Correcting your pet’s behavior issues can be challenging, but we strongly encourage you to seek out the true cause of the behavior and work with your pet to resolve it. Please do NOT give up on your pet simply because it is not acting as you want it to. Would you “throw away” a child just because it was being bad?
It’s important to understand that cat and dog manners and social norms are very different so what might work to correct your dog’s behavior is unlikely to work for your cat and vice-versa. Dogs are pack animals whose behavior is largely governed by group dynamics whereas cats are primarily concerned about their personal welfare and maintaining their territory. In seeking to resolve a behavioral issue, understanding your pet’s unique lifestyle and social needs is a good starting point.
Much like children, animals who cannot obtain positive attention from their parents will often act out simply to get some kind of attention. Bad behavior forces you to interact with your pet, but obviously not in a way that is pleasant for either of you. Adequate exercise is extremely important for both cats and dogs as an outlet for their energy and to help build family bonds.
Dogs are considered highly trainable and should receive at least basic obedience training, ideally as a puppy, to be a good housemate. Cats, while harder to train due to their independent nature, can learn the rules of the household - though that doesn’t mean that they will always follow them. Most cats and dogs, through patient, consistent reinforcement, reward of desired behaviors and by making small changes to your home environment, can be taught to act in a way that is harmonious with your family.
Sometimes what you consider misbehavior, like peeing on the floor, may in fact be caused by a medical condition so taking your pet for a medical check-up is often a good first step to determine the cause of the behavior.
Following are links to helpful resources:
Veterinary Behavior Specialist - Dr. Lore Haug, DVM, Sugar Land, TX
ASPCA Article, Finding Professional Help