Pet-Proof Furniture: the Essentials

rsz_cat_bed There are very few people that don’t like the thought of having a pet. A companion animal can be beneficial for a person, but there is a major concern that worries a lot of people. Furniture can often be the enemy of pets, so the correct maintenance and preparation should be made. Owning a pet is like no other thing in life. There’s nothing better than coming home after a stressful day at work to find your furry friend waiting for you with a big smile on their face. It’s no wonder that in the UK alone, there are 8 million cats and 9 million dogs that keep people company on a regular basis. It’s a proven fact that a companion animal has numerous benefits. They don’t only keep you fit, but they’re also recommended if you suffer from depression. A friend of mine used to suffer from depression. He would constantly look gloomy and generally wasn’t pleasant to be around. The doctors recommended that he should get a companion animal, and the change was staggering. Colour came back into his face and he is now one of the happiest people I know. As amazing as both cats and dogs are, you have to bare in mind that they’re animals. They bite and scratch, which is to be expected. This doesn’t really translate over to your new sofa or arm chair, and nobody wants to have furniture that looks like it belongs in a scrap yard. You don’t have to feel like you need to have low quality furniture for the sake of your pet. There are ways that you are able to deal with how pets interact with furniture, and more often than not it’s possible to make sure that they never actually damage it at all. This guide will tell you the ins and outs of how to deal with pets and furniture, ranging from complete avoidance to dealing with damage. The two animals I will be focusing on are cats and dogs, as they are the most popular animals in the UK and are the animals that will have the most interaction with furniture. Don’t get mad! This one is more for dog owners, but if they do end up damaging your sofa, do your best not to get mad! It may be frustrating, but you’ve got to do your best to remain calm. Dogs are unique animals when it comes to emotions. They associate what they are currently doing rather than what they did an hour ago. If you get home and you find that the side of your sofa has been used as a scratching board and you shout at your dog, they will think you’re mad at them for simply lying on the floor. rsz_huskey_house Constantly getting mad at a dog can make them develop bad habits, and in certain situations, depression. Try to be accommodating. Instead of getting mad, teach them how to react around furniture. If you catch them in the act of damaging a sofa then definitely take them away from it. Remember, you’re the pack leader, so they look to you when they do certain activities. Alternative scratching surfaces! Over to cats now. Everybody knows how cats love a good scratch. As they’re naturally a predator, this is the way they make sure to keep sharp claws. The thing is, you definitely want to avoid them from choosing your favourite sofa as their chosen scratching post. Cats aim for a specific scratching post that has certain characteristics. Firstly, if a scratching posts feels wobbly or even unsteady, more often than not a cat will simply abandon it. When purchasing or building a scratching post, make sure it’s perfectly stable. Another thing to bare in mind is that a scratching post needs to be tall so that a car is able to stretch out whilst scratching. In simple terms, if you have a scratching post that’s too small it will simply be ignored, and you can bet they will end up aiming for a table leg. The best thing to is make the most out of the space you have and use a tall and stable scratching post that will allow a cat to climb around, which is part of their natural instincts. cat dj Even though the majority of cats like to stretch up a scratch post, they also enjoy lying down horizontally. It’s well worth to make sure that the post you have has a flat top which can be used both for scratching and also for relaxing. The last thing you should consider when getting a scratching post is the material. Don’t be swayed by posts that are covered in carpet. Carpet isn’t a particularly durable material, but it can also cause a cats claws to snag. In the worst cases it can cause injury, so is definitely something to avoid. If you want the most ideal material for cat scratching, then look out for sisal. It’s a natural fiber rope that can be wrapped tightly around a post. How durable is it? It’s as close as to having a tree trunk in your home without having to chop one down and fit it through the door. Consider a furniture protector! We understand that a lot of people allow their pets to clamber on top of furniture, and they can’t be blamed. