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Everything You Need to Know About Designing A Dog-Friendly Home: Advice, Easy Hacks and Tons of Decor Recommendations From Our Readers

photo by Tessa Neustadt | from: The Design Milk Family Room Reveal

All dogs are perfect, but they aren’t always the best roommates. They shed, they climb on furniture, and if they’re an American Bulldog named Gus, they drool and lick themselves incessantly. But, as the proud mother of said bulldog, I know there are few joys greater than coming home to a 60 lb slobbery mess that wants to jump on me and lick my face as soon as I walk through the door. Yes, I am that kind of dog mom. I let my dog jump on me, lay on the couch, and sleep in our bed because he has me wrapped around his little paw. But as whipped as I may be, there is no denying that a dog in the home causes some challenges, design-wise.

As I coming to find out, designing a dog-friendly home requires thoughtful consideration and those who’ve lived through it are our best resource. So I did what anyone would do. I asked my boss to ask you, the real experts, how you keep your homes dog-friendly and clean. Now I’ve gathered the results and can’t wait to share all the tips and tricks. We’re talking best and worst fabrics, best cleaning products, easy hacks, and more. Let’s get to it:

The Best (& Prettiest) Dog-Friendly Sofas

Leather: I know there are people out there who live in “no dogs on the furniture” households. These people deserve this recognition and will likely announce themselves in the comment section (please do and please give me all the advice on how to accomplish this). The rest of us need something a little more foolproof than that. I was recently in the market for a new couch and because my life revolves around my dog, I had to ask what is recommended for dogs (specifically ones that shed a TON). I was told leather is the #1 recommended for dog owners which is no surprise. Leather is easy to wipe clean and hair isn’t going to stick to it. Obviously, real leather will hold up better to scratches, but faux leather is just as easy to clean – just not as durable. 

Dog Friendly Sofas 1

1.  Modern Leather Sofa 2. Texada Sofa | 3. Hoxton Black Leather Sofa | 4. Leather Sofa | 5. Sven Charme Tan Sofa | 6. Brown Leather Modern Square Sofa

Tightly Woven Fabrics: If you aren’t into leather and want something cozier, have no fear. There are some woven fabrics out there that are very durable and stain-resistant. My research tells me the tighter the weave the better (think chenille and herringbone – fabrics with texture that will hide hair – but watch out if your dog is a digger as their nails can cause damage). Also, synthetic fabrics like microfibre are high on the pet (and kid) friendly list because they can be spot-cleaned with most carpet cleaners and pet hair is easier to remove with lint rollers and vacuums. If you are going for a woven fabric though, you might consider matching the fabric to your dog’s hair color as best you can unless you don’t mind seeing hair everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

Dog Friendly Fabric Sofa Copy

1. Shelter Sofa | 2. Sven Birch Ivory Sofa | 3. Sloan Custom 3 Seat Sofa | 4. Ever Slipcover Sofa | 5. KIVIK Sofa | 6. Amherst Cobblestone Sofa

Velvet: About half of you swear by velvet and the other half will be calling me crazy in the comments section. We actually wrote a post about this last year, and we learned that synthetic velvet is more dog and kid-friendly because it holds up better to scratching and is easier to clean and keep hair-free. So, if you are in the market for velvet furniture go for synthetic or performance velvet for best results.

Dog Friendly Velvet Sofas Copy 1

1. Mirage 75″ Sofa | 2. Calais Channel Tufted Sofa | 3. Olsen Sofa | 4. Rivet Aiden Tufted Mid Century Velvet Sofa | 5. Shelter Sofa | 6. Shelia Velvet 80″ Sofa

The Best & Most Stain Resistant Rugs:

Emily Henderson Living Room Staged To Sell Boho Mid Century Eclectic Blue White Styled Couch Sectional Staged12
photo by: Tessa Nuestadt | from: How We Styled Our Living Room To Sell 

Cowhide: I have a white cowhide rug and even between my wine spills and my dog’s occasional throw-up spells, it somehow remains stain free. This is no exaggeration when I say it is the easiest thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of cleaning (and I hate cleaning). If you get to the accident fast enough, a rag and some water will usually get the stain right out, but if it is a more stubborn stain laundry detergent works like magic. In my experience, even faux cowhide is easy to clean simply because the hairs are spread out far enough so you can scrub the hide and you can rub back and forth without worrying about damaging it. Emily also swears by cowhide rugs for messy kids and pets.

Dog Friendly Cowhide Rugs 1

1. Palomino White/ Beige Cowhide Rug | 2. Carbon Loft Tan/White Cowhide Rug  3. Honey Cowhide Rug

Vintage Persian Rugs: If you’ve ever had a vintage Persian rug you know they can take a beating but what’s even better is their age and wear are a part of their charm. This makes accidents and scratches less of an issue and if it does stain, the intricate patterns do a good job of masking it. We know they are an investment but Emily and Sara vouch for the Persian rug stain-resistance and even though they are cat owners, I trust their judgment. 🙂

Dog Friendly Cowhide Rugs Copy

1. Antique Heriz Serapi Rug 2. Vintage Persian Rug 3. 1900s, Handmade Antique Persian Mahal Distressed Rug

Ruggable Rugs – The people have spoken. The days of getting on your hands and knees and furiously scrubbing pee stains are over. Machine washable rugs are the future, my friends, and I am happy to report that we received tons of DM’s praising Ruggable. Our work here is done.

