Pet Friendly Sofas - A Guide To Protect Your New Sofa

In the UK, the RSPCA estimates that 12 million households have pets meaning that around 44% of homes have a pet. This staggering number shows just how much animals are loved across the UK! With this in mind, it is important to have a pet-friendly home with furniture that can withstand the habits of your pet. Today, we explain how to protect your new sofa and the benefits of fabric sofas when you own a cat or dog. 

Dog behaviour that can damage your sofa

Dogs are one of the most popular pets across the globe due to their affectionate and intelligent nature. If we're honest with ourselves, our beloved four-legged family often find their way onto our sofas for a snuggle, but we all know that fear too well when your dog starts to stretch, scratch or pull on your new sofa! To keep your sofa looking lovely, you should look for dog friendly sofa materials and create a living room that is tailored with various cosy spots for your dog to rest. 

Dogs often scratch furniture for common reasons, scratching is a natural behaviour in dogs that is used to make the ground more comfortable for them to rest on. However, there are other reasons your dog may be scratching the sofa which you can address to help preserve your new sofa.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Scratching can also be a sign of an anxious dog who is scratching to make themselves feel more comfortable within their surroundings. Dogs can suffer from separation anxiety when their owners are away, this anxiety can build up and cause your dog to behave differently. Other common signs of separation anxiety in dogs include:

  • Making more noise, such as howling and barking
  • Peeing or pooping in the house
  • Trembling, whining or pacing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Repetitive behaviour

If you suspect your dog may have separation anxiety, see how the RSPCA advice on treating separation anxiety and get in touch with your vet. 

Dog Boredom

Dogs require mental and physical stimulation to be healthy. Dogs that are not taken on walks frequently could begin scratching sofas and other household furniture out of  boredom. It is important to make sure you know your dog breed to determine how much exercise and stimulation they need to live a healthy and exciting lifestyle! 

We all know an active dog is a happy dog, but even if you can’t go out as much as you’d like, there’s still plenty of ways to be active at home to help keep your dog stimulated and entertained. Check out our tips below for how you can keep your dog entertained or distracted from your furniture.

How to distract dogs from you sofa

There are also additions you can add to your home to help stray your furry friend away from your new, luxury sofa.

Dog Toys 

Dog toys can help to prevent boredom and keep animals occupied during the night or if their owner is away for work. There are many ways to increase the activity in your furry friend's life by using toys, chewing toys being one way to help occupy your dog while keeping their gums healthy. There are a wide range of toys and puzzles that can be added to your home to occupy them and keep their mind away from your lush sofa. 

Switch around your dog’s toys frequently to excite them with new things! Rotating your dog’s toys can make the indoors interesting and may entice your dog away from scratching up the sofa! You can get creative and hide some of your dog’s toys for a couple of days, and then swap them over to let your dog have something different to play with. There are also dog toys for sale that encourage your dog to retrieve a treat from its centre, this can sometimes keep them entertained for a longer period of time whilst also reinforcing positive behaviour. 

Create an indoor exercise area

Depending on the size of your home or apartment, you may want to invest time into creating a homemade obstacle course for your dog. This will allow them to exercise and use their energy effectively preventing boredom-related behaviours, such as scratching sofas. 

Common household objects can be used to make a small exercise course in a spare room or corner of the living room for your dog to entertain itself. You will need to be careful to make sure your dog does not injure themselves, so it is best to set up an easy course that is for beginner dogs or one that they are already familiar with.  

Your furry friend will love to learn with you at times, teach your pup the basics by getting them to jump over small boxes and weave through stacks of books. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to help take care of your dog's mental and physical wellbeing indoors! 

Sofas for Dogs

It might not surprise you to know that your dog is choosing to lay on your new sofa because it's comfortable. One way to help get your sofa back is by creating another comfortable spot for them to rest. You may have had no look with dog beds so why not try dog sofas? These are miniature sofas using the same layout and materials as your usual sofa to make sure your dog can join the family in snuggling up by the tv without a worry. 

