Wondering if it’s even remotely possible to keep furniture clean with a puppy in the house? I’m not going to lie, puppy-proofing furniture is definitely a challenge! Puppies have so many wonderfully endearing qualities – they are adorable, playful, cuddly, and smell oh-so-good. What’s not quite as endearing is their habit for destruction as they learn the rules (what they can and can’t chew, what they can and can’t pee on – you get the idea). If you’re not careful, you could end up with some serious damage to your furniture, and replacing or repairing it can get expensive! Follow these tips to keep your furniture looking good even though you have a puppy (or an older dog who hasn’t quite figured out the rules!).
5 Tips for Puppy-Proofing Furniture
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- Get a slipcover. If you have leather or light-colored furniture, do yourself a favor and pick up a slipcover. They are much nicer than they were a decade ago, and they are an inexpensive way to save the surface of your upholstered furniture. With leather furniture, those sharp puppy claws and teeth can leave holes that are nearly impossible to repair. Plus, when the slipcover gets dirty, you simply pop it in the washing machine – a lot easier than scrubbing dirt off of the couch cushion!
- Stop the mess before it spreads. Puppies sure do love to dig (let’s be honest – most dogs do), and if there is a muddy puddle, they are bound to find it. Before you let your pup in the house from the backyard, wipe their paws. There is an ingenious “mud puppy mitten” that a dog mom and blogger created; take a look at instructions on how to make your own. Or, if you’re like me, simply take up stock in paper towels (dry – wet just makes it worse).
- Crate your pup when you’re not around. It’s safer for a puppy to be in his crate when you’re not home, and it will ensure you’ll not return to the couch cushion having been chewed to shreds.
- Deter chewing. With a natural urge to chew, puppies can make fast work of ruining table legs and other wooden materials. There are all kids of chew-deterrent sprays out there, with varying reviews of their efficacy. The tried and true solution that worked for our puppies when I was a kid? Vaseline with cayenne pepper rubbed on the table legs (make sure the water dish is full!). It didn’t take long for the dogs to leave the table legs alone completely!
- Train your puppy to stay off the furniture. This one may be hard because it is so nice to cuddle with your little pup on the couch. You know what’s not nice? When your 70-pound Golden still thinks she’s a lap dog and takes over the couch on a regular basis (speaking from experience here). Train your dog early that the furniture is off-limits, and you’ll have the added benefit of not needing to worry about the dirt, fur, and holes that can come with pups calling the couch their own.
Accidents will happen as you’re teaching your puppy the rules. Don’t forget that it’s important to stay calm when they do. Your puppy isn’t able to connect your anger with her actions, so yelling at her won’t do any good. Soon, she will know what you expect of her, and your furniture will last until you’re ready for something new!