Dog Friendly Ruggable Copy

1. Hudson Stripe Black Rug | 2. Vintage Daisy Bordered Blue Rug | 3. Cambria Ruby Rug

Best Cleaning Tools:

Now, for the cleaning portion, aka the dog owner’s biggest hill to climb. It is safe to say that ordinary cleaning tools do not cut it for the dog friendly home. We need heavy duty, and specifically designed tools to 1. clean up hair and 2. remove odors and pet caused stains. Here are the top picks:

Dog Friendly Cleaning

Chom Chom Roller: EHD Alum Emily Bowser recommended the Chom Chom Roller a while back and it has since become a most talked about product in the office. Cat and dog owners alike agree it is the only pet hair remover that 100% removes hair from fabric surfaces. 

Germ Guardian Air Purifier: It’s quite shocking how much air becomes compromised once a dog enters your home and life. The sheer amount of dust and debris that accumulates is unlike anything I have ever seen or experienced. An air purifier is essential to filter the hair and dander that accumulates so the air in your home stays fresh and breathable.

Roomba Vacuum: I am not sure if robots will be doing all our chores in the near future, but I am pretty happy the robots have taken over vacuuming. In a dog household, vacuuming hair is a DAILY chore, so thanks Roomba for taking one thing off our to-do lists.

Dyson cordless animal vacuum: Of all the products recommended to us, those who told us about this Dyson animal vacuum were by far the most enthusiastic. It is cordless and designed to pick up animal hair, so even those tricky needle-like hairs are goners.

Folex: If accidents are frequent, this will keep your carpet clean and will remove the odor completely, so your dog doesn’t mark their territory over and over.

Nature’s Miracle: Dogs can smell bad. Can we talk about this? It is awkward to say because it sort of suggests that our homes also smell, but that does not have to be true. Enter Nature’s Miracle, which eliminates pet odors from fabric surfaces like no other.

Creekwood Hill 1 152
photo by: Jennifer Kamrath/Sage Imagery | from: Tour A Stylist’s Mid-Century-Meets-Traditional “Farmhouse” Full of Thrifted Treasures 

The Dos, The Don’ts, & The Easy Everyday Hacks:

1. Cover furniture.  Invest in a few inexpensive yet stylish blankets or quilts that you wouldn’t mind seeing every day. Slipcovers work as well, but blankets can add more visual interest and do not need to be taken on and off all the time. With a few large blankets, you can drape them over furniture and if an accident does happen or it starts to get too dirty, you can swap with another one. I do this for my sofa and my bed, so when it’s time for the humans to relax, it’s as simple as removing the dog blanket.

2. Have throw blankets everywhere. Dogs will curl up wherever the most snuggly spot is. If you want to try and keep your pup off the furniture, arranging a throw or two over a rug will almost guarantee a snooze in that spot. One of you suggested getting an oversized IKEA sheepskin rug and cutting it up into small sections, then layering around the house. I just want to say I LOVE this idea and will be stealing.

3. Keep trash enclosed. I know you seasoned dog parents know this, but it’s worth highlighting. Covered trash cans are non-negotiable, even if your dog is the most well-behaved. No one wants to come home to yesterday’s pizza box ripped to shreds all over the carpet. If your little “angel” is a little more mischevious, keep the trash in a cabinet if possible. We’ve all seen what dogs can do when they put their minds to something, so it’s best to keep the scents as sealed off as possible to avoid any temptation.

4. Set up a paw cleaning station. Most of us don’t have mudrooms, so taking a dog for a walk on a rainy day (or any day) can be chaos – especially when they run straight towards your white sofa. Not to be dramatic, but setting up an area in your entry where you can rid paws of any dirt or mud is life. changing. This can be as simple as keeping wipes or a small rag and water bottle in a storage bench near the door.

5. Put on music when your dog is home alone. If your pup tends to get extra anxious when you leave them alone, it helps to leave relaxing music on for them. When a dog is anxious or has separation anxiety, they tend to act out in ways that might cause harm to your furniture and other belongings. Multiple dog parents that I know do this (including me) and it really does help soothe them and make them less likely to wreak havoc. 

6. Keep your schedule as routined as possible. Dogs adapt to our habits and routines. It took me a while to figure this out but I have noticed my dog is 10 x more ~chill~ when he can anticipate when it is walking/playing time and when it is sleeping time. Now that he knows my schedule, he has less nervous energy which in turn keeps his behavior tamer.