Cat behaviour that can damage your sofa

If your cat scratches the furniture or carpet, you are not alone. This is a common and natural behaviour in cats experienced by cat owners. It is very natural for a cat to scratch, but scratching furniture is a destructive behaviour which can be managed in a variety of ways.

Cats scratch to keep their claws healthy

There are a number of reasons why cats scratch furniture and surfaces. Cats need to keep their claws healthy and trimmed, they often will scratch trees and surfaces outdoors to help keep their claws healthy. In the home, it can be difficult for a cat to find an area to scratch.

Cat owners should use scratching posts to allow a cat to have a designated object they can use to scratch and keep their claws trimmed. Cat scratching posts are made of particular materials with a slight roughness to them to encourage the cat to use the post and get stuck in there to get their claws trimmed! These are essential for indoor cats who have no access to trees or hard outdoor surfaces.

Cats use scratching to mark their territory

Scratching is also used to mark a cat’s territory to show other cats that the area is occupied. That is why you often find cats scratching household furniture, such as sofas, beds and cabinets. They are actually warning other cats that this is their beautiful home and it is not up for sharing! Unfortunately, many cats also want to protect your luxurious sofa from other unwanted feline guests.

One way to help protect your sofa is to add a protective layer onto the common areas where cats tend to scratch, such as the arm rests or the top of the sofa, with a blanket or plastic sheet. You can also buy climbing frames with cat beds built inside to encourage your cat to use these for resting instead of the sofa, it can also be a great, fun addition for indoor cats as they can use the climbing frame for exercise and, often, these come with a scratching post as well to prevent cats from scratching the sofa. Climbing frames can be a cost effective way to offer your cat a place to rest, climb and scratch without damaging your sofa and household furniture.

Emotional Release

Another reason why your cat may scratch up your sofa is because it is trying to release emotional tension. Similar to dogs, cats can suffer from separation anxiety and other forms of emotion, such as frustration, anxiety or excitement, that can build up leading them to need an outlet for their emotions. 

It is important to observe when your cat is scratching the sofa, this is because you need to determine whether it is a healthy way for them to release positive emotions, or if they are suffering from too much anxiety. Is your cat scratching the sofa when you have returned home from work, or when you are playing with them? This could mean they are happy and expressing their excitement in a natural way. 

On the other hand, if you find the sofa damaged after a long day away from home or during the night, this could be due to anxiety. If you add a new pet to the family, this could also cause some anxiety for your furry companion. Contrary to belief, cats do not scratch furniture and carpets out of anger or to purposely destroy objects. If you suspect your cat could be suffering from anxiety, visit your vet and find out more with the RSPCA’s advice on cat behaviour.

Pet Friendly Sofas: An Alternative Option 

Everyone enjoys a little snuggle with our four-legged friends on the cosy sofa. If you want to stop worrying about accidental muddy paws staining the sofa, or an excess of pet hair then you need to find yourself a safe sofa for pets. These are pet-friendly sofas that use fabrics and materials that help protect the comfort and style of your sofa allowing you the freedom to let your dog or cat get comfortable on your sofa beside you. 

There are fabric sofa options that are claw-friendly and resistant. These types of sofas have no open weave which makes it harder for your pet's claws to get trapped in the material and pull out stitches from your sofa cushion. This means your sofa is less likely to get damaged from scratching and snagging, keeping it looking fresh and new for longer!

Picking out pet hairs that get stuck in your sofa is never fun and can often lead to loose weaves if you pick at the wrong strand! Smooth sofa fabrics will allow you to simply wipe them off the sofa, making it quicker and easier to clean because of their smooth tight weave. Find out more about cleaning a fabric sofa to really keep it looking bright and clean.

Getting sofas where the cushions can be removed and washed is also helpful as this can help keep your sofa clean and stain-free without the hassle of having to wipe the whole sofa down with a cleansing wipe.  Darker colour sofas are also more forgiving as they do not highlight stains or pet fur as much as a lighter coloured sofa. 

Buy Pet Friendly Sofas Online

Msofas offer high quality sofas and household furniture to decorate your home. We deliver products straight to your door step making it easy for you to shop online and hassle-free. We have sofas on finance available as well to allow our customers to find the right sofa for their home at affordable prices.