If you are a pet owner, you know that sometimes the worst happens: you dog goes pee inside the house, leaving you with an unsightly urine stain and an even worse smell. Luckily, at Old Dominion Chem-Dry, we’re experts at treating pet urine stains and are here to share our best tips.
First, let’s talk about some common causes of pet accidents. Sometimes it’s just a matter of you not letting your dog out soon enough, or some other random event. However, here are common causes to consider, especially if it’s a repeat behavior:
Stress. Just like people, dogs can get stressed. This can cause accidents. Major life changes are a huge source of stress for dogs. These can include things like getting a new pet or welcoming a new baby, anything that disrupts a dog’s regular routine.
Schedule changes. Dogs get used to a certain schedule and relieving themselves at certain times. If this schedule is altered, they may be unable to hold it. If you do have to make a schedule change, try to make these changes gradually, over the course of a few weeks. This will help your dog adjust without incident.
Home renovations. Changing your dog’s environment can be stressful for them, leading to accidents. This is particularly the case if strange construction workers are going in and out of the house all the time. A new carpet may also smell different to some dogs and cause them to mark it with their own scent to reestablish their territory.
New medications. A side effect of some medications can be loss of bladder control. If you recently started giving your dog a new medication, check with your vet to learn about potential side effects and how to manage them.
Health issues. An unexplained loss of bladder control may be a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you notice your dog’s behavior changing, be sure to check in with your vet.
Lack of training: A puppy can’t be considered fully trained until he is a year old. During this time, accidents are expected. Be patient and continue to work to train your puppy to go outside, not in the house.
Now that we know the causes, here is how to handle it when an accident does occur.
Use it as a learning opportunity. If you catch your dog urinating inside, you should use it as a learning opportunity for your pup, especially if they are young. Don’t yell or otherwise punish the dog, as this will only encourage them to be sneakier next time to avoid punishment (which can lead to urine stains behind couches that you won’t know are there until they begin to reak). Instead, calmly say “Whoops, outside,” while quickly taking the dog outside to where he normally relieves himself. If it’s just a mistake, your dog will learn to do better next time.
Immediate damage control. In order to remove the stain, you need to act as soon as possible. Use a white paper towel or rag to blot up as much of the urine as you can from the floor or carpet. When the towel gets soaked through, use a new clean one, and continue until all of the moisture has been absorbed. It might be tempting to use a hair dryer to speed along the process, but the heat will only set the stain and make it worse.
Sanitize the area. Once the mositure has been absorbed, use a santizing agent to kill any bacteria in the area as well as remove odors. You can use a mix of warm water and vinegar and scrub it deep with in your carpet. When that’s done, sprinkle the area with baking soda, let it sit, and then vacuum it up. There are also products you can buy that are specifically for cleaning pet urine.
Call in the professionals. If the smell still lingers after you’ve cleaned it, you probably need professional help. This is common because pet stains are tricky and hard to remove, not to mention that if you don’t remove them all the way they cause a huge odor problem in your home. Be sure to hire an expert in pet urine removal, such as Chem-Dry, and not just a steam cleaner to get the best results.