7. Match your furniture and/or rugs (and flooring if you can help it) to a similar color to your dog’s hair. Some dogs shed more than others but all dogs do shed and the hair gets everywhere. The visual reminder that you haven’t done your chores in a day or two is a lot less obvious when their hair blends in.

8. Be careful with essential oil diffusers unless you’ve done your research. A ton of essential oils are toxic for dogs, and their noses are super sensitive so these concentrated oils are a lot for them to inhale. We want our homes smelling amazing but not when it might incite a panicked trip to the vet.

9. Stay away from jute rugs. Jute may seem cool and durable, but it is a monster to clean. It collects dirt and hair and if an unfortunate mess happens, getting the excess “stuff” out is nearly impossible.

10. Leave expensive or breakable items out of the “tail wagging” zone. Pretty straightforward but we’ve all been there, and we can only blame ourselves.

Okay, there you have it but now I want to hear from you. Have we scratched the surface or do you have more secrets to share? Tell me everything.


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104 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Designing A Dog-Friendly Home: Advice, Easy Hacks and Tons of Decor Recommendations From Our Readers

  1. Natures miracle used to work wonderful. Now Natures miracle doesn’t do a thing. I don’t remember all the details but the original formula left with the founder so current version doesn’t do what the original did. The original formula is now marketed under new name petastic but on reddit it’s mentioned that it was rebranded again and somehow related to amazon.

  2. yes to that roller! and yes, my dog is pretty much chill. She knows her walks are in the morning. and at 3:15pm, and about 7pm – 8pm. It’s so easy when we’re all on the same page!

  3. I have 3 large dogs so this is like a peek into our home! I am also the kind of dog mom that lets them on furniture, sleep in bed, etc. because I love having them right next to me. We use Resolve carpet cleaner for Pets and I can attest it takes out blood, pee, yellow bile vomit, etc. especially if you get it sprayed as soon as it happens. We also use it in tandem with the Bissell portable rug scrubber when tackling bile stains. I don’t have the $ for vintage Persian rugs but have found the mass-produced ones from large online retailers like RugsUSA are very easy to clean if you purchase rugs made of synthetic materials and use the Resolve spray. Other little suggestions: Buy throw pillows with removable covers so you can wash them, use a duvet cover on your bed as it is much easier to wash and dry than a king size quilt or comforter, put a beach towel down by the door the dogs use to go in/outside to the yard so you can catch muddy or wet paws. If you bathe your dog in the tub, have a hand held shower sprayer installed to make the task of wetting the dog and rinsing so much easier. Save your old bath and beach towels as ‘dog towels’. Cover any dog beds with the small fleece blankets to make washing easy instead of having to remove the dog bed cover all the time. I keep the doors to the guest rooms closed while we are at work to keep those rooms cleaner and keep the dogs off those beds. I also recommend the Furbo dog camera that lets you talk to your dogs and dispense treats as well. If they get rambunctious, we get a barking alert on our phone and can open the app and tell them to ‘SETTLE DOWN, GUYS!”. We can also see/hear when our pet-sitter comes to take them out each day.

    1. I agree with the blanket on the dog bed. I can wash her blankets weekly but only bother with the bed cover seasonally

    2. Do you have tips for how to completely remove stains? We end up throwing rugs away because after awhile no cleaning seems to completely remove everything (you puck the rug up and can see the “water mark” or it starts to smell. We have a steam cleaner too.

    3. Dogs, cats, and pets in general are all family members and I think it is beneficial for them to feel loved and wanted in places where I spend my time ( bed, sofa, outdoors, carpets etc). They are amazing beings and should feel at home in our homes

  4. Guess what? I’m one of those no pets on furniture owners. And thank goodness we did. We adopted our girl when she was 8 weeks old. Online she was listed as an estimated 45lb dog in her full grown state. She’s now 115lbs and I sure am happy we kept her off the furniture. I can’t imagine the size of couch we’d need to house her!
    Trust me, it wasn’t easy when she was such a “tiny” puppy and cute and cuddly, and I often caught my husband breaking the rules. The best thing we did was crate train her as a baby and now she just does all the right things.
    I do agree with all your product suggestions, however. She may stay on the floor but she’s a giant grossie and things like carpets take a beating.
    I also purchased an Interior Define sofa in one of their kid/pet-proof fabrics and with two insane children, I can agree with you that as a good option with pets as well!

