For many dog lovers, their pets are an integral part of the family. That means sharing fun outings, your living space, and often your living room furniture.
While muddy paws and pet hair are part of the dog deal, they are not challenges you want to deal with on your furniture.
Pet parents raising young pups will tell you that dog troubles don't stop with dog hair and dirt. There is no shortage of stories on how pets destroy furniture.
Some fabrics hold odors, leather furniture is vulnerable to scratch marks from dog's nails, and wood furniture is tempting to chew.
So how do you dog-proof your furniture?
Read on for 15 tips on how to protect furniture from dogs.
Why Do Dogs Chew On Couches?
Understanding why your dog chews on couches are the first step to preventing the behavior.
Dogs are not naughty. They do not reason like humans and do not understand human rules. However, you can motivate them correctly to understand your rules.
Understanding dog behavior is the first step to avoiding unwanted canine capers in your home.
Chewing is normal behavior for a pup. Like human babies, a pup explores with its mouth, and anything in your home is fair game. Chewing strengthens a puppy's jaw and can alleviate the discomfort of teething.
As with adult canines, puppies may also chew to relieve boredom or anxiety.
Dogs are intelligent, social beings and have several basic needs. Exercise alone rarely offers enough stimulation to relieve their boredom or anxiety.
Biological needs like food, water, shelter, and vet care for your pet's health are essential. But pet parents are seldom told that their new pup has emotional, social, and cognitive needs.
Canine emotional needs include security, love, trust, and the need to belong. Your pet wants to feel a part of the family. Dogs enjoy consistency and benevolent leadership.
Social needs include play, bonding with people, and other fur friends. That's not to say two dogs are better than one - two dogs with unmet needs will mean double trouble.
The cognitive needs of your pet include problem-solving, novelty, and choice.
When pet parents unintentionally fail to meet their pet's needs, unwanted behavior like separation anxiety, resource guarding, and compulsive behavior can occur. All of which can leave your sofas, chairs, or even your bed vulnerable to chewing.
Chewing is normal for canines of all ages. It is a pleasurable way for pups to keep their teeth clean. Chewing is self-soothing. Chewing triggers endorphins (feel-good hormones) in a dog's brain.
But if you want to protect your furniture, finding better methods than chewing to trigger your best furry friend's endorphins is ideal. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to dog-proof your home.
15 Tried-And-Tested Tips To Protect Furniture From Dogs
Tip 1: Socialize Your Puppy.
If you introduce a new puppy to your home, socializing your pup properly will help it feel loved and secure. Socialization involves introducing your furry family member to different experiences in a positive way, for example, loud noises, busy places, and new faces.
Attending puppy classes and learning basic obedience can help your pooch grow confident and secure. A happy, confident mutt is less likely to chew on pieces of your house from anxiety.
Tip 2: Pick Up Your Stuff.
Puppies are curious opportunists. If you leave something lying around, they're likely to chew it. Pack away home décor like couch cushions and ornaments on coffee tables until your pup has learned right from wrong.
Tip 3: Give Your Pooch Its Own Space.
Invest in a comfortable dog bed and reward your dog for lying in it. If your pet associates good things with its bed, it may want to stay there.
Consider your pet's specific needs when picking out a pet bed. A calming fluffy bed may suit an anxious dog. At the same time, a firm orthopedic foam may be a better option for an older dog with arthritis. Be sure to place the dog bed where they can feel part of the family.
Tip 4: Crate Training And Doggy Gates.
Crate training is an excellent way to teach your dog to be comfortable in a confined space when you step out for a while.
Alternatively, use a dog gate to keep your dog in an area of the house they cannot damage or out of the place they are prone to damaging.
Tip 5: Train Your Dog To Stay.
One of the best ways to dog-proof your furniture is to train your dog to stay in its bed or on the floor unless you specifically invite it onto the couch. Of course, inconsistency can confuse your dog, but many dog owners have trained this successfully.
Tip 6: Exercise Your Dog.
