…pet habits, that is. As much as we love our furry children, some of their behavior is not so lovable. Here are some common habits that make pet parents everywhere want to yank their hair out by the fistful, and ways to stop them.
When it’s dinnertime and your puppy or kitten gets a whiff of that delicious meal you’re getting ready to tear into, they might park themselves right by your feet, wearing the most adorable expressions on their faces. However, if you reward their begging with food, it will happen again, and again…and again. An alternative to letting begging get you down is to put your pet’s food out around the same time you’re eating. This way, they’ll be too preoccupied with their own spread to beg for a bite of yours.
2. Marking Indoors
Dogs and cats pee inside to mark their territory. This is especially a concern when you introduce an additional cat/dog to your household, which your first pet may see as a threat until they get to know one another. Leaving the area untreated will encourage continued marking, so be sure to use an enzymatic cleaner that will completely eliminate the odor. And if you catch your pet in the act, stop them right away (of course) and express your unhappiness at what they’re doing.
3. Chewing (Dogs)
Dogs (and some cats) love to chew. For dogs, it’s usually shoes, sticks, and furniture. Curbing this particular behavior can be as easy as replacing the thing they’re chewing with a more appropriate item, like a toy or a treat designed to clean their teeth as they chew (e.g. Greenies, Dentastix, etc.) and praising their choice of appropriate item to chew from then on.
4. Scratching (Cats)
Everyone probably has that image of a cat riding down a curtain with their claws out, shredding the fabric on the way down, etched into their brains. If cats (like dogs) don’t have a fixed object of destruction, they’ll find the next best thing. Make sure your kitties have a scratching post (or two), some cardboard, or even a cat tower if you can nab one. They and their claws will appreciate it — and so will you and your furniture.
Some dogs can be very excitable and will jump on a person (familiar or unfamiliar) to lick their face and get attention. The alternative to pushing them off of you is to turn your back while firmly saying “no.” According to WebMD, “Even eye contact is a reward. Just keep walking, look straight ahead, and don’t touch them.” It will likely be difficult not to engage with your fur-baby when they are so excited to see you, but it might help to imagine the goal, which is you walking through the door and your dog showing that they’re happy to see you without knocking you to the ground.
These are just a few of those sometimes annoying habits our pets have. What are some of the habits you wish your pet would quit? What ways of curbing bad habits have worked for you?
By Gianni Washington
Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and cat and dog grooming and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away. Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation or to set up a grooming appointment 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.