Australian’s love their pets, we have one of the highest cat and dog ownership rates in the world. At times though, they come with their complications. Cats are renowned for choosing a spot in the home (instead of outside or in provided litter trays) and returning to it repeatedly to urinate or defecate. Equally cheeky, our well-loved pooches can decide to mark their territory in the most inconvenient of manners or not wait until morning to seek outside relief.
Potty training pain
Anyone who has ever toilet trained a puppy or kitten would also know the constant cleaning required as they learn the rules of the home.
Smells and stains that linger
Even when cleaned, odours in the home can be hard to shake, especially in winter when it is hard to air the home out, and stains that have been cleaned up on carpet, can ‘develop’ and re-emerge days and weeks later, especially on light coloured and plush carpets.
Rescuing your carpet
You love your pets, but the odours and stains not so much. So what can be done?
It is most important to clean off any loose soiled material and soak up as much as possible fluids before any attempts are made at further cleaning. For urine, standing on the stain through an old towel and turning or changing towels a few times offers a good amount of fluid removal.
As pet stains are a common issue, there are quite a few different products that can be purchased from cleaning companies, supermarkets & pet stores. These products all claim to remove stains and smells. Generally being more successful at smells than stains. Read reviews and pick ones that sound like they deliver results.
When using, remember that urine may be soaked also into underlays beneath the carpet and a good thorough deep application.
There are highly effective home remedies that you can use to deliver good results.
Vinegar is a very effective odour neutraliser, and helps kill bacteria that grow in the urine that leads to the re-emergence of stains.
Both Baking Soda and Corn Flour help neutralise odours, soak up wastes that you have been unable to soak out completely. Good old shampoo or dishwashing detergent is also great at removing stains. For stubborn stains, both can be made into a paste by adding water and applied, vacuuming off when dry.
Have you ever noticed that your pet keeps returning to the previously soiled site?
Unfortunately, animals are habitual – if they got away with something the first time (and they usually do if we do not notice for a little while) they think its ok. Along with remaining odours (even if we cannot smell it, their noses can).
The best solutions involve continuing odour control measures such as vinegar, baking soda and corn flour and re-training, with positive responses to going where you want them too – i.e outside, and discipline when they use the wrong spot. This requires vigilance on the problem areas where your pet has created a pattern of returning to.
Calling in the big artillery
Sometimes the damage is too great, or the habit too hard to break. In these circumstances, the best sanity saving results can be achieved by stream and dry cleaners with commercial machines, and anti-bacterial treatments.