Pets are undoubtedly a much-loved part of the family, but our furry friends can also cause damage to your home.
Well, don’t panic! You can reduce the home damage that your fur babies cause by following these simple tips.
1. Crate-Train Your Dog
Many dogs, especially young ones, get anxious when separated from their owners. The security and safety of a crate can help your dog settle for the day while you’re out at work or at night when you go to bed.
We recommend that you crate train your dog when he’s a puppy. Use positive reinforcement training methods and never use the crate as a punishment.
2. Provide Cat Scratching Posts
It may be possible to let your cat go outside for some of the time, depending on where you live.
However, cats that are left home alone may start scratching your furniture and carpets, with disastrous results!
Cats scratch to mark their territory, to keep their claws in good order, and as a form of exercise – think feline pilates!
The marks left by scratching are a visible signature for other cats to view. Also, your cat secretes a hormonal “scent” from her paws that only other cats can detect.
So, provide your cat with a scratching post and/or a scratching mat and train her to use it by dressing the scratching post with a vet-approved pheromone anti-scratch spray.
That will encourage your kitty to only mark her territory in the designated area, i.e., on the scratching post rather than your brand-new leather sofa!
There are several kinds of scratching posts, including corrugated cardboard, sisal, and carpet. You may have to try different options until you find one that your cat likes and uses.
3. Protect Your Furniture
If all else fails, and your cat persists in scratching your sofa, invest in a set of plastic pet-scratch furniture guards.
You fix these inexpensive shields to the corners of leather and upholstered furniture, effectively preventing your cat from damaging the fabric.
4. Trim Your Pet’s Nails
Dog’s nails can damage furniture and flooring. So, invest in a set of good quality clippers and trim your dog’s nails regularly.
If you’re not confident in doing that, ask your local groomer or vet nurse to do the job for you.
5. Provide Toys and Distractions
Boredom is a major cause of home damage by pets. All pets, even seniors, need something to keep them interested and distracted when you’re not there.
There are dozens of solo-play toys and games that are designed for dogs and cats, some of which are treat-oriented, which are always popular with pets!
So, take a trip to your local pet store and invest in some boredom-breakers for your furry family.
Dogs and cats need exercise to keep them relaxed and calm, which can help to prevent chewing and other destructive behaviors.
In the morning, before you go to work or head out for the day, leaving your dog at home, take your pup for a long walk, or enjoy a game of fetch in your backyard.
Cats love to play, too, and interactive toys can be a great way of encouraging your kitty to burn off excess energy that can lead them into mischief when you’re not around.
7. Fish Tanks and Water Damage
When choosing a fish tank for newbies to the hobby, be sure to pick one that has a purpose-built stand that’s designed to fit the tank.
A fish tank full of water is a heavy item, and misplacing one can cause a lot of damage if an accident happens.
Household furniture is not generally suitable for use as a stand for an aquarium, as the materials used to make regular household tables and cabinets are usually not strong enough to bear the weight of a tank and its contents.
If the surface on which the tank is standing bows or splits, the tank sealant might split, or the tank could crack, causing water to leak out everywhere.
Always place your fish tank and its stand on a flat, stable surface. We recommend that you use a spirit level to ensure that the aquarium is standing squarely and not tilting.
Finally, don’t put your fish tank too close to a doorway where it could be knocked by the door opening or bumped into by children and pets running past.
8. Provide Plenty of Litter Boxes
Cats are usually clean creatures, and they will happily use a litter box. However, you must keep the box clean, or the cat might not use it.
The best way to do that is by scooping the box at least once a day. And if you have more than one cat, you’ll need to provide them with one litter box each.
To prevent bullying, put the litter boxes in different places around your house. Ideally, the kitty loo should be hidden away; like most of us, cats appreciate privacy and peace when they use the bathroom!
If your cat stops using the box and relieves herself elsewhere but the box is clean, there’s clearly a problem. Kitty might have an infection of some kind and needs a trip to the vet to be checked over.
If your cat is given a clean bill of health, she might have a problem with the kind of cat litter you use. There are several different types of litter to choose from, and some cats are fussy about that.
For example, some object to heavily scented litter, while others hate wooden pellets. Try changing the cat litter or scattering a handful of soil over the top of it.
Often, rescued strays simply don’t understand the concept of cat litter, but they will dig a toilet in soil.
Once the penny has dropped, you should be able to dispense with the soil, and your cat will use the litter on its own.
Also, litter boxes come in different designs, and your cat might not appreciate having to use a box that has an entry flap or a lid. So, try removing the flap or taking the top off a covered box.
9. Use Enzymatic Cleaners
If your dog or cat has an accident and relieves themselves on your carpets, it can be tough to get rid of the odor. Even worse, your pet will most likely keep returning to the spot.
To eradicate the smell, use an enzymatic cleaner. These products contain bacteria that feed on the ammonia and organic matter that urine and vomit contain, effectively shifting the odor and stains for good.
Once the smell has gone, your pet will not be motivated to use that spot as a toileting site.
Pet damage can wreak havoc in your home, wrecking your carpets, furniture, floors, and even your skirtings, doors, and walls.
Use the simple tips in this guide to prevent and reduce the damage that your beloved furry friends can cause and restore peace and harmony in your home.