Cleaning up doggy messes inside can be messy, smelly, and frustrating.
Proper potty training is the first step to address this problem in regards to pee and poop, along with taking your dog to a vet if the problem of vomiting persists or is serious).
But, you’ll also want to know how to clean up messes properly.
In this guide, we outline how you might do that for the carpet, and other surfaces.
We’ve also included some of the top reasons dogs might pee, poop or vomit in the house so you can look into prevention strategies.
Let’s take a look!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
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How To Clean Up Dog Poop, Pee & Vomit Inside The House: On Carpet, & Other Surfaces
Before we jump into it, here is a list of commonly used dog and pet stain and odor removal products we mention in the guide:
- Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator Dog for Severe Dog Messes (on Amazon)
- Sunny and Honey Pet Stain and Odor Cleaner (on Amazon)
- TriNova Pet Stain & Odor Remover (on Chewy)
- Trinova Advanced Enzyme Cleaner Spray (on Amazon)
- Nature’s Miracle Dog Stain & Odor Remover Spray (on Chewy)
- Nature’s Miracle Original Pet & General Stain and Odor Spray Bottle (on Amazon)
NOTE – although we’ve listed some natural based cleaners above and in this guide, some people find that the cleaning performance can be better in some cleaner sprays and products which might have more synthetic (but safety approved) ingredients.
Options to Clean Up Urine, Poop & Vomit On The Carpet & Other Surfaces
You’ll want to remove any mess, disinfect the surface and deodorise it – leaving the area looking and smelling fresh and clean.
You’ve really got three options when it comes to cleaning up messes and accidents:
1. Use a commercial cleaner
A Natural biodegradable, non-toxic (hypoallergenic also helps) cleaner like Kleenfree – needs to disinfect, remove the stain and remove the odor.
The good thing about a commercial natural clean is that firstly they are generally safe and non toxic for you, your kids and pets, and secondly, they are formulated to remove the mess.
Also, it tends to be easier.
Commercial cleaners usually come as either a pre-formed spray, or a liquid solution you mix with water in different ratios.
2. Go completely homemade
Usually involves a combination of using either vinegar or club soda with water (1:1) in a spray bottle. And then drying with salt or bi-carb soda, before vacuuming up any residue.
You can also use a house soap and a wet vac.
Homemade lets you treat the mess with household products you likely already have, but the drawback is you don’t really know if they are going to work unless it’s worked for you previously – they aren’t specifically formulated for the task.
3. Combine the two
A popular option. Combine a commercial natural cleaner with bi-carb soda, and vacuum once dry. You can also use soap and/or vinegar as required. You get the best of both worlds.
Whichever option you choose, the general clean up process can be found at the bottom of this guide.
Things To Look Out For When Picking A Cleaning Option or Product
When choosing natural stain removers, disinfectants and deodorisers, you might consider:
Is it biodegradable and environmentally friendly?
What does the label say the functions of the product are – does it break up, disinfect, remove the stain and remove the odor? Some sprays and pour on (bottle and cap) products might remove a stain, but be ineffective as a deodoriser for example – so check this
Does is double as a stain remover or cleaner for normal household messes? If so, that’s great value for money
The individual ingredients and how natural they are. An example of good natural ingredients might be water, naturally occuring, non-bacterial, readily biodegradable, enzymatic solution derived from sources like safe yeast strains and mild surfactant blends
The smell – is it strong or non invasive and pleasant? – Is it safe for kids and pets who might have sensitive sense of smell? Odorless pet stain removers can be a good options
Does it work on a range of surfaces – carpet, tiles, hardwood, furniture, vinyl, car interior etc.?
Does it work on a range of pet stains and odors: urine, feces, vomit, drool etc. – usually labeled as an all purpose cleaner
Does the product damage exisitng carpet or dull hard floors like wood? This may need to be tested by you on the surface when you buy it
Can the product be used as both a spot cleaner (hand cleaning), and in a machine washer like a carpet cleaner?
Is it an enzyme based pet stain remover? These removers and cleaners can be less effective if inhibitors are present such as very high or very low temperatures, too much moisture is present in the enviornment, if your pet is on any special medication or diets. If those situations apply – you may look to a non-enzyme based cleaner – the label should tell you which it is
Does the product discourage the pet from peeing in the same spot again?
