How to: Stop Pet Accidents!

Want to know how to stop pet accidents? My most popular post I’ve ever done on this site was/is my HOMEMADE PET ODOR ELIMINATOR. However, when I clicked the ‘publish’ button a few months ago I really wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming response and reactions to it. The #1 question I get emailed on an almost daily basis is “How do I stop them from going the bathroom inside!?”
Well…that’s a complicated question for me to answer because everyone has a different situation that is causing their pet to mark inside. I want to take this time to stress the FACT that I AM NOT A PET EXPERT! When I was a teenager I did own/run a pet sitting business, but other then that I am simply a stay-at-home mother who is experimental when it comes to anything DIY. I also do my fair amount of own research before trying/testing things out.
With all that being said here’s my ideas and tips for stopping your pet from having accidents in unwanted places…
When I realized my dog was marking in the same spot over and over… I researched the internet for reasons behind this behavior. Fact is, dogs have an incredible sense a smell, so even though I would clean the area thoroughly and could no longer smell his urine (he could). He would continue to go in the same spot over and over and I would continue to clean over and over… Until I made this spray!


{you can get the recipe for this in my new EBook}

Clean the area that has been soiled. Avoid using ammonia based products to clean dog urine. Dog urine has ammonia in it and he/she may be encouraged to go in the same area.  Remember, your dog’s sense of smell is a hundred times better than yours.

Now spray this mixture onto the spot. The _______ smell is too overwhelming to a dog and he/she will be deterred from using that spot as his/her bathroom. Make sure to respray the area every 24 hours until the dog completely loses interest in that area.

The ________ I add as an additional precaution just in case your pet decides to lick the spray, not only will his/her nose be bothered but his/her tongue will be as well.

Another way I have stopped my pet from going the bathroom in unwanted spots is rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub onto the spot. Again, the scent is too much for the dog to bear and will deter him/her from sniffing around that area.

*UPDATE* IMPORTANT READER COMMENT- “Love this idea for dogs, but just FYI – cats cannot tolerate essential oils (their livers do not have the enzymes that dogs & humans do to break down the components of essential oils so they can be harmlessly expelled). You can find more info if you google “essential oils cats”. So many essential oils can be toxic for cats (might not be an immediate reaction, but they can build up to toxic levels after exposure)! So, for dogs, this is a great idea to deter them from previous accident spots & won’t harm them, but avoid this for cats!” -Donna C.

Thank you for your input Donna! This post and the other post were geared towards my issues with my DOG, but I know from the comments that this is an issue people are having with their cats as well, so it is valuable information to know that this formula is NOT OKAY to use with cats.

Now here are some tips that you may find helpful….

1. SPAY or NEUTER YOUR PET- It helps!

2.  Carry treats outside with you. When your dog goes the bathroom outside give them a treat immediately and praise them loudly and excitedly. Do this every time for 2 weeks. Your dog will start getting used to this treatment and want to go the bathroom outside ALL THE TIME!

3. If you see your dog panting, pacing, sniffing around inside…chances are he/she needs the bathroom! If you catch your dog about to take a squat…FIRMLY SAY “NO! OUT!” and immediately take them to the door and outside and follow ‘TIP #2″ above.

4. Do NOT yell or smack your dog! Negative reinforcement may end up making your dog’s behavior worse, so it is important not to revert to that no matter how frustrating the situation gets.

5. Use a crate! Your dog might have serious separation anxiety when you leave him/her for a while causing him/her to go the bathroom in the house. The investment of a crate is well worth the cost if it means your dog won’t be having accidents while your gone.

6. Restrict their water intake. I’m not saying to not give your pet water. But only allow them to have it while your around watching them. This way you can keep track of the amount of water they have and know when they need to go to the bathroom.

7. Your dog just might be un-trainable. I know what you’re saying…”what?!” Look, here’s the thing…now a days with all these ‘teacup’ brand high fashion dogs being bred (many of them with medical problems) It’s just not possible to fully train them. Think about it…If your bladder was the size of a walnut you would need to pee every 20 minutes too! Its not the dogs fault for being so small. Instead of trying to win a losing battle by teaching them to go outside, try teaching them to use a litter box, or pee pad instead. This way your dog has a designated spot to go the bathroom.

