First and foremost, congratulations to new pet parents on what I believe to be one of our most enjoyable and rewarding journeys, bringing a loving and caring animal into our homes. Little pups, kittens and other animals are similar to having a child, so you must pet-proof your house in a way you would for human children.
- Cover it up!
Start by covering sharp corners, and electrical plugs, minimizing access to electric wires, etc. Newborns are pretty sprightly and might run amuck around the house when they’re not sleeping. They tend to play with wires and even try to chew on them, which could lead to serious injury. Always check your balconies to see whether the newborn is at risk of falling off. Many balconies have a grill structure that sometimes offers gaps that these little ones can squeeze through. Try and cover these gaps with metal gauze or a sturdy fabric. You may even want to invest in a top open pen for your pet where you can leave them worry-free.
- Saving Furniture
Now, to the most asked question by any pet parent – how do I save my furniture? Teething and scratching are genuine problems, and it is something we need to help the newborns with rather than letting it upset us. With their teeth and nails forming, newborns experience a lot of discomforts which they relieve by chewing and scratching. Most of the time, our furniture is the victim of this chewing and scratching, and we need to work hard to replace our furniture with chew toys, blankets, floor mats and other such products.
- How to train them?
What is essential to understand is that pets don’t respond well to being told no. Instead, it is more effective to reward them for good behaviour. Our pets are keen to please us, so show them what makes you happy, and I assure you they will try to do that. As such, the next time your pet is chewing on your furniture, pull them away and give them a toy to chew on instead. When they do this, reward them with a treat, and in time they will understand you want them to chew on toys rather than furniture. To help with this process, which may sometimes take longer than one would like, you could spray the base of the furniture with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and some spices like pepper and chilli powder. The smell left on the furniture with this mix steers most little pets away, and don’t worry, this smell doesn’t last on your furniture for too long.
- Safer fabrics
Lastly, since your little one is around to stay, you may want to consider investing in some pet-friendly fabrics for the home. Materials such as microfiber, vinyl, nylon and canvas are more durable and resistant to stains and scratching. They also help prevent long-lasting odour, offer more relief against moisture and are easier to clean. These fabrics can be used across furniture, bedding, throws and more.
Article Authored by Devanshi Shah, Founder and CEO, PetKonnect