No one wants to ever have to worry about cleaning up dog messes when they return from work or other time away from home.  However, pet messes and accidents do happen more often than you’d think.  If you want to keep your home as clean and as mess-free as possible, focus on these 8 real tips to help you out. 

Make potty training a priority and continue it for as long as you need

Often, pet parents will stop potty training their dog as soon as their dog starts to follow the command.  However, the moment that your dog gets distracted by something, or something throws them off their routine, and they may lapse into their old habits.  Make sure that you really focus on potty training as its first command, and then follow it through until you are absolutely certain that your dog understands what’s needed from them.  

Have pee pads set up when you are gone

Both throughout the training period and even indefinitely, make sure that you introduce your dog to pee pads and then set them up around the home so that you know that your dog has somewhere “safe” to go if they need to.  It’s best to contain the pee pads in one area and keep it the same one every time so that they don’t get confused.  Make sure that you replace the soiled pee pads with fresh ones every time that they use them.  For those with smaller or older dogs, this approach is recommended since accidents can happen more often than for larger and younger dogs!

Consider crate training your pet

Many pets enjoy crates, even if they seem restrictive to humans.  If you’re comfortable with it, set up their crate for when you’re gone, and use one that has enough space for a pee pad inside.  At the very least, this contains the mess in one area.  You could even turn their crate into a bathroom by coating it with pee pads.  Your dog will know to go there while you are away from home!  While this isn’t always required, it can really help offer up peace of mind so that you won’t have to stress if your meeting runs late or something else slows you down from getting home “on time” to let the dog out.

Remove expensive rugs and breakables in the common areas

From pee to vomit to a simple, enthusiastic wagging tail or paw, accidents can happen!  If you have precious items like rugs, crystal vases, and more, you’ll want to really consider putting them into hard-to-reach places or packing them away so that your dog or cat doesn’t accidentally cause damage.  Even though they are well-intentioned, these things happen, and you wouldn’t want to have an expensive casualty!  

Teach obedience commands for “calm”

When dogs get excited, they bounce around and can pee.  If you want to make sure that you keep your dog from breaking anything or peeing, teach commands for “calm” or “settle.”  This will encourage them to settle as instructed, and this means less likelihood of an accident.  While it’s unreasonable to expect your dog to calm down all the way, it can help take things down a notch or two!  This is also a good idea in general since dogs can often get hyper when they’re excited and accidentally hurt someone or themselves if they are jumping around!

Have a dedicated dog paw wiping station

When you want to keep paw prints off of your tile floors, have a station right inside your front door where they can wipe their paws!  You can even teach them how to wipe their paws as a command if you want to!  This will help contain a lot of mess, and it’s going to be great for a party trick as well!

You can use a classic floor mat, a blanket or towel, or even one of those silicone brush cups.  Whatever method works best for you and your dog’s preferences, it’ll help you to keep their paws and your floor clean.

Have your dog meet new people outside

Dogs get excited about a lot of things, but especially company.  When your dog is meeting one of their favorite people, or they are meeting someone for the first time, it’s helpful to bring your dog outdoors to do that.  They will most likely pee a little bit, and it’s going to be much better if that happens on the lawn or in the driveway than on your kitchen floor!  Plus, it won’t be as obvious since this can be embarrassing to many pet parents!

Always make pee breaks a priority

One of the main causes of a puddle or a pile of poop on your floor is that you left your dog too long between breaks.  If there’s one thing that you can do to help make sure that your dog’s messes are as minimal as possible, it’s to have dedicated pee breaks throughout the day.  When you are at work, it’s a good idea to run over during lunch to let them out.  Or have a neighbor or someone that you trust do it.  It’s important to help your dog relieve themselves when needed.

When you are gone for long stretches at a time when pee pads aren’t down, or someone can’t let them out on your behalf, be prepared for your dog to really have to go when you get home! Take them out before you do anything else, and always remember to refrain from punishing them if they have gone inside the home when you know you left them longer than you should have.

While you love your pet, you don’t love their messes.  These 8 tips will help you keep those to a minimum and make sure that you are always doing what you can to keep your home clean.  While mistakes and accidents do happen, you can do a lot to be as preventative as possible. 

ALSO: TALK WITH YOUR VET: There may be a medical issue causing the problem.

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