Dog and cat "accidents" are fact of life for pet owners. So is cleaning them up. However, the way you clean up the mess can have an effect on whether or not the animal uses that place for its "bathroom" again. Pets have a vastly more sensitive sense of smell and even though you may think a spot is clean, your pet still knows that’s where he left his "scent." If you don’t completely clean the area, your retraining efforts will have no effect. As long as your pet can smell his scent, he will return to the same spot.
The first step is to find all the soiled area. This involves using your nose and eyes. You may have to get up close and personal with your carpet to find old stains. You also can use a black light bulb to reveal old urine stains. Turn out all the lights in the room and use the black light to identify problem areas.
Next you must clean the areas so the odors are really gone. Remember, even if you can’t smell traces of urine, your dog or cat can. If it’s accident has just happened, soak up as much of the urine/liquid as possible with a folded towel or a stack paper towels. Stand or press on this pad until the area is barely damp. Now get an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle and follow the instructions on the bottle. These cleaners actually neutralize the odor, as opposed to just covering them up. Avoid using cleaning chemicals such as ammonia or vinegar, since they don’t eliminate the odor. Using other strong chemicals may also decrease the effectiveness of the enzymatic cleaner. Avoid using steam cleaners to remove urine because the heat can permanently set the stain.
After you have used the enzymatic cleaner, rinse the area with cool water. Remove the water by blotting again with a towel. By following these steps, you can begin the retraining process free of smells that distract your pet from doing the right thing.