How to Potty Train a Puppy Using Vinegar Water

By Adrienne Warber


Potty training a puppy with vinegar water can make training more effective. After your puppy has an accident in the house, he may return to the same spot to potty. Even if you clean the spot with regular soap, the dog may still smell his scent unless you also neutralize the odor. White vinegar is a chemical-free way to disinfect and neutralize the odor of urine and feces. Use a mixture of vinegar and water to house train your puppy.
Jack Russell Terrier puppy

Step 1

Prepare a mixture of 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent water. Stir the ingredients to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle. Keep the bottle on hand during training.

Step 2

Spray the vinegar mixture lightly on carpeted areas in your house. Only spray a light mist on the carpet. Do not soak it or apply as much as needed during a cleanup. The vinegar odor acts as a deterrent to help prevent the puppy from urinating and defecating on the carpet.

Step 3

Allow the puppy to sniff the vinegar scent. Gently place her nose on an area sprayed with vinegar water. Do not rub her nose in it, because that will scare her.

Step 4

Take your puppy outside to potty frequently during the day to prevent accidents. Puppies have small bladders and may need to go out as many as six to eight times a day during training. Give the puppy an opportunity to potty outside after waking, before bed and after drinking water or eating food.

Step 5

Present the puppy with a dog treat after he potties outside and whenever he avoids making messes in the house. Rewards provide positive reinforcement.

Step 6

Clean up any household pet messes immediately. Use a cleaning cloth to soak up excess urine. Pick up feces with a paper towel, and throw it away. Spray the affected area with a generous amount of the vinegar water mixture until it is saturated. Scrub the mess clean with a fresh cleaning cloth. The vinegar will both disinfect the area and neutralize the odor.

Step 7

Soak a cleaning cloth with the vinegar mixture, and allow it to sit on tough spots for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, rub the debris away with the cloth.

Step 8

Dry the area with a towel. The towel will completely dry hard surfaces, such as linoleum, tile or wood. However, carpet needs to dry overnight. Avoid walking on the spot until it is completely dry. You can also use a blow dryer to speed up drying.
Comments (26)
Aug 8, 2009 puppy-luver1973
I am getting a puppy or a dog from the dog kennels for my birthday so this how to train your dog or puppy with vinegar water is a good idea thank you :-) fr om puppy-luver1973
Aug 12, 2009 puppy-luver1973
it works my friend got a new dog and i told her about this and it worked
Sep 1, 2009 normanddupre
it's not white vinegar, it is applecider vinegar, white vinegar leaves a sour smell worse than puppy pee and will take the finish off your floor.
Dec 18, 2009 snowy and me
ppl can i do the same for a grown up dog???
Jan 4, 2010 cubbie1998
can it work for a grown dog????
Jan 10, 2010 nicci marie
i just read this article.i can't wait to get started,i just gotten a miniture dachshund who just turned five mounths old,i have owned him(leon)now for four weeks,i must say the potty trianing has been terrible,i hope this also works on fellow pets bedding,leon is not bashful.thank you i hpoe this works.
Feb 20, 2010 Spencer110
This has good info in it for any dog owner who's dog has an accident. It's gotta be a lot cheaper than the stuff I use now! I'm going to have our rug cleaned soon and I will definately spray it with vinegar water.
Mar 11, 2010 MarieG
Vinegar will mask the odor, more than eliminate it. An enzyme-based deodorizer, available in most pet stores will work better. A bit more expensive, but work it. The spraying of the vinegar may deter the dog from the area at first. But, if the urine has soaked into the carpet pad, which is likely, the pheromone odors will remain, making it an area he will want to urinate on again.
Jun 6, 2010 bettyb
Using white vinegar doesn't work. I mop my linoleum in white vinegar on a regular basis and it doesn't deter my little "angel" from going to his normal spot to pee or poo. I haven't tried the cider vinegar yet but will and see if this works.
Jun 6, 2010 byerscashmere
i, am going to try this idea, it sounds like it wold work thank you.
Jul 11, 2010 johnnygano
will cider vinegar water tke the finish off a wood floor? I used a commercial pet spray and noticed it hurt the finish.
Jul 20, 2010 BAICH
We started using white vinegar after learning it helps with ferret urine (we have two). Figured if it works with the strong scent of ferret urine, it should work well for dogs. Anyway, we've never diluted it - used it straight from the bottle. It's been about 2 yrs and with the addition of another puppy... so far so good.
Jul 31, 2010 cindychuke
My Little Buster is 8 weeks old and I have always used white vinegar and water on my other dogs so I have been doing it with Buster also..He is doing very good at such a young age.
Oct 2, 2010 1998
love the first picture
Oct 18, 2010 oh_hott_damm
this is the best advice thank you so much my puppy is doin great :D
Jan 4, 2011 abbysmom1
I have been using this with my 4 mo old Aussie and so far shes doing great
Jan 5, 2011 cutiepants26
We've been doing this for Saffy...... well now whenever she sees that vinegar spray bottle she goes CRAZY!!! Like absolutely attacks and barks at the bottle.... but other than that she's doing great so far. Occasionally accidents happen since we forget to take her out, but she's doing great. :)
Jul 1, 2011 dogfence
Wow who what have ever though vinegar could be used to train!
Apr 9, 2012 azul
Can vinegar works outside as well? I have several areas in my yard where i don't want my puppy to use as her spot to pee. My 11weeks labrador is being potty train by taking her to the yard to the same spot over and over. Does vinegar works on older dogs?
Jun 29, 2012 alkibeachseattlegirl
i'd imagine it would work on dirt or pavement, until rain washes it away. keep in mind however, that vinegar used on plants, will kill them. it works great on unwanted weeds, but will kill your flowers and grass, so be careful. i'm training a stubborn but sweet, 4 month old bloodhound/redbone hound female, and i'm going to try the vinegar "mist". thanks!
Jul 17, 2012 GIRISH
i have a lab 4 months old...i have tried taking him out for potty after his meals..but he doesnot do his business outside....the moment we are back ..he does it in the house...pls suggest
Aug 19, 2012 RaindropUK
I have housed trained my puppy by leaving the back door open so she can go potty whenever she wanted for a week. Every time she had an accident I would call her or carry her to the spot and point at it and say in a firm voice BAD GIRL ! and take her straight outside. I praised her whenever she did it outside too. The only time I had used a spray of water with just a tiny bit of vinegar diluted in it was to train her not to nip hard or jump on the sofa. I had a bucket and mop ready in the kitchen for any mess too, water-bleach-washing-up liquid mix. It seemed to work. She has stopped weeing in the house after 2 days of this with leaving the back door opened for direct access to garden for a week or so.
Jan 9, 2013 regina.simpsoncorp
How often do you spray the carpets with the mixture and how long does it take for smell to go away once you do spray the carpets
Mar 17, 2014 cgibbysons
Hello! How long is it taking for these puppies to stop using the area treated? I am not sure if I am not cleaning enough or what but my little guy keeps going back to the same spot... I have treated it 10 times now, about 6 days in a row and I'm stumped! It doesn't work on my hardwood either because not enough residue is left behind.. does anyone let it dry on the surface instead of wiping up? Thank you!
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