Pet-Proof Your Furniture

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Congratulations! You’ve finally found the new loveseat you’ve always wanted. The wooden frame accents your home and the cushions are soft and inviting. You anticipate this couch becoming a permanent part of your home . . . that is, until little Fluffy gets to it.

Whether you have an enthusiastic puppy or a cuddly kitten, your pets can wreak some serious havoc on your furniture. Claw and teeth marks, fur, and other unmentionables will ruin your new couch within days. Fortunately, you can protect your new furniture from your furry family member with these tips and tricks.

Preventative Steps

Prevention is your first line of defense against damage. Cover your furniture with pet-protective furniture covers. These add an extra layer of material between your pet and your delicate upholstery. With the right furniture slip, you can quickly clean and remove drool, hair, dander, and stains from your couches.

Additionally, consider treating your fabrics with an aerosol fabric protector, which will make your cushions more resistant to stains without changing the feel of the fabric.

Protect Your Furniture from Dogs

Once you’ve protected your furniture with covers and fabric protector, it’s time to safeguard it from your dog. Your dog may damage your furniture for different reasons, such as anxiety or boredom. By understanding the cause behind the destruction, you can take different steps to stop it in its tracks.

Stop Destructive Chewing

  • Regularly exercise your dog. Some dogs chew because they have extra energy. Exercising your dog expends its extra energy and also helps you develop a strong relationship with your pup.

  • Provide stimulating, challenging toys. Your dog may simply love to chew. Give it something safe, fun, and exciting to chew to discourage it from chewing on your furniture.

Prevent Dogs from Jumping on the Furniture

  • Create acceptable alternatives. Your dog likely enjoys the comfort of your couch as much as you do. Provide a comfortable alternative for your pet, such as a dog bed or pillow.  

  • Make the furniture uninviting for your dog. While your dog adjusts to sleeping in his or her own bed, make your couch as inaccessible and uninviting as possible. Consider putting boxes on the sofa or plastic pads that detract from the cushiony comfort.

  • Confine your dog to a furniture-free zone. When you’re not at home, there’s no one to stop your furry friend from jumping on the couch. Keep your pet in a furniture-free room or in a crate while you’re away.

Train Your Dog

While these tips are helpful, the best way to protect your furniture is to train your dog. Scold your pup if he or she misbehaves or damages the furniture. Praise your dog if he or she plays with the alternative chew toy or sleeps in the right bed.

Protect Your Furniture from Cats

Despite their small size, cats are just as notorious for damaging furniture as dogs. Much like dogs, your cat will have certain needs that you’ll have to address in order to correct unwanted behavior. A bored cat is more likely to get into trouble than a content cat.

Stop Cat Scratching

  • Provide a scratching post. Cats scratch objects in their environment for different reasons, though many enjoy scratching to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws. This is a normal, instinctive behavior. Rather than discouraging it, provide a scratching post where your feline can scratch freely.

  • Give stimulating, challenging toys. Cats are more likely to scratch when they wake up or when they’re excited about something. Let your kitty burn off this extra energy with challenging toys.

Prevent Cats from Jumping on the Furniture

  • Create acceptable alternatives. Cats like to climb and jump to survey their territory from up high. Consider installing shelves in the house specifically for your kitten.

  • Make the furniture uninviting for your cat. Your couch is the perfect place to curl up and take a nap. If you want your kitty to sleep elsewhere, consider placing removable double-sided tape on the couch. When your cat’s favorite place is sticky instead of comfortable, your cat will avoid it.

  • Confine your cat to a furniture-free zone. You can’t scold or train your cat if you’re away from home. If your kitty claws your furniture when you’re gone, it’s best to put your cat in another room where it can’t cause any damage.

Train Your Cat

Training a cat may sound unusual, but cats are smart and will pick up on acceptable behavior. Use a squirt bottle to discourage your cat from jumping or clawing at the furniture. Consider spraying your furniture with herbal sprays to replace territorial “markers” left behind after scratching.

Be Patient with Your Pet

While you may love your new furniture, you should love your pet more. It may take some time for your pet to learn acceptable behavior, but with these tips you can teach your pets to respect your furniture.