Has your pet left “scent marks” of urination and/or defecation on your floor or furniture?
To successfully re-train your pet to avoid those areas, follow these basic steps:
- Find all soiled areas using your nose and eyes. A black-light bulb will usually show even old urine stains. Turn out all lights in the room; use the black-light to identify soiled areas and lightly outline the areas with chalk.
- Clean the soiled areas appropriately to remove the odors (see below).
- Make the areas unattractive and/or unavailable (see our handouts on dog and cat aversives).
- Make the appropriate “bathroom” area attractive (see our handouts regarding positive reinforcement, house soiling and/or litter box issues).
- Teach your pet the appropriate place to eliminate by using positive reinforcement (see our handouts mentioned above).
These steps work as a team! In order for your efforts to be successful, you need to follow all of these steps. If you fail to completely clean the area, your other re-training efforts will be useless. As long as your pet can smell that personal scent, he’ll continue to return to the “accident zone.” Even if you can’t smell traces of urine, your pet can. Your most important chore is to remove (neutralize) that odor.