If you’re a dog owner, you’re probably aware that dogs can make quite a mess. Whether it’s an accident on your favorite carpet, muddy paw prints in the hallway or wads of dog hair on your couch, at PetHairPatrol.com we help you find a solution that keeps your home clean.
We love our pets, but we also love a clean home. And although it might require a few tricks and some training, it’s possible to have both.
Nearly half of all American households own a dog, so it’s safe to say that dogs really are man’s best friend.
Unfortunately, 47 percent of owned dogs are re-homed for reasons beyond your pup’s own fault. The biggest reason that people re-home their dogs is that of behavioral problems, whether it’s aggression or they aren’t properly trained.
It’s hard to believe this statistic since most of us already know that dogs love to satisfy their owners—they do amazing things with positive reinforcement and are extremely trainable creatures.
According to a study, dogs and human’s brains release the same oxytocin hormone when gazing into each other’s eyes. Oxytocin is the same hormone that is released and experienced between a mother and child and important bonding in intimate relationships.
“Our relationship with dogs are very much like parent-child relationships,” says Dr. Evan MacLean, a research scientist at Duke University. “Brain imaging studies have shown that brain networks of mothers respond in the same way to pictures of their own dog to their own children.”
If you are looking to bring a dog into your family, or already have one and need some advice, then take a look at these tips and tricks to help you avoid those pet-related messes in your home.
- To avoid your home being invaded by dog hair, get your dog accustomed to being groomed regularly and to use their own pet bed. Brushing your pet will gather the loose hair before it is wafted into the air. Also, teaching your dog to use a pet bed or a pet blanket for resting will keep your furniture from being coated by pet hair. You can easily clean the pet bed or blanket with a handheld pet hair vacuum and avoid wads of hair from invading your couch. These are some of the best vacuums for the job.
- To keep those muddy paw prints from staining your carpet, you should train your dog to have his paws wiped at the front door. You can keep a container of water or a moist towel in the hallway, and teach your dog to wait on the doormat until he has been wiped off.
- Sometimes dogs can make a mess by finding your favorite chair or recliner to use as a chew toy. Destructive chewing is one of the leading causes of why dogs are surrendered to shelters and pounds. Chewing is a good thing—if it’s on the right
To train your dog to chew on something that is allowed, you can use distraction.
If your pup is chewing on something you don’t like, such as grandma’s coffee table, then simply redirect them to a toy you do prefer. This would also be a great opportunity to positively reinforce the redirected behavior with a happy tone, a pat on the back, or maybe a treat.
- And most importantly, house train your dog from a young age. All dogs are bound to have an accident every now and then, but if you want to have a home with a fresh smell, your dog needs to learn to do his business outside.
You can use these tips to train your pet and to avoid accidents inside your house:
- Create a Schedule: The first thing you want to do with your dog is creating a stable schedule. Be sure that your dog goes outside around the same time every day, so when the urge arises, he knows the time is coming and can wait.
For example, if you feed your dog dinner every day at 6 p.m. and immediately let him outside, he will learn to understand the schedule is “food and then potty.”
- Hang Bells By the Door: Dogs can’t talk, but they can certainly bark. However, nobody wants to listen to this, which in an otherwise quiet home, can be a few decibels too loud.
Hanging a rope of bells by the door is a great opportunity to allow your dog to communicate with you on a level he knows how.
Before you go outside for potty-time, ring the bells to show your pup the correlation between the bathroom and the bells. Eventually, he will catch on and ring them himself as if to say, “I need to go, like now!”
- Use Positive Reinforcement: It’s important to never punish a dog when they have an indoor accident because it’s unlikely that they’ll understand why you are suddenly upset. In this case, clean up the mess and continue training.
With positive reinforcement, training your pup will be a lot easier. Every time he uses the bathroom outside or chews on a toy, immediately follow with a treat. Make sure you give the treat promptly, or else he may disassociate the action with the reward.
Using a light tone and verbal cues like “let’s go out,” “go potty,” or “outside,” are incredibly helpful for your dog to understand. Everything we say to them is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but by repeating simple words followed by simple meanings, your dog will catch on and understand what you are asking them to do.
- Get Some Extra Help: If your dog can’t wait to use the potty until you get home from work, consider puppy pads. This allows for a second spot for him to go if it’s an emergency.
If you have some extra cash, then consider hiring a dog-walker or enrolling your best friend into a doggy daycare. Not only will your dog have relief, but he will be stimulated and entertained during an otherwise sedentary day.
- If All Else Fails: If you have tried these solutions and still aren’t seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, it might be time to take Fido to the vet. There could be serious causes for why the training process seems unsuccessful, whether it is an underlying health problem or separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is when a dog experiences anxiety and panic when their owner isn’t around. Symptoms are breaking rules like destructive chewing, indoor accidents, or behavioral issues, like nervousness, whining and crying, or a seemingly overjoyed greeting at the end of work each day.
Talk to your vet and make sure to rule out any medical problems. If your dog is in great shape, then separation anxiety might be on the table.
Don’t Give Up
Training any animal can put you at your wit’s end, but it’s important not to give up. Nearly 3.3 million dogs are surrendered to shelters every year because of behavioral problems, like being deemed “untrainable.”
It’s our responsibility as pet owners to not give up and try to work with our pets. At the end of the day, Fido just wants to be your best friend!
Well, whether or not a dog is a man’s best friend or a family member, it goes to say that our bond with these canines isn’t going away anytime soon. With some tenacious training, you can avoid the mess and keep your home clean.
This is a guest post