As long as your pet can smell his personal scent, he'll continue to return to the "accident zone." Even if you can't smell traces of urine, your pet can. Your most important chore is to follow these steps to neutralize that odor: |
Make the "accident zone" unattractive and/or unavailable to your pet and the appropriate "bathroom" area attractive as a way to retrain your pet. Then use positive reinforcement techniques to show him the appropriate place to eliminate.
To clean carpeted areas and upholstery
For "new" stains (those that are still wet):
Soak up as much of the urine as possible with a combination of newspaper and paper towels. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, especially from carpet, the easier it will be to remove the odor. Place a thick layer of paper towels on the wet spot, and cover that with a thick layer of newspaper. If possible, put newspaper under the soiled area as well. Stand on this padding for about a minute. Remove the padding, and repeat the process until the area is barely damp. If possible, put the fresh, urine-soaked paper towel in the area where it belongs—your cat's litter box or your dog's designated outdoor "bathroom area." This will help remind your pet that eliminating isn't a "bad" behavior as long as it's done in the right place. Rinse the "accident zone" thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting or by using a wet vac.
To clean washable items
Machine wash as usual, adding a one-pound box of baking soda to your regular detergent. It's best to air dry these items if possible. If you can still see the stain or smell the urine, machine wash the item again, and add an enzymatic cleaner (available at pet supply stores) that breaks down pet-waste odors.
If your pet urinates or defecates on the sheets or blankets on a bed, then cover the bed with a vinyl, flannel-backed tablecloth when you begin the re-training period. It's machine washable, inexpensive and unattractive to your pet.
A warm water extended soak treatment
An extended treatment is generally not necessary with pet urine and mucus stains, but for removing pet fecal stains, vomit stains, or any kind of stain which involves blood, a period of soaking with warm water is often necessary. First (without rubbing) pick up and remove as much of the mass of the pet mess as possible. Don't try to scrape it all up at this point - you might only rub it in.
Once the stained surface is as clear and dry as you can make it, take one cup of warm water and mix in either two teaspoons of cleaning product or soap, or two tablespoons of baking soda. Mix until the liquid is entirely blended, but not until it froths over.
Options for pets with persistent digestive or urination issues
If your pet has chronic diarrhea or vomiting, making messes more than once a week, it is important that you take a stool sample to your veterinarian to test for worms. This is particularly urgent if your pet's situation seems to be making him or her uncomfortable.
Animals with persistent urination issues - particularly cats - may be acting out because of stress. Changes in your pet's routine and the arrangement of your home may be enough to wean him or her of the habit of marking.
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