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Ammonia and Dog Urine

Don't Ever Use This to Clean Up Dog Urine

Even the best-trained dog can have an accident. It happens. However, it's up to you to fix that mess the right way. All-natural enzyme cleansers are great, but sometimes the mess needs heavy-duty cleaning. While you may be inclined to grab the strongest product from your supplies, there's one you should always steer clear of when sopping up the puddles.

Dog urine is made of a combination of ammonia, bacteria, hormones, and uric acid. As the urine breaks down, the ammonia concentration increases, and sulfur-containing organic chemical substances known as mercaptans are then produced. If mercaptans are in the air, even at low concentrations, they are very noticeable — they are the same substances that give skunk odor and rotting cabbage a trademark stench!

For this reason, you should never clean up your dog's pee with ammonia-based products. Similarly to how dogs love to mark and revisit old spots, the scent of ammonia can trick him into thinking it's an OK, previously peed-upon place when potty time comes again. It's probably best to not use ammonia in a pet-filled home anyway as to not confuse a dog into using the freshly mopped kitchen floor as a prime bathroom break destination.

— Additional reporting by Morgan Parker
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