Inviting a pet into your home can be a richly rewarding experience. Unfortunately, it can also spell disaster for shoes, rugs, furniture and even for electrical equipment – and that all comes with a risk to your pet!
Today we’re taking a look at some of the damage pets can do in your home, and what you can do to limit the risk – both to your furniture and to your pet’s health.
One thing pet dogs are known for is chewing. Some owners find shoes disappearing at an alarming rate, others have sofas that bear the brunt of the damage. If your dog focusses their instinct to chew on the wrong thing, they could end up with splinters in their gums or ingesting a toxic substance. Even in the best case scenario, you might find yourself having to do extra clean up because your dog has made themself sick. In the worst case you find yourself making a dash for the emergency vet in the middle of the night.
While you can try and keep chewable objects out of a pet’s reach or discourage them by spraying unpleasantly flavoured products onto them, the best way to tackle the chewing problem is by recognising where it comes from: it’s often a training issue or a way of relieving anxiety. Going back to basics and ensuring your pet is distracted away from the furniture and onto acceptable chew toys, or trained to feel more secure when they’re left alone will save more carpets than a taste deterrent.
It’s also worth ensuring you have the right cleaning products in the house: whether it’s from chewing household objects, scavenging questionable food on walks or a myriad of other reasons (you might even find yourself wondering ‘can dogs get diarrhea from heat?’ – and the answer is yes!). An enzyme based cleaner can help remove smells and odours without the added risk of bleach cleaners on surfaces your dog can reach.
Wires and Cables
A subset of the chewing problem (and one that even smaller pets can cause havoc with) is attacking electric cables around your home. To some pets they resemble treats, toys or prey, to others they simply have an intriguing texture, but whatever the reason, a pet chewing on a cable could result in serious injuries for the pet and expensive breakages for you to take care of.
At least until you’ve been able to find out if your pet is a chewer or not it’s wise to keep your wires disguised, obscured or out of harm’s way with tubing and brackets. Running wiring up walls and around doorways keeps it out of your pet’s way and reduces trip hazards for the humans in your home.
One issue cat owners will be familiar with is the exercise of claws. Whether it’s the shredding of your new sofa or digging those claws into your carpets, a cat’s capacity for destruction (while remaining adorable) is remarkable.
It’s hard to keep a cat from scratching something it really wants to scratch, and you might have to use multiple tactics. You can try stocking up on more acceptable scratching toys, including pads and posts, and trying to direct your cat’s attention to them instead. You can directly stop your cat scratching when you notice them doing it (either with a loud noise, a hiss or by gently detaching them), and you can tastes and smells cats don’t like on the areas they’re doing the most damage to deter them.