If you share your home with a dog, you know some wear and tear on your furniture comes along with the territory. However, just because you accept it doesn’t mean you want your furniture to look like it’s been trashed by an extremely hungry beaver with a penchant for destruction. Whether you are the proud owner of a Decor-Rest or Natuzzi sofa, Handstone bedroom set, a, or a good old Walmart special, you want your furniture to look presentable. If you’re going to lay out the money for some high-quality pieces like a Palliser sectional, you’d like the assurance that they have the durability to withstand pet wear and tear. But it is equally as important to you that you can provide protection against the worst destruction Fido might decide to wreak on it. Is it possible to keep your dog from chewing up your furniture?
Proactive Protection for High Quality Furniture
There is no question that today’s furniture manufacturers are providing more attractive and affordable pet-friendly home furnishing options than we have seen in many years. Available in more durable fabrics and leathers that are designed to hide dog hair and stains, consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to adding a new piece of furniture to their home. However, try as they might, no retailer has been able to produce a furniture that is completely resistant to persistent doggy chompers. Dogs do like to chew, and if there isn’t anything else around to strike their fancy, they just might make your heirloom coffee table the object of their chewing affection. Are there things that you can do to prevent the total destruction of your new dining room set or accent table?
Here is a list of our top tips for keeping Fido from chewing your furniture
Provide Appropriate Chew Toys
Dogs love to chew, but their favorite thing to focus on is indeed chew toys. In the absence of something interesting to sink their teeth into, they will go looking for something, and that inevitably means Fido ends up chewing on something you really wish he wouldn’t…like your furniture. Or your brand new pair of $400 leather shoes.
Experts say the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies here as well. A quick trip to the pet store could save your furniture from suffering the fate of a determined canine with a hankering to exercise his chompers. Be sure to pick up toys in a variety of textures, colors, styles, and sizes to keep your pooch’s interest level high. You may also want to throw in a few edible chews such as antlers, Everest chews, or even some safe bones. Provide your dog with an interesting and safe alternative to your furniture, and you just might find that Fido loses interest quite easily.
Restrict Your Dog’s Access to the Area
Some dogs can be trusted, and others can’t. If your dog is somewhere in between the two, it is best that you restrict your dog’s access from areas that contain things you don’t want your pooch chewing on. Baby gates can help to cordon your dog off into a safe area of the house, or you can even make use of a crate. Just be sure to provide Fido with something to keep his mind stimulated while he is on restricted access. This will help to keep him productively engaged and will also help prevent any potential nuisance behaviors from developing.
Be Sure to Supervise Well
If you cannot provide active supervision for your dog, it is best for the safety of your furniture and your dog’s well-being that your dog be safely contained in another area of the house. Chewing furniture does not just have repercussions on the longevity and beauty of the pieces. It can also turn an otherwise functional furniture item into a hazard which could be harmful for your dog.
But keeping an eye on your dog around furniture items can also help train Fido to keep his teeth to himself when it comes to your precious home furnishings. A well-timed “no” will help your pooch to learn what is acceptable for him to sink his teeth into and what must be avoided.
Make Use of Bitter Apple or Other Repellant Sprays
Many veterinary clinics and high quality pet retailers sell a product called Bitter Apple. Bitter Apple is a non-toxic liquid that can be sprayed on furniture items to prevent dog licking and chewing. Bitter Apple is typically safe for topical use, but to be certain it will not damage fabrics, it is always wise to test for color fastness.
Bitter Apple is unpleasant to the taste. Once your dog takes a lick, he is unlikely to return for a second. However, since dogs often do make the same mistake twice (or three times…or four times), you will need to reapply Bitter Apple a few times until your dog shows evidence that he is not going to attempt chewing on your furniture again.
Be forewarned that some canines don’t mind the taste of Bitter Apple and will resume chewing activities as normal. There are other deterrent sprays available, or you can make your own by using household items such as apple cider vinegar.
Ensure Your Pooch Receives Regular Exercise
Let’s face it; dogs can be mischievous. If they don’t receive proper mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis, your furniture might wear the brunt of Fido’s frustrations. Providing toys and chews for your dog to enjoy throughout the day will go a long way to alleviating boredom; however, there is no substitute for regular daily exercise. Having a fenced backyard offers your pup a great opportunity to stretch his legs, but to remain a well-adjusted, happy pup, your dog really does need a daily walk. Be sure to take your best canine pal out for a stroll each day. It will help to clear both of your heads and improve your health as well! You will find this regularly scheduled daily outing will help to keep your pooch from focusing on nuisance behaviors such as seeking out pieces of furniture to gnaw on.
Can you have nice furniture AND have a dog too?
Absolutely! Follow our top tips to keep your high quality furniture look as good as new.