Need more pet advice?

You can now buy my EBook “Pet Odor Be Gone” as an instant download file sent directly to your email!

      • Including more tips/techniques
      • CAT advice
      • *Bonus* 10 concoctions to keep your house smelling good without using candles or plug-ins!


>>> $2.99 <<<

Add to Cart

 Downloadable file will be sent to you automatically from a service I pay to send out my files. If you do not receive the file within 24 hours of completed payment then please contact me so I can send it to you personally. Results may vary.

I’m happy to report that after my initial post back in May 2012, my dog hasn’t had any more accidents in the house. He is 100% trained, and by following the steps above, along with the oil infused spray, I have faith you can train your pet too!





  1. says

    The best thing to clean up cat/dog accidents is biological based washing liquid/powder or stain remover. I have done this and then used your spray and am pleased to say the results have been miraculous. Your spray is wonderful and doubles as air freshener! Thank you

  2. JoMc says

    I’m having quite the time with my 14 1/2 year old neutered indoor-only cat marking places in the house due to feral cats roaming around outside. Found that Simple Solution (I buy it from Giant grocery store, it’s in the pet food aisle) and a black light is the way to go to get rid of the odor. Black light shows you where the spots are and the SS is enzymed based, so it “eats” the urine. Love the idea of this spray to keep him out of the room altogether, though. Does it stain rugs, furniture, walls, etc? Thanks for sharing your spray recipe!

    • Anonymous says

      Amanda Im sure your vet would be able to answer this question for you, Donna is correct cats react totally different to many things than dogs do. Your safest bet is to run it by the vet.

  3. Anonymous says

    I can’t wait to try this! Can this solution spray be used on carpet? Thanks!

  4. Lynne says

    Donna, any suggestions what I could use instead for cats? I have one that I saw spray yesterday – right after she came inside !

  5. Anonymous says

    You can also just use vinegar to clean the spot. It will completely erase the smell for the dog.

  6. Anonymous says

    Cat owners should use hot water and Dawn dish soap on litter pans. I have never black lighted it but I know it removes the oder and that is a good thing in my world.

  7. Amanda I. says

    I have a dog that marks in the house still and would love to use this on his spots, but I also have a cat (who doesn’t spray). How will these oils affect my cat? I did some reading online but it seems that the oils are harmful when used in pet shampoo and/or treatments directly applied to the cat. I would not be doing that. If anyone has any additional literature, it would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Kylie says

    I have a small chihuahua and she is trained to go on a pad but sometimes she goes off of it. Do you think if I spray around the perimeter of the pad it will deter her all together? Or just make her want to go only on the pad? She is really good most of the time but sometimes she just goes a few inches off :/

  9. Anonymous says

    I have a dog that pees every time he gets excited or nervous… Which is a lot! If I neuter him do you think it will help?

  10. Anonymous says

    I have a one year old yorkie, she is spayed. She pees in her kennel every night, no matter how long she’s outside before bed or how early I put her out in the morning. Is that stuff safe to spray where she sleeps? She also likes to pee on my new couch (it looks a feels kinda like leather but they told me it’s microfiber) will it mess up my couch or hurt my kids that play/sit on the couch?

  11. Anonymous says

    I just moved into the house of my dreams, and I didn’t know they had….cats. The cats are no longer here, but the smell in the cellar is STILL there. I have a dehumidifier and it is helping aLOT. But is there any way to REALLY get rid of the smell? I am quite allergic to cats……I have some difficulty breathing even on the main level, tho it doesn’t ‘smell like cat’…..anyone have any additional suggestions??

    • Anonymous says

      Clean all the carpeting REALLY well(like it should take you hours for each room do not stop until the water is clear when it comes up off the floor), either take your time and do it yourself, or have professionals do it. If you can afford it, replace the carpeting and pad. Use Really good air filters in the ac system, and/or have the whole vent system cleaned professionally. Vinegar can remove the smells, but can set in stains so be careful of where you spray it. The scent of the vinegar fades, taking with it the pet smell. A really good primer painted over the walls/ceiling in your cellar will help to seal in the smells. Then you can repaint in any color. That should remove the smell. I hope that helps you, since your really removing allergens from the home more than the smell. Good Luck!

