There’s nothing that gets me out of bed faster than a cat or dog vomiting. Cleaning up vomit (or even stool!) at 3am while half asleep is not what I call a good time but neither is waking up in the morning and accidentally stepping in something cold and very gross.

There are plenty of reasons why there might be accidents or a mess in your house. Many dogs, for example, are experts at getting muddy, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Housetraining is a whole process and accidents might happen. Other times, pets get sick and can’t control what comes out and when it comes out! Once, Rooster had surprise explosive diarrhea for three days at all hours. And sometimes, pets just get an upset stomach from time to time. And other times, behavioral issues can lead to accidents in the house. Some cats can get territorial and will act out by spraying.

The good news is that despite how gross pet stains and odors can be, there are ways to clean up! Borax, white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, enzyme cleaners, and carpet cleaners are great starts to cleaning up. However, be careful about mixing different cleaning supplies. While baking soda works great separately with white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, vinegar should not be mixed with hydrogen peroxide and bleach should NOT be mixed with hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, or vinegar. There are, sadly, plenty of common household chemicals that should not be mixed. Here is a list of things to NOT mix together.

Bleach + Ammonia (toxic chloramine vapor)

Bleach + Rubbing Alcohol (toxic chloroform)

Bleach + Vinegar (toxic chlorine gas)

Vinegar + Peroxide (peracetic acid)

The good news is that once you know what combinations to avoid, there are many ways to clean up odors and stains. This post is not sponsored but Borax is a great resource on removing pet stains and odors. Borax is sodium tetraborate, a powder that you can find in grocery, wholesale, hardware, and swimming pool supply stores. You can use borax in the laundry or on stains on the carpet.

There are some natural and homemade cleaners you can make to remove pet stains and odors. You might already have some of these things in your pantry! Vinegar and baking soda together help clean up all sorts of messes and smells. Sprinkle plenty of baking soda over the area and let sit for a minute. Mix equal parts water and vinegar together in a spray bottle and spray or pour that solution onto the baking soda. The vinegar and baking soda will react and start cleaning. Let that solution sit/clean for a few minutes before blotting the area dry. Washing clothes in a vinegar solution can also help get rid of odors you might find.

Baking soda can also be used with a hydrogen peroxide and dish soap solution. Sprinkle baking soda on the area. Combine half a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of dish spoon in a bowl and slowly pour it over the baking soda. Rub the solution with an old towel/rag and blow a fan over the area so it dries quickly.

There are also plenty of cleaning supplies at grocery and pet stores that specifically work on pet odors and stains. And while all of these solutions can help, there are some stains that just won’t come out. The big thing to remember when you have a pet is that there’s going to be some messes!

If your pet is consistently having accidents (or just purposefully peeing), there might be some behavioral or medical reasons behind it. It’s good to talk to a vet and/or animal behaviorist about what might be going on with your pet! But some possible reasons include bladder infections, stress/fear, excitement, aging, or other urinary issues like bladder stones. For some pets, it might just be a behavior issue that can be worked out with positive reinforcement training but it’s also important to not immediately rule out medical issues. You should not use pain, punishment, or yelling while training your dog, especially when housetraining.

Ultimately, accidents happen and while they’re no fun to deal with, it’s sadly just a part of being a pet owner. There are plenty of solutions that you can find in a grocery or pet store and there are plenty of DIY solutions too. Working on training or talking to your vet about possible medical issues can help decrease repeated accidents.

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