Cleaning up After Your Dog or Cat

Cleaning up After Your Dog or Cat

Let''s face it, no matter how well trained your dog, or how well-behaved your cat, accidents do happen. Knowing how to deal with them before they do will limit your stress when confronted with a "pet mess" on your dining room carpet.

Poopy Puppies

If you closely monitor your puppy during the period of housebreaking, and especially if you use the crate method, you may actually get through the process without any accidents.

I think I would have managed that, if my puppy hadn''t gotten sick and developed diarrhea. No matter how well your puppy is doing, at some point or other chances are, an accident will occur. Puppies also tend to put all kinds of things in their mouths, and some will inevitably make them sick.

Senior Cats

As cats and dogs get older, they too, may have trouble controlling their bathroom habits. Incontinence of the bladder or bowels can occur due to infirmity, senility or illness. Older cats and dogs may also be more prone to digestive upsets.

The Pet "Mess" Dillema

What this all means, is that at some points during our pet''s lives, we will be cleaning up after them. If you have all hard surfaces on your floors, your job is easy.

If, however, you have carpets anywhere, or if the cat chooses to throw up on your bed or couch (no, they wouldn''t do THAT, would they??) - cleaning up requires a little more time, effort and know-how.

Experience Talks

Lucky for you, if tiresome for me, I have had LOTS of experience in this area. I think I have it down to a science (and I have a product to recommend that will cut all this effort down to size).

The real trick is, of course, to catch things fast. The sooner after a mess occurs, the easier it will be to get out of the carpet. The reality is though, that rarely happens.

Whenever you find the mess, the first thing to do is to get as much of it up as you can, as quickly as possible. Let''s start with liquid messes, urine or watery vomit or feces.

Have on hand a number of old terrycloth towels. I keep some in the linen closets of both bathrooms, and more in the laundry room. I like them to be close - saves time.

Urine can simply be blotted as the firts step. Other watery messes will need to be wiped up first, then the rest of the liquid blotted. It doesn''t matter what you use to wipe - paper towels or newspaper work and make less clean-up.

Fold your towel four or more times, so it is thick. Place it over the spot and press HARD. Pick it up and refold it to a dry side, place that over the spot and repeat. After this first blotting, switch to white towels if you can. Keep blotting until you can''t see any color on the towel.

Pet Enzymes Really Work

The next item you should have in your cabinets is a bottle of pet enzymes - something like Nature''s Miracle. I buy it by the gallon and keep a couple of spray bottles handy.

Spray the area that you just blotted. Really saturate it. If the spot is more than a minute old, at least some of it has soaked through to the pad. The longer it sat, the more will have soaked through - sometimes right down to the subfloor.

If the offending liquid matter has soaked down into the carpet pad, you will need to follow it with the enzyme, so pour as much as you need to surround the wet spot by at least an inch. The liquid will have spread as it soaks in, so you need to wet a wider area than was originally soiled.

Cover the area with a clean towel and leave for a couple of hours. At the end of that time, repeat the folding and blotting until the towel comes up almost dry. Wait twenty-four hours and give it the sniff test.

If the carpet has no smell, than you were probably sucessful. If you still detect an odor, repeat the whole process - though you can use a little less of the enzyme cleaner. The cleaner only works when it is wet, so I cover the area with a folded towel for a day or so. This reminds me where the spot is, keeps anyone from stepping with stocking feet in a wet spot, and keeps it from drying too soon.

If keeping the area wet is not the problem, and instead you are having trouble getting it dry, try placing a phonebook or two on top of your folded towel. Change the towel a couple of times a day until it remains dry.

You may want to have the carpet professionally cleaned, even if you think you got the odor out. If your pet is sick, being housebroken, or incontinent, I suggest waiting until the chances for accidents have passed before having the rug shampooed.

On More Solid Ground

The solid pet feces mess is actually easier to clean up, even if it is more odiferous. Use paper to remove the "deposit", and flush or dispose of it outside.

Then spray your trusty enzyme cleaner, just enough to wet the spot. Using a sponge, soft brush or towel, lightly rub the area until it is clean. Then lightly respray and allow to dry.

Help for Pet Messes

I promised to give you the secret of making this chore easier, and here it is. It is a machine called The Little Green Machine. It is made by Bissell, a manufacturer of vacuums and carpet shampooers. It is a portable machine that sucks up liquids and then cleans the spots up.

Read the Great Clean-up Tool article for more information on using this great machine.

Pet Odors Hide

Sometimes an odor lingers or appears in a room when no spot has been seen. Other than getting on your hands and knees and sniffing the carpet, it can be difficult to find the source. You can purchase a black light for this purpose. The room must be dark for this to work, and it doesn''t work too well on a white carpet, as the whole thing glows when viewed with the black light!

The light will make organic stains glow. You can find stains made by blood, vomit, urine or feces using this light.

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