America is a nation of dog-lovers and most people enjoy sharing both their hearts and their homes with canine companions. Unfortunately, these relationships can have some rocky times, such as those that happen during the potty training stage. Even though Fido will ultimately succeed in his training, the carpets are often left with unappealing evidence of the struggle. If your canine friend has left his mark on the carpets, keep reading to learn some great ways to conquer the stains and odors and bring your carpets back to their pre-dog glory.
Why Does It Smell So Bad?
While no dog's urine and excrement are going to smell good, a dog that has extremely obnoxious odor issues may be suffering from some type of health problem. In addition to odor, these conditions can also interfere with the dog's bowel control and make the training much more difficult. Some of these health conditions are:
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Urinary tract infections
In addition to these problems, an unhealthy, unbalanced diet can also cause control issues, as well as stools that are runny or loose.
If your potty training sessions were complicated by these symptoms or if your dog seems to be having them now, it is wise to contact your animal health provider and have your dog examined.
The Faster the Cleanup, the Better
The same fluffy fibers that make carpeting so enjoyable to walk on are the ones that will harbor odors for years if not properly cleaned. Allowing the stool or urine to remain on the carpet causes it to wick down through the carpet fibers, soaking the matting and the carpet padding underneath.
Use soft absorbent rags, paper towels or newspapers to remove as much of the mess as possible. Then apply a thick pad of these materials and press down firmly to extract the moisture. Replace the damp pads with new ones, until the carpet feels dry to the touch.
Spot Cleaning Stains & Odors
Although there are thousands of cleaning products available claiming to be able to fix all your pet stain and odor issues, they seldom work as advertised. In addition, most of them also leave overpowering fragrances and perfumes behind them, which can irritate both you and your dog.
Instead of using these products, try using plain, dry baking soda instead. It is non-toxic and safe for use around children and animals, and it works well to remove odors and stains. Here is how to apply it:
- Once the mess has been disposed of and the carpet is as dry as possible, sprinkle a generous amount on the stain and the surrounding area.
- Use a stiff brush or an old toothbrush to carefully spread the carpet fibers apart and allow the baking soda to be distributed all the way to the mat. Do not scrub vigorously, as this could damage or fray the fibers.
- Leave the baking soda on the carpet for at least 24 hours before vacuuming.
- Vacuum thoroughly, then if any traces of the stain or odor remain, dampen the carpet with water and repeat the baking soda application process until your carpets are clean and fresh.
Handling Larger Cleanups
If the soiled portion of the carpet is large or if there are several spots to contend with, having the carpets professionally cleaned, by a company like McMaid, may be best. Many carpet cleaners offer steam cleaning and hot water extraction methods that can remove pet odors and stains completely and leave carpets dry to the touch.
No matter which method you choose to clean away the evidence of your dog's misdeed, it is important to ensure that all traces are gone. If even a small part of the stain or odor remains, it can become a trigger for future bad behavior, or cause visiting or new dogs to use the same area as their own private potty.