The Repercussions of Vengeance Peeing.
October 27, 2014 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Our awesome 20lb puggle is giving us a new challenge. After a bunch of life-upheaval, Apple has taken to sneaking out in the middle of the night and peeing on the carpet in the guest room. So.... Carpet Cleaner?

You might remember other such glorious Puggle Problem Questions. Her new rough justice is causing trouble for us. The color of the rug, and the use of the room is such that we didn't notice until it was a smell situation. Bad, bad puggle.

We don't anticipate this being a forever problem, but it's not going to be go away overnight. We're closing the door to the guest bedroom at night, but there is a good chance she'll take her rage into the living room next. We have also never had carpets before- so I have no damn idea what to do to clean it past soap, water, and Natures's Miracle. That has not worked so far.

We need something to fix the current overpowering urine smell- and something to treat future accidents (and acts of Pee Violence). We we've been looking at picking up this Spot Cleaner, but Griphus and I see that they are not universally loved or appreciated.

Does anyone have a better solution or a better recommendation for a Carpet Spot Cleaner?

Before you ask:
-We DON'T want to go with hiring a pro because this could happen again the next night, and I don't want to live with pee rugs in between scheduling people.
-We DON'T crate her because it exacerbates her anxiety, and she'll bark for 6+ hours if she is confined. Not kidding, not an option.
posted by Blisterlips to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Nature's Miracle works, but the thing is, the pee will have soaked through all the way through the carpet and into the padding, and the NM can only work if it saturates the carpet and padding similarly; a topical misting won't do it. I have had good luck saturating the problem area with a whole lot of NM (yes, it's expensive), letting it marinate for a little while, then stomping dry towels into it to soak up as much as I can to hasten drying. You also might want to consider what's under the carpet padding. If there's hardwood under there and you're considering going back to hardwood someday, all of this pee and NM is probably staining and/or damaging the finish.
posted by jon1270 at 8:03 AM on October 27, 2014

Response by poster: Relevant:
The Carpet is an area rug with a carpet pad under it- and under that is newly finished hardwood floors.
posted by Blisterlips at 8:08 AM on October 27, 2014

Wow, she is so cute!
When my adorable sweet dog went through a phase of this, I removed all carpets and sent them to a cleaner specializing in dog-pee.
We lived with bare floors and used a lot of detergent for a while. Now, he is over it, and I'm rolling back the carpets. It was only 6-7 months.
BTW this reply was seriously delayed because the dog tried to sit on my lap, he is not a great dane, but I was reminded of the Ursula le Guin article posted yesterday. He is definitely not a lap dog. Today he found out how to open the dog-snack drawer and eat all the contents, so he is worried I might hate him...
posted by mumimor at 8:12 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

No appliance is universally loved but we use a Little Green (doesn't have a heating element like the one you linked, just uses water which can be hot if you fill it fresh) for this and it does the job, and it's better than a towel, I think, for drawing out as much pee as possible. (They are also really good for spills, and it will get up the resulting stains left from puke or other unpleasantness that also comes out of dogs.)

If you think there's another area that's going to be targeted, you might pick up some washable pee/whelping pads (I got mine at Petsmart and two of them would be big enough to cover most of the area under a 5x7 rug) to sandwich between the rug and the pad.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:22 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

A rug is not a carpet so that's much better. Throw out the under-padding and take the carpet into the kitchen sink or out to the garden hose and run water through the pee area with a wide margin. Saturate it; let the water run through for several minutes. Saturate it with Nature's Miracle and then rinse it again.

FWIW we are not great believers in Nature's Miracle which has never been a miracle for us. You can use any cleaner without ammonia that is safe for whatever you're cleaning: vinegar, laundry detergent, and/or PineSol have worked for us. We then use Murphy's Oil Soap in the hardwoods, with a lot of scrubbing, rinsing and mopping.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:23 AM on October 27, 2014

Nthing soaking in an enzyme cleaner, being a rug & a pad I'd be tempted to fill a container with something like Oxyclean & soaking the whole lot. Then buying a new pad when the peeing is over. Keep the door shut while trying to get the problem under control to remove temptation.

The solution might be as simple as someone needs to get up during the night & let the dog out to pee. We have a dog with toilet training issues that are exacerbated because of stress & when he started peeing on the floor at night (luckily in our case the bathroom so easy to clean up) we looked for all sorts of complicated emotional reasons. Turned out we were too sound a sleepers & slept through his attempts to get us to let him out, which seemed to consist of staring at us and trying to will us awake so don't blame us. The problem is now solved that whenever one of us gets up for a middle of the night pee we let him out at the same time, though at first we had a 3am alarm go off just in case.
posted by wwax at 8:23 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Straight Vodka. For the carpet! Not you or the dog;))

Generously flush the stain spot outdoors, over a tub, etc. You might even be able to put vodka in a rug cleaner you rent from the store.

I have a spray bottle filled with mostly vodka, 25% h2o, and 10 to 20 drops of grapefruit essential oil (the good stuff is only about $6 a bottle at whole foods.)

I use the spray on top after the initial washing of the stain has dried.

Works sooooo much better than Nature's Miracle. Also, it doesn't leave behind any fragrance, unless you use the grapefruit oil, and that hardly smells at all.