    1. Ahh I salute you! That is definitely hard to train but I know so many people swear by crates – and dogs often love it too! Maybe we’ll try this for our next dog as it’s a little too late for Gus.. haha

  5. Where is the rug from in photo with the French bulldog ? Shag rug. Love it Great article about a dog friendly home

  6. I’m somewhat OCD about cleanliness and yet am a huge dog lover. They sleep on the sofa, on my bed, nothing is off limits. I have a few things I do. One, I have low shedding dog breeds. They shed less than I do and the hair comes out when groomed, not all over my house. Grooming is the next part of the puzzle — I bathe and groom them regularly, at least every 4 weeks. Keep the nails short to avoid scratching furniture, especially leather. Dogs dig before they settle in for the night and the nails make a huge difference in the amount of damage. You can also have them dremeled so they’re not sharp. Third, slip covers for furniture are great, especially if washable. Lastly, I wipe feet after any walk and wash them after any wet/muddy walk. I keep a microfiber bath mat by the door for this. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

  7. Ahhhhh, the IKEA sheepskin hack is genius- stealing it! My contribution: drape the couch in cloth shower curtains. I bought a few (relatively cheap) textured shower curtains from Target that are long enough to cover the couch, provide decent claw protection to the velvet underneath, and are easy to wash in the washing machine. Note I am not referring to plastic shower curtains; I am referring to the more decorative cloth piece you hang in front of the plastic, outside of the bath’s edge. This is the same idea as blanket draping, obviously, I just think of curtains as being a bit more rugged than some of the cheaper blanket options out there. Hope this idea works for someone. Thanks for thinking of our four-legged friends! 🙂

    1. Nope, IKEA sheepskin is no good, impossible to clean and retains dog odor. It also smells of animal and may bring distress to a lot of dogs. My cat used to chew and attack it, I don’t want to think what the dog will do.

      1. I can attest to this. I bought a sheepskin rug awhile back and it lasted less than 24 hours. One of my dogs shredded it to pieces. They smell too good for most dogs to resist. Faux sheep skin would work though!

  8. long time reader, first time commenter.

    I live with a black Great Dane who runs my life. When I was shopping for a new sofa a few months ago, I really had my heart set on an off white color. My husband was terrified because… dog. I worked with The Joneses furniture here in LA and they helped guide me through performance fabrics. I took home a bunch of samples and put them through the ringer. Ended up using Revolution Performance Fabrics in the color “chalk” and the weave “Hailey.” soaking this fabric sample in wine or cleaning the floors with it and then magically making it spotless again with a bit of warm water and dish soap became my party trick. I do Chom Chom every other day & rotate different throws that I wrap around the bench seat cushion as an extra precaution.

    I also recommend the Neva Sofa from Sixpenny in olive canvas! We have one up in Lake Arrowhead and this sofa is sooo comfy and durable. It looks really fresh and hides a lot of hair etc when you’re between cleanings!

  9. I have two dogs of my own (Keeshond & Flat-Coated Retriever) and raise guide dog puppies, which means there’s a new one to civilize every year–and they’re mostly Labradors, which means heavy chewing and lots of shedding. I realize this is a more extreme situation than most people have to cope with, but it has direct impact on how my place is furnished and decorated.
    I have all hard floors–the only rug is a small bedside one. I’ve tried rugs in the main room, but they don’t survive serial housebreaking, chewing, and bloody drips from heat cycles (the puppies are not spayed until they return to the school). After a couple of attempts, no couch. I appreciate a more open space so that I can see what they’re up to from my favorite chair; my space is small, and I use the open area for puppy training and Obedience work with my own two. The only effective way I have found to keep unattended dogs off furniture are those ugly plastic Xs with sharp prickers on the business side, and I’ve even had those chewed. We are also required to teach the puppies to stay off furniture so it can be the choice of their eventual blind partner whether or not to invite the dog up on the bed or couch. My own dogs sleep in the bed with me. I just change the bedding religiously every Friday, and don’t use a bedspread–just a washable duvet cover.
    All the plants are cacti, and nobody messes with them more than once:).
    Everything decorative/fragile is well above tail height. A Lab sweeps clean, and the Flat-Coat is even worse, since her tail is longer.
    I sweep every day, and vacuum at least twice a week.
    It is a great advantage to prefer clear surfaces, with just a few larger objects, since dusting/wiping goes much faster if there’s not much to move. Maximilists must go crazy trying to keep all that stuff clean. It’s not a look I like, anyway, but simple is also practical.
    And vintage is always good. Most of what can happen already has, so what’s a few more tooth marks?

  10. This is a pretty comprehensive article! I have 2 Great Danes, and while they shed a ton, we recently purchased the shark IQ robot vacuum over the Roomba. It’s life changing! It goes in straight lines, so when I come home, my thicker carpets have those pretty vacuum lines in them 🙂 until the big girls are let loose… best dog purchase we’ve made.

    1. Oh I have never heard of the shark IQ robot! Definitely going to look into this. Thanks xx

  11. Chenille is HORRIBLE for a couch in a dog home. Please remove that recommendation immediately. We had a chenille couch with our 2 dogs, and within 3 years the fabric was so torn, pilled, and wrecked we had to get rid of the couch completely and swap for faux leather.

  12. Emily and team ….. You know what would be so great (as part of your new site design)? To have the function that they have over at Cup of Jo … that is, when you comment and post your comment, the page is taken back to where you were when you commented.
    This is especially helpful when replying to someone’s comment or question.
    Otherwise, it’s necessary to scroll all the way through the comments again, to find where we were at.
    That’s frustrating and tends to encourage readers opting out.
    Just a thought to make things more user-friendly. ?

