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How to Prevent Your Dog from Destroying Your Home

Updated on October 18, 2014

How to keep dogs in the house without the mess

Teeth chewing apart your precious sofa. Nails scratching your recently painted door. Slobber left on your favorite chair. Not to mention, trails of pee on your clean carpet, or worse, piles of poop on the laminate floor. Dogs can really make a mess in your house and you may be desperately seeking out solutions to stop the chewing, scratching and inappropriate elimination in your home, sweet, home. No need, to despair, there are several strategies to resort to in order to make your life better.

For avid chewers

Grannick's Bitter Apple for Dogs Spray Bottle, 16 Ounces
Grannick's Bitter Apple for Dogs Spray Bottle, 16 Ounces

Discourage bad licking, gnawing, and chewing behavior with Grannick’s safe, non-toxic Bitter Apple chew deterrent. Simply spray the bitter-tasting product on fur, wounds, bandages, shoes, furniture, or anywhere else you don’t want your dog to chew.


How to Prevent Your Puppy or Dog From Making a Mess in Your House

Ideally, you should start making clear rules about setting boundaries upon adopting your puppy. This way, your puppy knows clearly what he can and cannot do and unwanted behaviors can be nipped in the bud. If you are dealing with an older dogs, you may feel better knowing that you ''can teach an old dog new tricks'' and remove unwanted behaviors even though it may take longer if such behaviors were allowed to eradicate over time. Following are some tips on how to keep your dog from destroying your living quarters.

• Teach the ''Leave it'' Command

If your dog routinely goes in ''destroy mode'' you need to tell your dog not to but also provide an alternative acceptable behavior. For instance if you catch your dog chewing on your wooden chair, grumble ''leave it'' in a deep tone of voice and then give the dog something acceptable to chew on such as a toy purposely made for dogs. With time, your dog should learn.

• Invest in Bitter Apple Spray

If you have a puppy or older dog who cannot seem to pass one day without chewing on your precious furniture you need help. If your dog knows the 'leave it ''command well and does not take it seriously, or if your dog misbehaves when you are away, then you need to take action. Spray your most precious belonging with bitter apple spray . Most dogs hate the taste of it and will learn to leave your belonging alone.. even when you are away...

• Clean Urine Marks Thouroughly

If you have a problem of your dog peeing or pooping in your home, use an effective cleaner with enzymes to remove the odor. If you still leave traces of pee or poop behind, your dog's nose will be able to detect it, and will think it is still acceptable to pee or poop on that spot because he did it last time. Remove all traces with high quality products and use a UV lamp to check for possible unclean surfaces in your carpet.

• Use a Crate

If your dog is particularly destructive when you leave for a few hours, he may be getting bored and looking for something to do. If you come home to find your home looking like it was just robbed, it may be a good idea to crate him during your absence. Use the crate for short absences, usually not more than 4-5 hours. This will keep your dog safe, calm and the home intact.

• Use Proper Trash Cans

If your dog has a habit of raiding your trash can, place it in area he cannot get to or invest in a trash can that he cannot open. Sometimes all it takes is to try to be more astute than the dog. This way, you can be sure your dog will not visit the trash can even in your absence.

• Consider Medical or Behavioral Problems

If your dog urinates repeatedly on your floor consider that it may have an underlying medical problem. Urinary tract infections or weakened sphincter muscles in older female dogs may be a cause for inappropriate urination. If your dog routinely destroys your home when you leave for work, he may be suffering from separation anxiety.

As seen, there are many ways to protect your home and keep your dog safe. Consider that chewing habits may turn out dangerous if your dog swallows large pieces or if your dog gets to electrical cords.

Miscellaneous products for diverse problems

PetSafe ScatMat Indoor Pet Training Mat for Dogs and Cats , Large, 48 X 20 inch, Pet Proof Your Home, Electronic Training Mat
PetSafe ScatMat Indoor Pet Training Mat for Dogs and Cats , Large, 48 X 20 inch, Pet Proof Your Home, Electronic Training Mat

Teach your pet to stay away from areas of your house you want to protect with the touch-sensitive ScatMat. It’s an automatic indoor training mat that will keep your pet out of certain rooms or off your furniture and counters.



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    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

    • profile image

      kari 6 years ago

      I think my Shi Tzu/Cocker Spaniel has separation anxiety! I am at work 8 hours a day and can't spend time with her.

      She has destroyed my carpet, my window blinds and barks ALL DAY.

      HELP! WHAT CAN I DO???

    • scifikathie profile image

      scifikathie 7 years ago from Chicago

      Good article. Although I'm not a fan of using a crate for dogs on anything other than a temporary basis, and I agree if you do use one make it a short period of time. I do think exercise can help also. If an animal is tired, it's less likely to go into destructive mode.

    • pollyprescription profile image

      pollyprescription 7 years ago

      This pitbull ate my couch

      ugh they were expensive too


    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      We have not had much problem with our recent dogs. We did have a "foster" dog a few months ago that peed on the rug, probably on purpose.Some sort of challenge to our authority, I imagine.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Thank you for sharing all your knowledge with us for teaching and training our pets, they are like children and need to be shown the way. I do hope you find time to read my hugs as well....thumbs up

    • ftclick profile image

      ftclick 7 years ago

      I never knew of the leave it command or the bitter apple..So apple cider vinegar should work. I have heard of people who can never get rid of dog urine even on a sidewalk or cement. But I'll keep it in mind.