The best way to find dog urine without a blacklight is to simply use your nose. Since urine produces a strong scent, finding the location shouldn’t be a problem. If that doesn’t work, you can invest some money into a moisture probe which can detect urine through moisture content.
As a dog owner, you understand that your fluffy friend can be just as messy as they are loveable.
It’s a real pleasure coming home to be greeted by a wide dorky smile, and a furious wagging tail. But sometimes, you are also greeted by the faint (or not so faint) and elusive scent of urine.
Well, now you know your pup had an accident, but finding the spot can be more complicated than you think. There are special black and UV flashlights that can help find them, but that can prove costly and ineffective. Here are some alternative methods that you can use to find dog urine without a blacklight.
Use Your Nose
Okay, so I know that this sounds like an obvious one. But if the accident was recent, it should be easy to determine the specific area by following your nose. The smell of animal urine is not a shy one. Though you may not find the exact spot, the pungent smell should lead you to the general area.
Tips: be sure to close all windows and turn off any fans. An air current will distort the smell, making it much more challenging to locate the source.
Keeping Your Eyes Peeled
Now, this may seem like another obvious one. But you know what they say, simple problems require simple solutions.
When urine is soaking into the carpet, the water within the urine eventually evaporates, leaving behind trace amounts of ammonia (the ammonia is what provides that pungent smell, but we’ll get to that later).
The ammonia then crystallizes in the fibers and alters the hue of the carpet. Lighter shade carpets will turn an almost neon yellow, while darker carpets will display a suspicious glow. If your dog is a repeat offender, the color distortion will be more evident.
A blacklight might be your go-to solution, but those aren’t always effective. The urine often soaks through the carpet and beneath the surface, and this can compromise the effectiveness of your blacklight.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Now sometimes, we need to use a little more than our senses. But maybe you don’t feel like dishing out the dollars for a blacklight or other fancy machines. Well, you don’t have too!
You can create your very own puppy pee detector from items you already have at home!
Take a bit of hydrogen peroxide and mix it with some baking soda. Once your concoction is ready, simply spray it over the suspicious area. The urine stain should then reveal itself to you, displaying a light shade of white.
You can use this mixture to literally map out your house and lead you right to that “X marks the spot.” Except, in this case, it isn’t a treasure that you find.
Typically, I don’t prefer chemical solutions when dealing with pets. But this solution is 100% safe for your pooch! Hydrogen peroxide is only dangerous in high concentrations. If you’re feeling cautious about your pup, you can dilute your peroxide with saline solution (which is just water mixed with salt). This will decrease its concentration.
If nothing seems to be working, and you feel that it’s time to invest, moisture probes may be your answer.
These probes are sensors that measure the volume of moisture content within soil. But these handy devices can make your rounds of pee patrol much easier to manage.
Even after the water within the urine evaporates, the crystallized ammonia that gets left behind continues to absorb moisture. So even after the mess is dried up, the probes will still manage to detect it.
These devices are low cost and easy to use.
Follow your Pup
They say that the best detectives can solve a crime before it’s committed. Well luckily for us, our four-legged friends aren’t exactly pro’s at covering their tracks. Dog’s will most likely return to the scene of the crime.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as following your pup around, and observing where they sniff. The scent of their mess will often attract them back to the stain, possibly provoking another accident.
Maybe your pup isn’t properly potty trained yet. In that case, you can almost predict when and where they will alleviate their bladder.
In other instances, your dog might be marking their territory. These messes tend to be difficult to zero in on, as there may be multiple locations with very little urine traces.
The Importance of Finding The Urine
Besides the discolored blotches and unpleasant order, urine can also cause potentially dangerous health effects.
Ammonia is naturally produced in animal urine. As I mentioned before, when the urine dries, the ammonia is left behind, intertwined within the fibers. If you are someone with pre-existing health conditions such as emphysema, asthma, or any issues involving your respiratory system, this devious chemical may worsen your symptoms.
Urine that isn’t cleaned right away will soak right into the floorboards. This can potentially cause a sprout of a variety of different fungi. Fungus, such as aspergillus, is quite common. This mold can cause permanent scarring of the lungs.
The bacteria that manifests from urine stains are usually harmless. People with good working immune systems may only experience watery eyes, elevated allergies, or even a slight constriction of the airways. Folks with weaker immune systems, such as children or the elderly, are at a much higher risk of developing severe health complications.
Understanding your Dog
To find the little potty presents our dogs leave for us, it helps to understand what’s causing the accidents.
Dogs may develop a UTI (urinary tract infection). This disease attacks the bladder and is common in humans as well. A notorious side effect is the loss of bladder control, which means that accidents may occur at irregular times and locations.
Anxiety and fear will provoke your pup to pee (say that 5 times in a row). Dog’s will often have a particular spot, or “comfort zone,” in which they retreat to in times of distress. So be sure to examine your pooch’s favorite hangout spots before all else.
What to Do When You Find The Urine
Finding the urine is only half the battle. Once you’ve found the urine, you need to make sure you clean it properly. If you don’t clean it correctly, the scent will linger, and your dog will likely return to the spot to relieve their bladder again.
Once you clean the urine, it’s good to use a dog repellent on the area to ensure your dog won’t pee in that same spot again.
Cleaning The Urine
If the spot is still wet, place a few paper towels over over it and let the urine soak into the paper towels. You can also dry up the area by placing a thick layer of newspaper over the urine and pressing it for a few minutes.
Once the area becomes dry, you’ll need to remove the odor to prevent your dog from being attracted back to the area. The easiest way to do this is to use baking soda. Spread about ¼ cup of baking soda over the urine stain and let it sit overnight. The next morning, vacuum up the baking soda. You should notice both the scent and the stain are gone.
Using Dog Repellent
Once the urine has been adequately cleaned and deodorized, it’s time to use a dog repellent. Dogs have a strong sense of smell, MUCH stronger than ours. Head to your local pet store to pick up some dog repellent spray. This spray will produce a scent your dog can smell, but humans can’t. This means you won’t have to worry about stinking up your house with dog repellent. A few sprays on the carpet where your dog urinated will do the trick.
Blacklights Aren’t Always Accurate
Over the years, blacklights have become known as the best way to detect dog urine. But they aren’t always accurate. The methods mentioned in this article are much better at detecting dog urine compared to using a blacklight.
Here are a few of the main flaws with using a blacklight to detect dog urine:
Must Be Completely Dry
Blacklights won’t detect urine unless the spot is completely dry. The problem is that some areas in the house always produce some moisture. For example, when running a hot shower, moisture will be in the air and settle on the carpet. If you try to use a blacklight when there’s even a small amount of moisture, it won’t work.
Can Only Detect On Carpet
A blacklight won’t detect urine spots on tile. The surface area of tile is too small, and the urine is unable to soak into tile the same way it would with carpet.
Absorbed Too Low
Thick carpet or Highly absorptive furniture can hide the dog urine from a blacklight. When the urine gets soaked too deep, the blacklight won’t be able to detect it.
Too Much Water In The Urine
If a dog is excessively hydrated, the water within the urine will prevent the urine from glowing under a blacklight. This is probably the biggest problem with using a blacklight to detect urine and is more common than you might think.
Finding the messes that our furry friends leave for us isn’t always obvious. But as you can see, there are a plethora of options available. Blacklights can prove to be an expensive and ineffective option. All you really need are your eyes, nose, and an arsenal of crafty maneuvers.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.