Making Your Home Safe for Your Pets
The cat sharpens its claws on the new sofa and the dog nibbles on leather shoes while you are shopping. What can you do about it? Aside from hiring Your carpenter to build your home pet-friendly, these few simple tricks will help.
The drawers are scratched, and scraps of paper and chewed cables are scattered on the parquet. The evildoers look innocently at their mistress. Many pet owners know this situation: If you leave them alone for too long, cats and dogs like to let off steam at the facility. But who has time to spend 24 hours a day with their pet – after all, you have to go to work, to shop, on dates. How do you make your home pet safe?
First aid against claws and teeth
Training your pet to adopt new habits takes a long time. But if your apartment looks like a battlefield, you need a quick solution.
The less lying around openly in your apartment, the better: small stuff comes in drawers, clothes in cupboards, and dishes should not remain on the kitchen table. Hide sources of danger such as medicines, cleaning agents, or poisonous plants. Cables can be protected by a sturdy hose, and chair legs by a foul-tasting anti-nibbling spray. If your cat prefers to pee behind the sofa, lay out aluminum foil there – cats avoid unfamiliar surfaces.
Swap the USB cable for a chewing bone, and the sofa set for a scratching post. Initially, your pet may disdain the new toy. Often, however, it can be lured with a reward. For cats, it also helps to rub the scratching post with a little catnip.
Create a retreat
Keep the doors to certain rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom closed while the pet is alone. Then at least the toilet paper is safe from the cat. If your house or apartment is big enough, a dog room is worthwhile. It should be quiet, preferably without a window to the street.
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Here’s how to fathom the symptoms.
Why is your pet destroying the apartment?
With a small camera, you can observe when your pet starts to romp: as soon as you leave the front door or only after a while? Does your dog wait longingly in front of the door, does your cat scratch the window?
These observations will help you fathom and change the reason for your pet’s behavior. Two cases are typical:
First, your pet is bored.
Sometimes the answer is quite simple: your cat scratches the table legs because it is not challenged. Your dog chews the cables because he has nothing else to do. If your pet has to occupy itself all day, it may be that it is looking for employment on your furniture.
Intelligence toys keep your dog or cat busy while you’re away – there’s plenty to choose from. But above all, make sure that your pet can burn off energy during your time together. Play together, do sports together. (Our personality test will tell you which training suits you and your dog.) It is best to deal intensively with your pet before and after you leave it alone.
Second, your pet is lonely.
They are his best friend. And your pet doesn’t understand that his best friend disappears for hours every day. It feels alone, abandoned, and afraid of having been rejected. Often animals destroy out of separation pain. Especially dogs – they are pack animals. Being alone is not in their nature.
How long can a dog stay alone in the apartment? The experts argue about this. The recommendations are between four and eight hours. The answer depends strongly on the individual animal and its environment: How old is the dog, how sensitive, and how much exercise does it have? Young dogs, for example, should stay alone for a maximum of two hours.
Animals that have had a bad experience with loneliness, for example, because they have been abandoned, are particularly affectionate. If your dog does not leave you alone for a second, even follows you to the bathroom, then you have to get him used to the separation in very small steps. Practice with him by leaving the room again and again for one or two minutes and slowly increasing the duration.
Cats can also suffer from separation. No matter what the clichés say, your cat loves you. She wants to spend time with you. This was shown by a 2019 study: cats show a similar connection to their owners as toddlers to their parents.
In case of severe separation pain, it is advisable to get an expert for help. Ask a veterinarian or trainer how you can gently accustom your pet to the separation.