Author: Victoria Smith
Having a pet in the home brings joy and happiness to your family and your guests, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a pleasant experience. Common problem pet owners experience is the damage a dog or cat can do to the furniture in the home. Even if the pet isn’t willfully destructive, their mere presence can cause damage to the material of some furnishings. Knowing how to guard against damage will keep you and your pet on better terms.
Use Furniture Covers
The best way to keep your pets from damaging furniture is to create a barrier between the pet and the furniture. If you don’t have furniture coverings, you can use blankets or sheets to cover the sofas, chairs, and love seats in your home. Even if the pet does like to sit on the furniture with you, a covering will keep them from leaving unsightly stains on the cushions. When the coverage starts looking dingy, simply throw it in the washing machine.
Groom Your Pet Regularly
Another good step to take with your pet is to have them groomed regularly while following the guidelines your vet provides for your pet’s breed. Consistent grooming will keep your pet’s fur from developing an unpleasant odor. You’ll also reduce the likelihood of your pet attracting and keeping fleas in their fur. Fewer fleas and a healthier coat will mean your pet will scratch and bite themselves less often.
Break Your Pet of Poor Habits
From the moment you bring your pet home, you should be working on their training in regard to where and how they relieve themselves. Crates and pads can be used to train a puppy to go to a specific door when they need to relieve themselves. For cats, litter boxes come in a wide variety of styles and types. Smart litter boxes can help contain the unpleasant odor in addition to making it easier to clean them. Proper and consistent training will reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring on or around your furniture.
Clean Up Messes Quickly
It’s also a good idea to keep your pets off of your furniture when you’re not around. You can put dining chairs or other objects on top of the furniture when you’re away from home to keep a dog or cat off the furniture. If the pet does have an accident on the furniture, be sure to clean it up quickly. Begin by using a clean rag or paper towels to clean up the mess and soak up the moisture. Afterward, use a gentle cleaning solution or fabric cleaner to scrub the area thoroughly. If a stain develops, you may need an enzymatic cleaner to restore the look of the material.
If you don’t want your pets on your furniture at all, you will have to train them to understand that this is a hard boundary. If you allow your puppy or kitten on the furniture, you shouldn’t expect them to stay on the floor when they’re full-grown pets. Start early and teach them that it’s not acceptable for them to be on the sofa or chairs. You’ll have to chase them off of the furniture frequently in the beginning, but, in time, they will learn to stay on the floor or in their own bedding.
A good trick that many pet owners find effective is to keep alternatives close to the furniture. For example, keeping chewy rawhide, biscuits, or a real bone next to the furniture will give your teething puppy or kitten a healthier alternative. Cat owners should also keep a scratching post in close proximity to the furniture. When a pet gnaws on furniture or uses it to scratch their claws, scold them and offer the alternative. In time, they will understand that there are acceptable alternatives for teething or sharpening claws.
You can get a little extra help by talking to your pet’s veterinarian. The staff at an animal hospital or clinic may recommend products that can be used to protect against pet damage. They may also recommend products to help you keep your cat or dog away from certain furnishings. Taking more steps to prevent household damage will give your pet the guidelines they need to fit in better in their home.