  13. IKEA has inexpensive runners (we’re talking like $14.99), and small woven rugs for less than $10. I keep a door sized one to catch foot and paw debris and the longer runner for the continued path through the room (for me, entry to house is usually through the backyard to the kitchen). They fit in the washing machine! And they are clearly not precious but they somehow last for years. I keep a couple of each size for washing periods and they really catch so much of the stuff that pets bring in with them.

  14. Ha, I have a white Frenchie Who sleeps on couch, bed, etc. And sheds like crazy. I agree with the matching everything to dogs fir, my blue couch now has a white slipcover on it, and I keep a white duvet cover on the bed. I just wish I could now change my car interior to white too! Note on rugs, never buy a rug with viscose in it! Impossible to get stains out of.

    1. Ha I wish I could change the color of my car interior too!! My dog has white hair that I swear get wedged into the fibers of everything so even vacuuming my car does not completely remove the hair. It’s ridiculous! haha

  15. Washable textiles are a must! We just launched a new line of Washable Cotton Area Rugs that are perfect for homes with pets because you can just throw them in the washing machine if they get dirty!

    Check them out at

    Oh, and our Cotton Throw Blankets are washable too! 😉

  16. You are so right about jute (and sisal) rugs! They are cheap and seem sturdy but really do show the dirt and essentially cannot be cleaned. When we had one dog liked to scratch at the little loops and leave drool puddle stains where he chewed on his bones. A leather couch and vintage Persian rugs are great for us.

    1. Yes! I second that we need a post for cat owners. I know that leather and cats aren’t a good mix because of my personal experience. I had leather sofas for so long, because they were great when I had a dog and remain durable with kids, but not for cats.

      I have many of the cleaning supplies they mention. That roller is the best tool for removing cat hair from furniture. I love our Roombas running daily to pick up hair (we have them upstairs and downstairs). We have a Dyson cordless (don’t remember which model) for spot cleaning and area rugs (the Roomba doesn’t do a great job on ours). I love the Folex upholstery and rug cleaner. And instead of an air purifier, we run the fan on on our HVAC system 10 minutes of every hour during the day. We have a HEPA filtration system on it (previous owners installed it and I’m thankful they did).

      I plan to try out performance velvet on some dining chairs that need the seat cushions redone. I’ve repeatedly seen it recommended for cats. And we got a microfiber futon for our teen’s room, and the cats don’t mess with that.

      Oh, and shades are a better option than curtains. The cats have thrashed a few pairs of curtains, but they don’t bother roman shades.

      1. Interesting you say leather isn’t good for cats because in my experience it’s been the ONLY piece of furniture they don’t try to scratch, which is great! They don’t seem to like to lay on it though unless there’s a throw blanket under them.

        1. We have a leather chair and my cat doesn’t scratch it but she leaves marks when she jumps up and down and from her happy paws. I don’t mind it but it’s definitely not ideal. We just ordered a sofa from Interior Define in performance velvet, fingers crossed it works for us!

        2. I’ve heard others have success with leather, but I have several thousands of dollars worth of scratched up leather furniture that prove my cats love to scratch leather. It’s a total bummer. And I have 4-6 scratching posts/areas (sisal rope, sisal woven, cardboard) available at all times. I tried a lot to keep them from scratching, but at a certain point it was too late. At some point I’ll reupholster, but for now I live with scratched leather.

      2. Funny enough, leather is fine with our cats, but for some reason they like to pee on faux leather. They’re 10 years old and pretty much never have issues with going outside the litter box unless it’s a health problem, but over the years the few times we’ve had faux leather, that’s the ONE THING they will pee on. You would think “no biggie, it can just wipe up!” But in reality it soaks through every seam and stitch and gets into the cushion, and even if it’s something that isnt cushioned (a pool table cover was one example) that scent just never comes out of the faux leather itself. Things I look for when picking a couch – a zipper on the cushions to take the cover off and wash separately while I soak and dry the insert (this has also saved me the couple of times I’ve spilled something on the couch), durable canvas or some other fabric that either wont scratch or will hide the scratches (a distressed leather works great), and something in a medium color that won’t show our cats hair too much since they’re long haired cats and the hair they shed is a grayish undercoat even though one is orange and the other is brown.

        A lot of the suggestions in this post apply for cats too – put blankets where they like to lay so that you can just toss those in the wash when the hair gets too much or remove them when company comes, keep breakables out of reach (may require closed cabinets with climbing cats), cleaning supplies that work for hair, pee, puke (a fact of life with cats), air purifiers for removing litter box scents and dander. Pets can be hard on the decor, but they’re also the best accessory, so I suppose there are trade offs. Maybe if everyone’s so busy coo-ing over your sweet pet, they wont notice the dust (hair) bunnies floating along the baseboards?

