If you’ve just got a new pet, and you’re ready to make your home their home too, you might just be a little worried about how much damage they’re going to do to their surroundings. From ripped sofa cushions to scratches on the dining table leg to leaving steaming piles in hidden corners… all pets can cause a real mess when they first move in! However, you’ve got a strong chance right now to ensure these maladaptive behaviors don’t stick around for long. Here are some tips that’ll help you get your new pet settled in without much trouble.
Play with Them – a Lot!
Most pets cause mischief because of excess energy and/or they’re a bit bored. Often the two go hand in hand, and it’s at these moments when they start destroying things or knocking them off shelves. Cats and dogs alike, and even rats, birds, and rabbits, will all start to chew on and scratch things when they just need something to do.
So play with them, for at least an hour every day. Make sure each playtime ends positively, such as with your cat catching a toy or with a small treat for your dog, and try to play for around 15 minutes at a time.
Have a Strong Training Regime
Of course, training your pet is the best way to ensure they keep bad habits to a minimum. And sure, some animals can be harder to train than others, but even cats can take instruction when they’re rewarded well enough! But most of all, if you’re bringing a dog home (and whether they’re a sweet elder or a rambunctious puppy), you can train them.
If you’re not sure where to start, get online and look up some schools like All Dogs Unleashed or some tutorials on Youtube. Soak in a few obedience rules and then consistently train your dog to respond to them.
Cover Your Soft Furnishings
You can buy pet covers for beds, tables, and sofas, and even clear plastic, rigid covers that will stop even the sharpest claws from getting stuck in the fabric. And while this might not stop them from chewing on your cushions, remember that those are easily replaceable – something bigger like a three piece living room set isn’t!
Always Eliminate a Health Cause
If you’ve already brought your pet home and it’s been a few weeks, a sudden change in their behavior could mean they’re not feeling well. Get them to the vet to eliminate this possibility as soon as possible. If they’ve got a stomach bug or their gums are sore or they’ve maybe got flea or worm troubles, it’s better to know now when you can do something before it gets too bad. Even an itch in an awkward place could be the source of destructiveness!
A new pet might need some time to test their boundaries, but if you’re firm with training and protect your furniture, they won’t damage things much longer.
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