Scratching, the bane of all pet owners who love their furniture. There’s no denying that it’s a prevalent problem, but simply getting upset at your pet isn’t going to do much about it. Depending on whether it’s a dog or cat, the reasons they scratch might be a little different, but here are some solutions that can help you get to the bottom of it.
Give them something else to scratch
If your pet is a cat, then it’s important to recognise that scratching is an instinctual need for them. They scratch to mark their territory. Not only is it a visual mark, but they have scent glands around their claws that express when they scratch. Trying to deny that need isn’t going to help them. Instead, find another way to satisfy it. Give them a scratching mat or post and position it where they normally scratch. When they scratch in the correct place, praise them and give them treats so that they keep it up.
Ensure they get plenty of play
In dogs, one of the biggest causes of destructive behaviour is pent-up energy. It’s a sign that they might not be getting enough exercise so you should consider adding another walk or some sessions of fetch to their daily routine. It’s also worth noting that puppies do have some rather destructive tendencies. There’s nothing to do but try puppy proof your home and furniture and wait for them to grow out of it.
Make sure nothing’s wrong
In some cases, acting out can be a means of drawing your attention. If they’re hungry or their meals aren’t doing it for them, try switching their diet to the best dry puppy food in the UK. If they’re consistently acting up and trying to get your attention and won’t stop even when you feed or spend time with them, there could be something wrong so it’s worth a trip to the vet’s.
Protect the furniture
Taking care of their needs can help give them less reason to scratch, but a deterrent to keep them away from your furniture works just as well. Anti-scratch double sided sticky tape can be attached, which presents a sticky surface your pet will hate scratching, without causing harm to either pet or sofa. If you have a cat, try using some orange or lemon flavoured spray on the furniture. They absolutely hate citrus.
Clip those claws
Good grooming can help, too. Safely clipping their claws down so they’re less sharp can diminish whatever damage they can do with scratching. You might also want to ask your vet about fitting on some nail covers. These safe covers, which look a lot like fake nails we humans would use, offer a blunt edge to their claws, instead.
If you want to keep your furniture from getting scratched, then the best way to handle it is to ensure that your pet’s needs are being met. Whether it’s a dog’s need for company, food and exercise or a cat’s need to mark their territory, keeping them satisfied can keep your sofa safe.