How to protect your furniture from your dog

They’re our best friends, but dogs can wreak havoc on our furniture. Learn how to protect furniture from dog chewing and train your dog to stay off furniture.

Sofas, armchairs and other furniture often look worse when there are dogs about. This is because their claws scratch wood and pull at fabric, their hair sheds over cushions, and they may chew legs or wooden parts.

So, how can you protect precious items like your sofa from your dog? Here are some ideas for keeping your furniture and home looking clean and fresh.

Train your dog to stay off furniture

Generally, it is easier to train a puppy or a rescue dog that hasn’t already developed the habit of sitting on the sofa. Nevertheless, all dogs can be trained to stay away from furniture.

If your dog tries to jump onto the sofa when you’re sitting on it, block the space with your body and say ‘out’. If you find them sitting on it when you’re not there, use the ‘off’ command and reward them with a treat when they jump down. If they don’t get off the sofa immediately when you say ‘off’, lead them away from the sofa with a leash.

Repeat these commands consistently and patiently until your dog learns to stay off the furniture.

Protect your sofa from dogs

To protect your furniture from dogs, treat yourself to a sofa cover. You can get a tailored cover, which can be pricey, or a cost-effective stretchy one. Even rugs help — just make sure they’re washed regularly to keep fur, smells and dander at bay.

Prevent dog claws from damaging your home

They can scratch hard floors and leave marks on furniture, so keep your dog’s claws trimmed. Invest in a sturdy pair of clippers and be careful not to cut nails too short, which can be painful. If you are unsure about doing it yourself, book regular sessions with a dog groomer.

Create play and rest areas for your dog

If you find that your dog chews or scratches in a corner, create a pleasant area next to it, with a comfortable bed, toys and chews. This will not only help protect your furniture from dog chewing, but give your pup somewhere quiet to retreat to. 

Keep dog-walking equipment outdoors

Always clean your dog’s paws on entering the house. If you can install a wet room or an external hose, you’ll be able to clean even the muddiest of paws, preventing dirt from being traipsed all over your home. A cheaper option is a plastic bottle with a sports cap to squirt away mud.

Keep your dog restricted to certain areas

If your dog chews furniture or scratches in one room, keep them out of it. Sounds simple but it may just break the habit. An alternative is to use a baby stair gate. If you can’t keep your dog out of the room, give them a bed, food, water and toys instead and, if you’re out a lot, leave a radio on to keep them company.

Choose your furnishings with care

If you’re buying new furniture, choose something your dog is less likely to chew or scratch. This may mean avoiding wooden legs or staying clear of fussy upholstery.

Stop the chewing

If your dog is chewing everything from your slippers to the doormat, it’s a good idea to speak to your vet or trainer for advice. Invest in chew toys suitable for your dog’s size and replace them when they’re worn, as pieces that break off could be choking hazards. Sometimes an anti-chewing spray from your pet shop or vet can discourage your dog from chewing your furniture.

Give your dog plenty of exercise

It goes without saying that a tired and happy dog who has been on plenty of walks will be too content when they get home to start wrecking the place. Walk your dog as much as their size and breed demands.

Groom your dog regularly

Brush and groom your dog regularly to remove excess hair. Invest in a good pet hair vacuum cleaner or add a small handheld vacuum to your cleaning cupboard for quick clean-ups. Lint rollers and even tape wrapped around your hand can clear up small areas of fur quickly and easily.

Consider adding some pet-friendly furniture to your home

There’s a growing trend for specially designed pet furniture for your dog’s comfort. From simple and inexpensive, to bespoke-made dog palaces, there’s something for everyone! Choose your favourite from these possibilities:

  • Sofa bed cover: This cover allows your dog to lie on your furniture without getting hair everywhere. The raised sides give them their own space, but you can also cuddle up together.
  • Crate: A sleeping space and a place to retreat to, a crate can be closed if you need to keep your dog in one place. From simple mesh frames to bespoke pieces of furniture, there is a style for all.
  • Dog Chair: Indoors, you can find anything from a sofa, a hammock to a chaise longue. Outdoors, look for a chair with a canopy or teepee to keep your dog safe from the sun.

Is there a great piece of pet furniture you can’t live without? Or have you found a way to protect your furniture from scratches and fur? Tell us on social media, using #PethoodStories.

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