how to handle a dog accident in the houseWe know that your dog is well-trained. Even the best dogs sometimes have an accident in the house. When that happens, you need to take care of it quickly, both to prevent it from happening again and to take care of the stain and odor.

If you are “lucky” enough to catch the dog in the middle of the act, you have an opportunity to correct the behavior. Quickly take the dog outside where he normally relieves himself, and say “Whoops”. Don’t yell at the dog, as they will be tempted to hide it from you next time to avoid being punished. Also, don’t punish the dog after the fact, as they won’t know what you are punishing them for.

The first step to take if you have just discovered a mess in the carpet is to clean up the mess as soon as you can. You might be tempted to put it off, but the longer you wait, the worse the smell and stain will become. Use a paper towel to blot up as much of the stain as you can. Be sure to replace the paper towel with a fresh one when it gets soaked through so you don’t just spread the mess. It might seem like a good idea to try to dry the area with a blow dryer, but this will only make it worse, so avoid any heat on the area.

If the accident happened on anything removable, such as a towel or a small rug, throw that in the washing machine and rinse it once with a cold rinse cycle and then wash it again on a regular cycle.

Once you have cleaned up the liquid, sprinkle the area with baking soda and then spray it with vinegar. Once the bubbling from the chemical reaction spots, blot the cleaning solution up with a wet rag. This should help eliminate the odor.

However, you might not be done with the cleaning. Depending on the stain, the urine can damage the padding and sub-floor. Bacteria and allergens can also linger and cause health problems if not taken care of. Avoid steam cleaning the area 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.

Once you have the odor and stain taken care of, you can begin to handle the underlying cause of the issue. A few of the reasons that your dog may have had an accident is:

  • Stuck inside. If you don’t have a doggy door, your dog may have needed to go outside and not have been able to. Make sure that you take the time to let your dog out on a regular basis. Train your dog to alert you when he needs to go outside and make sure to respond promptly. You can’t expect your dog not to have accidents if you’re not letting him out to go.
  • Stress. Major life changes, such as bringing home a new pet or starting a new job that means the dog is left alone more often, can cause stress for your dog. Stress in dogs can cause health problems, including 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 so your dog can become used to these changes. If you can’t be home to gradually change the schedule, consider hiring a dog walker or just a neighbor to let your dog out for you. 
  • Marking. If there is a new smell in your home, such as new furniture or carpet, your dog may be compelled to mark the area with his own scent. Slowly introduce new smells to help your dog feel comfortable with the changes.
  • Health issues. Health issues can cause your dog to have accidents. Monitor your dog and take him to the vet if he seems to have other medical symptoms. If your dog has recently started a new medication, that may be the source of his accidents. Talk to your vet if you’re concerned that any health or medical 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.