Handling Your Pet’s Most Annoying Habits
Author, Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
We cherish our pets, but, just like with human, sometimes their habits can be utterly annoying! Here’s a few tips on how to handle those habits, while nicely reminding Fluffy and/or Fido who’s the boss.
Annoying Habit #1 ~ Your Dog Barks Every Time the Doorbell Rings
Why He Does It: Many dogs bark in an effort to notify the family pack that someone is approaching. In your dog’s mind, barking seems to banish an intruder, so he keeps doing it. For instance, the UPS delivery driver approaches your house, rings the doorbell, and your dog barks. The delivery driver leaves and your dog gives himself a pat on the back because he did his job and achieved success.
What You Can Do to Stop It: Ask a friend or family member to come to the door and scratch it softly enough that the sound does not entice your dog to bark. Praise Fido and reward him a treat. Work up to tapping on the door, followed with praise and a treat; then knocking; and finally ringing the bell (with each step followed with – you guess it – praise and a treat). Before you yell “stop barking, Fido!” your dog will start sniffing for treats whenever there’s a noise at the door. Praise him before giving him the treat and, eventually, praise alone may be reward enough for Fido.
Annoying Habit #2 ~ Your Cat Scratches Everything
Why She Does It: Cats scratch in order to mark their territory and because it helps them shed the outer layer of their claws.
What You Can Do to Stop It: Find Fluffy the scratching post of her dreams! Some cats prefer carpeted posts while others are drawn to rope covered posts or even plain old cardboard. And some prefer something flat on the ground, while others like to stretch upward as they scratch. The key is to take notice of Fluffy’s scratching habits, noting her preferences, and buy her a scratching post that she won’t be able to refuse. Place the post or mat right next to her favorite scratching item (your couch, your antique chair, your favorite rug…) and teach her to refocus her scratching energies on the post. Once she has adapted to the post, feel free to relocate it to a less intrusive area of your home.
Annoying Habit #3 ~ Your Dog Pulls on His Leash
Why He Does It: Your dog is a bundle of curiosity who wants to see and sniff everything he can, all at once.
What You Can Do to Stop It: To manage a pooch who’s a leash puller, try a head halter or a front-clip harness. Even better, train Fido to walk properly. One simple trick to try is to simply stop moving forward when he pulls and reward him with treats when he walks by your side. Granted, it’s not always that easy, so if you need other possible solutions, check out this video by world recognized dog trainer Victoria Stilwell.
Annoying Habit #4 ~ Your Cat Meows at Night
Why She Does It: If your older cat meows at night, you may want to have her checked by your vet, as nighttime vocalization is one sign of hyperthyroidism. An aging pet may lose certain cognitive abilities, leading her to become less restful at night. Other causes could be something provoking the her (another cat outside the window), a change in her environment or routine, or even boredom. And if your cat hasn’t been spayed or neutered, those night howls could be mating calls.
What You Can Do to Stop It: If mating is the motive for your kitty’s howls, having Fluffy fixed should be your first course of action. If not, request your vet test Fluffy for hyperthyroidism. If she is diagnosed, treatment options include surgery, daily medication, or radioactive-iodine therapy. A change in diet may also help, as antioxidants and vitamins C and E may reverse brain-aging changes. If medical issues and outside disturbances are ruled out, you’re likely dealing with a cat who simply wants attention at 3 a.m. Perhaps assign some play toys as “nighttime-only” toys and give them to Fluffy before you hit the sack. It’s likely her nighttime meowing is a test of will, so stand firm and ignore her, and the situation will likely resolve itself.
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About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc
Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010. It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH. Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook page, Google+ page and more. They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.
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