In America alone, 85 million families own a pet; it’s often one of the first things people get when they finally purchase a home. Pets make you life better. The health benefits of pet ownership include lower blood pressure and stress relief. But the benefits also come with a bit of a cost. If you’ve just bought your first home and are thinking of getting pet, you need to consider the cost of pet ownership. Pets are wonderful but can damage your home.

Damage to the Walls

A puppy, like a human baby, can be teething, which means chewing. A puppy will not just chew on furniture, they will chew the corners of your walls as well. Baseboards are not immune either. Dogs’ natures also drive them to mark their territory, which means male dogs will lift a leg and a urinate on surfaces including walls. Dogs are notorious for scratching on doors to be let in or out as well. This can wreak havoc on those surfaces.

Cats as well as dogs will spray their odor on surfaces. This is almost impossible to remove. Cats will also scratch surfaces around your home. There is really no surface that is immune. Training your pets to not participate in this kind of destructive behavior is paramount.

Damage to the Flooring

Major damage can occur to your flooring during the months that you’re house training your new pets. A puppy will potty on the floors several times a day if unwatched. Ceramic tile floors and some laminate floors as well are better suited for a new puppy. These surfaces are non-porous and won’t absorb the odor of pet urine the same way wood or carpeted flooring will. Getting your puppy to go outside to do his business is the first lesson he needs to learn. Carpet that is saturated with pet urine will likely need to be removed and replaced.

Your carpets can become a playground for fleas as well. Of course fleas carry disease and make your pets lives a misery so it’s imperative that you treat them with medicine recommended by your veterinarian. Get rid of fleas as soon as you detect them. Once they’ve landed inside your home and in your carpets, they can be difficult to eradicate. Guides like How to Remove Fleas From Carpet are great resources to use when clearing your house of these tiny pests.

Damage to the Exterior

Bigger dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors can do their fair share of damage as well. Chewing on surfaces isn’t limited to the interior walls. If it’s chewable, dogs will find a way to chew on it. Wood steps up to your porch or deck can become splintered messes. And don’t forget about digging. Dogs love to dig! They’ll dig up pretty flowers that are freshly planted in your landscape beds, they’ll dig around trees, and they will just dig big holes in the middle of the yard to make a nice cool spot to lay (don’t ask me how I know this).  This can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of damage to your yards. Altering your pets behavior is something that is not easy, but it is necessary.

Other wild animals love to join your dogs in this destruction. Something as simple as little squirrels can eat through your electric cables. If you live in more rural areas animals like foxes and raccoons can root through your garbage cans and burrow beneath your foundations. Mice and rats look for any opening into your home’s interior. Call a professional to get rid of them. 

I would absolutely not want to live in a world without my four dogs; they bring such joy into our lives. That being said, taking the responsibility to train your dogs so they don’t cost you money in repairs is something you should not neglect. I don’t discourage anyone from pet ownership as long as you remember that pets are wonderful but can damage your home so you have to be vigilant with their training and upkeep.

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