That 100-year-old oriental carpet, the magnificent hand-crafted chair that dates back to the days of the revolution – your treasures which have stood the test of time cannot withstand the test of your animal’ antics! Returning home after a casual Saturday coffee you greet your new golden retriever puppy, body in full tail-wag-spasm. You look around the room only to find shreds of carpet and splinters of wood sprinkled on the floor. Reflecting back… maybe purchasing that crate wouldn’t had been such a bad idea after all.
It is with this scenario in mind that I give you a few tips that will help you keep your animal’s disaster stories to a minimum and your décor from being demolished. After months o scouting, I have assembled hot tips on a few of the latest products.
First and foremost, hazards are everywhere and many times they aren’t obvious. Cats can launch back flips of the curtains onto your crystal vases, or worse, do swan dives from the window or balcony onto the street below. Dogs love cabinets, garbage and laundry and he consequences are often fatal. Do whatever it takes to secure the doors, drawers and containers.
Choosing a crate and crate training (housebreaking) are critical for your dog’s well-being.
A crate is not cruel, [according to the dog trainer Mark Katz] it is a safe haven, most comfortable to a crib of playpen for an infant or toddler. Using a comfortable crate will minimize your furry friend’s ability to tear apart your favorite cushions and protect him from injury as well. Keep the crate in a area frequented by the family so that your dog will feel like he is a part of the “clan”. Crates have come a long way. What was once just a wire cage for confining a “pesky pup” has become a dog’s “den”, available in designer colors with such features as coffee table tops and color coordinated fabric covers. Remember to choose one that is large enough for your puppy to lie down comfortably and consider how large he will be as an adult. Line the crate with old towels. They are comfortable, absorbent and can be washed and reused. Never use a crate for punishment and always remember to remove leashes and collars to avoid entanglements.
If your dog has passed the crate stage, you’ll be searching for the perfect sleeping arrangements for Fido that will keep him off your satin sheets. Designer and dog lover, Ann Sheridan, has developed a series of unique, luxurious “cuddle beds” for your canine companion or feline friend. Designed a plush wild animals and contoured to cradle your pet, the soft surfaces and warm fur act as nurturing surrogate mother for kittens and puppies, according to Ms. Sheridan. The beautiful beds come in the shape of brown bears, lion cubs, pandas, sea otters, arctic seals, and male lions and their design adds to any room’s décor.
Still worried about stains on the carpet? Your worries may be over thanks to a handful of scientists at Purina who have just introduced “Second Nature Dog Litter”. Developed by Purina engineer Ronald Lewis, this dog litter pellet absorbs up to double its weight in fluid and contains antibacterial coating and fragrance control odors. The system comes with a training guide and includes three litter pans and a supply of dog litter.
Cats have some new choices in the litter market too. Silica pellets are small beads that absorb an enormous amount of liquid waste, keeping the litter box cleaner and odor free. An added bonus is that the litter need only be changed once a month.
Want to deter your pet from leaping onto your favorite furniture? Snappy Trainers are clever little devices with plastic paddles attached. Place them strategically in areas your pet should avoid around your home. As your animal brushes by them, they snap making a loud noise and flying into the air. They are safe, inexpensive and reusable, and they are recommended by the American Veterinary Association.
Encouraging your pet to play outside is a good way to preserve your belongings. Electronic doggy and cat door openers placed within your door (there is even a door available for sliding glass doors) have become more user friendly. Your dog or cat wears a remote control device on its collar and as it approaches, the door opens automatically allowing the mischief-maker to reek havoc outdoors instead of in your living room. The door closes as your pet passes out of range, preventing visits from unwanted stray and wild animals.
So don’t despair! Learning to live with pets is an exercise in good judgment and patience. Good information also helps!
By Kim Hammond