It’s the age-old story – dog meets carpet, dog pees on carpet, and repeat. As a pet owner, you despair that your life is to be spent scrubbing floors and spraying orchard scented mists to cover the dog smell that has crept all around your home. You feel that the habits of your pet will be impossible to break and you sniff your clothes to see if, in fact, you smell like that too, every time you leave the house. Sound familiar? If so, keep calm, and carry on as there is a solution.

Let’s discuss how you can overcome this problem and get rid of unwanted stains and odours from your pets:

Make a plan.

As long as your pet can smell his or her own scent in an area, he or she will return there to do his or her business. Therefore, you need to remove all proof from the area so the next time they head on over there, they’ll experience confusion and then head back outside. But remember, if you don’t clean it properly, your efforts will be completely in vain but we’ll discuss more on how you should clean it properly in a minute.

It’s good to know that sometimes, pets defecating in certain places can have a medical cause. So it’s important to rule this out at the vet before you start this process. If you’re sure of the health of your pet, make sure you retrain him or her using positive reinforcement. Your dog is probably not aware of how much that rug cost. Best to give him a snack and some love every time he doesn’t pee on it, rather than start ranting about the cost of your Moroccan rug.

Find the affected area.

Let’s say you suspect that your pet has pooped on your rug. It isn’t going to be pretty, but you might need to give it the sniff test if it’s all dried up or your rug has a lot of patterns, making it hard to see. One great idea is to use a blacklight – take some real time to do this properly by turning the lights off and shining the light around the place. But beware, sometimes you get more than you bargained for during this exercise. Outline the area/s with chalk or something similar so you can see them when the lights are on.

If You Can mop, then mop.

If you’re early enough to catch the culprit in the act, make sure you mop up as much as possible, using newspaper and paper towels. The more you remove earlier the better. TIP: If you put a urine soaked paper towel in the place were your pet is MEANT to do their business, that can help to enforce your rules – they’ll smell it over there and know that’s where they’re meant to go although usually it takes a bit more work than that.

No Heat.

Avoid using anything hot like a steam cleaner on your floor or furniture, as heat sets the stain. Most normal carpet stain removers work well. Remember, door neutralisers won’t work until you’ve removed all trace of the previous carpet cleaner.

Remember, practice positive reinforcement and every time it looks like your pet has heard nature’s call, take them to the place you want them to answer it. Doing so will dramatically reduce the chances of ‘accidents’ happening in your home and will allow you to focus on other important things such as freeing your furniture of stains and nasty pet odours.