Hitchcock on mid century modern armchair talking to dog on table
Alfred Hitchcock and his dog experience a small disagreement.

How to Keep Your Furniture Safe from Your Pets

A pet is quite the commitment! Walking, training...and trying to keep your favorite furniture pieces safe in the process is really no easy feat. While we can’t assist with the obedience training, we can offer some tips gleaned from years of furniture design & durability research. Here’s what to do to keep your cutest family member from destroying your favorite couches, chairs, beds and tables.

Choose Dog and Cat-Friendly Fabric and Materials

If you’re buying something new and you know your pets can be a furniture menace, make sure to choose pieces that can stand up to some abuse! Think about your pet’s habits: are they a chewer or scratcher of wooden table legs? Try something with metal supports, or a finish that will hide scratching damage.

Do they tend to leave hair all over your upholstered cushions? Look for a tightly woven, sturdy fabric with a low pile. A great animal-friendly example of this is a microfiber or canvas fabric, which won’t trap hair in between the weave, and won’t succumb to sharp claws.

It’s also important to think about stain resistance: choose a fabric that’s easy to clean, either with removable slipcovers or specialized coatings that allow spills to bead up and blot out. If you can, choose a synthetic material for high-traffic pieces like rugs and couch or chair cushions. It is often the case that synthetics are easier to launder.

With Fido jumping on and off the couch twenty times a day, you’ll also want to know how long your new furniture is expected to last before you take the leap and purchase it. A lot of furniture is built poorly with cheap materials today, and warranties either don’t exist or they only cover a year or less. Examine the warranty on each piece you’re considering so you know what to expect, and understand what will (and won’t) be covered.

Anticipate Bad Scenarios and Accidents

Preparation is the key to success! Accidents do happen, especially when you’re not at home to prevent your pet from ripping apart your throw pillows, putting dirty paws on your couch, or chewing on your table legs. So, do your best to anticipate the things you can’t prevent!

Leave a towel or throw blanket over your precious sofa when you aren’t home, just in case. Use Scotchguard on your cushions and soft goods to prevent set-in stains! Keep club soda and dish soap on hand for stains that seem daunting.

There are even products that leave a bitter, unappealing taste on your furniture surfaces, for those whose pets like to gnaw on household objects.

Redirect Your Pet’s Attention Away from the Furniture

Diversion tactics, friends. Try to keep your pets away from the pieces you love by redirecting the focus elsewhere.

A scratching post for cats can keep them away from your upholstered furniture. Keep toys in a separate space, and consider re-arranging your furniture to avoid tempting window-watching and sun-basking opportunities, if those behaviors have been issues in the past.

For the really young pups, baby gates work wonders (this one is even sort of mid century, we think). Keep food away from your furniture to avoid tempting crumbs, and consider investing in some great rip-apart-able stuffed toys that will be a healthy distraction for an energetic pooch.

We love our pets, despite their tendency to ignore our feelings about the furniture pieces we cherish the most. But, a little foresight can go a long way towards preventing a disaster.