Five Things You Can Do To Reduce Pet-Related Home Damage

With nearly 70% of U.S. households owning a pet, living with an animal is a common (and rewarding) experience for most of us. And while we of course love our furry companions, they have been known to cause headaches for their owners from time to time. Apart from the veterinary bills, potty training, and other expenses and chores associated with pet ownership, pet-related home damage can be a cause for concern.

Whether you rent or own your home, destruction caused by dogs or cats can be costly and time consuming to fix. For those under lease agreements, there could also be additional expenses should the landlord or management company need to make repairs as a result of damage caused by your pet. No one wants their animal to be the one wreaking havoc. While professionally training your pet is an important step, there are also easy solutions to prevent damage from occurring in the first place.

Tenants renting with pets

Here are five of the best ways to reduce pet-related property damage and ensure you and your four-legged companion are living safely and happily at home.

1. A Crated Pet Is a Safe Pet

There’s a misconception that crates are not humane ways to house dogs at home. As long as the dog can comfortably stand and move about in the crate, they are perfectly harmless. They can also be a great potty-training tool for puppies by helping them understand the difference between inside/outside and where and when it is appropriate to eliminate.

Dogs that are crated early on also associate the crate with a safe space where they can retreat while you are away or if the house is too rowdy. And, of course, a locked crate ensures that your dog won’t fulfill a desire to cause any destruction inside the home while they are left unattended. 

2. Make Your Home Scratch-Resistant

Cats are genetically engineered to scratch. It helps them to sharpen their claws and provides a form of exercise if they’re stuck inside all day. The key is to ensure that your cats are scratching the right things in the home (hint: not your bedframe or coffee table). 

Once you bring your cat home for the first time, ensure there’s a scratching post and/or pad nearby. Some cats will prefer the standing post, while others will be more drawn toward a cardboard pad on the floor. If you find your cat is still marking up furnishings, try applying non-toxic, double-sided tape. Cats don’t like the sticky feeling of the tape and will avoid it in the future. Silicone nail coverings are also available to physically cover nails as a last resort. 

Pet management in a rental property

3. Spay/Neuter as Soon as Possible

Spaying and neutering your dogs and cats has many positive overall health effects. It can help reduce the risk of cancer in animals, prevent infections, and control overpopulation. It also has many positive behavioral effects as well. Without the natural hormonal urges, your pets will no longer feel the need to roam around, mount objects and people, or mark their territory with urine.

For some animals, they may consider your house their territory, which can lead to unwanted elimination and pungent urine smells on walls, floors, and carpeting. Especially with cats, this smell can be very strong and require deep cleaning or full replacement of rugs or carpet. 

4. Cure Boredom While You’re Away

Like humans, pets will look for something to occupy themselves when they’re bored and left alone. Always be sure that you provide them with something to cure their boredom such as a puzzle or chew toy before you leave for a while. Otherwise, they will look to chew on household objects instead. Also, be sure to allow them to use the restroom right before you leave or allocate a designated pad or space in the home if the animal is still being potty trained.

5. Make Exercise a Priority

There’s truth behind the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie.” The best way to ensure your pet isn’t tempted to cause a commotion and potentially damage something, is to tire them out. Regularly walking your dog or providing exercise opportunities for cats helps to ensure they have an appropriate way to release stimulation. A tired or napping dog cannot do any damage!

Managing pets in a rental property

Bottom Line

Household damage is virtually inevitable with dogs and cats around. It’s the price we pay as loving pet owners. However, that doesn’t mean we have to accept ongoing, costly damages in our home or apartment. With these strategies, you can help to mitigate that risk and ensure your pet remains happy in their environment. 

Ready for the next step? Training your pet to perform the right behaviors is also a great way to prevent them from causing damage in the home. OurPetPolicy offers a free responsible pet ownership training for those signed up on the platform.

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