Pet-Proofing Your Home

By Megan Segura – November 2, 2011

Keep Your Furniture & Floors Looking Like New

I happen to be quite the pet lover.  Although I won’t be appearing on Animal Hoarders anytime soon, I have a hard time saying no to any cat or dog that is in need of a home.  Full disclosure: I recently even brought an injured baby rat home…

All of this pet friendliness may ensure good Karma, but it tends to wreak expensive havoc on my home if I’m not careful.  It seems there are two ways to keep your furniture from looking like it belongs at the dump: discipline or prevention.  Since I’m a big softy when it comes to cute and cuddly creatures, I researched some tips to keep paws and teeth off the furniture!

Cat Scratch Fever

I learned pretty early on how important it is for cats to keep their claws, so declawing has never been a consideration for me. I certainly can see why it’s so tempting, though.  In the past, my cats have scratched and shredded everything from my sofa and hardwood floors to the big suitcase in my closet.

Instead of stopping a cat from scratching (which is nearly impossible), redirect the behavior.  If the sight of those typical cat posts has you running for the hills, try a cat scratcher that is designed to look like wall décor – why didn’t we think of this? Square Cat Habitat sells their version starting at just $30!

If your cat still prefers to sink its claws into your furniture, try placing double-sided tape onto the areas your cat scratches. Felines hate the feeling of something sticky on their paws, and soon enough, they will equate the sensation with your furniture and move on.

Bad Chewing Habits

If you have a puppy on your hands, chances are they have starting teething on your fine leather sofa or shoes.  In this case, it is extremely important to keep clutter behind closed doors. Shoes, purses, clothes and kids’ toys should not be left on the ground.  Screaming “No!” can only do so much, and a determined dog won’t be able to resist the taste and feel of chewing your belongings.

And if you keep your dog behind a gate, make sure the room he is corralled in is free of any plants and exposed electrical wires. Not only can both end up costing you a lot of money, they can cost your pet the most valuable thing of all – his health!

Before you run out and spend a fortune on the “cutest” chew toys around, take a moment to note what textures or materials your pup seems to most like chew!  This will save you oodles of dough – no matter how adorable Little Lamby is, Rover just may not be interested unless there is something similar to shoe leather involved…

Michelle Rivera, owner of Chateau Marmutt, a Los Angeles dog daycare and grooming facility, says many dogs can be steered away from your furniture with a good bone. This doesn’t mean you should throw your dog old steak bones, as these can be a serious choking hazard. Instead, Michelle suggests asking a pet store employee to help you pick out a dog bone that has been popular with past customers. Bully Sticks are a great option, since they’re made from natural rawhide.

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3 Responses to “Pet-Proofing Your Home”

  1. Tiny Lee says:

    A pet gate is a great investment for containing your dog and “pet-proofing your home”. I agree the room that the dog is contained in needs to be secure of any harmful items. I use walk through pressure mount gates and love them.

  2. Jane says:

    Great tips!!!…thanks!

  3. Louie says:

    large Cat Cages are an alternative for when you’re not home and kitty is at play. Puppies are a different thing altogether. Chewing behavior is normally relegated to Pups who are still teething. The pet gate thing works and is the recommended way of confining your pup while he’s going thru this life growth period. Older dogs already know what to chew on if trained properly and given proper chew toys to satisfy their urges.

Any Thoughts?