Dog unhappy about bed change
Q: I just bought an expensive new pet bed to replace the old and ratty one, and my dog Jasper won't use it. The new one matches my decor much better, but I feel bad because he keeps walking to where the old bed was and looks at me with super-sad eyes. When I come home from work, he's on the couch instead. For his sake, I wish I didn't throw away the old bed, but it really was awful. What should I do?
A: Poor Jasper. I feel so sorry for him - apparently you changed his world a lot more than you knew. Most dogs don't care as much as we do what color or how ratty their bed is. Dogs see through their noses - a smelly bed is a beautiful one. Fortunately for me, my dog Jaxx is pretty easygoing and doesn't seem to mind where he sleeps.
Try this idea. Put some different blankets or towels (in colors you like) on the new bed to see if Jasper has a preference for fiber. Some animals prefer cotton or wool, some prefer microfibers, and some don't seem to care. Some simply don't like change if the padding feels too different. Eventually Jasper's own scents will permeate the new bed and he may accept it.
If he's still not using the new bed, place the blanket or towel in a place where Jasper does sleep, such as the sofa. Catch him on the sofa, scoot him off, and move that same blanket on his new bed. Then, using a treat, guide him to stand, sit or lie down on his new bed. Eventually he may get the idea.
When you open your heart and your house to a new pet, let go ideas of a perfect house. The love pets bring makes up for the messes. Good luck.
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her: