How do I pet-proof my home to preserve its value?

For many of us, pets are an irreplaceable part of our lives. We can’t imagine life without them. However, our pets sometimes don’t have as high regard for our homes as we do for them. Because of this, as many pet owners will know, pets can do some major damage to a home — both inside and out — which can cause the value of the house to decrease. So, what is to be done? You may ask. Well, that depends on how you answer this question: are your pets inside or outside?


Ideas for pet-proofing the inside of your home:

Stained and Smelly Carpet —

Accidents happen, it is a part of life, and those accidents absolutely extend to your pets control over their bodily functions. If this is something that you are worried about, then there are a few things you can do.

If you have a dog or some other animal that can’t jump and climb, then one good suggestion is to keep the animal on only your waterproof floors like those you would find in a kitchen. Tile and linoleum will not absorb any unpleasant materials and not allow for a smell to stick around. Not to mention you can be a bit more aggressive when cleaning these floors as they are more durable. So, you won’t have to worry about stains as much either. You can keep your pet on the waterproof floors with a gate or other barrier. There are many online and in stores to choose from, all you need to do is do a quick google search and bam you’ve got yourself a way to keep your animals off the carpet.

The unique thing with cats is that they can be trained to relieve themselves in a litter box. We suggest you put that litter box in a laundry room as it will have floors like your kitchen in case your cat has an accident. Not to mention, the good smell of all your detergent will help to mask any unpleasant smells until you can empty the litter box.

For any other animals that you can’t keep penned in or can’t teach to relieve themselves in a specific area, we suggest you put them outside. (Birds are the exception here, since they are in a cage, just be sure to put them over some tile or linoleum if you can.

Scratched and bitten walls, furniture, and so forth —

This is another problem that homeowners with pets face. Why your pet does it can be a mystery, but, from our experience, it usually comes from boredom or loneliness. Just think of it, your pet is alone for almost a third of the day while you are out and about, they get lonely.

(Special Note for Cats: cats need scratching posts; getting one for them, if you don’t have one already, should be your first option when dealing with a scratching cat)

The ideal solution to this problem would be to have you, or someone else, come by the house mid-day to check on and play with the animal, however, that can’t always happen. A simple solution that works for some animals to provide something to entertain them while you are gone. This can be as simple as a machine that throws the ball for your dog, a motorized teasing toy for your cat, or something of the like. For some animals, not all, all you need to do is to keep a radio or television on so that there is noise in the house. Sometimes that is enough to preoccupy them.

Another reason that your pet may get bored of being cooped up inside all day. Sure, they may get out every once and a while to relieve themselves, but if that is the only time they have outside, they may be getting agitated. Try giving them some extra time in the back yard each day, take them on walks— if you can … some pets don’t take kindly to walks and leashes— and maybe even take them to a park.

Ideas for pet-proofing the outside of your home:

Holes —

For many pets, especially dogs, digging is an instinct and it can do major problems to your landscaping. There can be many reasons why your animal is digging holes, and there are many solutions as well, however, it is important to note that sometimes, dogs and other animals just dig holes and it is just part of their personality. Here are a few of the common reasons animals dig holes and a ways to combat them:

- To get out of the yard

When pets dig under a fence to get out of the yard, it does damage to the landscaping, the fencing, and sometimes even the sprinklers, not to mention what it can do to the animal. If your pet is digging under the fence to get out then one solution may be to take them on more walks, let them play in the front yard on occasion (if they don’t just bolt down the street) as they may be digging out because they are bored. If that doesn’t work, you can also lay paver stones around the parameter of your yard so they can’t dig out.

- To get cool

Sometimes pets dig because they are hot. Now, this may sound strange, but stay with us for a moment. If it is really hot outside, the ground is going to be hot and some pets have realized that if they dig down a few inches the ground will be cool. They will then lay in the hole until they have cooled down. A quick and cheap solution for this is to head to the nearest grocery or department store and buy one of those small plastic pools that they always have on display during the summertime. Once you have one that is short enough for your animal to get inside, put it out in the yard and fill it with fresh water (making sure to change out the water every couple of days). This will give your pet a nice place to cool off when the summer gets too hot instead of digging down into the dirt. You may also consider making more shaded places for them to relax to protect them from the heat and damaging rays of the sun.

Deadening of the grass

Let’s face it, animals urinate and defecate outside and this can be bad on your grass. There are several things you can do and a few things you must do. For instance, one solution is to train your animal to relieve itself in a specific place in the backyard. This could take a lot of time to do, but it will isolate the problem to one area. However, on the list of things you must do there is: a) frequently cleaning up the larger ‘deposits’, keeping the lawn a bit longer than the high and tight you see on other lawns, and ensuring that the lawn is thoroughly watered (this will water down any urine and make it less concentrated to a single area).

Wearing paths into the grass

Some animals like to pace back and forth in a yard, walk the parameter of their domain, or simply take the same route multiple times each day to different parts of the yard. This consistent pressure can wear down the lawn in those areas making them bare. Depending on what your animal does, you may be able to add paver stones, gravel, or concrete in those areas to protect the greenery. If it is a sporadic pattern, then you might have to just train the animal to walk elsewhere.

Now, these are not the only things that pets can do to damage homes, so be vigilant and keep an eye on them. These ideas may or may not work for your pet, it all depends on their personality and their needs.

If you want more information about pets in the Boise area, give one of our agents a call today! They will do everything they can to help you and your pets. It is also important to remember that there are some animals that are prohibited to be kept in the City of Boise without a license. So, be sure to do your research before you bring anything exotic.

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