4 Bad Pet Habits—Fixed
Cat got your furniture? An overactive pooch driving you barking mad? These trainer tips will put a stop to bad animal behavior.
The Problem: Your dog scratches up your floor.
The Fix: “Dogs love to dig and usually do it out of boredom if they aren’t spending enough time outside,” explains Victoria Stilwell, host of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog. She suggests making a small sand box or pit in your backyard and hiding his toys in it—he’ll be able to indulge his digging instinct without being destructive.
The Problem: Your cat claws at your sofa.
The fix: Cover commonly targeted areas with double-stick tape like Sticky Paws ($14.99;StickyPaws.com) to deter your puss from scratching, suggests Marilyn Krieger, certified cat behavior consultant and author of Naughty No More! Also buy a scratching post and place it near your furniture. “Cats scratch to stretch their muscles, so buy a post that’s tall enough for yours to extend her entire body while she’s clawing at it,” recommends Krieger.
The Problem: Your dog eats her feces.
The Fix: This behavior, called coprophagia, may be due to pancreatitis, an intestinal infection or a malabsorption syndrome that causes your pooch to instinctually seek out additional digestive enzymes in her feces, according to Stilwell. Take her to the vet for a checkup, and if the behavior continues, put a small amount of crushed pineapple in her food. “It will make the taste of her feces unappealing,” Stilwell says.
The Problem: Your cat bites or scratches you during play.
The Fix: Give Fifi a time-out: Stop all interaction with her, turn around and leave the room for a few minutes. If you can’t leave the room, turn around and ignore her. “This conditions your cat to realize that when she scratches or bites, her playmate will leave,” explains Krieger. After the time-out, you can go back to playing, but try to do so at a lower intensity.
Article originally appeared on WomansDay.com.