When potty training a puppy, it’s inevitable that some accidents are going to happen. Potty training is a long-term learning process, and it may take your puppy a few months to get it right. So while your puppy is still learning, here are some tips on the best way to clean up puppy pee and poop.
If You See It, Clean It
When it comes to puppy accidents, the sooner you can clean it up the better. If the mess remains too long, it can be harder to remove the stain and the odor. If you see your puppy going potty in the wrong place, clap loudly to show them it’s bad and then take them outside. If they finish outside, praise and reward them so they know that outside is the correct place to go. If you didn’t see your puppy pee or poop, clean the mess without involving your puppy — they won’t understand if you discipline them after the fact (i.e., rubbing their nose in it does not work).
Blot, Don’t Scrub!
Ideally, you want to clean up the mess without it getting further into your carpet or couch cushions. First, scrape off any solids and soak up the liquid with dry paper towels. Make sure you blot rather than scrub to prevent the liquid being pushed further into the material. You can also apply pressure to the paper towel, to help absorb the liquid faster. Then rinse with cool water and blot that dry with paper towel.
Stop the Stain
Once you have soaked up most of the liquid, there are a number of options you can use to clean the area, remove the smell and help prevent stains. Two homemade remedies use ingredients that are found in most kitchens: distilled white vinegar and baking soda. Try either a 1:1 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water by itself or with two teaspoons of baking soda added. Use a spray bottle to apply it to the stain and wait a few minutes, then blot dry with paper towels.
There are also enzymatic cleaners available which are specifically designed for breaking down the organic matter in dog pee and poop. Just make sure to follow the directions on the label. Also, whether you choose to use a store-bought option or a home remedy, always test the solution on an inconspicuous area first to make sure it’s safe for that surface type.
De-Odor the Odor
To help prevent future accidents, it’s important that any lingering odor is removed from the scene of the crime. If your puppy can still smell a urine scent, they may go back to the same area and pee again. Even if the area is already dry, there are things you can try to remove the odor. Using the vinegar and water combination to clean will also help neutralize the odor. Another option is to evenly spread a thin layer of baking soda on the stain and let it sit overnight, before vacuuming up the baking soda really well. Just make sure your pup can’t access the baking soda while it’s on the stain — it can cause tummy troubles if ingested.
Heavy Doody Cleaning
If the stain is more than the typical cleaning products can handle, you could try renting a professional carpet cleaning machine. For puppies that are repeat offenders, there are smaller versions for your home that are available for purchase. Just make sure you avoid using steam cleaners because these can permanently set the stain.
Hopefully with a few months of consistent, positive potty training, accidents in the house will be a thing of the past for your pup. However, there is always a chance that it could happen again in the future, due to illness, stress or another issue. So it’s good to know how to clean up puppy pee and poop if an accident does happen.