Do you have a “no animal on the furniture” rule that always gets ignored? If you have a furry pet, then your answer is most likely a resounding “Yes!” Never fear; there are ways to make certain that your couch, sofa or any upholstered furniture pieces are pet friendly?
What does “pet friendly” mean?
A pet friendly home or furniture item can describe a couple of things:
- Your pet’s favorite definition is that a pet friendly home is one that takes into consideration the comfort and safety of your pet and provides as many amenities as possible to make your pet happy i.e. comfortable places to lay in the sun, plenty of spots to grab a quick snack, lots of floor space to chase a ball or a squeaky rat. You get the idea
- A pet owner’s preferred definition is one that certainly takes into consideration the safety and comfort of their pet but also includes concerns about keeping a piece of furniture clean, comfortable and attractive for the human occupants of the home and avoiding having to replace expensive items due to the wear and tear of the pets.
How do I make my couch or sofa pet friendly?
Now that we know the definition(s) of pet friendly how do we apply these to our own home décor? Here are a few tips that will, hopefully, keep everyone in the family safe, happy and comfortable.
- To keep your sofa looking as good as possible for as long as possible be sure to choose a fabric that is pet friendly. This would be a fabric that is not easily shredded such as one with a tight weave that will resist the snagging and pulling of your cat’s claws.
- A fabric that is easily cleaned is a must. Look for indoor/outdoor fabrics that can often be cleaned with a hose and a bit of soapy water and left to dry in the sun. A busy pattern will also hide some of those paw prints.
- When all manner of training, begging and pleading fail to keep Jake the greyhound or Muffie the kitten off of your furniture, keep plenty of washable throws or small blankets on hand that can be placed in your pet’s favorite spot on the sofa and thrown in the washing machine when needed. They can also be removed when company stops by.
- Maintenance is one of the best ways to keep your couch both pet and family friendly. Daily vacuuming and occasional cleaning will remove lots of dirt, grime and that ever present pet hair. For quick clean-ups consider using a dryer sheet like Bounce to remove pet hair from upholstery and a quick swish of a Swiffer will get the hair off of surrounding tabletops and floors. Don’t forget to remove the cushions and check for any little “surprises” your pet might have left under there.
Remember, you get what you pay for
We have all marveled at some point about a couch or chair that is being sold for an amazingly low price and some of us have even fallen prey to the temptation, only to regret it down the road.
A sturdy sofa that will stand the test of time, and of a rambunctious pet, will have a kiln dried wood frame that has been properly nailed and glued to hold together and not wobble every time someone sits down. The springs and foam used in the upholstering process will be of the highest quality. This type of construction takes time and time costs money. Therefore, it would be difficult for a furniture manufacturer to create such a sofa, sell it for pennies on the dollar and still make a profit.
The best advice is to purchase the highest quality sofa your budget can handle. And keep in mind that if the price sounds too good to be true, it is probably not the bargain you think it is.
The same holds true for the fabrics you choose. Select the best quality fabric and foam within your budget and you will avoid having to replace that worn out couch every year or so.
Pets are part of the family and deserve to be as comfortable in their home as the other members of the family. With just a little thought before purchasing a big ticket item like a couch or sofa, you, your pet and your sofa can peacefully co-exist.