Cleaning up Dog Messes

By Mara Bovsun

With some planning and know-how, we can learn to live with the less tidy aspects of our canine companions while keeping our human sense of propriety intact. Here’s how:

  1. Slobber
    For drool on glass, a traditional home recipe calls for white or apple-cider vinegar, water, and elbow grease. Other recipes add rubbing alcohol and a couple of drops of scented essential oils, such as lavender. Some companies have developed products specifically for this problem. Bissell, for example, has the “Drool Cleaner,” which features a canister filled with cleaning solution, a squeegee, and a brush. For walls, wood, and countertops that have been surfed and slimed, many dog owners swear by the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
  2. Runs in the City
    Scooping poop isn’t so easy when your Tibetan Mastiff has frequent diarrhea. Try Dispoz-A-Scoop. These scoopers feature a bag held on a rigid wire frame, with a cardboard handle that closes like a guillotine once the mess is tucked inside. For serious cases, slip a newspaper under the dog as soon as he strikes the telltale pose. Then toss a few paper towels over the mess, fold the papers, and transfer the bundle to the plastic bag.
  3. And in the Home
    After cleaning up the solids, sprinkle baking soda over the spot, wait for it to dry, then vacuum it up the next day.
  4. Puddles
    There are several products that contain enzymes or combinations of enzymes and bacteria to combat urine stains. The more popular ones are Nature’s Miracle and Simple Solution. First blot, don’t rub, away any excess before applying the solution. Be patient—it may take several hours to days to work.
  5. Skunk
    For many years, tomato juice was the deodorizer of choice, but it doesn’t really work very well. Instead, try a combo of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid. The mixture must be used immediately, because it is unstable. If you cap it and attempt to store it, the container may explode.
  6. Gum Balls and Tar Heels
    Sticky substances, such as tar and chewing gum, can be effectively removed with vegetable oil or peanut butter. One fancier suggests baby oil works as well. Mild dishwashing liquid is also recommended, but always be careful to keep the soap out of eyes and ears.
  7. Floor Exercises
    The Scooba is a small round robot that will wash the floor with just a touch of the button. It can be used with a cleaning solution designed for the Scooba, plain water, or a combination of vinegar and plain water.
  8. Fresh Blood
    With any luck, you won’t be dealing with blood stains too often or on an ongoing basis. But, should you have to, the best way to tackle fresh blood on fabric is to soak the item and the stain in cold water. Some people also recommend treating the stain with hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of dishwashing liquid and cold water.
  9. Ancient Stains
    As a rule, get it while it’s fresh. Dried urine stains can be particularly tricky, since you may be able to smell them but not see them. To find these hidden stink spots, try Stink-Finder, an ultra-violet light designed to make urine stains glow. Bio-Pro Research, LLC, offers its mini-urine finder, a small flashlight, along with its Urine Off enzymatic/bacterial product.
  10. When Decorating, Think Dog
    Keeping canines in mind when designing or decorating your home can make it easier to maintain a pleasant environment, no matter what your dog digs up, throws up, or tracks in.