10 Simple Ways to Dog Proof Your Furniture
Growing up all of our dogs were allowed on the furniture, so the sight of a big dog lounging on the couch was perfectly normal. But when I finally moved out on my own I started to realize how much wear and tear my sofa was taking from my own dog Laika.
It was one of those “hey I paid for that!” moments of adulthood, and I suddenly realized why many people have the no pets on furniture rule to begin with.
Instead of not allowing my dog up on the couch I found some ways to help protect my furniture from her claws and all that fur. I also had to teach her to stop trying to bury her toys in the couch cushions, but that’s a story for another time. I don’t mind her being up on the furniture, but I needed to find a way to keep it protected.
10 Simple Tips to Dog Proof Your Furniture
Do you allow your dog on the furniture? Do you find yourself constantly picking up dog hair and trying to keep things neat and tidy? For certain breeds it’s a never ending task; I sympathize with those of you Husky owners, I really do. And remember that accidents happen, so keep a bottle of Nature’s Miracle on hand, this stuff is a life saver for any pet owner.
Do you have a bunch of dog hair, drool, odors, and scratch marks on your furniture? Are you looking for some simple ways to dog proof your couch? I was tired of cleaning my couch and chairs every other day so I bought myself a few throw blankets – and I’m happy to say keeping my furniture in decent shape has been much easier since.
Over the past few years I’ve come up with a few simple ways to cut down on my weekly cleaning routine. From using throws on the sofa to getting Laika her own comfy bed, these are my favorite tips for keeping your furniture protected from pets. Here’s a list of 10 ways to dog proof your furniture:
1. Dog Proof Your Furniture By Using Covers
The best tip of all, and probably the most low effort, is to keep your furniture protected from your dog by keeping it covered. The sound of that might bring memories of plastic covers over all the furniture like grandma used to do, but there are a lot of modern options. You can cover your furniture with washable blankets, slipcovers, or throws.
Your dog has probably has a favorite spot to lay, and often times that’s right on the couch. Make sure that spot on the couch is nicely covered with something that’s easy to maintain and wash.
I use a lot of blankets and throws in my home. It’s much easier to just toss a blanket in the wash than it is to vacuum your couch every other day. If you like more of the polished look you can buy some slipcovers. They come in virtually every color & pattern imaginable. If your crafty you can even make some covers of your own in the fabric of your own choosing.
Want to protect your couch from your pets? Keep it covered up with a blanket or throw; it doesn’t much any easier than that.
2. Avoid Bare Wood If Your Dog Chews
Avoid the frustration of coming home to chewed up chair legs by avoiding wood furniture. Not all dogs chew on furniture, but for some young pups wood can be irresistible, especially since table legs are right in mouth’s reach when they’re chilling out on the floor. Teaching a dog not to chew is easier said than done, especially if they’re doing it while you’re away.
If you do have wood furniture that you want to keep your dogs mouth off of there are products on the market made to repel your dog from chewing, such as bitter apple spray. You spray it on your table legs and it will keep your dog from gnawing them.
If your dog is especially destructive while you’re away I’d recommend crate training until you can get a better handle on the situation. Not only does chewing on wood destroy your furniture, but it’s also hazardous to your dog.
If your dog has already chewed on your furniture some wood can be repaired, as long as the chew marks aren’t too severe.
3. Choose Pet Friendly Materials For Your Furniture
The two most popular choices for pet proof furniture materials are leather and microfiber. Leather is a popular choice because it’s easy to clean, and microfiber is popular due to it’s durability. If you’re not in the market for new furniture just remember my first tip — anything can be covered with some nice slip covers.
Leather (or pleather) furniture is nice for pets because it’s nice and easy to clean with a simple wipe down, and it doesn’t attract hair like fabrics. It’s also more odor resistant than other materials.
And although leather is a popular choice keep in mind that it can be scratched. If you allow your dog on the leather furniture make sure their nails are nice and trimmed. If you do end up with pet scratches you can can repair them on your own with products made for leather.
Microfiber – Cat Owners Swear By It
Microfiber furniture is a great choice for pet friendly homes due to it’s durability. Compared to most woven materials, microfiber is difficult to stain and is designed to repel wetting, though pet hair still tends to cling to it.
