Are you excited about the addition of a pet dog in your family? You surely are. Being a pet parent, you need to take care of and be aware of many of their habits and behavior. Dogs generally take some time to adjust to a new environment and get to know their new family. For some breeds, it is easier; others find it challenging. They often tend to show destructive behavior until they adapt. One of the expected behaviors is damaging household items either by chewing or scratching.
How to prevent damage of beds and couches from a dog’s destructive behavior? Damaging household furniture like beds, couches, and carpets are seen in aggressive dogs. Boredom and loneliness may also tend them to do so. However, instead of overlooking these behaviors, one must try to minimize it. Distracting and training them will help to reduce these activities and yield fruitful results.
Reasons for damaging furniture
There are quite a few reasons which are responsible for destructive behavior in pets. Keeping a close watch on their behavior will help you identify the reasons behind it. As already mentioned, the change of space or environment may lead to such damaging activities. But other than that, some other factors are as follows:
Dogs, although they are faithful to their pet parents, may show aggression due to their ancestral characters. Dogs were previously wild animals until domestication. Unfamiliar visitors or strangers at home can also make them aggressive. Fear can also lead to the same, and there are chances they will damage household furniture. Aggression makes them wonder how to relieve their energy and often makes them chew cushions and beds.
A lot of breeds are fond of spending the maximum time with their pet parents. Some others need constant attention like the French Bulldogs. They are scared of staying alone. Some breeds cannot overcome loneliness and tend to exhibit unnatural behavior. The loss of a beloved one or separation from their parents makes them feel alone. Not having any other means of distracting themselves makes them scratch the soft carpet or cushions and other valuable furniture. Staying alone for a long time or many days may cause separation anxiety in some breeds.
Physical activity is a process of releasing excess body energy for highly enthusiastic dogs. Lack of any specific tasks or activities among working dogs makes them feel bored. Thus, they often indulge in scratching walls or tearing up sofas and cushions to engage in activities.
Damaging tendencies in dogs can also be a symptom of underlying health issues. As they cannot express in words like humans, they exhibit strange actions and try to relive the distress in the body. Internal injuries and skin allergies often irritate their skin and make them behave differently.
Anxiety, stress, fear, or unable to cope up with the new environment, causes mental distress. A change in regular activities and schedules also causes so. Due to which you may notice them undergoing strange activities, especially damaging valuable items.
Destructive chewing is a common occurrence often seen among puppies and young dogs. It is mostly during the stage of teething. The pain and irritation in the gums lead to chewing destructively for relieving themselves.
Minimizing destructive behavior
Overlooking and not taking precautionary measures for minimizing destructive behavior and extensive chewing can lead to severe issues. Along with damaging household furniture, there is a risk of swallowing solid objects. Engaging in chewing of beds and couches, can also have choking hazards. In your absence from the site, it can also be fatal.
So, to avoid any health hazards as well as correcting their behavior, you may take the following precautionary measures:
It is not advisable to leave your canine alone for a long time. There must be at least one person to supervise him. Socializing from an early age will help them control their rage while meeting strangers.
Whenever you notice signs of destructive tendency in your pet, distract him with activities he prefers. A stroll in the neighborhood or a visit to the park will shift his attention from cushions and beds. Outdoor activities like running, fetching a ball, or a tug-of-war game are engaging playtime activities. Enhancing interaction with you will gradually distract and reduce the habit of extensive chewing.
If you own a puppy or your adult pet who is involving himself in chewing anything and everything, provide him a chew toy. These toys do not need much filling in them and are suitable to soothe the gums’ teething pain. They also help keep the gums and the oral cavity fresh and healthy and prevent plaque and tartar.
One of the most necessary and useful precautionary measures is extensive training. As soon as your puppy attains eight weeks, start by training with the basics. An early age training of what is allowed and what not, will keep them away from your valuable furniture.
a) Initiate with basic command training like sit, stop, off, fetch, so that he learns to follow your orders.
b) Obedience training will also enhance the understanding of the specific permissions and restrictions you bestow on him.
Same rules for all:
If you have multiple pets, you must ensure that they follow the same basic rules and regulations in the house. If you are allowing your Frenchie to sit on the couch, it is natural for your Lab to do the same. Thus, it would be best if you didn’t allow anyone to sit or cuddle on the couch.
Dog proof house:
To reduce the damage of your household items and minimize the mess that most dogs create, you may dog-proof the house. Use barriers that will prevent them from accessing your furniture. Keep your cushions on higher shelves, so that your pet cannot reach them.
High energetic breeds require activities that they can indulge in releasing off the excess energy. Dog toys are useful for this purpose. Invest in toys that are easy to play with and can accompany them in your absence. Toys like balls, ropes, flying discs, puzzles, stuffed toys, etc. will also distract and help in mental and physical growth.
If you are experiencing the destructive nature of your dog at an extensive rate, visit a doctor.
a) A thorough diagnosis will help in identifying if there are any underlying health problems. Many breeds are prone to hereditary issues concerning their health, which may not have visible symptoms. Early treatment will help in reducing the pain and distress in the body.
b) Seek a professional’s help or ask for advice from a friend who is parenting pet dogs for a long time. Tips and tricks of experience holders will give you a positive and innovative direction.
Apart from the above measures, make sure you groom your pet regularly. Trim their nails of the paws. Sharp and long nails damage the fabric of your beds, cushions, carpets, etc. Trimmed nails will minimize the mess.
Although dogs do not prefer using a dog muzzle if your pet shows unnatural behavior like continuous barking, chewing, or biting, cover their mouth with a dog muzzle. A lot of varieties are available on the online platforms. However, invest in something which is comfortable on the neck and also allows normal breathing and eating. However, you will have to train your dog about wearing a dog muzzle.
Make sure that your pet is receiving a sufficient quantity of meals in a day. As hunger can be a reason of chewing and damaging household items, a well balanced and healthy diet will ensure that he is not hungry in between two meals. Follow a chart with veterinary advice, which will help you provide him all essential nutrients as per the required quantity depending on the type of breed. You may also provide him dog treats, which will serve as a distraction and encourage him to accomplish tasks.
With the above thorough and detailed discussion, it is evident that all your queries are clear regarding your pet’s destructive behavior. Mix and match the above-mentioned preventive measures and help your pet to de-stress from anxiety fear. Every breed is different from one another. The reasons for changed behavior in one may vary from the other, and thus, the same help and supporting advice may not work for all.
Please keep a close watch on them and try to identify the reason for his changed behavior. It is also essential to provide him his own space like a cozy and comfortable dog bed. Along with privacy, he will also have his little corner for rejuvenating and relaxing after a long tiring day. With utmost care and protection, help your canine to live a healthy and happy life.
Please give them the attention they deserve and train them well to adjust and adapt to your lifestyle. However, you, too, need to make some changes to accommodate your canine in your life.