Most would agree it’s a toss-up as to whether it’s harder to potty-train a toddler or a puppy. At least the toddler can wear diapers while training! Puppies are harder to catch in the act and correct afterward. For that reason dog owners can expect to clean up a fair number of pet accidents.
Even after a thorough cleaning, though, your floors and carpets may retain a trace of scent. Your pet’s keen sense of smell means a repeat visit to the same spot may be likely. Don’t worry. The following tips can help to solve the problem.
X Marks the (Old) Spot
Your first step is to find the areas your pet has frequented. Each spot will need to be cleaned with precision. Your nose will be the best initial detective in tracking the soiled areas. For hard-to-find spots, you can get a black light from a home supply store that can locate dry urine spots. Use the black light in a darkened room to find the older toileting accidents. Mark them with chalk or surround with newspapers for cleaning later.
Any lingering personal dog scent will invite your pet back to these selected toileting areas. After cleaning the spots, try to block these areas to prevent pet access. Alternatively, make them less inviting for your dog’s toileting purposes while enhancing the areas where you want him to “do his business.”
If your dog seems to be having too many accidents, schedule a veterinarian appointment to ensure your pet doesn’t have any underlying medical issues.
Clean Damp Spots Promptly
Paper towels and newspaper will soak up part of a wet stain. Layer the paper towels directly on the stain and cover them with newspaper. Stand on the newspaper for about sixty seconds. Remove the damp papers and continue the process until most of the moisture is gone.
If your dog is not consistently using the regular toileting area, place one of the soiled paper towels in the designated area to lure him with the urine scent.
Now rinse the soiled area with clean water. Absorb as much residual water as possible with a wet vacuum cleaner or by blotting with paper towels.
If the stain is large or deep, you may want to use a wet vac that you can rent from the hardware store. An extractor is similar and can also be rented. Use only plain water with either type of machine.
Apply a Pet Neutralizer
After the rug or floor is completely clean, use a pet odor neutralizer that you’ll find at pet supply stores. Some veterinary offices that carry pet supplies may also have this product. To protect your carpet against possible staining, test the product on a small, unseen section of fabric. Alternatively, a dependable carpet stain remover can also help.
Avoid Certain Products
Don’t steam clean pet odors from carpet or furniture. Using heat will set the stains permanently, along with the odor.
Chemicals should not be used, notably anything containing ammonia or vinegar. Their strong scents may actually encourage pets to re-use the cleaned areas.
If wood on furniture, walls, or the floor is discolored, they may need to be varnished or re-painted. Check to be sure the new products are safe for pets.After cleaning the accident areas, try to determine what caused your pet to toilet in the wrong place. Retrain in toileting locations if needed to avoid future accidents.