Having a dog does not mean you cannot have a nice home with high-quality decor. You simply need to know the type of furniture that is safe from your dog’s innocent ravages while not causing harm to your loveable pup.
Dog-friendly furniture is not limited to ugly, utilitarian choices. Rather, some of the most attractive and comfortable furniture even popular with people who do not own pets is a good choice for dog owners. Factors influencing how dog safe a piece of furniture may be include the material from which a piece of furniture is made, how easy it is to clean it and how well made the furniture is.
Remember, you can reserve certain lower-traffic areas of your home for your finer pieces of furniture and simply keep the dogs out of those rooms. For all the other parts of the home where dogs may be present, consider how these factors of dog safety and friendliness may influence your furniture choices. If you are also a parent, you may recognize many of the concerns regarding dogs and furniture are also relevant to children, perhaps with the exception of shedding.
You can find that many of the qualities making for effective dog-safe furniture also makes them kid-safe. Whatever type of furniture you choose, one way to keep it clean and free of pet hair, dirt and odors is to use pet-friendly flooring beneath it. Avoid rugs and carpets, and opt for harder, flat surfaces like wood, tile or linoleum.
Materials That Are Pet Safe
Wear shows sooner and is more pronounced on delicate fabrics and lighter shades of fabric than on sturdier fabrics in darker shades. More delicate fabrics are also more prone to tears and snagging. Among the hardiest natural fabrics for dog-friendly furniture are tweed, microfiber and thick leather. Among the hardiest synthetic fabrics are the following:
The fabrics named above are relatively safe from permanent damage from pet accidents and dirt. Some of the hardiest materials for furniture-making are used in making outdoor furniture. Much outdoor furniture, however, is attractive and comfortable enough to use indoors. If you can find outdoor furniture appealing enough to use indoors, it represents some of the longest-lasting furniture you can own as a dog owner.
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The color and design of the fabric used, whatever the material, can also influence how well it picks up damage and foreign elements. Patterned fabrics in general may show stains and spills, tears and snags and generally wear less than solid-color fabrics. For choosing appropriate solid-color fabrics or color-selecting your patterns, consider matching the fabric to the color of your dog’s fur. This way, hair does not show up as greatly on the furniture, requiring you to clean it less often.
Pet-Safe Furniture Construction
Dogs can be much harder on furniture than humans, even in simple, everyday use.
When you have a dog prone to digging, scratching or chewing, however, the risk and impact on your furniture can be even more pronounced. Durable construction is paramount in making your furniture last and look attractive for its lifespan when you own dogs, even if they just lie at your feet.
If you let your dogs onto the furniture, however, durability is even more necessary. Whether dogs are regularly scratching themselves while against a piece of furniture or constantly jumping on and off of it, the frame of the furniture rattles, gets compressed and becomes impacted more than in a household without dogs.
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Other elements to consider are the edges and contours of frames and the clasps and accessories on padding. You want to avoid edges that are too sharp, in case your dog accidentally bangs up against it the wrong way. Likewise, you want to avoid padding with large zippers or excessive buttons, embroidery or other elements a dog could either chew and swallow, get poked with or get his or her claws stuck in.
Similarly, sectional furniture could come apart and trap your dog. Watch the crevices and seams between parts of the frame as well to make sure your dog cannot get a leg stuck. Instead, opt for solid pieces without to many seams and crevices that could come apart. If the frame of the furniture sits higher off the ground, consider what might happen if your dog tried to crawl underneath it. Could the dog fit under the furniture if he or she tried? Is the furniture stable enough to deal with that incursion without toppling or getting damaged from the underside? For these reasons, it may simply be safer to opt for furniture that sits closer to the floor.
Cleaning Dog-Safe Furniture
Dirt and accidents are only one type of mess a dog owner may have to clean up on furniture. Excessive licking can cause stains in fabric, and shedding of any amount can get pet hair embedded in upholstery and trapped in every nook, cranny and crevice of your furniture. Pet hair is most repelled by materials like leather and microfiber that have tighter weaves and a slicker surface. You can easily wipe these surfaces down when they get dirty and remove excess pet hair and stray dirt with a vacuum.
If you choose furniture with zippered or otherwise easily removable upholstery, it can be much easier to keep clean by simply tossing its slipcovers in the laundry than furniture you must clean on the spot. Whatever type of furniture you get for your dog-friendly home, find out what sorts of surface protectants you may be able to add to keep it further safe from stains, scratches and spills. Many furniture treatments exist that can make your cleaning duties easier. When purchasing your furniture, consider any warranties that protect against pet damage. This could come in handy if your dog’s claws inadvertently become stuck and rip the fabric, or in the case of leather, the dog’s claws pierce or scratch the surface, leaving marks.
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By Larissa Shelton –