Overall – always read labels, warnings, and directions very closely before using or consuming a product. Make sure it suits your particular situation in terms of what you, your family and your pets can be exposed to – and consult a health professional if you need professional medical or safety advice.
What Are Some Of The Best Dog/Pet Stain and Odor Removers?
You might like to get a non toxic cleaning products with natural ingredients, that is biodegradable (good for the environment), and hypoallergenic (for people and animals with allergies).
This cleaning product should have the functions of breaking up messes and pet stains, disinfecting the mess, removing any coloring or stain (without damaging the carpet or surface), and leaving it deodorised and smelling fresh and clean.
It’s very hard to find one product that does everything though.
For example, most products are good at stain removal and might have mostly natural ingredients, but might be less effective at odor removal.
In this case you might experiment with different products, and try some homemade solutions, or buy more popular but less natural ingredient formulas/products.
Below are some products that might meet some or all of the above criteria:
Nature’s Miracle Original Pet & General Stain and Odor Spray Bottle
Stain and odor remover trigger spray that helps clean up dog-related messes
Works on accidents, grass stains, mud, vomit, blood and odors
Can be used on be used on carpets, hard surfaces, clothing, kennels and carriers + more
Very popular and affordable stain and odor remover
Comes in different sizes
Comes in different types such as spray, pour, extendable wand spray, and measure and pour bottles
The best Nature’s Miracle product from the general feedback from the user community is the original stain and odor (white bottle) spray
Nature’s Miracle recently updated their original spray to the advanced formulas (come in red bottles) to make them more effective – but, there has been some negative feedback in the user community over the smell and the effectiveness of the formula.
Ingredients might include ingredients similar to Water, Oxygen Boosters Isopropyl Alcohol, Nature’s Bio-Enzymatic Blend, Surfactant, Citrus Scent or other scent like lavender
Sunny and Honey Pet Stain and Odor Cleaner (Spray)
For most stains and odors – urine, feces, vomit, & drool.
Can be used on a range of surfaces like carpets, rugs, hardwood, tile, cloth and leather furniture, animal bedding, automobiles, rv’s, pet crates, litter boxes, pet travel bags, and many other surfaces
Child and pet safe
Made in the USA & 10% of profits are donated to animal rescues & animal shelters.
Comes with a guarantee
Main ingredients include water, bacteria/enymes, nonionic surfactant, fragance and opacifier
Has a spring/minty smell
How To Clean Pee, Poop, Vomit & Other Accidents On The Carpet, Hardwood, Tiles, In The Car & Other Surfaces
Make sure you clean with the kids and pets at a safe distance away.
Always follow the directions on the product cleaning label for warnings, safety factors and directions of use.
Clean up the mess sooner rather than later – particularly with vomit which is acidic. Urine is a liquid that might seep into the base of absorbent surfaces like carpet – so make sure to deep clean urine.
The general clean up process involves:
1. Remove solid pieces of mess with a paper towel or scoop
2. Dab or Blot up surface mess with a paper towel (don’t rub the mess in further or apply hard pressure) or dry cloth
3. Break up, disinfect, deodorise and remove mess particles, stain and smell with cleaning product or club soda/vinegar/soap, and water. Do this by hand with a dark colored rag or cloth. Make sure you start from the outside of the stain and work your way in – and even start from outside of the visible area of the stain as there can be invisible bacteria and nasties in this area.
4. Use a wet vac at this point once the stain looks removed (optional)
5. Dry the area naturally with ventilation and air, or consider applying a drying powder like bi-carb
6. Vacuum the area of any left over residue with a dry vac
7. If the area hasn’t deodorised properly, consider buying some scented carpet powder fragrance which you can leave for a few hours and vacuum up
8. If your dog still sprays the area – consider taking them to a professional trainer for tips on how to minimise this behavior. Some say the neutering and spaying also works – so it may be worth talking to your vet.
Notes On Cleaning Different Surfaces
Tiles are generally the easiest and hardest wearing surfaces to clean, as well as sealed hardwood, vinyl and other generally waterproof type surfaces that don’t absorb the mess.
For carpets and car interiors, you’ll want to be mindful of discoloration (some wood hard floors are prone to discoloration too).
