More than 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). For those who plan to join the masses and adopt a dog, ensuring that your home remains pristine can be a major challenge — especially if you’re a first time dog owner and don’t know what to expect. From understanding destructive behavior to how you can create a pet friendly space suited for Fido, here’s what you should keep in mind before bringing your new pup home.
Understanding destructive behavior
For those planning to welcome a new dog into their home for the first time, it’s important to understand that dogs love to chew and tear things up — an unfortunate reality that extends well beyond your shoes. From chairs and sofa cushions to throw pillows and blankets, there are many ways that a dog can wreak havoc on your living room. With that in mind, it’s imperative to understand the reasoning behind the behavior.
While destructive chewing is typical behavior for puppies who are teething, the behavior can also stem from boredom or stress as well, leading them to take out their feelings in your living room. For newly adopted dogs, this behavior may arise due to stress and anxious feelings regarding the new transition, as a change in routine can be a major stressor to some.
Protecting your seating and rugs from accidents is another issue that new dog owners are likely to face as well. While puppies are prone to accidents, it’s necessary to remember that accidents — even with older dogs — happen from time to time too, making it essential to prepare your living room accordingly.
The basics of a pet-friendly space
When looking to create the ultimate pet friendly space, choosing seating options that are functional and durable are priorities, though there are downsides when considering each. For example, while microfiber can present a highly durable and stain resistant fabric for seating, it likely won’t match a sophisticated living room aesthetic. On the other hand, while cotton is a popular choice that looks nice, it isn’t as durable as other options, like linen — though even linen, while durable, can be difficult to clean.
While each option has its pros and cons, even considering factors such as color can determine how dog friendly your living space is. While darker colors work to highlight light colored fur, those that are patterned or neutral toned can work well to hide shedding. While shopping for the perfect couch will likely require compromise, keeping your current seating — even if it’s leather — can be done successfully. With a variety of solutions, such as waterproof couch covers or even putting down a towel or sheet to cover the couch, ensuring that your living room is as dog-friendly as possible doesn’t have to be an impossible feat.
Outfitting a corner of the room with a comfy pet bed is just one option for those who wish to keep Fido off of the couch, while stain-resistant rugs present another way to heighten the pet-friendliness of the space. However, prevention may just be the primary answer when seeking to maintain your living room as best as possible.
Preventing — and addressing — mishaps
Preserving your couch from destructive chewing behavior and your rug from accidents may sound like a challenge, though prevention methods can be a savior in a variety of ways. In addition to providing your pup with plenty of chewing supplies while in the living room (stuffed toys, edible treats, etc.), the ASPCA notes that discouraging chewing inappropriate items can be done by spraying them with chewing deterrents.
Training your dog to either use a puppy pad indoors or to do their business outside during regularly scheduled walks can also be a great way to prevent any accidents, too. While prevention methods can be of great help when preserving your living room, it’s important to understand that sometimes, accidents can’t be helped — whether Fido gets an upset stomach or you’re a bit late for the afternoon walk. Thankfully, rugs and seating can always be cleaned. The Spruce notes that while carpets and upholstery can’t be flushed under running water, modifying stain removal methods can be done by removing solids, soaking up liquids, and creating an effective cleaning solution.
While there are plenty of pet friendly cleaners available in stores, cleaning up pet mishaps can also be done with a vinegar solution as well as the use of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains (always test the fabric first!), while calling in a professional may be necessary in certain situations.
Bringing home a new dog is an exciting event — especially if you’re a first time pet owner. For those looking to keep their living room looking as nice as possible, searching for dog friendly seating options, providing toys as an outlet for chewing, and properly training your dog can (for the most part) save your living room textiles from any mishaps.
Blog submitted by Chrissy Jones