Pets are energetic furballs that bring happiness into your household--until they destroy your expensive furniture or pee on that new carpet. You love them to bits, but it can drive you crazy when they do this unacceptable behavior.
Unfortunately, this is a "normal" occurrence in pet-loving homes, but it doesn't mean you can't do anything to stop it. According to US research (yes, there is research), 17% of all furniture claims result from pet damage, and 35% are caused by an animal biting, chewing, or eating a piece of furniture.
What is the reason behind your pet's naughty behavior, and how do you stop it?
Why do pets ruin your belongings?
According to PetHealthNetwork, there are two reasons why pets are destroying your stuff. First, it is normal for dogs or cats to chew on things. Puppies and kitties are just like babies when they are teething. They want something to relieve their pain, and sadly, it's your lovely couch that will "accidentally" be their chew toy. How about adult pets? Well--they just found your things to be a tasty-looking chew toy.
On the other hand, perhaps your beloved pet is stressed, bored, or anxious. Surprisingly, pets behave similarly to toddlers who have difficult moments figuring out how to deal with stress, boredom, or pent up energy.
Did you know that dogs' mental abilities are close to a human child aged 2 to 2.5 years? Yup and that is according to psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD., of the University of British Columbia. That's what he revealed when he was interviewed by Science Daily. Our pets are indeed our fur babies.
So, going back to our pets' chewing fest, they tend to do that to relieve the anxiety and stress they're feeling.
Types of pet's destructive behavior
PetMD shares the different types of destructive behavior of pets that will give you an idea as to why they are doing such actions:
- Primary destructive behavior = includes chewing on furniture legs or house plants when you are not around.
- Secondary destructive behavior = pets destroy your things in your presence to get your attention.
- Obsessive-compulsive related destruction = your furry companions spend excessive time chewing or licking on rugs or furniture whether you are around or not.
- Separation anxiety-related destruction = they destroy your items deliberately, like shoes or clothes when you are not around.
- Fear or phobia related destruction = your pet starts to pace, pant, shiver, or hide out of nowhere, and you are there to witness such odd behavior.
If they start destroying your windows, doors, or window frames, then you are dealing with something serious. This is aggression-related, or your pet is protecting its territory (your house). You are around to see this behavior.
How to prevent your pets from ruining your stuff?
Now, you are at wit's end on how to stop your pets from snacking on your favorite shoes or peeing on your freshly laundered duvet covers. Here's what you should do:
- Give your pet something to chew like a toy to divert their attention from your stuff.
- When your dog is about to pee inside the house, stop them by clapping loudly. Then encourage them gently to do their business outside by leading them out. Praise or treat them for a job well done.
- It's common knowledge that cats hate water. Keep a small spray bottle within your reach to spritz at your cat once when you see them scratching your couch or furniture legs. But don't let them know you're the one who did that to avoid holding grudges against you.
- Dogs and cats have an extraordinary sense of smell. Make your furniture or other items smell less enjoyable to your pet by coating it with a taste deterrent smell like citrus oil, lemon juice, or peppermint oil. But make sure it will not harm your pet's health.
- Cats have an unusual love affair with the corners of your chairs and couches. How to break them up? Put some double-sided tape strips to keep them away from it.
- Another scratching alternative is setting up a scratch post near the areas they love to scratch to discourage the habit.
- Before you go outside for work or do an errand, make sure to tire out your pet dog by playing with them or taking them for a walk.
- If nothing else works, it is better to take them to a vet to seek a professional's help.
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