Elimination Frustration – How Cleaning Up Pet Accidents Differently Can Help Stop Them

Ever have a dog that is seemingly potty trained, knows to ask to go out most of the time, but still keeps going potty in a certain spot in your house? It could be that a quick change to how you clean up any fresh accidents and quick treatment to the old accident spots could be all that’s needed to eliminate your elimination frustrations!


What many people don’t know is that how you clean up an accident, whether from a puppy or an adult dog, can actually be a factor in how successful you are with housebreaking as a whole. Whether your dog is a brand new puppy or an adult dog that’s already been potty trained, if they can still tell that they’ve peed there before they’re VERY likely to pee there again. Even if you are thoroughly cleaning the accident spots, if you are not cleaning these spots with the RIGHT cleaning solution then your dog will still smell faint traces of their past adventures and be inclined to go there again.


Follow these simple steps to help break the cycle and keep the business in the yard:

·         Get up as much of the accident as possible with towels, paper towels, or a steam cleaner (suction and water only). DO NOT USE CLEANING CHEMICALS OR SOAP at this point. It will interfere with the next steps.

·         Use either an enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature’s Miracle, or white vinegar and pour this over the area. I keep a gallon of my cleaner around and use a little Dixie cup to pour a little at a time so it doesn’t spill.

·         Let this sit for 10-15 minutes on carpets (just a few minutes on hard floor as you don’t want to damage them) – it needs time to soak down through the padding to the subfloor and disinfect/break down the traces of urine you couldn’t get up.

·         Soak up your cleaning solution with paper towels or a towel so that the spot is just damp and then let it air dry.

·         If you have a number of old accident spots to treat or just want to go over a large area, I like to put a half vinegar/half hot water solution into the tank of my personal carpet cleaning machine and use that to saturate the area and then pick it up after the 15 minute period. You can go back over with a better smelling soap the next day if the odor from the vinegar is still lingering or just spend a little more and get the Nature’s Miracle carpet shampooer solution.


As long as you have done adequate work on the rest of the potty training, you should now be good to go! Your pets should stop trying to go in this spot in the future as long as there are no other underlying reasons behind it (behavioral marking, needing to go outside for more frequent pee breaks, etc).