Many people can’t imagine life without their pets, but there’s no doubt that a dog or cat can wreak havoc inside a home. By understanding your pet’s needs and providing the right training, you can protect your furniture and avoid dirt and stress.
Set ground rules and be consistent
Ideally, as soon as you bring the dog or cat home, you’ll start setting ground rules. If you instill the behaviors you want in the first few days, you won’t have to struggle to break bad habits later.
It is important to be consistent to avoid confusing your pet. Make sure everyone in the family is on the same page.
Use praise and positive reinforcement.
When training your pet, reward the desired behavior and redirect the animal when it does something you don’t like. Yelling and punishment can scare a pet, but they can be ineffective training strategies.
Teach your pet where it is and isn’t allowed.
If you don’t want your cat or dog to sleep on the couch or in someone’s bed, provide the animal with its own place to sleep, such as a pet bed or crate. Whenever the animal goes somewhere you don’t want it to go, send it to your place.
Cover the furniture.
Slipcovers can be an easy and effective way to protect your furniture from possible pet damage. Look for a cover that is machine washable. If your pet leaves hair on the couch, you’ll be able to easily toss the cover in the washing machine. Another option is to throw a blanket or throw over the furniture.
Groom your pets
If you allow your pet to sleep on furniture, you will need to brush the animal regularly and either trim its nails yourself or take it to a professional groomer. If your pet goes outside, clean its paws when it comes in so it doesn’t get dirty on your furniture and floors.
Understand your pet’s normal behavior.
Chewing is normal for dogs, and scratching is normal for cats. Provide chew toys or scratching posts. If you catch your pet chewing or scratching the furniture, redirect it.
Encourage your pets. play
Animals need exercise to release energy to thrive. A pet that doesn’t get enough physical activity can become restless and anxious, and will be more likely to chew or scratch furniture. Take your dog for a daily walk or to the dog park, play with your cat and make sure your pet has toys to keep him entertained when you’re not home.