What to Do When Your Dog has an Accident in the HouseIt happens. You come home from a long day at work and smell something off. A little bit of investigating reveals an ashamed dog and a large puddle in the carpet. It’s already happened, so the big question, is how do you take care of it? Here are our best tips for cleaning up dog urine and making sure that it doesn’t happen again.

  1. Handle the spot immediately. It’s tempting to walk away for the mess, saying you’ll deal with it later or maybe even leaving it for someone else to take care of. However, in order to have the best results you want to take care of the mess as soon as possible. You are going to want to use a paper towel (try to use an all white one so the dye doesn’t transfer and make things even worse) to blot up as much of the wet urine as you can from the floor or carpet. Keep replacing the soiled paper towel with a clean one until the area is dry.  It might seem like a good idea to try to dry the spot with a hair dryer, but this will only make things worse by setting the stain and odor. If your dog has soiled anything washable such as clothing or a small rug, put it through a cold rinse cycle and then a normal wash cycle with detergent as soon as possible. Wash it once more if a smell persists. 
  2. Investigate a deeper problem. Sometimes a smell will persist even after you have cleaned up the surface stain. This happens when the urine has soaked down to the padding and sub-floor. This poses a problem because not only will it smell, but bacteria and allergens can also linger and cause sickness and other health problems if not taken care of. This is not a problem that the standard homeowner is equipped to deal with, so it’s time to call in the professionals. And we mean pet urine professionals.  standard steam carpet cleaner won’t cut it because steaming the area will set the stain and odor and make it even worse. Instead, you want to hire a professional carpet cleaner who specializes in pet accidents to make sure the smell and bacteria are completely removed.
  3. Determine the cause. In order to prevent this from happening again, you are going to want to figure out why it happened in the first place. There are a number of reasons that your dog might have had an accident, including:
    • Training. Despite your best efforts, you can’t fully consider a dog fully house trained until he is at least a year old. If your dog is younger, have patience and help him to learn correctly by taking him out frequently and rewarding correct behavior.
    • Schedule changes. Dogs get into routines just like humans do. If your dog is used to being let out at a certain time and that is missed, it can lead to an accident. If you must change your schedule because of, for example, work changes, it can take some time for your pup to adjust. If possible, make these changes gradually, over the course of a few weeks. You can hire someone to take your dog at his normal times as well if you are unable to. 
    • 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, or new furniture is bringing in new smells. A new carpet may also smell different to some dogs and cause them to want to mark it with their own scent.
    • Stress. Major life changes, such as a new pet, moving, or a new baby can cause distress for your dog, leading to accidents.
    • New medications. If you recently started giving your dog a new medication, it may cause them to lose control of their bladder and cause accidents. Check with your vet to learn about potential side effects of any new medication that you give them. 
    • Health issues. A loss of bladder control may be a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you notice your dog’s behavior changing or are concerned about their health, be sure to check in with your vet.

We hope that these tips will help you when your dog has an accident. Pet urine isn’t ever fun to deal with, but it is a problem that you can address and take care of properly.