Even the best dogs sometimes have accidents in the house. Here are the steps to handle it correctly so you can prevent repeat behavior and take of the mess and smell.

  1. Catching him in the act. If you are lucky enough to catch your furry friend in the act of “going” inside, you should use it as a learning opportunity for your pup. Be sure not to punish the dog, as this will only encourage them to be sneakier next time to avoid punishment. Instead, say something like, “Whoops, outside,” while quickly taking the dog outside to where he normally relieves himself.
  2. Immediate damage control. As soon as possible, use a paper towel to blot up as much of the urine as you can from the floor or carpet. Don’t use a hair dryer to dry any excess urine, because it will set the stain and odor. 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. Fixing the deeper problem. Even when you have cleaned up the surface stain, the urine can still damage the padding and sub-floor. Bacteria and allergens can also linger and cause sickness and other 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.  Did we mention that we specialize in pet accidents!?
  4. Determining the cause. There are a number of reasons that your dog might have had an accident, including:
    • Stress. Major life changes can cause distress for your dog, leading to 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.
    • 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 trigger accidents. Check with your vet to learn about potential side effects.
    • Health issues. A loss of bladder control may be a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you notice your dog’s behavior changing, be sure to check in with your vet.

Note: Training is key! You can’t really consider a dog fully house-trained before he is at least a year old. When you’re dealing with a new puppy, accidents will likely be common. In order to house train your puppy:

  1. Begin by taking the dog out frequently, and then gradually increase the amount of time between trips outside.
  2. Go outside with your dog and praise him when he urinates in a properly designated spot, then reward him with a treat afterward.

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.