HELP! My Pet is Eating My House
We've all been there, or know someone who has... It may have only been a 30-minute trip to the grocery store, or possibly a day on the job... Regardless, you probably know someone who has come home to a very expensive mess, with only one culprit.
To find an answer, let's first ask the question, "Why is my pet destructive?" There are a few reasons your pet might resort to destructive behavior, from a medical condition to inherited traits of territoriality, but this blog will focus on the top 2: boredom and lack of exercise.
So you know the question and have the answer, but why is your dog still chewing up door casings while your cat shreds the couch? They have every toy on the aisle and you take them for daily walks. They might just have the wrong type of toys and require a different type of exercise! Here are a few things to consider that might help curb your pet's destructive behavior.
Puzzle Toys. I don't know about you, but I can spin a Rubik's Cube for hours. There are dozens of pet puzzles designed to keep your pet clawing, biting and fidgeting with THE TOY, instead of your belongings. To keep your pet engaged, a treat is locked in the puzzle waiting for your clever cat or canine to crack the code.
KONG Toys. We typically don't push specific products, but these toys have stolen our hearts. They're designed with an almost indestructible rubberized shell and a hollow center... PERFECT for your pet's treat of choice. While some dogs and cats prefer peanut butter or kibble, others may spend the better portion of the day cleaning canned pumpkin from inside the KONG.
Visual Stimulation. Dogs and cats are pretty similar to us when it comes to becoming restless during periods of inactivity. Just put yourself in your pet's paws, and ask yourself how entertained you would be if you had to sit in the living room for 8 hours with nothing to do. I personally ended up chewing a hole in the couch and my dentist was NOT amused. The cost of running an LED TV might be significantly lower than the amount of money it would take to replace doors, walls, furniture, and everything else that your pet might take their frustration out on while you're away.... Or, you could consider a fish tank. Either way, your pet would appreciate looking at something other than that... tasty... looking... armiore.
Other things. Your dog or cat might just need to run off a little more steam than what your schedule will allow. If you're not a runner, but have a friend who takes morning or evening jogs, they might enjoy running with Rufus which could save you hundreds in repairs.
Your pet could just be lonely. It might not be the best time to introduce another pet to your living situation for a variety of reasons, but if you've got your hands full with a destructive pet, you might consider getting him or her a buddy. It all circles back to the the possibility that they might just love you a little too much. If you are able to get your pet thinking about other things, besides YOU, then you could delay a home renovation expense you never planned on. As previously mentioned, it could also be a medical condition that can be treated through your veterinarian, so before you do anything drastic, please talk with your vet about your pet's behavior.