Guarding Your Homestead Against Pet Damage

Reader Contribution by Holly Welles
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You adore your furry four-legged buddy. However, you don’t love hairy furniture, ripped up rugs or yellow stains all over your green lawn. How can you enjoy the love and companionship of your pet without the headache and expense of paying for costly home repairs?

Keeping a clean house when you have Fluffy and Fido running through constantly presents quite a challenge. Thankfully, you don’t need to throw up your hands in despair and resign yourself to a home that’s less than fresh.

By taking a few simple preventive measures, you can keep a tidy homestead while still enjoying your best friends’ company.

Protect Doors From Scratching

Does your dog beg to use the outdoor facilities by scratching up your entryway? Dog scratches look unsightly and also create a dirty appearance.

To protect your doors, simply invest in a bit of clear plastic to cover the area where your dog scratches. You can easily make a door guard yourself by picking up clear plastic at a hardware store or special order one from a pet store.

Alternately, those with fenced lawns or plenty of acreage between their home and the nearest roadway may elect to install a pet door so your canine companion can let himself out with no human intervention needed.

Easily Clean Furniture

If your shedding white Samoyed leaves your couch looking like a blizzard hit it, take a tip from the This Will Change Your Life files. Take an ordinary pair of plastic dishwashing gloves and dampen them. Then, run your gloved hands over sofas and end chairs to rid them of the extra fluff. Voila!

After de-furring your couch, drop the gloves in a dishpan full of water and wait for the fur to float. To avoid clogging your septic tank, scoop the fur out and toss it in the trash. In the case of super hairy cold-weather breeds like huskies and malamutes, knit yourself a new sweater.

Select Damage-Resistant Flooring Materials

Even if you keep your dog or kitty’s toenails neatly pedicured, the hardscrabble of little pet feet means an unsightly scratched-up mess of a floor. When remodeling time rolls around, choose your flooring wisely, with durability and scratch resistance in mind.

Carpet can be comfortable. However, it often traps stains and odors. If you must go plush, invest in a quality carpet shampooer or spot cleaner for the inevitable pet accident.

Tile floors look elegant and resist scratching, but can also send your furry pal flying. While this can lead to raucous laughter, it can also result in a costly trip to the vet. Consider opting for textured stone tiles that offer at least some traction.

Toilet Paper isn’t a Toy

Do your kitty’s paws fly over the toilet tissue roll faster than Usain Bolt runs? As much as you may fall solidly into the “over, not under” crowd, consider hanging your tissue under to dissuade Fifi from amusing herself with a full train of TP.

Alternately, you may opt for a small clip to hold your toilet tissue in place and fancy it up by folding it at the tip hotel-style.

Landscaping Tricks for Dogs

Both dogs and cats can damage lawns, but the greater size of most dogs coupled with their love of digging to China can quickly turn your grass into a nightmare. In addition, dog urine leaves unsightly dead spots everywhere!

If you dream of a lawn as green as a verdant summer field, opt for a clover carpet. Clover doesn’t stain the way grass does when exposed to dog urine. If your dog’s digging creates ankle-twisting craters in your lawn, consider adding a bit of brick or stone to favorite digging spots to stop Rover in his tracks.

For a training-based solution to urine control, lead your pooch to a spot on your property where lawn damage doesn’t matter and give him a treat each time he uses the potty there.

Before long, your beloved companion will learn to confine their business to that one spot instead of around your prized begonias.

Preventing Pet Damage on the Homestead

Now that you know how to cat- and dog-proof your home, you can sleep well at night, hopefully with your beloved buddy by your side. With a little time and effort, people and pets can live in harmony — and cleanliness.

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