Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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Some animals may have a hard time understanding, especially at first, why one piece of furniture is okay but others aren't. This version of How to Keep Pets off the Furniture was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on September 11, 2015.
Sometimes, however, pets can get territorial over pieces of furniture, or leave a trail of shed fur all over a clean couch or bed.
If your cat continually climbs on furniture and it's causing you problems, one of the best alternatives you can provide your cat is a cat condo. If your pet isn't satisfied with sleeping in a dog or cat bed, consider designating one piece of furniture as a pet-friendly spot.[4] It could be an old arm chair or a love seat that you don't really use anymore - anything that your pet will take a liking to.
Once you provide your pet with an alternative, "pet-friendly" piece of furniture, you may need to train your pet to use that piece of furniture instead of humans-only furniture.
If you've recently brought home a new pet, or you plan to in the near future, it's best to restrict your pet's access to furniture from day one, if being on the furniture is an issue for you. One way to train your pet out of using furniture (and keeping your pet off, even when you're not home) is by making the furniture less comfortable. Aluminum foil is another simple furniture deterrent that will make furniture loud and uncomfortable, and therefore undesirable, without harming your pet or damaging your furniture. A simple way to keep pets off your couches and recliners is by laying other furniture, like folding chairs, across the cushions.
One way to train your pet out of climbing onto furniture, especially when you're not home, is to lay a gentle booby trap. If you don't want to create your own furniture blockers, there are a number of commercially-available furniture deterrent devices on the market.


The off command, though highly effective, does require you to be present and observe your pet climbing onto off-limits furniture. As soon as your dog gets down from the furniture, offer him verbal praise and give him the treat you led him away with.
One possible reason your cat may be climbing on furniture is because he isn't getting enough exercise and stimulation on a daily basis. Cats and dogs have a natural aversion to anything that smells or tastes like citrus or bitter apple.[19] You can use this to your advantage as you train your pet to stay off counters or furniture. If your pet tends to climb on furniture when you're not home (evidenced by lots of hair or scratch marks on furniture), consider getting a crate for your dog when you're not home, or confining your pet(s) to a designated area, like a bathroom or kitchen. Your furniture is designed to be comfortable, and your pet simply wants the same comfort that you do. When these inconveniences arise, it's important to teach your pet to stay off the furniture. However, it's important to reinforce to your pet that he can't climb on other pieces of furniture. Or maybe your cat climbs on the kitchen counter because she knows you put her food bowl up there from time to time. A good example of a harmless (yet effective) booby trap is to stack a bunch of empty soda cans on the furniture.
This technique works better for dogs, since dogs tend to respond to verbal commands better than cats.
Use citrus-scented cleaning products on the counters you want to keep a cat off of, or spray a little citrus-scented oil or bitter apple on couches to keep pets off.


You can also use baby gates to block access to certain rooms or pieces of furniture.[21] Just be sure your animals have access to food and fresh, clean water, and aren't exposed to uncomfortable temperatures, no matter where you confine them.
Tape may also be difficult to remove from furniture, especially if your furniture is made of wood. Learning how to break these bad habits can help you train your pets to stay off the furniture for good. Whatever piece of furniture your pet is climbing on, there's a chance he's come to associate that location with food.
You can then lay these sticky mats, with the adhesive side up, on whatever counters or couch cushions your pet is drawn to, or just apply double-sided tape directly to the furniture. Be sure the empty cans are well-rinsed, to ensure that no sticky residue gets on your furniture.
The SSSCAT, another motion-activated device, shoots a blast of air at your pet if he crosses the motion sensor while climbing onto your furniture. You can build a little pyramid, either on a couch cushion or on the headrest above an armchair, and if your pet tries to climb up the toppling cans will frighten him off the furniture.



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