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a cuddle with your companion, or simply to lie back and relax while they rest on your chest. Dogs have nails and cats have claws which can often be sharp. You should make sure that they are cut to an appropriate sharpness on a regular basis, although we know how hard it can be sometimes. You don’t want your pet to walk along the sofa for a cuddle just for you to find a trail of holes. Furniture protectors are going to be your best option. They’re an extra material that you put over a chair or sofa, and you can find a variety of styles that are at an affordable price. If you choose the correct style, they can help to create an ambience in the room, making it a real benefit. Clever anti-cat scratching technique! Cats are notoriously bad at being trained. For an example, imagine you have a cat and it’s scratching an armchair. You shout or strike your cat (although the latter isn’t suggested) and your cat will stop scratching, well, only when you’re around. They instantly associate you with the punishment, so once you’re out of the room or at work they’ll go to work on the armchair. What you need is a clever technique that will stop them scratching the furniture forever, even if you’re out of the room. You no longer have to worry. A miracle invention is possible to use to ensure this happens, and that invention is…the water spray bottle. You should use it when you’re able to view your cat. Don’t shout out or make it obvious that it’s you that is spraying the water. What you’re aiming to do is make sure the cat associates scratching on the sofa with the blast of water. Simply hiding the bottle behind your back is an effective way of making sure they don’t realise it’s you. One of the hardest things to is making sure that you don’t burst out laughing when you see the reaction they make. Another technique is to purchase double sided sticky tape. If your cat goes over for a good scratching and they find that it’s stick to the touch, they will definitely not bother to come back. One thing to bare in mind is the type of tape you purchase. You don’t want it to do any damage to your furniture, so make sure it won’t do any lasting damage. If you simply want a distraction, then a mirror can be a good choice. For a cat, they won’t be able to ignore the distraction that a mirror creates. It works for the majority of animals of well, so it’s definitely a good choice. Don’t believe me? Check out the Animals vs Mirrors video below! Removing that pesky wet dog smell! doh house Anybody that has owned a dog knows of the dreaded wet dog smell. It can be a real distraction, and it can put people off from coming to your home. A lot of people just put up with it, but as a matter of fact there is a way you can deal with it. Take the furniture apart. Items such as cushions, blankets and anything similar. Vacuum every piece as thoroughly as possible. It’s essential to vacuum as much of a sofa as possible, so if possible remove the covers as well so they can be washed later on. When vacuuming, make sure to clean every part, especially the underside. This can be where sneaky hairs try to hide. If there’s a really strong smell of wet dog, consider deodorising the furniture. It’s a simple process to do. All you have to do is wash your blankets, linens and cushions with baking soda and a quarter of apple cider vinegar. This is an incredibly effective odour neutraliser, so you’ll be sure the smell is washed right out. Furniture maintenance! In some cases it may end up that your pet has a good go at a piece of furniture. It’s important that you fix it back to a good standard as soon as possible. You don’t want people to come to your home to have to sit on an armchair that has a chunk missing from it. If you own a piece of wood furniture, then make sure that you apply products that ensure it stays at the highest of quality. There are numerous oils that can be found for a reasonable price. With cats being territorial, the smell these oils have that aren’t necessarily noticeable by us, will be noticed by a cat. This will stop them from scratching away. If you have a sofa that’s made from a leather material, or something similar, then various oils can also be beneficial. It won’t only let your furniture keep a shiny appearance, but it will also make sure that it stays durable. This is important, especially if you have a roaming pet that likes to have a snooze on furniture. In the case when you have a leather material, it can be expensive to have it replaced or repaired. In this case, we would suggest that you don’t let your pet onto this piece of furniture. It may seem cruel, but you don’t want to be shelling out a large sum of money just to fix a small hole. Instead, make sure that your pet has comfortable bedding nearby which they will instantly go to when they want to lounge about. When a person owns a pet, it’s common to have a specific room which they will lounge about in. If there’s any furniture in there, make sure that there isn’t any danger that they’ll be hurt. Lightweight furniture such as rattan or wicker won’t cause any damage if the situation arises where it falls over. If you choose this type of furniture, definitely consider a cover as it won’t fare well against an animal’s claws or nails. Pets, furniture and you Pets quickly become a part of the family. They’re always there for you no matter how sad you are. Because of this, it’s essential to take the time and effort to make sure the environment they will live in is completely safe. You wouldn’t leave your child in a dangerous situation, so why would you do that with a pet? It’s all about safety so that your pet can live a full and happy life. Regular maintenance of the furniture will ensure that they remain pet-proof. If you are struggling with finding the best furniture for an animal, speak to a vet or someone at a pet shop. They’ll be able to answer any questions you have. What did you think of this blog? Do you agree with the statements I’ve made? Let me know in comments below!