  12. says

    I was wondering…I have a pom pom/spitz mix that is an inside dog. When he comes in from outside, he smells horrific. The pillow he sleeps on smells even worse than he does. And what’s even more horrible is the smell hits you right when you walk in the door. I’ve tried frebreeze, carpet powder for dogs, lighting a candle to actually putting a plug in by his “spot” but nothing seems to help. Do you have any suggestions for it? Thanks so much in advance!

    • Anonymous says

      You might have the vet check his anal glands. I think they will smell if they are over full or even infected. They can be drained or in some cases surgically removed.

  13. says

    wow thanks so much. I have tried so many things and nothing has worked, ready to give it a go and fingers crossed it works!! Sounds like it will!!

  14. says

    If you can, wash his stiff with tide and add a few tbs of baking soda to the washing machine. What worked for me (we have THREE inside dogs) was mopping my floors with a mixture of 1gallon of water, 1 cup vinegar, a few tbs of baking soda, a 1 tbs of dish soap… when the floors dry the smell of vinegar is gone :).

  15. Anonymous says

    I have to say I will try this , Mrs. Meyers cleaning products used to make a pet cleaning powder with clary sage and this stuff worked unbelievably well, they no longer make it I keep after them to bring it back!!!! lol

  16. says

    DEAR LORD, I hope this works. I purchased doggie diapers for my 6 year old male pooch who pees on everything & everyone, including other dogs and people. Naughty pup is about to get a snoot full of spray. Gracias!

  17. KMB says

    I have two labs – yellow and black. Our black lab peed in the house once. Firmly told no, and he never did it again. Our yellow lab is what I refer to as “the housebreaking Everest.” I climbed that mountain though. Even if I lost a lot of hair in the process. Both our boys were neutered rather young. (make sure you check your state ln this area! Some vets don’t neuter before 6 months, some don’t neuter before 12 months!) I firmly believe it depends on the dog on how housebreaking goes. Our black lab can hold his pee all day if I let him, the yellow lab is a mess if he goes more than an hour some days.

    I really didn’t want to use the “treat everytime you pee” method for ours. Labs are notorious for extra weight gain! So first I started with our oven timer. I would set the oven timer for 2 hours and once it beeped, the dogs went out to pee. This took a few days to a week for them to get it. God love them, everytime I make cookies now they’re running to the back door every 8 minutes. My bad. We then increased to 3 hours. Finally I went and bought a set of bells and hung them on the back door. Everytime the yellow lab went outside I would hit the bells with my hand. Lo and behold he now will sit a the back door and smack those bells until I let him out. He will do it just to go outside and roll in the grass or pee – but at least he is no longer peeing in my house. I understand it seems like a lot, but I’ve found consistency is key. So even if you aren’t home all day with the dogs, as long as you do this all night before you go to bed they’ll get the hang of it! Hope this helps someone somewhere. 😉

    • Christine says

      yes it does, I have used it to clean the our bunny cage, but it takes a few sprays since rabbit urine is similar to cats

  18. sandra says

    how do you keep your sprayer from getting clogged. I think mine got clogged with the cayenne pepper! It won’t spray more than once!

  19. Cristal says

    This sounds great! I’m going to give it a try but I have an important question. I have a 2 and a half year old yorkie who is not potty trained and I regret not doing it sooner. She pees all over the carpets even when I have pads out for her. When i take her outside(which is not often, my fault I know!) I praise her and give her treats but still pees on carpet. I’m steam cleaning my carpets this Friday and was wondering when should I spray this solution? Vacuum first, steam, and use the spray? Or before the steam vacuum? And can I spray it all over the carpets? There’s such a foul and horrible odor of urine when you walk in and it’s disgusting. Now with winter coming up and the heater will be on it brings out the smell even more but I want to prevent it.

    • Christine says

      i would do it before you steam clean (the mouthwash and water mixture) let it sit, then steam clean, then do the other mixture to prevent him/her going the bathroom