • Take your dog outside more for bathroom breaks. Ask your family or friends for help if your schedule prevents you from making multiple outdoor trips.
  • Purchase a cozy orthopedic bed with a sealed core. You can find a high-quality model with washable components and thick stuffing for under $100.
  • Bath your pet more frequently. For minor incidents, you can use pet wipes and baking soda solutions, but a full bath is necessary when the animal’s fur and skin are frequently soaked with urine. Too many doggy baths can dry out the skin and remove essential oils, but you must remove urine to keep the coat healthy.
  • Use doggy diapers to prevent stains on bedding and furniture. Diapers can be uncomfortable for the dog and impractical if the leakage is severe.

Our favorite enzyme cleaner for eliminating pet smells and stains is our very own Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.  It makes clean-up a breeze because it permanently removes even the very worst smells and stains (urine, feces, vomit, you name it!) from basically any surface you can imagine. 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...

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Leakage can occur in dogs of all ages, but it is more common in senior dogs and those who have not mastered potty training. Removing urine odors and stains from fur is straightforward, but treating a urinary condition requires professional assistance. After a complete examination and series of tests, your veterinarian will know the severity of the problem and appropriate treatment options.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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