    2. I know Emily has done at least one post (maybe more) about cat friendly homes and products. Search the blog and you should be able to find it 🙂

  17. A friend of mine owns an upscale rug shop-her advice to keep accidents off rugs/carpets (but keep them nice) is to sprinkle pepper on it. Dogs smell before they go so it deters them. I tried it and it works! (White pepper for lighter rugs.)

  18. Do you know of any throw blankets that can handle regular washings in the washing machine? Mine always look beat up in a few months! Thanks for the help!

    1. Flat quilts. Large enough to cover sofa/bed. Fit in washing machine. Look good for years.

  19. We have a 110 lb lab, 65 lb boxer and a long hair cat. Pet hair galore in our house. Many of the tips you recommended are exactly what we use. We have a leather sofa, which is easy to wipe down and doesn’t hold onto the stinky dog smell like fabric sofas do. I have had a Roomba for six years now, which runs daily. This is a must for my sanity. I also have the Dyson Pet stick vac, and it is amazing for quick cleanups. The paw cleaning pet station is a wonderful idea and one I need to implement. We also have solid surface floors throughout out entire house. If you are a pet household, in my opinion, carpet is pretty impossible to keep clean and non-smelly unless you love shampooing your carpets all the time. Love this type of post – very helpful and practical.

      1. Re: carpet pet odors – I bought a variety pack of those charcoal odor pouches and stuffed a couple under couch and near dog bed (anywhere hidden that’s near where she rests). I think it’s been a success!

        1. I love the charcoal bags, but unfortunately so does my dog – he got ahold of one and tore it open. So, if you have a dog that tears up stuffed animals or things like that, you may want to keep charcoal bags out of their reach.

          Honestly the best thing for odors we cant seem to kick is just 5 minutes with the windows open and some fans running. Yeah, it lets the heat out in the winter and then the furnace has to kick on to heat it back up, but I try to think of it in terms of “how much would I pay for some fresh air right now?” And then I’m usually good with the extra cost.

  20. Ha! Great topic!

    I got my first dog, ever, just 9 years ago.
    She’s an Irish Terrier and supposedly doesn’t shed much…..w r o n g!
    She sheds heaps!!! It literally killour Electrolux vacuum.

    Enter the Dyson Animal BIG BARREL corded vacuum – the stick version sucks (easy pun!) because it doesn’t go the distance and the barrel that collects the dirt, hair, etc, just isn’t big enough.
    Now, finally, our house is clean again. And the HEPA filter means our house smells unlike anything doggy.

    Interesting that you mentioned the essential oils, Ryann. We bought a zooty diffuser this week and having used oils for years, I googled the blended ones I chose along with the diffuser and unfortunately, one had an oil that’s baaad for dogs, so that’ll be a spinkle one for our bedroom, where she doesn’t spend much time (Juniper isn’t good for dogs). She can’t get on our bed, because it’s REALLY high…as in Emily’s English Eccentric Grandma’s bed! Ha!

    We wash her @every 3/4 weeks and when we go for walks, I wipe her feet one-by-one with a warm, wet cloth…in between her toes, the works (I’ve found some hidden away prickles, grass seeds and bubblegum?! too by doing this ). I started this after watching a cute Korean pup video and since we’re a shoes off home, she gets in on the positive energy vibe too.
    Like, really? Walk around on footpaths where who knows what is and then tramp those shoes all over the house, rugs, bathroom floor?!? Eeeooowwwrrgghh! IMHO. Kinda like when people plonk handbags on the floor/ground. Even toilet room floors….what are people thinking?! Eich!

    As far as training to not go on furniture. We did that and I felt like a total meanie when she was little. Eventually, we both put Balinese throws (we’re Australian and Bali is to us, as Mexico is to the USA) over our living room chairs and she csn sit/sleep there. She gets a pat on the head when we come to ocupy our chair and we say “Okay” and she knows to hop down. Prior to this pat acknowledgement, she challenged a few times, trying to claim a chair as her chair. A simple pat is all it took.

    I’ve considered buying an Ikea sofa with machine washable covers that can be seasonally swapped out, so she can snuggle on the family room sofa. So easy and the dog’s a big part of the household, so she should be able to claim a smidgen of sofa real estate too. ?

    We had a sheepskin. Our dog loved it so much, she got into the habit of tearing bits of wool off the skin and eating them…..not such a good idea for us. Oops.

    She has her own bedroom (ah, she might be a bit spoiled?) and baby gates are sooooo goood! When she’s unwell, we herd her towards her room, which has floor boards and an indoor/outdoor hoseable rug in it….messes are easy to clean up, not that there are many.

    We love our crazy pooch to bits. It’s her home too. All (no exceptions) of our friends and family frequently say how amazjng it is that our house doesn’t smell doggy! ? Pretty pleased with that coz her toys are usually strewn everywhere and she spends most of her time inside, simply coz she likes to.

