Top tips for pet owners

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Tips for pet owners over the holidays

Key Insights:

  • Maintain your floors and furniture with routine maintenance, like shampooing your carpets and covering your couches.
  • If your houseguests bring pets, be prepared to partition off areas of your home or stock up on puppy chew toys.
  • If your house is too full, send your pup to doggy daycare or kitty to a cat hotel. You can also consider hiring a neighbor or friend to help until your guests are gone.

Calling all pet owners! We know you love your furry friend with all your heart, but when it comes time to have houseguests or maintain a brand new hardwood floor, you might have to make special arrangements for your pet.

From dealing with pet anxiety to choosing the best gift for your dog or cat, keep reading to learn our top tips for pet owners.

How to keep a new home fresh with pets

Whether you’ve recently moved into a home with new renovations or you simply want to maintain the condition of the features in your existing home, there are a handful of ways to keep your property in ideal shape — even with pets.

Everyday pet tips

If you plan on being out of the house during work hours or you’re hosting guests in your home, it’s possible that your pets could become restless and get into mischief. Luckily, there are simple ways for you to minimize pet damage to your home on a daily basis. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep doors to bedrooms and bathrooms closed
  • Tuck garbage cans in the pantry or under the kitchen sink
  • Keep countertops clear and food-free (especially if your pet can jump!)
  • Ensure that your pet has enough food and water for the day
  • Have pet-friendly toys available
  • Offer your pet treats when they behave especially well

How to protect and preserve your home features

Other long-term measures may be needed to keep your home in tip-top shape while having your own pets or hosting guests with animals.

It’s imperative to consider your floors when pets are around. No matter what kind of floor your house has, you’ll want to avoid stains and smells by keeping the floor clean. After pets drag in dirt or debris from outside (or if they have an accident inside), be sure to vacuum and wash your flooring.

If you have wood floors, consider covering your floors with area rugs (with rug pads underneath to keep them in place). This will help avoid potential scratches on your floor from pet nails and claws. You may also consider applying a sealant to your hardwood floors. Sealants help to protect against pet accidents and other household spills too.

In addition, think about placing a couch cover or throw blanket on top of your furniture and other fabrics to maintain a fresh smell and appearance. These items can easily and regularly be tossed in the laundry. Of course, if you want Fido to stay off the sofa, avoid inviting dogs to sit next to you on your furniture; you may even want to invest in an extra comfy dog bed so your pet isn’t tempted to jump on the couch as you curl up to watch Netflix each night.

Handling houseguests with dogs

Your game plan for a houseguest with dogs

When hosting friends and family for the holidays or throughout the year, your houseguests may bring their furry friends over too. When in this situation, set ground rules right away. It’s important that your guests understand where Fido is and isn’t allowed in the house.

Consider partitioning off areas of your home or creating a safe and fun pet play area in the basement, laundry room or other spare room that is free of breakables. You can also mitigate pet problems by keeping the animals occupied. In addition to taking dogs on walks and playing with other animals, you can consider purchasing a gift for your guests’ pets.

Gifts for their pets

Your guests will adore you for picking up a gift for their dog. And, as much as their appreciation means to you, by purchasing a present for their animals, you’ll also help their dogs chew on toys rather than your molding or favorite coffee table.

Some great, entertaining pet gifts include:

  • Treats (natural dog treats, jerky, etc.)
  • Plush toys
  • Dog bones
  • Rubber chew toys
  • Tennis balls

Where to send pets when you have a full house

Whether you have a house full of guests, or you’re visiting friends and family that don’t have room to host you and your pets, here are some ideas on where you can send your furry friends.

Make a reservation at a boutique dog “hotel”

Boarding your dog doesn’t have to be boring. Nowadays, the options for taking care of dogs and cats have expanded. Try booking a stay for your dog at a boutique dog “hotel,” also known as a luxury dog resort, cat hotel or spa. These accommodations will take ultimate care of your animal, paying attention to each and every detail.

Post on social media

Posting on Nextdoor or Facebook is another great way to solicit help for your pets. It’s likely that your friends on these sites already know you, so you can rest assured that your animals are in good hands. And you can offer to repay the favor, when appropriate.

Download a pet app

Downloading a pet care app, like Rover or Wag, also can help you get real-time walking or care assistance for your pets. Simply make a profile and begin your search for the right individual to care for your pets.

Managing pet anxiety

How to deal with pet anxiety when guests arrive

You may notice that your pets become antsy or irritable when guests arrive. This could be a sign of pet anxiety. Before your guests walk in the door, place your pets in a separate room. This will give everyone the space they need to get situated. Then, once jackets are off and your guests are settled in, you can begin to introduce your pets into the mix.

Day-to-day remedies for the duration of the stay

There are a variety of day-to-day methods to manage pet anxiety. For example, the American Kennel Club recognizes anxiety training, prescribed medication, and CBD oil to assist with dog anxiety. These methods can be used regularly to comfort and calm your pets. Pet owners also report success with “thundershirts” for dogs and cats experiencing anxiety.

Cats, on the other hand, may suffer from separation anxiety even if you remain in the house but are busy entertaining guests. Don’t worry if they seem a little more aloof than usual, but try your best to give them some private, undivided attention when you can. If you find that they’re especially irritable, you can also create a safe room where they can lounge in peace as your family or friends take over their house. (The bedroom where you’re staying is probably the easiest solution–just make sure it’s equipped with a litter box.)

Another daily task that can keep any pet feeling calm is to maintain a reliable routine. Whether you have a dog, cat, guinea pig or lizard, try to keep your pet’s routine as stable as possible. That way, your pet is able to predict and count on everyday activities, rather than worrying about them. When possible, stock up on your pet’s typical foods and favorite treats, and keep their routine and sleeping location the same, if possible.

Want to live in a dog-friendly neighborhood?

Considering a move for your family and Fido? Reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents. You may just end up in one of the most dog-friendly cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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