You love your new puppy or kitten, but you’re kinda attached to your $3,000 couch, too. Here’s how to protect it and other furnishings from the new member of the family.
Step 1: Be consistent Be consistent. If you don’t want animals on the couch, don’t make any exceptions. A stern 'Off!' while pointing a dog to his bed should work for pooches. Cats will catch on if you repeat 'No' in a loud voice as you physically remove them.
Step 2: Otherwise occupy them Make sure your couch isn’t the only appealing thing to chew and claw by providing a scratching post for your cat and chew toys for your dog.
TIP: Cats respond best to bribery, so give Kitty a food treat every time she uses the post. As for Fido, give him a snack activity ball, which contains a dog treat inside.
Step 3: Repel them Spray citrus- or mint-scented repellant on furniture to dissuade your four-legged friends from getting anywhere near them.
Step 4: Unnerve them Make hopping on your good furniture unnerving for pets by covering the pieces with something unpleasant. Netting works will with cats, who hate snagging their nails. Bubble wrap or sticky paper will annoy both cats and dogs.
Step 5: Cover them Cover your bed, sofa, and chairs with inexpensive throws, washable slipcovers, or those padded blankets that professional movers use.
Step 6: Barricade them Install decorative iron gates or Dutch doors at the entries to rooms you want to keep off-limits to pets.
FACT: Seventy percent of Americans view their pets as 'companions' or 'small children.'