The benefits of having a pet are innumerable and that’s why “pandemic puppies” (or kitties or cockatiels) have become a lifestyle trend. Pets can be companions, protectors, service animals, and even help produce products that can be sold, such as eggs from chickens. While there are many positive attributes to pets, one potential concern is the impact they have on the home.

The following are some potential pet-damage problems and how to avoid them.

Marking. Many animals use scent markers to establish their territory and communicate with other animals. As a result, both male and female pets may spray urine in certain areas of the house. While it may not eliminate the problem immediately, making sure to neuter or spay cats and dogs can reduce the likelihood that they’ll mark indoors or attempt to seek out feral animals they smell.

Accidents. In addition to marking, pets that have not been properly trained or were trained and are experiencing a behavioral or medical issue may begin soiling in improper areas, such as outside of the litter box or in the home. Obedience training can head off some issues, but if a medical condition is suspected, consult with a veterinarian promptly.

Dirt, fur and more. An investment in regular grooming can help keep certain damage at bay, states Home Advisor. Regularly brushing and trimming coats, keeping nails clipped and bathing will keep a home fresh and minimize damage. Other pets may not be groomed but require cleaning of cages or other habitats. Bird droppings and feathers can get on surfaces. Cleaning daily or very frequently can help keep a home tidy.

Provide toys and scratching posts. Pets need an outlet to tame anxiety and energy. If they don’t have suitable outlets, pets may cause damage to a home. Cats will take to furniture to stretch their paws if they don’t have scratching posts or special mats. Dogs, particularly puppies, can be orally fixated. When the urge to chew sets in, unless there are appropriate chew toys, furniture, moldings and other items around the house may become fair game.

Declawing a cat to prevent damage should not be a consideration. It is a surgery that can cause ongoing health problems. Nail caps can be used as a safe alternative.

Escape artists. In some cases, pets may chew or scratch their way through doors and window screens. Others may dig under fencing or climb, leaving damage in their wake. Boredom, anxiety or lack of training may be behind these behaviors, according to Pets Weekly. However, the urge to roam also may be tied to pets not being fixed. Work with the vet or a trainer to help stop these issues.

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