Don’t leave your dog feeling guilty! Find out how to make his messes disappear.

Our pets are a treasure. They give us unconditional love and affection every single day, sometimes every time we enter the room. But there are times when their actions make us angry – especially when you find a not so welcome “present” on the living room rug, sofa or chair. The stain removal process has to happen very quickly, before odors set in and become more difficult to remove – because once an animal has “marked” an item, the chances he or she will do so again are increased. Get to the stain quickly and follow these three tips to remove the accident.

First and foremost, rule out any illness in the pet. Sometimes the pet is peeing inside the house because he or she does not feel well, is unable to get to the litter box in time or needs more frequent walks. Cats are naturally clean animals, so make sure the litter box is tidy for his or her use. If the box is neglected, the cat may not want to use it. For dogs, don’t let them have water at will all day, pick up the water after meal times if you are seeing an increase in indoor urination. Dogs naturally do not defecate in their “den” so any instance of this happening is a sign something is not right.

1. Use a cleaner with enzymes: Cleaners that break down the urine are critical if you want to prevent the cat or dog from going in that same spot another time. Enzymatic cleaners contain and release cultures that, for lack of a better word – eat – the urine. Without the protein action, deodorizers will not be able to break down the strong odor of pet urine. Take into account that pets have a stronger sense of smell than humans, so even if you’ve cleaned and cannot smell the pee anymore, chances are your pet still can. Your local pet store or home improvement store probably carries these products.

2. Follow up with baking soda: Baking soda is a natural odor absorber – one that will not leave behind a scent your animal will later want to “mark over”. Piling on fragrances won’t work either. You have to leave the item without any traceable scent, a difficult task, but one that can be achieved if you act quickly, or as quickly as possible after the accident happens.

3. Get the piece of furniture treated with stain protection: After you’ve done everything you can to remove the scent of waste from the item, make sure you don’t have to go through it again by administering a type of stain protection to the fabric. A little bit of investment now can make all the difference the next time you have to go down that road. You’ll have less clean up if the accident happens again and the stain protection chemicals will prevent odors from setting in.

When all else fails, you can have the furniture repaired refinished or reupholstered. You certainly don’t want to say goodbye to your furry friend, so part ways with the damaged piece and try to re-teach your pet good habits.