Not all pet stains are created equal. There are several variables that factor into whether or not a specific pet stain can be removed from your carpet. Some of these variables you can control. Here is everything you never wanted to know about pet stains, but need to ask.

Your carpet is an acid dye receptor. What this means is that the manufacturers who make the carpet use acid dyes to “burn” the color into the carpet. Your pet has acid in its stomach. When it stains your carpet, it can also “burn” the stain into the carpet. Whether it does or not depend on a couple of things, one of which you can control, the other you cannot.

How much acid a dog burns into your carpet depends on how much acid is in the dogs digestive tract. As a general rule of thumb, smaller dogs have more acidic digestive systems than larger dogs. Also, high strung dogs have more acidic stomachs than laid back dogs.

So that little dog that goes yip, yip yip and is a bundle of energy – probably going to burn that pet stain into your carpet. That basset hound that just lays there looking up at you with that wrinkly forehead and then sighs as he drags himself up to go get a bite to eat? Not so much.

The one exception is puppies. Puppies have very little acid in their stomachs and any pet stains they make burn very slowly. By puppy I mean potty training age.

Cats can vary just like dogs, but a good rule of thumb is, if it’s a cat, it’s high strung. Most of the time, cats produce more acid than dogs. Stronger smell too.

That’s not to say your carpet is doomed if you have a small dog or a hyper dog or worse yet, a small, hyper dog and two cats. There’s one variable you can control: how much time the pet stain is allowed to burn into the carpet. The sooner you get it out, the more likely you won’t have a permanent stain. With a puppy, you have time to finish the potty training, but should get the stains out immediately afterwards.

Calling a carpet cleaner to come out right away can become expensive, however, if the animal(s) are constantly leaving pet stains. You can control that too, if you understand a few basic things about animal psychology.

First off, dogs HATE to go in the house once they’re potty trained. The only reason they do is because they’re just like you or me, they can only hold it so long, but unlike us, they can’t flush toilets or open doors or say, hey, I gotta go pee, let me out. If you don’t let them out, expect a mess.

Here’s the thing though. Once they pick a spot, that’s the spot they’ll probably go to if they have to do it again. Let that become their go to spot and after a while, that’s exactly what it will be, a little toilet area in your home. And that’s how the dog will think of that area. Once that happens, the dog will no longer get stressed about going in your house and now you have UNpotty trained your dog.

At that point you have to decide which is more expensive: new carpet or constant carpet cleaning bills. Or worse yet: The choice to get rid of the dog because you can’t let it out to do its thing outside often enough.

In any event, it’s a situation you can control if you understand you have to be aware of letting your dog out more often. You’d be surprised how many people don’t seem to grasp this seemingly obvious thing. After 15 years of cleaning carpets, I know.

Then there’s cats. People don’t train cats, cats train people. When a cat pees in the house, it’s mad at you and letting you know just how displeased it is. After I took my cat to be neutered, he peed on my shirts for three months. Try explaining to your cat that you won’t do that again.

The first thing you need to do to stop the cat from leaving a mess is, of course, make sure its kitty litter box stays clean or it can go outside whenever it wants to. Here’s a helpful tip: don’t change kitty litter brands. If your cat is being good and using the box and suddenly it starts making messes, 3 times out of 4 the owner tells me they changed kitty litter.

Who knew cats were so picky?

Moving upsets cats. Not a lot you can do about that, but what you can do is understand and prepare for the fact that once the cat leaves his Mark of Displeasure on your home, the cat intends that you leave it there. If you remove it, the cat will put it back. If time lessens the smell, the cat will reinforce.

Cats carry grudges.

The good news: the cat doesn’t really remember WHY it has a grudge after a while. Once the territory carries the Mark of Displeasure, the cat just instinctively reinforces that mark. This means once the carpet cleaner comes and gets rid of the stain and kills the bacteria that causes the smell, all you have to do is keep the cat out of that area for a couple months and it will have forgotten all about it.

Easier said that done sometimes, but the alternative is the cat keeps remarking the area or the cat goes away. That’s why it’s so important to identify what your Master, er, I mean cat, is upset about as quickly as possible and rectify the situation. The sooner the cat is happy again, the sooner it forgets what got it upset, the sooner you can reintroduce the cat to the area after its cleaned.

So there you are, more than you ever wanted to know about pets, but needed to ask. Hope you found this helpful.

Scott’s Dry Foam Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners.