Dog-Friendly Furniture: A First-Time Buyer’s Guide

Dog-Friendly Furniture: A First-Time Buyer’s Guide

We can probably surmise that dogs have been messing up furniture for about as long as they’ve been sharing our homes. From an outsider’s perspective, the sight of a dog chewing or scratching up a couch might seem cute or silly. But for a pet owner, such messes can be stressful and replacements, potentially very expensive. 


The reality is, once you let a dog into your life, some things in your house will inevitably get soiled or chewed up—that’s just the way things are. Fortunately, some furniture pieces are more pet-resilient than others; it’s just an issue of knowing which ones to choose. To that end, here’s a guide from PrideBites for buying furniture that's a great fit for you and your dog’s lifestyle:


1) Choose Furniture Made with Non-Absorbent, Easy-to-Clean Materials


Dog fur can be rather oily, particularly on water-loving breeds like Newfoundlands and Labrador Retrievers. Even if you bathe your dog frequently, oils and other fluids will tend to build up wherever they hang out. These sticky build-ups, in turn, tend to attract dirt and dead skin cells, which will leave surfaces on your home with a dingy appearance. Aside from regularly bathing and grooming your dog, the only other thing you can do is to prepare to clean up frequently and to make that cleaning process smarter and more minimal.


Certain materials, such as chiffon or velvet, are especially prone to attracting pet stains and dander. Unless you have time to kill or don’t mind cleaning these, it’s best to avoid furniture pieces made from these types of materials in favor of those made from leather, technical fabrics, and other hardier textiles. Look into buying custom dog beds, for example, that are made with easily-cleaned materials that also stay fresh for longer.


2) Choose Machine-Washable Pieces

If you must have upholstered furniture made from absorbent materials, choose pieces that could be easily broken down into smaller components that can consequently be thrown into a washing machine. Avoid choosing furniture pieces that require frequent wet vacuuming and hand-washing if you want to maintain their appearance, even if they’re made from materials that resist staining.


3) Consider Purchasing Furniture Slipcovers


If you already have furniture you like, replacing them with new pieces might be out of the question. In these cases, you can consider purchasing sets of removable slipcovers to dog-proof your furniture and provide it with a washable layer of protection.


Those who are sensitive to pet dander will be especially well served by slipcovers. Washing and replacing these regularly can help you prevent a serious buildup of allergens in your living space.


4) Avoid Bright Pieces with Solid Colors


While vibrant, solid-colored furniture may seem appealing to you, it's essential to consider the practicality of such choices in a pet-friendly environment. Light and bright colors can magnify the visibility of pet hair and stains. It’s an option for you to buy furniture pieces in darker shades or patterns that can effectively camouflage any pet-related mishaps. This way, your furniture can remain stylish for longer while also being forgiving in the face of daily pet activities.


5) Invest in Outdoor Furniture


If you need new pieces, you can also look for ones designed for porches and patios. These types of furniture are generally built to withstand rain and other harsh weather conditions, making them quite resistant to your dog’s scratches, stains, and messes.


Outdoor pieces now also come in a variety of styles and patterns, which means that you and your pooch won’t be spoiled for choice when lounging in style.


6) Accommodate Your Dog's Chewing Habits


Some dogs are especially prone to chewing, turning to the behavior to relieve stress and increase mental stimulation. Any furniture piece that’s made of wood or plastic is going to be fair game to some dogs, so it will be important to provide them with enough stimulation and healthy outlets for their chewing to keep them from putting their teeth on things they shouldn’t. You may also consider using pet-safe deterrent sprays on your furniture and on other items that you want your dogs to avoid.


7) Get Some Pet-Safe Cabinet Locks


Dogs can be extremely curious, and their inquisitive nature may lead them to explore areas in your home that pose risks to both them and your belongings. For this reason, installing pet-safe locks on cabinets and other storage pieces should be high on your priority list. These locks can prevent your dog from accessing potentially harmful items, not only safeguarding your curious canine but also ensuring the security of your household possessions.


Practical Solutions for a Dog-Friendly Home

Building a dog-friendly home doesn't mean you have to give up on stylish furniture. Taking your dog’s perspective, and turning to solutions that accommodate the way they live, will lay the groundwork for a peaceful home that’s a joy for you and your furry friend to live in.