    We wrap an old cotton doona (quilt) cover around her mattress in her basket and that getswashed with her towels the day after her bath, so at least her bed smells like her for a night when she’s squeaky clean….it’s comforting when she doesn’t smell like her beautiful self, straight after a wash.

    We also trained her to have her teeth brushed (dogs need special toothpaste… human toothpaste is poisonous to dogs), so her breathe just smells like….well….air! Great for herteeth and plaque buildup and she actually jumps up and holds her mouth open, ready for the toothbrush!
    Aaaand, as a Terrier….she is NOT easy to train (stubborn and very willful), so if I can do it when I’ve never had a dog….anyone can!

    We once came across a person with an Irish Terrier and when I said that it was my first dog, she said “OMG! Baptism of Fire!!!”.

    Scruffies…..ya gotta love ’em! And this is from a former cat only person! ?

  21. my 8 month old goldendoodle runs my house as well. i never thought i’d have her on the furniture or bed with me, but here we are. i put a flat sheet over my bed every night over my comforter and that’s what she sleeps on. its super easy to throw in the washer every week, and then my bedding still looks nice.

  22. Fellow dog owner here! A few thoughts: even a tightly woven fabgroc will eventually get fur stuck, and it may be harder to get it out because of that tight weave. We don’t let our dog on the furniture but her fur still gets on – some just from being in the air, but mostly because it gets tracked on via other surfaces like socks and our kids’ clothes because they roll around with her a lot. Our current sofa is nearing the end of its life and we plan to replace it with a leather one for easier cleaning.
    Our dog hates the crate but is generally not destructive so we let her roam the house while we are out. We close bedroom doors so she doesn’t take a nap on the beds, and use a clear plastic runner, pointy side up, on the couch to keep her from jumping on. She doesn’t try to get on the furniture when we are home, just when we are out, so we roll up the plastic when we’re home and just roll it out before we leave. You can get rolls pretty cheap and they tend to be just around the right length to fit on a sofa seat:

  23. We got (nice, woven) wall-to-wall carpet in our basement that exactly matches our golden retriever’s hair color and it has been *chef’s kiss*. I still vacuum like a madwoman but not being able to see it in between vacuuming has been awesome. We also recently got a mod velvet couch from Interior Define in green which I LOVE but you can see our dog’s hair on it super easily — luckily a lint roller works just fine, so I keep one in the coffee table right next to the couch and just wipe it down every so often, it doesn’t bother me. (Oh and this is just hair on the couch from general dog presence, she’s not allowed *on* the couch.) When our Shark dies at some point in the future, I’m investing in a Dyson because I’ve heard so many loves for it.

    1. I will say that I own both a shark and a Dyson and I wouldn’t recommend wasting the money on the dyson. I have the pet roller ball full size vacuum and it CONSTANTLY gets clogged with dog hair. I almost exclusively use my shark stick vacuum because it does not get clogged with the hair.

  24. I highly recommend (inexpensive) Seagrass area rugs for accidents etc. We have a Boxer with a sensitive stomach who will sometimes throw up after eating. If he can’t make it outside, he always runs to the Seagrass area rug…maybe because its the closest thing to being outside? I just clean up the mess, blot it with a white cloth and then its gone. It’s indestructible!

  25. We have Chihuahuas and they’re a great dog for cleanliness. They don’t shed much (really only at the vet or other times when they’re nervous). If they have accidents (super rare), it’s a tiny amount. They’re great. They are total couch dogs though. So when we don’t have company, we cover the furniture from head to toe in blankets. (With extra blankets because Chihuahuas like to burrow..) Then when we have company, off come the blankets and underneath are completely clean sofas and chairs. It works well for us.

  26. Secret to no dogs on furniture: big dogs. Mine are 100lbs and 70lbs, and they are tall enough to get pets from me when I’m on my couch, so they don’t feel any need to climb up. I have no idea what the owners of small dogs do, though.

  27. I bought the Chom Chom and LOVE it!!

    Also, if you crate train, having a crate that is a quality piece of furniture looks SO much nicer in your home than the big ugly metal crate! My husband makes these on our art and woodworking Etsy site –
    We don’t normally ship because it’s so pricey but you can likely find a local carpenter that can custom build a kennel to match your decor.

  28. I second the throw blankets everywhere! This also works even better if you have scratchy cats: A “casually draped” throw or sheepskin over the back of a chair really saves it from being shredded.

  29. I am a cat owner but I can 100% attest to leather, velvet, that article fabric, and vintage rugs. I have one cat who is prone to the old “scarf and barf” and our rugs are holding up beautifully to periodic scrubbing.

    Let me just say though, the scent of Nature’s Miracle is unbearable for both my husband and me. We had a cat pee incident and used NM on it and we ended up having to put the seat cover in the washing machine, we couldn’t handle the smell. My MIL has an elderly cat and dog and she recommends a product called “My Pet Peed”. I haven’t tried it yet but she swears by it.

