Help! My Dog Went on the Carpet!

Here at Pet Health Central, we’ve discussed how important it is to clean up after your dog outside. But, unless you are extremely lucky (like, go-buy-a-lottery-ticket-and-win lucky), your pet will, at some time, have had an accident in the house. “It” happens and when “it” does, you’ve got to get it cleaned up.

If you’re sort of lucky (scored-a-spot-in-front-of-the-grocery-store lucky), the accident will have happened on a hard surface floor. In my household, accidents seem to invariably happen on carpet or rugs. If that’s the case in your house, a few simple steps can make the clean up easier.

First, remove any solids. A dustpan can help with this process, but I’ve also known people to cut a paper plate in half and use one side to scoop and one side to capture.

Dog feces can be safely flushed (do not flush paper towels or other items); or use a plastic grocery sack to contain all the mess and throw it away.

Be careful to lift the debris up and away from carpet or fabric fibers; don’t push it down farther into the carpet.

Now you’ll need to deal with any wet mess that’s left behind. Blot as much as you can, using paper or cloth towels, or old newspapers.

Commercially available cleaners are available that work enzymatically to attack the stain and deodorize. Check with your local pet specialty store or local retailer to see what they have and can recommend. With pets, being prepared is always best, so I recommend having a commercial cleaner on hand and it doesn’t hurt to invest in a wet-extraction type vacuum. Smaller versions are available these days that don’t take as much space and chances are you’ll need one…sometime.

If you don’t have a commercial cleaner on hand, and need to deal with the mess immediately (say, before your mother-in-law drops in for a visit) you can try one of these four home remedies.

  1. Mix 2 cups each of white distilled vinegar with water and add in 4 tablespoons of baking powder. This will fizz up, so be prepared. You can put it in a spray bottle and apply to the spot, or apply straight from the mixing bowl. Let it sit for five minutes, then blot up as much of the liquid as possible.
  2. You can try the same option, but don’t mix the baking soda into the water/vinegar. Instead, spray the spot and sprinkle baking soda on top. Vacuum when dry.
  3. Pretreat the spot with household strength hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) and let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Then use a mixture of ½ gallon of cool water, 2 cups of white vinegar, and 1 tsp. of household dishwashing liquid as a cleaning mix. Use the mixture to gently blot the stain, continuing to soak up excess moisture as you go. When stain is removed, and carpet is still damp, sprinkle with approximately ¾ to 1 cup of baking soda; let sit until completely dry (overnight) and then vacuum area.
  4. Simply saturate area with hydrogen peroxide; use clean white cloth to soak up excess. (Test carpet in inconspicuous spot, first!)

Many throw rugs can be tossed in a washer (depending on the size of the rug, you may need to use an industrial-size washer at your local Laundromat); however, look at the care tag as you may need a professional cleaner to safely tackle the stain.

If your pet cannot go in a yard and are training him to go inside, training pads are a great day to provide a designated space for him to do his business.

Our PHC fans often have great suggestions. So, what’s your best tip for cleaning up dog messes on carpets?

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