This UV Flashlight Urine Detector Helps You Find (And Clean Up) Pet Messes

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We love our dogs, despite their mess. Now, finding and cleaning up those messes is easier than ever.

As an author of 35+ pet books and a certified animal behavior consultant, I often hear from pet lovers complaining about hit-or-miss potty behavior. There are medical reasons why dogs smell bad, but bathroom accidents are a top reason that pets lose their homes. Even when you clean up pet messes, you can’t always see the evidence of bathroom accidents, though we can still smell the nasty evidence. That’s why a pet urine detector can be so useful.

Pets have accidents—or sometimes on-purpose marking—in unexpected places. It goes beyond the puppy being unable to make it out the door and dirtying the carpet. Pet puddles and plops end up staining the furniture, too. Aside from the “solid” creativity you might easily find, your leg-lifting dog staining the bedspread or walls with urine won’t leave a neon mark.

But most biological fluids, including urine, contain phosphorus that naturally glows in the presence of oxygen. You can’t see the glow under normal light. But certain UV wavelengths of light, like the ones found in the UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector, make the glow easier to see.

What is the UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector?

This handheld device looks and works like a flashlight. Instead of a normal lightbulb, the pet urine detector uses ultraviolet (UV) light that prompts certain fluids to glow under its illumination. Sometimes called black light, UV light simply has a frequency higher than visible light.

Product Specs:

  • Light 7-ounce weight
  • 51 individual UV lights
  • Lights last up to 15 years
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Runs on 3xAA standard alkaline batteries (not included)
  • Dimensions 2.2 x 1.37 x 5.7 inches
  • 4.5 volts, 5 watts, 395 UV wavelength

Pros:

  • Finds invisible stains on rugs, carpets, clothes, and other surfaces (including the car)
  • Also works on pests like scorpions or bedbugs
  • Economical $13 price
  • Pocket-sized for convenience
  • Lightweight design

Cons:

  • Does not work as well on cat urine, which requires a shorter wavelength of 365-385 to glow
  • Will not detect wet stains
  • Must hold flashlight relatively close to stain (24 inches)

How to Use the UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector

Lots of things glow under UV light, including carpet fuzz, bugs, and toys. Vacuum the area first so that you don’t get distracted (or horrified) by all the shiny detritus revealed.

  1. Focus on dry urine. The UV light only creates a glow with dry urine. If it’s still damp, or you’re in a humid area so the carpet or other surface absorbs moisture, you won’t see the glow. Thankfully, you’re likely to notice an area that’s wet before you need the light—save it for when you can’t find the source of the smell.
  2. Search in the dark. You’ll have the greatest contrast in a dark room, so get the best results by using it in the evening with the lights out. When there’s too much light, it dilutes the glow and makes stains hard to see.
  3. Get up close. The UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector works best at a distance no further than 24 inches. Standing up and waving the light around may miss soiled areas, so invest in knee pads to crawl around (or get your kids to do the legwork). Try to find the exact locations of suspect odors to target the area. This light won’t work well on all cat urine stains, but getting up close will help improve the effectiveness.
  4. Look for yellow. Lots of things glow under a black light (white, green, blue, even red) but look for the pale yellow color that a urine stain creates. Pet urine stains look different depending on whether the dog squatted or leg-lifted. Stains can look like a pooled puddle, drips, or splatters on the floor, furniture, or walls. Remember that bright white glow spots are more likely from carpet cleaners, spilled drinks, or even wallpaper glue.
  5. Mark the dirty deed. Once you turn off the light, the spot disappears. So be sure to use tape, chalk, or even a sticky note to mark the stain so you can clean up the pet mess.

Why is the UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector viral?

Dog lovers tired of smelling but not seeing all the canine messes discovered they could find invisible urine stains using the UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector. People delighted with the product have reviewed and shared success stories with other pet lovers.

The product continues to fly off the shelves and became a viral sensation with over 35,000 Amazon ratings averaging 4.4 stars. As of December 2021, this UV flashlight ranks number one in the category of Pet Urine Detectors, and number three in Handheld Flashlights.

Reviewers are obsessed with the flashlight for both its practical and fun applications. That makes it a great inexpensive gift for a wide range of people. Pet lovers find it useful, of course, but also kids who enjoy making toys or decorations shine in the dark. Even the “yuck” factor has a quirky novelty appeal, as illustrated by the reviews below.

The best Amazon user reviews

Verified Amazon purchaser Sheree says, “If you have pets and want to eliminate ‘bad habits,’ this is a must! I was skeptical at first. I had no idea that a blacklight would show urine stains…but have found all of the urine stains and have treated them.”

Verified customer Jean B. Carson writes, “This light is fantastic but it shows EVERYTHING! I thought my house was clean. Turn off the lights at night, shine this light, and be prepared to be shocked.”

Uv Flashlight Black Light UV Flashlight Black Light

Where to buy the UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector

The UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector ranges in price from $12.99 to $22.08 and is available for sale at Walmart, Amazon, and Sears. You’ll find the best price by shopping at Amazon, though.

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Amy Shojai, CABC
Amy Shojai, CABC is the Affiliate Pet Editor for Reader's Digest. She's also an award-winning pet journalist and the author of 35 pet titles. She specializes in translating pet medical jargon and shopping information into information pet parents easily understand. Amy shares animal behavior and care information on her blog, and lives in North Texas with her furry muses.