The ferret was clearly to blame. Sure, my roommate was messy, but she wouldn’t scatter a trail of dried cranberries across the floor and under the couch -- or steal 37 lighters and hide them under the bed. With their unconditional love, pets can be a joy, but let’s face it: sometimes, you come home only to realize your “Boston Terror” has eaten his fifth set of couch pillows. How do we make sure our pets aren’t managing major mischief when we’re away?
Keep Them Hunting
Smart animals are a delight to play with, but when you’re gone, pets' minds need occupation. Sudoku doesn’t work, but smart toys do! Dogs and cats are built to hunt, so concealing food in a dog puzzle or in kitty toys around the house keeps your pet’s natural instincts sharply honed and active.
Keep Them Interested
Snacks like peanut butter or some tasty nibble inside a rubber treat ball can distract your dog or cat for a long time when you’re away, especially when you’re leaving the house. Sure, your pet wants instant gratification, but it’s fun to work for goodies.
Find a Friend
Often, animals make mischief because they’re bored, and having a friend to play with keeps the activity -- well, between friends. When my roommate finally got an additional ferret, the destructive behavior stopped. After playing endless games of “Living Room Obstacle Course,” the weasels didn’t have the energy to scatter my snacks!
A Room with a View
Most animals like to look out at the world. Not only is it fun for your cat or dog to sit at the window and see what’s going on, but a visible dog is a powerful deterrent to home invaders. Even a small dog can bark to alert the neighbors and keep your house secure.
Finally, the best way to make sure your pets aren’t making mischief is to check on them. With a security system like ADT, for example, you can stream live video from any room. ADT security systems are better with the ADT pulse app, which allows you to control the cameras or even adjust the thermostat to make sure your pet is kept toasty warm or cool at all times.
Pets miss you when you’re gone, but keeping them busy helps. Toys, friends, or a home security system can make a major difference -- and save you lots of money on couch pillows!