Ever heard the phrase “(Someone or something) pees like a Cocker Spaniel”? I think it’s one of the most aptly coined expressions today. Over the course of my childhood and teenage years we cared for a string of Cocker Spaniels. I’m not sure if each one peed progressively more than the previous one or if I just got a bigger share of the pee cleaning responsibilities as I got older.

photoI do know that it was especially bad during the Minnesota summers when an ordinary August day would be 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 90 percent humidity. The smell was overwhelming, and if I didn’t clean up well enough it would be too embarrassing to have friends over.

After much trial and error and years of experience, I can say I’m now in a position to give advice on how to deal with dog urine. (Hooray.) Here are my top tips:

* Put dogs out often, especially puppies. I know it can be tedious but you will save plenty of time and effort. Remember, every time a puppy eats, sleeps or plays he’s going to have to relieve himself. Also give your pet loads of praise when he does his business in the right place.

* If you can’t watch your dog, keep him on hard floors. For many owners, this means confining their pet in the foyer or kitchen with a baby gate. Also leave some Wee-Wee Pads with the dog. These are small absorbent mats made with an attractant that canines like to pee on.

* For those times when you can smell it but can’t see it, use a black light to find the urine. Many pet stores and online vendors sell handheld black lights for this purpose. Just turn off the lights and look for the bright glow of urine. After all, it’s much more difficult to clean dog urine if you can’t find it.

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