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How to Puppy Proof Your Carpet

puppy-on-carpet How to Puppy Proof Your Carpet
While there are many benefits to having carpet in your home, keeping it clean is a constant struggle – especially with a new puppy!

There’s almost nothing as cute as a puppy, and there’s almost nothing as frustrating as keeping puppy off the carpet. Damaged carpets can not only be smelly and unsightly, but are expensive to replace and can bring down the overall value of your home.

Carpet damage can be caused by:
  • Puppy urine and feces
  • Dirt and mud tracked in from outside
  • Hair buildup
  • Puppy chewing on carpet
If ripping up all your carpet and replacing it with hardwood or tile simply isn’t an option for you, don’t despair. It is possible to keep your carpets clean, even with a young puppy around. Just follow these four steps.

Keep your puppy clean


Cut down on the amount of dirt and pet hair ground into the carpet by keeping your puppy bathed and groomed. You can, and should, brush your puppy every single day! Not only will you cut down on the amount of hair they leave on your carpet, but it also offers you and your puppy the chance to bond.

Baths are also important, but it is possible to bathe your puppy too much. Just like human hair, dog hair has natural oils that protect it and give it a soft, silky shine. Too many baths and those oils get stripped away.

So how often should puppies get a bath? That depends on the dog, the length of their fur, and their environment. The best practice is to bathe them as often as they are noticeably smelly or dirty.

Don’t neglect carpet cleaning and maintenance


Your first line of defense against dirty carpets? Making sure they don’t get dirty in the first place! Vacuum often to keep pet hair at bay—once a day, if possible. Use a carpet cleaner or hire a professional for regular deep cleanings. You will also need to take care of urine and other stains before they set in and become difficult to remove.

Remove pet stains and odors


Despite your best efforts, accidents will still happen, so be sure to clean up immediately after they occur. But don’t rely on just any old household cleaner—use a special enzyme cleaner. You can find enzyme cleaners at pet stores, and sometimes even at home improvement or grocery stores. An enzyme cleaner is absolutely essential in order to break down the acids, bacteria, and other components that make pet urine prone to staining and smelling. Once the stain has been cleaned up, use a solution of vinegar and water on the affected area to neutralize the smell.

Never use a cleaner with ammonia! Dried urine releases an ammonia-like smell, and the smell causes your puppy to think that it is okay to do the same thing in the same spot, all over again.

Cover up with rugs


Rugs are much easier to wash and replace than carpet, so use them to your advantage. Use large area rugs to cover up carpet in the living room and place runners down long hallways or on high-traffic areas. Don’t invest too much in rugs while your puppy is still potty training. That way if accidents happen, they at least didn’t happen on your nice new rug!

Keep door mats by every outdoor entrance so the dirt tracked in on puppy’s paws goes on the doormat, not the carpet. Consider keeping paw wipes or some rags and water by the door so you can wipe their paws clean every time they come inside.

House train your puppy


This is perhaps the most difficult step, but the most important one. According to the American Kennel Club, house soiling is one of the top reasons why puppies end up homeless or in shelters. Build a happy life for both you and your new puppy by teaching him how to behave inside!

Tips on housebreaking a puppy


The American Kennel Club recommends two reliable methods for house-training your puppy: crate training or puppy pads.

Before choosing which method is right for you, know that both require a consistent schedule and lots of positive reinforcement. Puppies have small bladders and will need to relieve themselves frequently: first thing in the morning, right before bed, after every meal, after a nap, after a long time in a crate, and several times in-between. Expect to be running outside often!

Observe your puppy’s habits and build a schedule around them. The more you take them outside, the sooner they will understand that outside is the place to go potty, and inside is not.

No matter how many accidents happen or how frustrated you get, never, ever raise your voice, get angry, or rub your puppy’s nose in their poop to punish them! Negative reactions will have the opposite effect you are hoping for. Instead, praise your puppy every time they do something right. Speak in a happy tone, give them treats, do everything possible to make them feel good about going to the bathroom outside! This reinforces that going outside is the only place for them to go.

With this in mind, it’s time to figure out which house training method is best for you and your puppy.

House training with puppy pads

Ideally, you’d like your puppy to relieve themselves outside. But if you live in an area with a harsh climate or simply can’t be home often enough to let them go out, consider training your puppy to go on paper or puppy pads. They not only make clean up much easier, but they give puppy a visual aid that designates the appropriate area for taking care of their business.

Crate training tips

Crate training involves the use of a crate or cage placed inside to keep young dogs on their best behavior when their owners cannot supervise them. It may be heartbreaking to even think about locking up your new pup, but they are useful not only for owners with busy lives, but for potty training as well. As long as the crate isn’t too small or too big (there should be enough space for them to sit up, turn around, and lie down comfortably), your puppy will quickly grow accustomed to their crate.

The truth is, dogs also don’t like having urine and feces stinking up their space, so they are less likely to leave them in their crate. However, you will still need to let them out frequently to exercise and use the bathroom. Puppies have small bladders and very little control over them, and one accident in the crate can be enough to teach them that it is okay to go to the bathroom in there.

A good rule of thumb is that puppies can control their bladders for about as many hours as they are months old. So, a three-month-old puppy should be able to hold it for about three hours. However, all puppies are different, so be sure to observe their habits and take them outside when they whine and scratch at their cage.

Living with a puppy takes a lot of hard work, but nothing compares to the joy of living with the unconditional love of a furry companion. Keep up with carpet maintenance and teach your pup to do their part to keep the carpets clean. Follow our steps and you, your pup, and your carpets will live happier, cleaner lives!

Ready to trade in your old carpets for tile, hardwood, laminate, or wood tile floors? Visit one of Imperial Wholesale’s two Phoenix locations to get started with your flooring project!