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How to buy furniture when you own a dog or a cat

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Furnishing your home can be difficult when you own a cat or dog, but finding pet-friendly furniture and is easier than you’d think. It can be done at a reasonable cost and with few compromises. It’s entirely possible for you and your animal(s) to live together and have a clean house at the same time.

Choosing the right colours, materials and flooring are the keys to an easy clean, while stable furniture and keeping potentially unsafe objects out of reach are crucial to your pet’s safety.

Upholstery colours and materials

Matching the colour of your dog’s fur with the colour of your upholstery is an excellent idea. Black fur goes with darker materials, while white fur goes best with lighter materials. Having an attractive pattern on your couch is also a good idea, as it will somewhat camouflage stray hairs from shedding. If patterned furniture is heavily textured, however, it may become damaged by your animals.

Many pet owners suggest leather or faux leather upholstery. This is a good idea for pets, as these materials tend to be easier to clean and are more resistant to claws. There are alternatives: microfibre and micro suede are good options for pets, as they are tougher materials. Some materials are even resistant to animal excrement.

Overall, synthetic fabrics are generally a better bet for wear and tear than organic, as some fabrics can catch a cat’s claws, causing damage to the furniture and possibly causing pain for the animal. Small holes in certain synthetic materials may even close or settle over time. In addition, materials like faux leather are more animal friendly. 

Flooring and couch covers

There is no doubt that carpeting and animals don’t mix well. Even if your pet does not shed heavily, animal odors still linger, and stains are harder to remove. Hardwood or tiled flooring is better suited to pets, with area rugs to spruce things up. If you have carpeting, have it cleaned on a regular basis to get rid of odors. When animal scents become noticeable, your rugs can simply be replaced. Just make sure the rugs aren’t thick or shaggy, or your animals may get their claws caught in the fibres.

Some people are not comfortable with using couch covers, but having outdoor fabric inside your home is a surprisingly great option. Outdoor furniture is much easier to clean because it is expected to become dirty. You can easily find outdoor fabric in many different colours and designs.

Animal safety

Having a beautiful, pet-resistant home means little if your home is not safe. Using table guards (placed on the edges of sharp furniture), soft cushions, and a cover for your fireplace are good ways to keep your pet safe. It should especially feel comfortable and safe where it sleeps. At the same time, do not tuck your pet’s bed into a corner. Pets enjoy having a view of the outdoors, or of their loving family.

When it comes to keeping items dangerous to pets out of reach, tall furniture is truly man’s best friend. Shelving and tall tables are perfect for keeping fragile or sharp items safe and away from your cat or dog. Ensure all of your furniture is stable, and not prone to collapsing. Rigid décor and plants are also a good idea but ensure any plants you choose are not toxic when consumed by pets.