Any pet parent will tell you that their furry friends are like a member of the family – but just like your human relatives, no pet is perfect. Incessant licking, destruction, and barking are a few of the annoying pet behaviors that seem nearly impossible to stop. Fortunately, there are humane and effective ways to correct your four-legged friend’s unwanted actions – read on for some expert advice. Unfortunately, we can’t make any promises for your Uncle Rick’s constant pull-my-finger gag.
Whining, Meowing, Barking – What’s All The Ruckus?
When a dog or cat is making a lot of noise, there are a couple of typical causes. The first, and more serious, is that the animal is hurt or ill. However, it is far more common for a dog or cat to get loud simply because they want attention. Ensure your pet is well-exercised and has plenty of engaging toys around to keep their minds busy. This will prevent excitement barking when company comes and constant whining when you’re trying to relax for the evening. If noise-making is still an issue, try your best to ignore the animal. When Fluffy finally quiets, give them lots of positive praise – and belly rubs! This will reinforce the behavior you want – not the one you’re trying to eliminate.
Puppies of Mass Destruction
Uh-oh – you’ve been gone all day at work and come home to find your most expensive shoes chewed to bits. Why do dogs wreck our stuff and get into the trash? Again, this can often be attributed to boredom and/or excess energy. However, chewing on appropriate items can have benefits for your dog’s oral and mental health – so how do you get your dog to pick the rights things to wreck? When you catch your pup in the act with an inappropriate item, remain assertive and correct the action immediately by replacing the item with an appropriate item. Removing temptation is also helpful – keep shoes in the closet and recyclables in latched plastic containers. Out of sight, out of mind!
Begging – No You May Not Have a Bite
Does your dog or cat park themselves under your feet at the dinner table, hoping for a morsel to munch on? Begging is one of the most common – and rude – pet behaviors across the board. When it comes to doggy table manners, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Resist the urge to share human food with your pet, whether it’s during meal time or not. In addition, control Sparky’s access to the dining area. Keep them in their crate or another room during meals and give them their own chew toy or Kong to work with.
Man’s best friend is not always perfect – just like the humans in your life. Prevent unwanted behaviors by keeping animals active, both physically and mentally. If issues persist, reach out to your veterinarian for assistance. Having a pet is supposed to be joyful, so nip any problems in the bud before your furry friend becomes an enemy.
By Rachelle Gordon