Raising Ace from an eight-week-old lump of a little puppy was supposed to be straightforward. I figured if I just read enough training tips, attended enough puppy training classes, and held my boundaries firmly enough, I could avoid the unpleasant aspects of having a baby animal in my small apartment.
Looking back, I’m surprised it went as well as it did! Ace was an eager study, motivated by both affection and food. Her temperament is curious and playful, if a bit anxious. But Ace was also a puppy, one that had multiple strains of tenacious parasites. She also went through teething and potty training. Since our only casualties were an old rug and a pair of $400 glasses (gulp), I feel we got off easy.
I learned a valuable life lesson: Even if you plan for every contingency, even if you study hard and put in long hours preparing, your puppy will still poop indoors. She will pee in your bed. She will vomit on your lap. She will shed. Her anal glands will express on your bare skin … you get the idea. During those early months, Nature’s Miracle and pet insurance were my greatest allies. When things go wrong, and they invariably will, you need help cleaning up.
I had the opportunity to test some sample products from Pruven, a new line of pet cleaning and training products by 3M. This company owns several brands that probably are familiar to you, like Scotch, Scotchgard, and Scotch-Brite, and aspects of these products are used in the Pruven line. For example, their stain and odor remover contains Scotchgard, which is intended to reduce the severity of future stains in the treated area.
Because every pet owner needs to have a reliable cleaning product for pet-related fluids, I tried the Oxy Powered Stain and Odor Remover first. Pruven claims this product removes “urine, feces, and vomit stains and odors” (ah, the joys of puppy parenthood) from carpets and pet beds. In a cruel twist of fate, although I waited patiently, Ace did not make a mess in any of the above three categories, so I had no opportunity to test this product on an actual pee/poo/puke stain.
My dear Dogster readers, although I truly enjoy entertaining you each week with my pet product experiences, there was no way I was going to, um, simulate such a stain on my own carpet. So I did the next best thing: I chose a sticky, organic substance with a strong smell -– peanut putter -– and ground it deeply into a thick, folded towel. I let it dry a bit and then put the Pruven stain remover to the test.
Following the instructions on the bottle, I saturated the stain, let the product sit for five minutes, and then blotted it away. The instructions state that for tough stains, multiple treatments may be necessary, and since I was simulating a tough stain I treated the towel five times. I’m happy to report that the stain was completely removed, and only the slightest odor of peanut butter remained. The product saturated through several layers of the towel, suggesting it would clean through a thick carpet. The product itself has no added, flowerly odor, which you know I consider a good thing if you’ve read some of my previous reviews. The product smells a bit like hydrogen peroxide, which is its main ingredient (don’t worry, it is safe on colored rugs).
Pet hair is another necessary evil when living with a dog of any age. While I hardly notice Ace’s eyelash-sized hairs when they litter my couch and clothing, I try to be mindful of them if I’m having guests or going to work. Pruven offers several products to manage unwanted pet hair. I tried the Pet Hair Roller, which looks and works like other lint rollers you’ve seen that use sticky paper to attract the hairs.
This product worked exactly as you would expect it to, no better, no worse. I didn’t see any advantage of the Pruven roller over other rollers like it. I imagine the Large Surface Roller might have an advantage over other because of its size. I would love to try the Pet Hair Remover Tool –- check out this video!
Some of the products I sampled were designed for issues that, thankfully, Ace does not have. One of these products is the Scratch Protection Film. It’s a pretty nifty idea –- you place the film over areas in your home that your dog’s nails might damage. There are two sizes, one for windowsills and molding, and another for doors or cabinets. I tried the smaller size, which comes on a roll. I was surprised and pleased to find that it actually is really easy to install. The film is sticky enough to adhere to a painted wood surface, but not so much that you can’t reposition it.
Also, I found it was easy to smooth out using a straight edge (I used a credit card, which is about the same width as the film). It seems thick enough to offer some protection from an excited dog’s nails. One potential drawback to the film is that it is very smooth. If you used this on a windowsill, your cat or small dog might have difficulty getting traction and could slip.
One product Ace no longer needs, but which we have used in the past, is a bitter-tasting spray to discourage licking or biting. Pruven offers a Bitter Apple Spray, which you can apply to bandages, around wounds, or on hard and soft surfaces in your home. Although Ace has worn a bandage on her foot this week due to a paw injury, she was not interested in chewing on the bandage. Begrudging this missed opportunity for product testing, I again got creative and applied the spray to one of Ace’s favorite squeaky stuffed toys. Ace definitely had difficulty playing with the toy saturated in Bitter Apple Spray. She bit at it more gingerly and spent a lot of time sniffing around, trying to find an area that was clean.
Based on this test, I found the spray to be moderately effective, which I think is the best you can hope for with a product like this. It is designed to deter chewing, not to prevent it, so, as the product packaging recommends, you should use this product in conjunction with behavioral training.
Dogster Scorecard for Pruven Pet Products
- Quality: The products I tested either met or surpassed my expectations based on other similar products.
- Style: I love the branding for this product line, especially the cute dog butt that makes the “n” in the “Pruven” logo.
- Function: Again, these products met or surpassed expectations. I am particularly impressed by the Oxy Powered Stain and Odor Remover.
- Creativity: The Scratch Protection Film is a unique solution to protect your windows or cabinets from excited doggy teeth and nails.
- Value: The Pruven product line is affordably priced and available at large chain stores. Also, check out these coupons (you’re welcome)!
If you’re looking for easily available, affordable pet cleaning and training products, you should give the Pruven line a try.
And now, enter to win a Puppy Prize Pack from Pruven!
Pruven has offered to treat two lucky Dogster readers to a variety of their products for dogs! This prize will be especially valuable to owners of puppies or recently adopted dogs. Each winner will receive the following:
- Scratch Protection Film –- for protection on finished doors, trim, baseboards, window sills, and cabinets
- Oxy Powered Stain & Odor Remover with Scotchgard Protector –- for cleaning up indoor messes on carpets and fabrics
- Pet Hair Roller –- effectively picks up lint and pet hair from clothing, furniture, and auto interiors
- Super Absorbent Training Pads –- for potty training indoors
- Training Pad Gripper –- to keep training pads from slipping
- Bitter Apple Spray –- to discourage destructive chewing, biting, and licking
- Housetraining Aid –- for indoor and outdoor potty training
To enter, leave us a comment below describing your greatest training challenge with your puppy or new dog. Don’t be afraid to talk dirty –- potty accidents, trash raids, and anal gland mishaps are all fair game. (Tip: pictures are a good way to attract my attention!)
Make sure the email address associated with your Disqus account is accurate so that I can notify you if you win! Winners will be chosen by noon PST on Friday, October 18, 2013.
About Ace’s Mama: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers’ markets, and secret stairway walks. When she’s not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace’s adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.