Exercise is another good dog-proofing tool. If you battle to find time to walk your dog, hire a reliable dog walker. Throwing the ball or frisbee in your yard is another excellent way to exercise your dog. A game or two of tug can also do wonders for lifting your pup's mood.
Tip 7: Enrich Your Dog's Mind.
Enrichment activities are fun, mentally stimulating activities your dog likes. They are often more tiring than exercise. Scatter feeding is a simple but effective way to feed and entertain your dog simultaneously.
Instead of feeding from a bowl, sprinkle kibble around the lawn and let your dog use its natural instinct to forage. Keep your dog busy with interactive toys, puzzles, or lick mats. You don't need to burn a hole in your wallet at the pet store. A simple idea like hiding treats under tennis balls in a muffin tin can give your dog the mental stimulation it needs.
Tip 8: Give Your Dog Its Own Toys.
Dogs should have their own toys from a young age. Providing them with toys can help keep their minds active and engaged and prevent them from chewing things they should not.
A chew toy is an excellent option for teething pups. Pick a chew toy with grooves that can be filled with dog-friendly peanut butter or liver paste - it will add extra value to the toy in your dog's eyes.
Tip 9: Groom Your Dog.
Frequent grooming will help keep your couch free of pet hair. A shedding tool is handy if your dog sheds heavily. If you have trained your dog to sleep on a pet bed and keep it well groomed, the few stray hairs you find on your couch can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth. Remember to trim the dog's nails to help prevent scratches or tears.
Tip 10: Repel With Citrus.
Freshen up your furniture with citrus-scented spray. Using linen spray on your couch is a great way to reduce animal odors. Plus, the smell of citrus is said to be a dog repellent.
Tip 11: Add A Couch Cover.
There are several advantages to using a pet couch cover or furniture protector. Pet couch covers can help protect your furniture from scratches, stains, and other damage caused by your pets.
Most pet couch covers are machine washable, which makes them easy to clean and maintain. Many pet couch covers are made from soft and comfortable materials, such as fleece fabric or microfiber, providing your pets a cozy place to rest while keeping your couch clean.
Tip 12: Use Pet-Friendly Fabric.
Choose a pet-friendly fabric for your new sofa. Some materials are more likely to attract hair than others.
Soft velvet fabrics can attract dog hair due to their plush and textured surface. The velvet fabric pile can also create friction against the dog's hair, causing it to stick to the material.
However, furniture protectors are still good if pets are allowed on your couch.
Tip 13: Choose Durable Upholstery.
Carefully choose the upholstery. Leather, for example, is tough, durable, and easy to clean. However, sharp nails are detrimental, so keep your dog's nails well-trimmed if you choose leather.
Microfiber is another dog-friendly upholstery as it is easy to clean and does not retain odors. Though not entirely dog-proof, a tightly woven microfiber is challenging for teeth to pierce.
Conversely, wool must be professionally dry-cleaned.
Tip 14: Try Double-Sided Tape.
Sofa legs and armrests make popular scratching posts. Double-sided tape can effectively deter pets from scratching furniture because it creates an unpleasant texture on its surface.
When pets try to scratch the furniture, they will feel the stickiness of the tape and the uncomfortable sensation of the tape pulling at their fur or paws, discouraging them from continuing to scratch.
Tip 15: Install A Doggy Door.
Give your dog access to the yard when you are out. A doggy door allows your dog to come and go as it pleases, giving them the freedom and independence a dog likes. They can go outside to play, relieve themselves, or explore without needing you to open the door every time.
Create A Home For You And Your Pets
At Transformer Table, we understand that homes are individual. We know you want to adapt your home décor and furniture to your space, lifestyle, family size, and of course, your fur friends.
Your need for flexible furniture inspires our versatile, modular, and multi-functional pieces.
Our transformer couch, for example, is rearrangeable and configurable, with an endless number of possible layouts.
Plus, the fabric we use is stain and water-resistant. The covers are removable and machine washable in cold water.
Book a virtual showroom tour or contact one of our friendly customer service team to find out how we can enhance your home.