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Buddy Formal Photograph - With a Big Smile!Many of you dogs may say, from looking at that sly grin on my face in this picture - oops - did I just have an accident?  On that new rug, perhaps?

What do you think I am - an ANIMAL!  Goodness, NO!

When I was a young pup, well, I must admit it took me a while to learn exactly how to control myself when I was excited.  As you dogs all know, that can be very politically incorrect among the two-paw set - especially when other humans were visiting!

However, as we all know, being dogs, ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN when and where we least expect them to.  To avoid that uncomfortable stare for those who prefer to walk upright rather than on four paws, I hit the web and the United States Humane Society Website for these tips in removing pet stains, and eliminating pet odors around the house.  I also checked out a rather extensive online forum on the subject, via

The overall objective, is to re-train your pets to only use the right area when going to the bathroom - outside, for us dogs, for example.  Or the litter box for the paw-and-claw feline set.  First, however, you have to clean any areas we might have stained before, and clean them thoroughly!

How to find all soiled areas quickest?  Aside from investigating thoroughly, the Humane Society suggests using a Black Light Bulb.  The light created from a black light will uncover all urine stains, even older ones.  Turn out the room lights, identify all p-soiled areas, and lightly outline them using chalk.  Find black bulbs at any hardware or lighting store.

For washable items, if you can, machine wash adding a one-pound box of baking soda to the laundry.  Air dry, if possible.

If the stain is still visible after washing, add an enzymatic cleaner (several good ones are available at pet stores or online) to break down pet stains and odors.  FOLLOW PACKAGE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY!

Does your pet do poo-poo or pee-pee on the bed?  OOOOH, THAT'S DISGUSTING, isn't it?  When re-training your pet, cover your bed with a vinyl, flannel-backed table cloth.  The surface is unattractive to pets, and it's machine washable, too!

Cleaning carpeted areas and upholstery is more involved.  For new stains, including still-wet areas, blot as much of the stuff as you can using paper towels and newspaper (don't ever use the sports section, however - we dogs like to spend a few minutes reading that after we return from our morning walk).  Don't forget to dry the UNDERSIDE of the carpet or rug and underlying floor, thoroughly, as well.  The more fresh pee you remove, the less residual odor.  If possible, place the urine-soaked paper in your dog's outdoor "rest room" area, or in your cat's litter box, as a reminder on the correct place to go!

Then, rinse the drop zone, if you will, with cold, clear water.  Remove as much of the water as possible with an extractor or wet/dry vacuum.

For stains that have already set in for awhile, consider renting a carpet cleaner machine from the hardware or grocery store.  These extractors do a great job of forcing water through the carpet, and taking the dirty water out.  Use only plain water here - avoid chemicals!

Once the area is clean, use a premium odor neutralizer designed specifically for pet stains, available online or at your pet store.  Again, follow package directions carefully, and don't forget to test the product on a small, hidden area of the carpet or rug to make sure it will not harm the fabric or remove the color.  If still stained after using the odor neutralizer, follow up with a good carpet cleaning product.

Avoid using steam cleaners!  The heat of the steam may permanently bond the protein in any pee to the man-made fibers in the carpet or rug.   Also, stay away from common cleaning chemicals like ammonia or vinegar - these don't really eliminate the urine odor, and may actually encourage your dog or cat to return to the same spot later as their bathroom!

On any soiled area previously treated with chemicals or cleaning solutions, neutralizers will not be effective until all traces of the old cleaner are removed from the carpet or rug.  These chemicals weaken the enzyme, and cause it to remove the cleaner first, without truly removing the stain.

Also, for very bad stains, in some cases, the carpet and underlying padding may need to be replaced.  Hopefully, this is a last resort, however - I'd rather have my humans spend the money on treats for me!

If your room has wood baseboards, and these are discolored, the varnish and stain might have reacted to the acid in your pet's urine.  You might have to remove and replace these baseboards, but be careful any stain and varnish you apply is safe for children, and us pets! 

Of course, the real solution is proper house training of your pets, so they won't have accidents in the first place.  Many suggested methods are available on the web - check out these suggestions for dogs.  Cats - they're a whole different story!  Here's a comprehensive article on how to litter box train kittens and cats.

Like you humans and your crazy cars, we dogs like to avoid accidents, too!  Hope this is helpful.

Romp on over anytime with your thoughts and ideas!



Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2007 4:01 AM by Dean's Team
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