The first step in avoiding urine stains is always prevention. Properly training your dog is the most important way to prevent problems. Dog trainers strongly recommend crate training in order to help a dog learn how to control its bladder. The puppy or adult dog that isn't already house-trained benefits by being kept for short periods of time in a dog crate where the animal is comfortable but doesn't have enough room to squat in order to urinate or defecate. In time, the dog is able to hold its bladder for longer periods of time, and begins to associate the outside with relieving itself. If done properly and with the correct rewards, the animal will become house-broken.
In cities with apartment buildings that are tens of stories high, special indoor mats designed to hold urine are the place where dogs are taught to go during the crating period as the time it takes to get outdoors is too long to hold it for most puppies. Other applications for these types of mats include homes with people who are too old or disabled to let their dogs out or homes with geriatric pets. Odor can be a problem with these indoor mats and sometimes, the animal will still have problems going in the designated place. In these instances, odor and stain control are still necessary despite the best intentions of the pet owner.
The second step after prevention is to try to locate all of the areas affected by a dog that has urinated inappropriately. On some carpets, it can be hard to detect wet areas or areas that are old and have already dried. The best way to find all of the areas is to use a special black light UV flashlight designed to illuminate the areas where organic materials have seeped into the carpet. When used in the dark, these affected areas will glow a bright white or yellow in comparison to areas that have not been saturated. Once the areas have been located, it is much easier to spot treat with the appropriate products.
Many home remedies have been prescribed to try to remove dog urine stains, but the danger in these is that damage can be done unintentionally to the carpet or rug that is being cleaned. Many of these home concoctions can end up making the stain and smell worse or can bleach the color right out of the material. Solutions containing hydrogen peroxide are generally not recommended for this reason.
The best way to get to the root of the stain or odor is to digest it with an enzyme product. These are generally safe for both pets and humans and will not damage carpeting or material the way that some home remedies can. Make sure to follow the directions on the packaging and always test the solution in an inconspicuous spot to make sure that it is appropriate for use in your particular situation.
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