We've all done it: we buy a new couch, a new chair, or even new bed sheets with the intention of keeping them crisp and clean for as long as possible. However, our efforts are thwarted by our four legged friends: claw marks on the corners of upholstery, fur on everything, or dirt and dust from curious paws. Whatever the issue, there are a few tips and tricks on what you can do to keep your things looking fresh without compromising your pet's comfort or safety.
Tip #1: Use Double-Sided Tape to End Shredded Upholstery
If your cat tends to prefer using your new couch or chair to sharpen his claws rather than the scratching post you express shipped on Amazon, the solution is easy: apply a strip of clear, double-sided packaging tape to each edge and/or section of furniture that your cat chooses to scratch.
The sticky feeling of the tape will dissuade your cat from scratching on these surfaces. After a few attempts, the cat will likely give up, and without other scratching options, he will (hopefully) resort to using the scratching post he had previously been ignoring. Leave the tape in place for several weeks or until you notice your cat has lost interest, and then remove it. The tape won't leave a residue*, and your cat comes out unharmed.
(*While this solution is suitable to many common fabrics and textiles, there are some that you will want to address with caution. Delicate fabrics, such as silk and velvet, are not ideal for this method, as well as fabrics prone to discoloration or residue, such as suede.)
Tip #2: Give Your Pets a Quick "Bath" When They Come Home
Your dog comes and goes from your home throughout the day, but at the end of the day, do you know what she's bringing back into your house? Dirty paws, dusty fur, and outside pollen and dander are all a threat to at-risk furniture. The solution: keep some pet-friendly towelettes on hand at your door. Once your dog is ready to come inside, use them to clean off those dirty paws and that dusty coat before your pet has the chance to run it throughout your home.
Don't always have time to clean your pet after a trip outside? No problem. Try placing a microfiber pet mat at the door so your dog can wipe her feet without even realizing it. Plus, it'll absorb any mud or water brought in after rain or snow, preventing further risk of pet damage to any of your furniture.
Tip #3: Groom Your Pets Often
While this may appear to be an obvious tip, it is an important one if you are interested in keeping your home and furniture looking clean. It doesn't have to take long: give your dog and/or cat a quick brush several times per week (depending on the breed, adjust more or less frequently, as necessary), keep all claws trimmed (be cautious of that pesky quick!), and make sure you're giving your pets regular baths. Keeping your pets coat clean, brushed, and trim will prevent excess shedding, dander, and dirt that can collect on all of your home's surfaces.
Tip #4: Know What You Are Buying
When you shop for new furniture, pet beds, bedding, or any other textile for your home, you will need to consider more than what color, design, or texture you are looking for: you will also need to consider the degree of traffic that these items will experience in your home. Knowing how your animals and family will interact with these home items will determine what type of fabric you need.
For homes with any pets, you will want to shop for close-knit or woven fabrics, such as leather (or "pleather"), synthetic microfibers, denim, canvas, or any other soil and stain repellent textile. These fabrics are able to better withstand general wear-and-tear from pet ownership and offer easier cleaning solutions if stains or pet fur are present.
Pet owners should avoid fabrics such as silk, velvet, chenille, and tweed. Silk and velvet are delicate fabrics that are easily stained or scratched, and cleaning them can be tough and expensive. Chenille, while pet-friendly, is also great at storing dirt, dust, and dander from your pets, and is often easily ruined if clawed or scratched. While tweed is a durable fabric that can withstand being cleaned, it is also a fabric that is tough to keep clean, as it holds onto pet fur and hair and doesn't give it up easily -- plus, it is also easily ruined if clawed or scratched.
There are dozens of home remedies and quick solutions to keeping your home (and pets) clean and comfortable.
Do you have any helpful home tips? Comment your favorite tricks for keeping your home and furniture pet-free!