How to keep your pets off the furniture

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

We’re dog lovers at our house. We’ve got all the must-have accouterments, from the fancy collars to the chic food bowls to the baskets full of colorful chew toys. But while we consider our pup to be like family, sometimes our love for Fido takes a toll on our furniture.

Regardless of your furniture’s material or color, you’re more than likely to notice evidence of your pet’s presence over time. You’ll see scratches on leather, stains on light-colored pieces and hairs on any sort of permeable material (cotton, for instance), not to mention the pervasive presence of pet odor throughout.

For most of us, it’s hard to keep man’s best friend off the couch, but occasionally we need to put our foot down. After all, furniture is an investment that should be taken care of!

Training your dog is all about consistency, clarity and positive reinforcement. You’re training your pet where to rest, not where NOT to rest. Reward them for what they do right; don’t punish if they get it wrong. And a very important thing to remember: Everyone in the household has to be on the same page. If one person isn’t being consistent with the dog’s new boundaries, you’ll never make it past square one!

So how do you make some quick changes to avoid an imminent pet takeover?

Give them an alternative. The first thing to do is invest in a super-comfy bed for your pet. The reason your pet is getting onto your furniture is because it’s comfortable. Create a cozy space for your pet that’s in a room the animal favors like a bedroom, kitchen or family room perhaps. At the beginning, reward the pet with a treat when they get into the bed so they learn to classify this experience positively.

Cover up. If you don’t mind your pets getting on the furniture but still want to preserve the furniture as best you can, there are a few options. Slipcovers made to fit the furniture can be taken off easily and washed. This is a great idea for a high-traffic household. For an even quicker, cheaper fix, throw a sheet over your pet’s favorite pieces of furniture to protect against hair and odor.

Use deterrents. For those of you who find that your pet gets on the furniture when you’re not at home, blockade the furniture and/or make it less desirable. Put chairs turned upside down on a couch to make its soft cushions less accessible and less enticing. Another idea (especially for cats) is to cover the seat cushions with aluminum foil or newspaper. The crinkling noise will gently deter the pets from getting comfortable when you’re not there.

With a gentle and consistent approach, you’ll have a well-trained dog AND well-kept furniture in no time!


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