Chew on this

Today’s post is a follow-up to the green-clean-up-your-pet’s-accidents post I shared with you last week. I love pets and I keep a list of great sources from my pet-owning clients to share with others. My tip for today is for dog and puppy owners, which make up the majority of pets I see in the homes I visit. This tip may also work for kitties, but I leave that up to the cat owners to decide if it works for them.

I have used today’s tip myself with several dogs and three (yes, three) litters of puppies. This tip does work for canines. And in fact it is designed to curb your canine’s canines. This tip works to solve this problem:

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Have you ever had this problem in your home? Puppies love to chew when they are trying to get rid of their baby teeth. Older dogs might develop a taste for a certain piece of furniture or shoes and return to it whenever they are tempted by the smell. So, when we employ this deterrent in our home, we must also remember to conquer the smell, just like last week’s post.

Our Secret Weapon

Didn’t see that coming, did you? I bet most of you already have some variety of hairspray in your home already. Here’s how you use it:

Just spray the area of chewing temptation lightly with hairspray and let it dry. I’m using the legs of a wicker chair, which was like catnip for our dogs. You can use this on any wood furniture piece or leather shoes (not fabric shoes). It will not hurt the finish of your wood furniture or leather.

When you are done needing it, when your puppy has grown up or your dog has learned not to chew the vulnerable item, you can just wipe the hairspray away with a damp cloth. (I use the eco-friendly cloths I discuss in this post.)

You can also leave the hairspray on indefinitely if you are worried about protecting your items forever.

How It Works

The alcohol in the hairspray is a natural odor absorber. It is a great way to disguise the natural scent of the tempting item. In addition, many hairsprays have artificial scent in them to smell fruity, floral or feminine for the human customers. These scents take care of the older dogs tempted by the items natural scent. You may need to top of the layer of hairspray every now and then to protect it from…”repeat offenders”.

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The way the hairspray works for puppies is even simpler. Puppies are looking for anything they can wrap their gums around, just like human babies love teething rings. If you were teething, would like to get the taste of hairspray all over the inside of your mouth? Neither do puppies. Just be prepared to top off the layer of spray on the “targeted” items because puppies have a slower learning curve about taste than older dogs.

Easy solution, right? And you probably already have the “secret weapon” in your home. Okay, one last thing to share with you…

Puppy Bonus!

It is no secret that I am a big fan of our National Parks Service, which you can read more about in this post. I learned something new about the NPS just last week and I had to share since it involves these three little cuties:

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The National Parks Service raises a litter of sled dog puppies every year at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. This years litter of pups are named Koven, Carpe and Tatum. You are paying a tiny, itty-bitty portion of their care through your tax dollars going to the NPS. So, in a sense, these are partly YOUR puppies.

Your puppies have grown up a lot since that above picture. Now they frolic and play, greet their keepers when it is mealtime and take naps in a big furry pile of sibling-hood. How do I know all this? I check on them, almost every day, and you can, too.

Just click on the still picture below and it will take you (past a ridiculously long web address) to the NPS Sled Dog Puppies Kennel Webcam. The camera refreshes the image approximately every 18 seconds.

Remember that Alaska is 4 hours behind Eastern Time, which makes it even easier to watch them during the day and in the early evening. Two days ago, the pups woke up to their first major snowfall and they were so excited!

What does all this puppy-cam stuff have to do with interior design? Well, the point of great design is great living. Pets are a great reminder that sometimes the smallest things can bring beauty and joy into our lives and homes. Even if they slop their drinking water all over the floor and carelessly leave paw prints in their wake. Few people ever welcome us home the way our pets do.

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What is the silliest thing you pet ever chewed up or destroyed? My puppy got into a sewing box and unwound every spool of thread by chasing them all over the upstairs. She certainly had a good time but she also managed to tie her own legs together. When we came home, it was really hard to be mad at her since we found her stuck at the top of the stairs trussed like a turkey, quietly whimpering.

Got a good pet story of your own? Share it in a comment!

Posted on October 4, 2011, in Lifestyle, Organization. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Wow, what an interesting tip! I don’t have a dog but it always makes me smile to see new uses for household items.

    Cute blog, by the way! 🙂

  2. Does it work for cats, too? Someone told me that they had to replace two sets of expensive ear buds because the cat destroyed them. She’s also missing a stylus. Can I tell her this works for cats?

    • I imagine the alcohol in hairspray tastes bad to most animals, but I’ve never personally tried this technique out with a cat. Any cat owners out there want to weigh in?

  3. I love the sled dog puppies! They’re so cute! Thanks for the link

  4. Hi! Thanks for the hairspray tip! Do you have a clean-up tip on our dog’s habit of eating his dinner followed by running along the side of the sofa, wiping his face. I have a beige microfiber sofa that has some sort of spray protection on it. Thanks, Sandra

    • Wow! I don’t have any behavior tips on this quirky little habit. A sofa as a doggie napkin…interesting! However, this might be exactly why microfiber was invented. You can spot clean microfiber with just a little water on a cloth (not paper towel). Hope this helps!

  5. What an ingenious suggestion. I was planning a Target run soon, anyway; I’ll put hairspray on the list. Thank you so much!

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