Simple Ways to Keep Your Home in Great Condition

In many ways, the quality of your life is determined by the condition of your home. If it feels like your home is in disrepair, messy, or cluttered, you’re not going to feel comfortable or satisfied with your living situation. While perfection is an unattainable standard, there are a lot of simple things you can do to keep your home in good condition and prevent problems.

Train Your dog. Although many people own dogs and consider them to be a cherished part of the family, not everyone takes the time to properly housebreak, exercise, and train their pets. Dogs are very eager to please, but they need clear guidelines to understand what you expect of them. Some dogs also tend to express frustration or restlessness in destructive ways if they’re not given enough attention, exercise, or toys/treats to chew on. It’s not uncommon for dogs to chew on furniture, shoes, or other valued possessions if their needs are not met. Ideally, people should research dog breeds before actually purchasing a household pet. That way you can know more about temperament, exercise requirements, and training potential before you bring a puppy into the family. In addition to helpful online videos on raising obedient dogs, pet supply stores periodically offer low-cost training classes for dogs and their owners. Effectively housebreaking your pet in the first few days and weeks of adopting them is a key aspect of a harmonious pet/owner relationship. Otherwise, your furniture, hardwood floors, and carpeting could be subject to irreparable damage!

Use Furniture Sliders: Hardwood floors can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, they’re a high-quality, nice-looking material that enhances the look and feel of your home. On the other hand, it can be difficult to prevent scratching, scuffing, and even gouging of those beautiful surfaces. One solution, which is easy on both your floors and your pocketbook, is to put felt or plastic furniture sliders under the legs of your tables, chairs, and ottomans. Not only can you prevent or reduce hardwood floor scratching that inevitably happens when furniture is dragged across a floor, but it also makes it easier to rearrange furniture.

Maintain Your Rain Gutters: Properly working rain gutters serve the useful purpose of channeling water away from your roof, eaves, and foundation. By making sure your gutters are not clogged up with leaves, branches, and other debris, you can help protect your home from water damage. If the downspout of your rain gutter empties water too close to your house, you can often correct that by purchasing and attaching an inexpensive extension. Routing water away from your foundation can help prevent basement leaks, cracking, and crumbling. It can also be part of a multi-faceted approach to preventing basement mold.

Control Clutter: Household clutter not only degrades the appearance of your home (for both you and your guests), but it’s a known source of psychological stress. Taking the first step to reduce clutter is usually the most difficult part of the process, but once it’s a habit, maintaining a clutter-free home becomes infinitely easier!

House Training Your Dog

Pets are a part of the family. When we welcome a new dog into the home, we often expect them to meet our standards of behavior without much guidance. Dogs, like children, require consistent training from all members of the family. They need positive reinforcement and clear signals from you to teach them what behavior is acceptable.

In this article, we’re going to cover some important house training tips for you and your canine companion. We’ll look at some of the common mistakes that new pet owners make, and talk about ways to curb undesirable behavior like chewing shoes or furniture or barking at windows.

Traits vs. behaviors

One common mistake new pet owners make is to attempt to place character traits on their dog. Words like pushy, protective, mischievous, etc. are all adjectives that we often use to describe our dogs.

However, as dog owners and home owners, our energy is better spent on recognizing and correcting behaviors. If your dog tears at a carpet or chews the corner of your sofa, it isn’t very helpful sitting around thinking of adjectives to describe your dog (like restless or anxious). Rather, we should think about the behavior itself and how to replace it.

Let’s jump right into some household behaviors and ways to replace them with desirable alternatives.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of a dog’s life. Chewing itself is not a negative behavior, but when your dog starts demolishing furniture or eating your homework, it’s time to take steps to curb this behavior.

First, make sure your dog is eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Dogs who aren’t eating a fat and protein rich food or who are overeating are prone to having excessive energy. If they’re trapped indoors and have nothing to focus that energy on, they’ll turn to chewing things they aren’t supposed to.

To focus your dog’s energy on positive behaviors, take your dog for a walk, jog, or play with them. If you notice your dog attempting to chew things they shouldn’t be, draw their attention away and provide them with a better alternative.

Barking

Just like chewing, barking is not in itself a negative behavior. It’s when your dog barks excessively and inappropriately that it becomes problematic.

Dogs bark for several reasons: to get you to play, to show that they’re stressed or bored, and so on. If your dog spends a lot of time monitoring doors and windows and barking at passersby, there are a few things you can do to curb the behavior.

First, take away the trigger. In this case, that could be closing the curtains or restricting your dog’s access to the room. If your dog is worried about strangers passing by the house, they are likely already too tense to begin training an alternative behavior to barking. If it’s noises that alarm your dog, try playing soft music to mask the noises for a day or two.

Once you’re ready to start training, have someone walk past outside where your dog can see from the window or make a noticeable noise outside. Reward your dog with treats when they do not react until they become more comfortable with the outside distractions.