The Best Ways to Protect Your Furniture From Pets
Pets are lovable companions who bring joy and fun into our lives. Their playful energy is part of what makes them so special, but it can sometimes take a toll on our furniture. If you've ever wondered how to protect your sofa from dogs or how to pet-proof your furniture, you're in the right place.
Why You Should Protect Your Furniture From Pets
While good-quality furniture is an investment, it's normal to have it develop wear and tear over time. Your furniture will experience nicks and dings related to daily use, so you shouldn't be alarmed if you notice a few scratches or rips. However, without proper precautions, pets can speed up the process.
Furniture that you don't protect from pets may:
- Require costly repairs.
- Decline in quality and value.
- Hold on to odors.
- Be challenging to clean.
- Look unattractive.
Putting in the time and effort to maintain your furniture and protect it from pets can help you get the most out of it. With proper care, you can enjoy your furniture for years to come.
How Pets Damage Furniture
A few ways your animal companion may harm your furniture include:
- Scratching: Pets can scratch wooden pieces or shred fabric ones.
- Chewing: Bite marks on your furniture are unsightly and can grow over time.
- Staining: Dogs and cats — especially puppies and kittens or older animals — may have accidents that can stain your furniture's upholstery.
- Dirty paw prints: If your pets spend any time outdoors, they're likely to track in mud, dirt or other debris that can transfer to your furniture.
- Shedding: Shedding is a normal part of your pet's life, but all that excess fur can work its way into your furniture and cause allergies.
- Licking: While it's natural for cats and dogs to lick, doing so can leave bacteria on your furniture that may cause odors and stains.
How to Protect Your Furniture
Following are a few ways to protect your furniture from pets.
Choose Pet-Friendly Fabrics
Choose furniture that uses pet-friendly fabrics. Microfiber is a safe bet for households with pets because it's durable and easy to clean. While animals may scratch leather furniture, it's relatively strong and easy to wipe clean. You can sweep or vacuum both of these fabrics to remove pet hair.
Adding a protective treatment can also increase the fabric's life span. For example, Aquaclean fabric will let you clean your upholstered furniture without chemicals while avoiding PFCs that can harm your family and pets.
Fabrics to avoid are velvet, suede, linen, tweed and silk. These materials are too delicate to withstand pets and many cleaning products used for pet messes can damage them.
Outfit Your Home With Pet-Friendly Furniture
While no furniture is completely pet-proof, some pieces hold up better than others. The best furniture for pets will be durable pieces that can stand up to heavy use.
Sofas and chairs with zippered cushion covers and wipe-clean fabrics are ideal because they are easy to maintain. As for tables, cabinets and other hard-surfaced furniture, sturdiness is crucial. A large or active dog can break rickety furniture or knock over unstable shelving.
Think about the weight of your pet when choosing and assembling your furniture. For example, a particleboard table sharing a home with a seven-pound cat will be fine but probably won't last long in one with Saint Bernard. Likewise, tables with glass accents can be dangerous, as animals can break them and injure themselves on the broken glass.
No matter what size your pet is, always use proper tools and sturdy hardware to assemble your furniture. These items will help make your furniture stable and more resistant to damage.
Additional Tips for Protecting Your Furniture From Pets
Need more ideas on how to keep pets off furniture or at least minimize the damage? Follow these tips:
- Dog- and cat-proof your furniture with pet covers: Pet covers can help keep fur, saliva and dirt from sinking into your sofa. You can find covers created for that specific purpose or use something as simple as blankets, towels, sheets or slip-covers.
- Invest in furniture just for your pet: A comfortable bed for your dog or cat may help deter them from your furniture.
- Groom your pet regularly: Frequent grooming can limit the amount of pet hair that works its way into your furniture.
- Care for your pet's nails: Keeping your pet's nails trimmed can help reduce the chance of scratched or ripped furniture.
- Try sprays that prevent chewing: Protect your furniture from dog chewing by spraying it with a chew-deterrent formula.
- Provide plenty of toys: Toys are an easy way to entertain your pet and distract them from the urge to chew or claw your furniture.
- Exercise your pet: Pets need exercise just like humans do. Playing with your cat or walking your dog can keep them fit and help them stay calm when you're away from home. Without exercise, your pet may release its pent-up energy on your furniture.
How to Prepare Your Furniture for a New Puppy or Kitten
Puppies and kittens may be small, but don't underestimate their ability to make messes and stir up trouble. While their playfulness is part of their charm, you probably prefer to protect your furniture from it.
Consistency is crucial for new puppies and kittens. Protecting your furniture will be easier as they learn your routine and how to communicate with and understand you. Here are a few ways to safeguard your furniture from new pets.
Along with the basics of how to dog-proof your furniture, you'll want to take a few extra precautions when you bring a new puppy home:
- Crate train: Crates provide a comfy area just for puppies. Put your puppy in his crate for short amounts of time to help him adjust to the space.
- Develop a training routine: New puppies need training to help them understand your commands and directives. A consistent training schedule can put you on the fast track to an obedient pup.
- Give them chew toys: Puppies chew for many reasons — it helps them relieve teething pain and stress and builds up their jaw strength. New puppies are just beginning to explore chewing. Place a few chewable toys next to your furniture to give them a better option when they head for the side table.
- Clear your furniture of any wobbly decorations: Puppies can bump into furniture and knock over things like vases, potted plants or artwork, leading to a mess and potential furniture damage. Consider relocating these items to low surfaces like your fireplace or a squatty table.
Kittens have all of a grown cat's curiosity without any of their experience. Follow these tips to help keep your furniture safe:
- Prepare a kitten room: Kittens may become destructive when overwhelmed, so let your kitten acclimate to their new environment slowly. Consider keeping them in one room for a few days with plenty of food, water and toys before introducing them to the rest of your home.
- Give them stimulating toys: Provide your kitten with fun toys to help keep them off your furniture. Scratching posts, toy mice, feathers and balls are good choices.
- Isolate the litter box: Place your kitten's litter box in a separate area to keep your furniture from developing an odor.
Find High Quality Furniture at Resource Furniture
At Resource Furniture, we love our pets just as much as you do. That's why we create durable, high-quality furniture that stands up to pets with style and functionality. Schedule a virtual appointment or visit one of our showrooms to browse our selection of pet-friendly furniture. We look forward to helping you decorate your home with pieces that fit your needs!