What to Do When Your Dog Has An Accident in the houseLast month we talked about what to do when your cat has an accident indoors, and this month we’re covering dog accidents. We understand that even the best-trained pets pee in the house occasionally, and we’re not here to judge. We just want to help you get clean carpets! Just follow these steps:

  1. Catch him in the act. We know that a lot of time, pet accidents happen when you’re not around. However, if you do catch your pet in the act, act immediately. You’re lucky to use this as a learning opportunity for your puppy. Don’t punish the dog or start yelling at it, as this will make the problem worse. Your dog will learn to be sneakier and will make messes in places that are hard to find. Instead, say “Whoops, outside,” and quickly take him outside to where he normally relieves himself.
  2. Handle Immediate damage control. As soon as you’ve taken the dog outside, or discovered the stain, it’s time to take action. Use a white paper towel (prints can transfer their dye to wet carpets!) to blot up as much of the urine as you can from the floor or carpet. Some people are tempted to use a hair dryer to quickly dry the stain, but this only set the smell, making it more permanent. If your dog has soiled anything washable such as clothing, put it through a cold rinse cycle and then a normal wash cycle with detergent.
  3. Clean the deeper problem. Blotting at the carpet will only fix the surface stain. There is a good chance that the urine has soaked into the padding and subfloor, where you might not see it but you sure will able to smell it. Pet urine contains bacteria that can thrive in the underlayers of your carpet as well, posing a health threat. If you suspect that you have pet urine lurking underneath your carpet, you are going to want to call a professional to take care of the issue. Don’t just call a steam cleaner, as the heat can set the stain and odor, and the water can take a long time to dry, causing mildew to grow. Instead, you want to hire a professional carpet cleaner who specializes in pet accidents to make sure the smell and bacteria are completely removed. Be sure to tell them the issue and where the problem is so they can treat it right. Don’t be embarrassed, at Short Stop Chem-Dry we see pet urine stains all the time. It’s not a big deal! 
  4. Determine the cause. If an accident is a one-time occurrence for your dog, it’s not a big deal. However, if the problem is more frequent, you need to look into the root cause. There are a number of reasons that your dog might have had an accident, including:
    • Stress. Major life changes, such as moving, having a baby, or adopting a new pet, can cause distress for your dog. This stress can manifest in the form of indoor accidents. 
    • Schedule changes. If your dog is used to being taken outside to relieve himself at specific times and the schedule changes, it can take some time to adjust. If possible, make these changes gradually, over the course of a few weeks. If something such a new job is changing your schedule, consider hiring someone to stop by and let your dog out during the workday. 
    • 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 you recently started giving your dog a new medication, it may cause them to have accidents. Check with your vet to learn about potential side effects and to see what can be done.
    • Health issues. A loss of bladder control may be a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you notice your dog’s behavior changing in addition to accidents, be sure to check in with your vet. Don’t ignore changes in your dog as they can indicate serious health issues. 

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. If you find yourself needing help to remove the stains, don’t be afraid to give us a call! We service Macomb and Wayne counties!