How to Prevent Pet-Related Home Damage

If you’re a pet owner, you probably consider your four-legged friend to be a part of the family. Life wouldn’t be the same without them, and you’d feel an emptiness in your house without their presence.


Unfortunately, no matter how much you love your pet, they can cause damage to your home. It’s not uncommon for pets to be destructive when they’re bored, anxious, or even just because they don’t know any better and they’re giving in to their instincts. Pets are notorious for scratching, clawing, and chewing, and they don’t realize that destroying your expensive furniture and decor is problematic.


While many of those issues will mellow out with age, there are things you can do at any point in your pet’s life to help prevent home damage.


With that in mind, let’s look at some helpful tips you can put into practice. They’re especially useful if you have a new puppy or kitten at home, but it’s never too late to teach an old dog new “tricks,” or in this case, better behaviors that will keep your home in one piece. 

Design a Designated Room

Cats and dogs are considered den animals and most enjoy having a secure place to go that allows them to feel safe and comfortable. However, many pet owners give their animals full reign of the house, even when they’re not home.


That might be okay for some animals, but if your furry friend is destroying your furniture, carpet, or woodwork, it’s time to consider a designated pet room.


You don’t have to completely block off one room in your house. Consider using a large closet or sectioning off an area of your kitchen or den for your pet to safely explore and find comfort throughout the day.


The most important thing is that you design a space with your pet in mind. It should have all of its essentials, including


  • Food
  • Toys
  • Water
  • A comfortable bed
  • Dog/cat-friendly furniture


You can even go all out with pet-themed decor. However you decide to design this specific area, know that you’re providing a calming environment for your pet. That alone can make them less likely to destroy things, especially if they tend to struggle with anxiety-like behaviors. You’ll also feel better knowing that even if they are anxious when they’re by themselves, they won’t be able to run around the entire house destroying things while you’re gone.

Keep Them Busy

When humans get bored, it’s easy to binge-watch a TV show, pick up a book, or even call up a friend to meet for coffee. Animals don’t have those luxuries. Yet, they can still get bored just as easily as we do.


Unfortunately, when pets get bored, they’ll still look for ways to entertain themselves, and that can often lead to the destruction of things like pillows, furniture, drywall, or even carpet. It might be fun for them, but coming home to that kind of mess can feel like a nightmare for you!

The solution? Keep them busy!


When you’re home, the easiest way to keep your pet occupied is to play with them or go on a walk together. However, if you’re at work during the day and that’s when your dog or cat is the most destructive, it’s important to find ways to keep them busy without having to monitor them every second. Some easy ideas that can offer you peace of mind include


  • Leaving a television on for them to watch
  • Giving them specific areas to look out the window
  • Setting up a scavenger hunt with treats
  • Giving them a puzzle


Dogs, especially, need to be mentally stimulated throughout the day so they don’t get bored. Consider some of the things they like to do when you’re around and think about how you can implement those activities into their day even if you’re away from home.

A Tired Pet is a Well-Behaved Pet

It’s not uncommon for pets to be destructive because they have a lot of energy to burn. Dogs, especially, need a lot of exercise each day, depending on the breed. If they aren’t getting the physical and mental stimulation they need to feel tired out, they’ll look for other ways to burn off that energy, and it might come at the expense of your home design and decor.


If possible, exercise your pet first thing in the morning. Go for a walk or run around the neighborhood with them before you leave for work. If possible, come home on your lunch break and do the same thing.


If you’re not able to wear your pet out during the day, consider hiring a pet sitter or taking them to a “doggy daycare” where they’ll be able to run around and play all day. If you decide to hire a sitter or dog walker, make sure they’re aware of safe places to take your pet, including any risks they might face in your own backyard. Not all plants are safe for pets, and some can even be toxic. Making sure your dog walker or sitter is well aware of what your pet should and shouldn’t sniff will keep them safe.


People say it takes a village to raise a child, but the same could be said about a pet. Reaching out for help if you have a destructive animal will make a big difference in your stress levels, and can help to keep your home in one piece.


It’s not uncommon for pet sitters or dog walkers to have training experience. Consider hiring someone who will also be willing to work with your furry friend to stop their destructive behaviors and rechannel those habits by providing more positive outlets.


Having a pet doesn’t mean your home has to get destroyed. Keep these ideas in mind and try some of them out if you’re experiencing chewing, scratching, or other destructive behavior from your four-legged companion. The sooner you put these preventative practices in place, the more comfortable you’ll be with leaving your pet alone at home.


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