My main problem with Nature's Miracle is that the formula changed, it doesn't work, and the fragrance of the product is synonymous with animal pee - if I smell urine or this fragrance I'm equally and entirely grossed out.

One of my cats picked a spot for vengeance peeing.

We put down a puppy pad with sheets of aluminum foil on her "spot" to discourage her. It worked for us.
posted by jbenben at 8:32 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

As for keeping her from from peeing in the future, you could try what we do, which is put a gate up in our bedroom doorway. The cats can get over it but our Maltipoo can't and won't pee in the room if he knows we're in it.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:40 AM on October 27, 2014

Vodka also pretty much immediately erradicated the smell on my hardwood floors.

Used it to clean up the dried pee puddle on the floor. Then spray on & wipe off the clean spot to neutralize any remaining odor. Easy peasy.
posted by jbenben at 8:40 AM on October 27, 2014

We have an older model of that Bissell cleaner (no heat, but from the pics looks otherwise the same) and it did heavy duty with our elderly cats, one of whom was nearly incontinent at the end of her live. My only complaint about it is that it's nearly impossible to clean the end and some of nooks and crannies in the tanks, and I think ours is disgusting at this point. We don't use it very much these days, but if I found myself needing to use it every day again I would try to find one that was easier to clean.
posted by snowymorninblues at 9:12 AM on October 27, 2014

I owned a Mastiff for a long time, and so got very familiar with how to deal with accidents. I want to start by saying that if you are still smelling the odor post-Nature's Miracle, then, as others have said, the urine has probably soaked in to the carpet pad. This will necessitate pulling the carpet up to clean or replace the pad.

The main thing I have to add is that baby gates can be very helpful in these situations. Our solution to this problem was to baby gate our Mastiff in to a portion of the house that had linoleum floors when we were out. If she had an accident, we would be able to easily clean it up.

Is it possible for you to either baby gate your dog in to an easily cleanable area, or at least baby gate your dog out of any areas that have been a problem?
posted by merikus at 9:13 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

You definitely need to get the rug and its underpad thing up and off the floor to check if the pee has soaked into the hardwood floors beneath, because once the heating goes on in your building it's gonna smell like roasted pee. It can also stain the wood, which is annoying.

Toss the rug pad and see if you can take the rug itself to the cleaners. If not, I would liberally soak the peed-on area with a nature's miracle formula for rugs/fabric./furniture (there's the regular strength, the super extra strong one, and a special one for wood floors, I think I have some leftovers I can give you guys if you want) and then maybe air it out on the balcony for a while.

You can also rent a carpet cleaner/steamer thing and see how that goes, it will surely be cheaper than taking it to a rug cleaners. The only problem is getting it to and from your house and the rental place.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:45 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've also found that Zep Advanced Oxy, which you can get at Lowe's, works amazingly well at getting out animal stains &c.; you'll want to spot-test the carpet for colorfastness, however. Nthing Nature's Miracle for the residual odors, too.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2014

You've gotten a lot of good advice for getting the stains out of the carpet, so I'm not going to add to that here for a bit. (I will say that I really love the Little Green, and I tend to think the heater is worth the extra $10 if you, like me, are too lazy to fill it up with actively hot water right before use.)

Regarding preventing future accidents: I had a similar problem with my dog a few years ago, where she'd sneak out of my bedroom at night and pee by the front door. I didn't want to crate at night either, because I like having the dog in the bed. Stuff that helped:

-get her checked out by the vet for a urinary tract infection. There are plenty of medical issues that can cause housebreaking failures, and it's wise to get them ruled out.
-make sure she gets out to pee immediately before you all sleep. I'm in a third-floor walkup, so this sucked but it helped a LOT.
-shutting the door to the room where she sleeps. (For me, I shut the bedroom door.) Dogs, especially small dogs, sometimes view rooms of the house that aren't used very often as fair game for defecation--after all, if you don't occupy the space, why shouldn't I use it as a nice comfortable toilet? For me, confining her at night to a room she definitely viewed as 'living space' really helped fix the problem.
posted by sciatrix at 10:30 AM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Adding to sciatrix' advice: almost anything our dog does that we don't like can be remedied by having him in the bedroom. I do not want him in my bed, but just lying beside it makes him feel safe and happy, and he behaves the way I want him to.
posted by mumimor at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2014

I have a puggle too, and she does this! The best thing I have found is too keep the door shut in the bedroom at night (she sleeps on the floor at the foot of the bed). That way she can't sneak out and pee in the night, and she won't pee in the bedroom. And, like the poster before me said, you have to take her out right before bed. Puggles are one of the hardest dogs with housetraining. I have an older chihuahua as well, and he has never ever done anything remotely like what the puggle does. She is an ornery dog, but I love her to death. My husband wanted to give her back to the shelter for 3 years.
posted by rbecca_g at 12:11 PM on October 27, 2014

Nature's Miracle is available in gallon jugs at pet stores, and the enzyme in it really, really works. It's odorless and I've never seen it stain anything. I don't even wipe it up; just let it dry.

Most other "pet smell removers/stain removers" have perfume in them, so your house ends up smelling like your elderly aunt tinkled there, instead of your dog - I guess for some people that's an improvement...
posted by IAmBroom at 1:56 PM on October 27, 2014

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