The best way to test this is as soon as you get a commercial cleaner, read the label and apply it to a hidden or concealed part of your carpet or other surface to test it’s effect.
When the accident does come, you’ll know how it reacts with the surface.
Also worth noting is that with carpets and car interiors – they will absorb liquid and stay damp – which can result in molding or mildew.
It’s important to dry out the area by giving it plenty of natural ventilation or considering a natural non harmful drying powder like bicarbonate soda.
Potential Reasons Why A Puppy or Dog Might Pee, Poop Or Vomit Inside The House
In case you want to look into prevention strategies as well as cleaning strategies, you many want to look over these potential reason a dog may poop, pee or vomit in the house:
1) The puppy or dog hasn’t been potty/house trained
An obvious one. You get a new puppy and they haven’t been potty or house trained yet.
We put together a guide on Potty Training Puppies and Dogs, which you can check out here.
We out line 14 tips you can consider in helping your puppy transition to fully house trained.
Some people find their dog is fully house trained as soon as around 12 to 13 weeks.
2) A medical condition or sickness/disease
Definitely something to see the vet about – if you suspect something is wrong with your dog’s health.
Problems with the bladder, liver and kidneys can all cause your dog to lose some of the full control of their bodily functions.
Digestive issues, brain function issues and some medications can also affect a dog’s ability to control where and how they go potty.
3) Excitement, fear or anxiety caused by a particular event, situation or being left alone too long
This is one you may see a professional dog trainer and/or a vet about.
Excitement and fear are similar in that peeing or pooping may be the dog’s body’s way of coping with being overly excited or scared by certain people and stimuli – usually strangers, or environments the dog is not fully comfortable or relaxed in.
Dogs that exhibit fearful and submissive behaviour may just need to rebuild their trust and level of comfort with a new environment or people.
Dogs that get overly excited may need to re-conditioned to be more relaxed in situations that excite them. This can be done by decreasing the length and intensity of the situation.
Dog trainers can help you in each of these situations to re-condition the dog’s behavior or give you training techniques.
Anxiety can be a complex mental condition that you should see a vet/professional about. Separation anxiety is one such type of anxiety where the dog might develop an over independence on their owner and comes as part of the condition.
A vet may prescribe medication for anxiety.
You can read more about dog anxiety here.
4) A change in the environment, people or schedule in the dog’s life
Particularly for dogs that have been rescued or placed in a shelter, or even re-homed.
It may also happen when you move houses or locations and your dog comes with you, or when they travel in a car or plane for example.
Dogs may get scared or confused when they are out of the environment, away from the people, or not in the schedule they are used to.
This may be a temporary thing in the case of pet travel.
If the dog is getting used to a new living arrangements or changing schedule, it may take a few months for them to acclimatise.
5) Marking territory – also known as ‘spraying’
A dog may mark territory for a number of reasons.
They may feel as though they are the alpha in the environment, and it is their way of showing dominance or communicating this alpha status to humans and animals.
They may be in a new environment, feel out of place, and marking is their way of feeling more comfortable in the environment.
Their dog hormones and drives may also instinctually lead them them to mark territory.
Ways to manage the rate of spraying and marking might include:
Allowing your dog to acclimatise to new people and environments
Reinforcing training and obedience standards – make sure you dog knows house behavior, and that you are the leader
If you have an adult dog dog, and you suspect your dog is territory marking or spraying, you might see a vet or animal behavior specialist to find out why.
6) Older dogs may develop incontinence issues or lose some bladder control
A straightforward one. Like humans, as dogs age, they may develop digestive or organ issues that translate to them having bodily function issues.
Incontinence may be an issue as a dog ages, or simply a weak bladder.
Ask your vet what diet and lifestyle changes might help an older dog manage this.
7) Your dogs may be left inside too long and may need more regular breaks to be let outside
Are you away from the house for longer than a few hours at a time and you leave your dog inside a lot?
Unless you have a dog door installed, your dog being left inside may simply mean they are unable to hold onto pee or poop for long enough for you to get home.
Make sure you let your dog outside in the morning and at night after waking up and when going to bed at a bare minimum.
How To Clean Up Dog Diarrhea
The above guide is mostly for solid mess.
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