You bring your puppy home, cuddle her for a while as you marvel at how cute she is, turn your back for a second, and discover an unwanted gift on your floor. It’s a scenario with which every puppy owner is familiar, but what are the best methods of cleaning up your puppy’s accidents?
According to PetPlace.com, cleaning pet urine and feces requires two separate steps: removing the stain and removing the odor. The stain is unsightly, but the odor can be far more difficult to endure.
Odor Removal When Cleaning Up Your Puppy’s Accidents
This step is the same for just about any surface. The goal when cleaning up your puppy’s accidents is to use a product that will neutralize the resulting odor. There are plenty of products available for this purpose, and you’ll want to look for formulas that include bacteria digesters. This will eliminate the bacteria that cause odors from pet urine and feces.
Some products also contain chemicals that are designed to discourage puppies from repeating their mistakes. I’ve used some of these products before, but I’ve seen little effect with my dogs. You might have better results.
It is not a good idea to use ammonia or a product containing ammonia on pet urine or feces. Instead, if you are concerned about odor, leave a bowl of white vinegar in the room for four to five hours. This will absorb additional odors.
Cleaning Your Puppy’s Accidents on Carpet
This is perhaps one of the most difficult types of pet stains to clean because urine soaks through carpet and spreads quickly across fibers. Paw-Rescue.org recommends getting to the stain as fast as possible to reduce the saturation of carpet fibers.
You might be tempted to immediately attack a puppy accident with a spray bottle of your favorite cleaner, but this isn’t the way to go. Instead, mop up as much of your pet’s urine as possible with paper towels, then spray the cleaner. This will reduce saturation and spread.
Most products advise you to spray the cleaner, then rub it with a clean, dry towel. This might help reduce the odors caused by your puppy’s accident, but it can also damage and discolor carpet fibers. It is better to blot the stain with the aforementioned towel to maintain the integrity of your carpets or rugs.
Cleaning Your Puppy’s Accidents on Hardwood Floors
The danger when cleaning up your puppy’s accidents on hardwood floors is that urine can seep between the floor boards, capturing moisture and odor. To combat this, avoid letting puppies roam free on hardwood floors without supervision. This way, if an accident occurs, you’ll be able to clean up the pet urine immediately.
There are many different types of hardwood floors, including laminate substitutes, so you’ll want to choose a product that is designed for your particular surface. Follow the directions carefully, and remember that excessive puppy accidents might require you to replace boards down the line.
Cleaning Up Feces
The procedure for cleaning feces is similar to that of pet urine. The only difference is that you will want to pick up the solid clumps of feces first before applying cleaning solution. Additionally, you might need to wet a paper towel and pick up remnants left behind.
The same is true of puppy vomit. Unfortunately, vomit is extremely acidic and can damage the fibers of carpet and discolor it if left untreated. Speed is of the essence when cleaning up your puppy’s accident, so get started on it right away.
Dealing with Older Stains
Puppy accidents happen, and sometimes you don’t notice them right away. Or maybe you cleaned it up but you didn’t get it all, and your carpets have become damaged over time. Whatever the case, I’ve found a steam cleaner works best on these stubborn stains.
My wife and I purchased a steam cleaner for about $120, and it works miracles both on indoor carpet and on car upholstery. If you’ve got stains that won’t come up, consider steam cleaning them with a pet-specific cleaner (found in most grocery stores). Just make sure the detergent is specifically intended for steamers.
A Few More Tips
Keep your puppy-accident cleaner handy so you don’t waste time searching for it.
Start toilet training as early as possible to minimize accidents.
Confine your puppy to small areas of the house to discourage urinating indoors.
Consider puppy training pads if your dog is having trouble learning to go outside.
Don’t leave your puppy unsupervised on floors that might be permanently damaged.