There are a number of dog stain and odor removal products available for today's pet owner. Some differ in how they work - organic or absorbing, others in how they are applied, and different products for different kinds of stains - fresh vs old, for instance.
The one thing to remember about dog stains is that you need to use a cleaner specifically developed for dog stains, as opposed to a household cleaner you may have on your shelf to clean up coffee spills.
Here's why: You know that when dogs smell urine it often triggers them to relieve themselves on the same spot, right? And that a dog's sense of smell is 100 times greater than a human's. The vast majority of commercially available household cleaners will NOT eliminate the urine odor that penetrates into the fibers of your carpet. It may suds up and remove the discoloration, and it may smell pleasant to you, but it won't fool your dog's super sense of smell. Within a very short period of time your dog will likely return to that very same spot, smell that urine smell, and have the urge to soil that spot again.
Whichever type of cleaner you choose, you should always have it on hand since the sooner you can work on the stain, the easier it is to remove. Set-in stains often require multiple applications of whatever cleaner you use.
We particularly like pet stain cleaners that clean "organically," which means they use natural enzymes to eliminate the stain, and specific kinds of bacteria that actually digest the waste and thus the source of the odor. Examples of these types of cleaners are Dog-Tergent, which is made specifically for fresh stains, and OdorLogic® CleanAway, made for set-in stains. Nature's Miracle is another popular product with our customers.
Relatively new to the market are cleaners that use an oxygenation process that is said to lift, or "bubble up" stains and odors to the surface for easy removal. Oxygen-infused Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Remover not only removes traces of pet messes, it discourages growth of odor-causing bacteria and germs. We have had many customers testify that these products worked well on their stains.
Some of the lower-priced cleaners are detergent-based - essentially a soap-and-water solution that cleans and then deodorizes with a strong, clean-smelling scent. While these types of products are fine for linoleum floors, they are not the best choice for carpets.
Most of the products for use on carpets can also be used on furniture. For both furniture and carpets, we highly recommend that you spot test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area to test for color-fastness. Products such as Urine Power Away work great on carpet or furniture.
Also, almost all pet cleaning solutions can be used for other organic stains including those from feces, blood, and vomit. You may also want to try them on other, non-pet spills as they are usually more effective at most stains than store-bought cleaners.