Microfiber is relatively easy to clean with a damp cloth and it doesn’t seem to hold odors as much as other fabrics. Many cat owners say they choose microfiber because their cats aren’t interested in scratching it. I wonder if it’s because it doesn’t make that satisfying ripping noise they seem to relish so much.
4. Regularly Groom Your Dog to Cut Down on Shedding
Nothing decreases excess shedding quite like regular grooming. Bathing and brushing your dog on a regular schedule will help cut down on all that extra fur all over the place. If you have a dog that sheds a lot get yourself a de-shedding tool like the Furminator, and vacuum regularly to cut down on stray hairs.
Regular nail trimmings will help decrease the chances of your furniture getting scratched. If you find your dogs short nails are still awfully sharp you can also file the tips to be smoother. To keep Laika’s nails smooth I bought a steel nail file after getting tired of buying those cheap ones that only last a month.
And I know – no matter how much you groom your dog they’re still going to shed. If you’re dealing with extra shedding I’m sorry, but to help there are some simple DIY hacks for cleaning up pet hair.
5. Color Coordinate Furniture & Covers With Your Pet
No matter how much you clean and vacuum you’re going to end up with loose pet hairs. If you don’t want them to stand out as much buy a blanket that matches your pets hair color, or one that the hair doesn’t stand out so easily on. Luckily I don’t have to do this with Laika; but if I had a white dog and black furniture I think I’d definitely consider it.
6. Use the Same Entry For Cleaning up Messy Paws
If you’ve got a mud room utilize it when taking your dog in and out of the house. If you don’t have a dedicated room for your entry set up a little space and keep some extra towels on hand. Remember to wipe off your dogs muddy paws before letting them enter the rest of your home.
In a perfect world we’d all have a super fancy mud room made just for dogs. My mud room is nothing like that.
My little area for cleaning up my dogs after coming inside is just a washable rug on the floor, some towels on a rack, and a place to hang leashes – nothing quite so spectacular. But making sure I always use that same entry means I always have some towels on hand to clean up Laika’s muddy feet.
7. Invest in a Nice Dog Bed
If you find a nice comfy bed for your dog it can replace his favorite spot on the couch. I opted for a nice padded, orthopedic bed for Laika and she loves it. If I’m not on the couch and she’s resting I know where to find her – sprawled out on that doggie bed.
There are a lot of different options when it comes to dog beds. You’ve got bolstered, orthopedic, heated, and pillow beds to name a few. Hartz put together a nice quick list of things to consider when choosing a bed for your dog that can help get you started when looking.
Not all dogs will love their new beds right away. Laika wasn’t too fond of using her bed until we placed it right next to the couch. If your dog likes to be a part of what’s going at all times (aka velcro dog syndrome) consider placing his bed somewhere that will let him keep an eye on things. If your dog doesn’t naturally take to his bed there are some easy steps to take to get him comfortable with it.
The more time your dog spends in his bed the less fur, scratches, stains, odors, and puke you’ll find on your furniture.
8. Keep Certain Rooms Closed Off From Pets
If you’re not a fan of having your dog in certain rooms of the house just remember to keep those doors shut.
If you don’t like the idea of having your dog have free roam of the living room while you’re at work you can use baby gates to keep you dog contained to certain areas of the home. (crate training works, too)
9. Choose a Sofa With Removable Seats
One of my favorite tips for keeping your furniture clean with pets is having a couch with removable seats.
If you’re looking for a new sofa and want something pet friendly get a sofa that has removable seats. Those individual cushions can be unzipped for washing, which makes removing pet odors & stains much easier.
10. Have Lint Rollers or Packing Tape on Hand for Picking Up Fur
No matter how much you groom your dog there’s going to be some shedding. And if you’re anything like me you find dog hair in your cupboards, on top of the TV, and all over the drapes. It’s almost as if dogs have the whole drive by shedding thing down to a science.
If you’re looking for an easy way to help clean up some of that loose fur use a lint roller on your furniture. Don’t have any lint rollers? One of my favorite hacks is to use a roll of packing tape; it works just as well as lint rollers.
How Do You Dog Proof Your Furniture?
How do you keep your furniture in one piece? Do you have a bunch of bite marks on your wooden furniture? What materials have you found to be pet proof?
Any tips I missed for dog proofing your furniture? I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave your tips and stories in the comments below.
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