If you are the owner of a puppy, it is very likely that you will experience the frustrations of accidents inside the house. In order to prevent the frequency of these accidents, as well as the severity of the damage on your carpet, we’ve put together this guide on what to do when your dog has an accident in the house.
Step 1: Catching him (or her) in the act
Sometimes you won’t see your dog having an accident, but you’ll come across the urine-soaked carpets later in the day. In these situations, it is difficult to teach your dog the proper place to pee. However, if you catch your dog in the middle of an accident, you should use it as a learning opportunity. Now this doesn’t mean you should punish your pet. This will only encourage the dog to be more secretive and sneaky the next time it needs to pee – then you’ll be discovering accidents in all sorts of secluded places. Instead, when you catch him/her in the act, cheerfully say, “Whoops! Outside!” and immediately take the dog to the place where it is supposed to empty the tank. When your dog does urinate in the proper place, praise and reward him with a treat. A dog can’t be considered fully house-trained until he’s at least one year old, so be patient and persistent in this training process, especially if you are dealing with a new puppy.
Step 2: Immediate damage control
As for your carpets, there are a few things that should be done ASAP. Start by blotting up as much of the urine from the carpet or floor as you possibly can with a paper towel. Some people try to dry up the remaining urine with a hair dryer. Don’t do this! This will cause the urine stain and odor to “set”. If any clothing or machine-washable materials were soiled, put them through a cold rinse in the washing machine, followed by a normal wash cycle with detergent.
Step 3: Fixing the deeper problem
Even after you’ve cleaned the urine stain to the best of your ability, there may still be urine damage beneath the carpet in the padding and sub-floor. It is important that this be taken care of, because bacteria and allergens from the urine can linger and cause sickness and other health problems. So what do you do? Instead of renting or hiring a steam cleaner (which can “set” the stain due to the heat, as well as lead to mildew growth), it is best to hire a professional carpet cleaner like Complete Chem-Dry of Lake Orion that specializes in pet accidents. They’ll make sure the problem-spot is completely cleaned, removing odor and bacteria deep within the carpet.
Step 4: Determining the Cause
Moving forward, it will be a good idea to determine why your dog had an accident. If it is still a puppy, then you don’t need to worry too much – puppies will have accidents and that’s normal. However if your dog is older, you may want to consider the following possibilities:
- Stress – Major life changes cause distress for your dog, leading to accidents.
- Schedule changes – If your dog is accustomed to being let outside to relieve himself at a specific time and that schedule changes, it may take some time for him to adjust. Make schedule changes gradually if possible.
- Home renovations – Changing your dog’s environment can be stressful, particularly 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.
- New medications – If your dog recently started taking a new medication, it might be causing accidents. Consult your veterinarian to learn of any potential side effects.
- Health issues – A loss of bladder control may be a symptom of an underlying health problem. This, along with changes in the dog’s behavior may be a sign that you need to take a trip to the vet.
Dogs really can be a man’s (or woman’s) best friend! If dog accidents are causing you stress, implement this guide. Here at Complete Chem-Dry of Lake Orion, our Pet Urine Removal Treatment (P.U.R.T.®) will make your carpets look as clean as the day you bought them. Give us a call or send us a message to schedule an appointment!