Encourage your furry friend to stop acting out.
If your pet has accidents in the house:
• Potential cause: Medical or behavioral problems
• The fix: See the vet to rule out or treat diabetes, a urinary tract infection or other issues. If nothing turns up, institute a structured bathroom schedule to make behavioral corrections. Take dogs out to the same spot every one to two hours. Keep cats' litter boxes clean and easily accessible.
If your pet tears up furniture:
• Potential cause: Stress or boredom
• The fix: Give your pup a sturdy chew toy to gnaw on. Encourage your cat to claw at a scratching post instead of totally banishing the behavior (see "Scratch That" below). Discourage felines from clawing furniture by covering the areas they usually go for with tinfoil or plastic wrap.
If your pet is too rough at playtime:
• Potential cause: Boredom or attention seeking
• The fix: When your pooch nips or jumps, yelp so it knows you've been hurt, then turn away. The dog will start to associate roughness with the end of playtime. Try stimulating games such as fetch, plus interactive food puzzles. With cats, keep plenty of toys handy to redirect their attention.
• Chew on this: Gnawing is actually a normal, healthy behavior for dogs.
• Your goal: To tire out your pup with plenty of active playtime. Aim for 30 minutes daily.
Source: Mikkel Becker, animal trainer for vetstreet.com