Our recent research of pet owners revealed that 71% of us set house rules for our beloved animals before we welcome them into our homes. House rules include pets not being allowed in bedrooms, on sofas or to sleep in our beds.
We also found that most of those who set these rules end up breaking them. A quarter will disregard these ground rules in the first week and one in 10 on the first day!
Rules are put in place to show your dog or cat that you are the alpha and letting your pet break these rules will send them a message that you aren’t in charge, which could lead to them ruling the roost and breaking more rules.
Our research found some of the most common issues that arise from this include pets taking up too much room in the bed, damage to furniture and pets begging for food at the table.
Luckily, we have some useful tips if you want to keep your beloved furry friends out of your bed, off the sofa and out from under your feet at the dinner table.
Make sure they have an alternative
A great solution to keep your pet out of the bed while you are sleeping is to make sure they have a cosy and comfortable bed for themselves. This should be just the right size for them and should be placed in a warm area of the house.
If you feel too guilty about leaving them at first or they aren’t trained yet, then their pet bed can be placed in your bedroom until they are used to it, and then moved into another room or downstairs once they have got comfortable in it. You can put catnip or Tasty Sticks in the bed to entice your cat or give your dog a Dogs Delight™ Tasty treat in their bed at bedtime to reinforce this behaviour.
It can be confusing for your pet if one family member lets them on the couch and the other tells them to get off, so ensuring everyone in the family abides by the same rules can really help. Be sure to never bend the rules or have different rules for different times, such as allowing pets on the bed when you aren’t in it but not when you are. Inconsistency can confuse and distress your pet so sticking to the rules is key.
Always feed your dog or cat in their own dish and never from the table. Never allow your pet on the table or chairs, even when there is no food present. Feed your pet immediately before you sit down to eat your own dinner, as they will then be full and less likely to beg - cats will usually groom after eating and will therefore be occupied. Yak Cheese or Dream Treats can also distract dogs while you tuck into your meal. Don’t give in to those puppy dog eyes!
Training and unlearning bad habits between you and your dog in the home can be a long process, but persistence is key to resolving these matters. Spending time and having patience will help you work towards a long-term happy home.