Seven Dog Clean-Up Pet Peeves
We often use the phrase "pet peeves" to describe things that particularly bother us. They are also defined as a "personal vexation." Pet (as in "favorite") peeves (as in "annoyances") are usually small things that somehow seem overwhelming. We might have peeves about our dogs' actions, such as the barking at the mailman, but most dog owners let their pooches get away with murder and find ways to explain these pet peeves away.
One area where everyone has pet peeves is pet clean-up. No matter how smart your dog is, you can't train him to clean up his poop or vacuum the carpet to remove traces of his hair. Though everyone's dog clean-up pet peeves are different, there are some that really stand out. The good news is that there are quick and effective solutions for these pet clean-up pet peeves and information on how to deal with them.
Seven Common Dog Clean-Up Pet Peeves
1. Diarrhea and Other Liquid Messes - If cleaning up the yard always consisted of solid mess, it wouldn't be such a chore. But if your dog has an upset stomach and you come across diarrhea, you have to be creative to get it all and to do this quickly. Sawdust will help most liquid heaps return to a sold mass for easier pickup.
2. Pet Hair - We love our pets but must admit that pulling their fur out of food gets annoying. The best way to attack pet hair problems is from many sides. Vacuuming is your main weapon and investing in a good one will be helpful. But before you vacuum, run a damp cloth or pet hair roller or duct tape over the furniture. Next, use a wire brush to brush the carpet, removing the pet hair from it frequently. After you vacuum, run static cling sheets over everything including your clothes. And don't forget to brush Fido or Fluffy (outside if possible - if not, brush your pet before cleaning) with an effective brush. Do all of this regularly and you'll have one less pet clean-up pet peeve.
3. Urine Stains on Carpet - These stains have a way of seeming to disappear only to reappear with full smell power later on. They are a pet clean-up pet peeve for most of us and, depending on where they reside, can be almost impossible to remove. Start with a vinegar and water equal parts mix and let it soak for half an hour or so. The acid in the vinegar helps neutralize the smell. Next, sprinkle some baking soda on the stain and vacuum. A professional product made specifically for urine stains is a good idea, too.
4. Inside Poopie Accidents - Even the most well-trained pet can have a poopie accident inside, perhaps because he was left alone too long or had a change to his diet. This is most likely to occur in your pet's crate on a pad or blanket, the carpet or a wood or tile floor. This is often a pet clean-up pet peeve because it can be tough to get it all up easily and the residue it leaves behind must be treated even if you can't see it. The best way to start is to put on rubber gloves, get a plastic bag with no holes and scoop up what you can. If it's on a blanket, you can then just throw it in the wash on a hot water cycle with some bleach. If on carpet, use a carpet cleaner or just a dish soap/water mixture and a sponge which you will throw away. If on wood or tile, clean with vinegar and water. Then, on whichever surface, spray a disinfectant such as a solution of equal parts vinegar and rubbing alcohol on it. Let it dry and admire your now sparkling floor that you'd meant to clean last month.
5. Blood - We don't like to think about it but drops of blood on the floor or furniture can be a common thing when you have pets. The first thing to do if you spot some blood is to give your pet the once over and see where it's coming from. If it's a small wound, you can treat it at home with peroxide and Neosporin. A larger wound means a trip to the vet. Also go to the vet if you suspect the wound comes from something rusty or otherwise unclean. Once Fido or Fluffy is taken care of, take care of this pet clean-up pet peeve by soaking up the blood from fabrics and floors using a cornstarch or cornmeal paste. Let is sit for about 15 minutes. Apply vinegar full strength, then club soda. If you're having trouble getting the last bit out, consider using a commercial product with enzymes.
6. Mud - It's a familiar scenario - you've been cleaning the house while hubby or the kids took the dog out for a hike, only to have them come running in at lunchtime bespeckled with a dark brown substance. You glance at Fido, see him getting into position to shake and yell "Don't!" But, of course it's too late and your clean floor and walls are now covered with mud. Mud is a pet clean-up pet peeve because it happens so often, so efficiency comes in handy - the quicker you can get it off, the better. Using a mop on the floor is just going to spread the mud around so you're best off using lots of towels that you can then throw in the wash. To get the mud up quickly, use downward strokes on the walls and floor and change towels often. And don't be tempted to get the mud off the carpet right away - it's better to let it dry and then vacuum it up.
7. Slobber - Some pet owners have delicate dogs who rarely pant or slobber. Others have slobber hounds whose thick saliva pours onto everything. This is a pet clean-up pet peeve because it's constant and because slobber can be tough to get up. Your first line of attack is keeping hand towels around the house and with you to mop up the waterfall before it hits the floor. But you can't spend all day tailing your pooch. So, arm yourself with a good pet-safe cleaner and a super duper non-toxic sponge and clean the walls and floor once a week or so. And train Fido not to rub his slobbery jowls on the furniture.
So, now you know seven dog clean-up pet peeves and how to deal with them. It just takes some consistency and ingenuity. And, if you find your pet also has some pet peeves about things you do, offer to change if he'll do the pet clean-up for a week.
Related Advice from Other Dog Owners
Getting the Stink Out of Your Carpet
When hunting for an odor eliminator for your carpets, look for a product that advertises itself as "enzymatic" or one that contains enzymes. Off the top of my head the two I can think of are Nature's Miracle, and Biokleen Bac-Out. Anything that is not enzymatic may cover up the odor with a stronger more pleasant smell, but it won't get rid of it (and your dog can still smell the original odor). Enzymatic cleaners actually break the source of the odor down using enzymes.
~Cressida M., owner of Coonhound
Make Your Own Odor Remover
If you only need a mild odor remover, you can easily make your own. You'll need: 1 spray bottle, 8 ounces Hydrogen Peroxide, 3 tablespoons baking soda and 3 drops of liquid dish soap. Mix the ingredients, spray the stain or item causing the odor. Don't rub it in. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours, then vacuum over it. Repeat for stubborn odors like pee. This works well on sneakers and other human items, too.
~Chris & Brian C., owner of German Shepherd
Pee Stain Removal on Hardwood Floors
If your dog has stained the hardwood floor, it will have to be sanded down to the bare wood and then cleaned, dried and then refurbished. Pet stains that soak into the hardwood will not come out from what I've seen. You will have to have someone come out and cut the piece out that is bad then replace and re-wax the piece and possibly stain the wood to match the original floor board.
~Linda M., owner of German Shepherd
Consider a Towel Near the Front Door
Clean your pet's feet before letting him into the house. For dirty feet, try a water dip, then a towel. Any caked mud will turn into muddy water and will be easier to wipe off. (Better the towel than the carpet!) Use a damp towel to wipe the floors, one that's big and reusable. Maybe get a large towel as the dog way station by the door, then dip, wipe, release?
~Kathy Y., owner of Mixed Breed
Cleaning Up Pet Vomit Spots
I have the SpotBot by Bissell and I absolutely love it. I don't know what I did without it! I don't use their cleansers for all spots, though. If the stain isn't too bad, I just spray on my Woolite with Oxygen for Pets and put water on it.
~Amy S., owner of Dachshund
Try a Good Enzyme Remover
If you have old urine stains, try a good enzyme remover such as Nature's Miracle. You may need to let it soak on the stain for a while, since the stain has been there a while. Use enough to get through to the underpad of the carpet. I would let it set for about 20 minutes and then blot it up. You may need to repeat this a couple times, but it should work. I have gotten old "hidden" stains out this way, and swear by this product to remove everything from urine, vomit, blood and those nasty poop accident stains.
~Kim T., owner of Bernese Mountain Dog