    1. We use Severe Urine Neutralizer concentrate that I found on Amazon. You might not like the smell, but it works wonder on hardwood floors and per beds. I can’t vouch for using it on furniture, though.

  30. I am a dog owner and have been looking at the Article sofa! Does anyone have it? Is it something you would want to watch TV on? I have a small area, and it is hard to find small, comfortable and good looking couches!

    1. I have the Texada leather sofa and I am OBSESSED with it. It is truly the best sofa ever. It is so comfortable and extremely easy to clean. I couldn’t be happier with it!

  31. As the mom of a 65 lb goldendoodle, and 60 pound lab, I can commiserate with everyone on the messes they create. My 2 are not furniture dogs. Started with the off command as a puppy. But they are both smart, and knew I meant business with “off” the furniture. But I used to have a 25 pound cockapoo, and he ruled the roost. For him, there were no rules. Couch lounging was a way of life for him. So I can totally understand this way of living.

    I am probably crazy, but I have a white slipcovered couch. Easily thrown in the washing machine for cleaning. I do cover mine with a white flat bed sheet though. They don’t get on the couch, but have recently begun to use it as back support. This helps keep the bottom clean, and I just fold it up if I have company coming over. I think I will always have a slipcovered couch. But I wouldn’t mind a leather couch in the future, but finding one is not a task I am up for yet.

    I need to buy that roller, though! One of my favorite must haves is the Furminator. Cannot use it on my goldendoodle, but it is amazing the fur you can get off the lab. Made my boyfriend do a test for a week. He brushed him nightly with the Furminator. Literally, almost a basketball sized ball of fur came off nightly, for an entire week. This was just a test, we don’t brush him with it every day. But we use it at least twice a week. So if your dog has lab like fur, run, do not walk, and buy one asap.

    1. We have the Furminator too… with 2 Labs I could brush them all day! Good thing they enjoy it. Bonus, if you put the fur tumbleweeds in an accessible place outside the birds will use the fur to make nests in spring. I usually stuff a few handfuls in an empty suet feeder and hang it outside on dry early spring days.

  32. CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS, please! I just moved in with a very adorable, very snooty Russian Blue named Dennis. He looooves my Persian rugs and tweedy sectional. I’ve heard that they’re less interest in scratching velvet — any other tips for decorating around feline friends?

  33. Hey! I love this! Thank you for posting.

    Most of the girls on my team are cat ladies, and we’re wracking our minds attempting to think up some kitty proof couches. It would be amazing if you could do a little highlight on some durable furniture that could stand up to kitty claws.

    1. Velvet (or at the very least synthetic velvet)! It’s great for all pets really, but I’ve found it especially helpful for cat claws. I have a dark blue velvet chair (+ a white cat) with synthetic velvet – since it doesn’t have any “loops”, her claws don’t get stuck in it (and I find the little paw imprints she leaves when she walks on it adorable), and you can always “brush” (stroke? pet? I don’t know the best word!) the look back to pristine – the other benefit is the fur – you just sweep your hand over where any pet fuzz it and it comes up super easy in your hand – no need for a lint roller!

  34. I have a polypropylene “sisal” rug that has held up wonderfully to dogs and to our “entryway” which is part of the living room and I think looks pretty convincing. I believe it’s called “four seasons” or something. Easy to order online in a custom size.

  35. I agree with the Dyson Animal cordless – since getting this, our lives living with a furry semi-feral Australian Shepherd/Golden Retriever mutt mix are so much better. The dog makes so much hair but the Dyson is so light and easy that I just vacuum every day like it’s no big deal. We have all tile floors and for a rug, we used Interface Flor carpet squares. For less than $500 we have a rug that is bigger than a 9’x12′ and it’s individual squares held to each other with a sticker/tape. When an accident happens, we just take the stained squares outside and hose them off. A few were so gross that I didn’t want to scrub too much and just tossed them and replaced with new. Another trick I use is buying cute fleece for pennies at the fabric store and then using it to wrap around the seat of the sofa. It is super washable and the edges don’t fray so there isn’t any sewing required. They make way more stylish fleece options now and you can change them out based on the season. I have a few right now that I rotate so the couch is never bare while one is in the washing machine. With just a few simple hacks, you can still have great design while living with dogs! Thanks EHD for thinking of all us animal AND design lovers.

  36. Can definitely vouch for velvet couches! My lovely pit mastiff mix Lola soaked herself in mud and then laid on our vintage, gold velvet couch (from my grandmother!) while I worked in the yard unaware…

    I let the enormous mud puddle dry completely before dry brushing it all off and it looks absolutely as good as new.

    (well, good as new except for the cat claw marks, but that’s another issue entirely…)

  37. Hahaha. “wipes or a small rag and water bottle”. Right. Maybe for a little jaunt on a drizzly day. I need a (big) bowl of water and a heavy duty towel. And that’s just to get it so that they don’t leave dirt clods trailing behind them on their way to my bed. Sigh. Granted, we don’t have grass in the yard yet, so when it warms up enough, we have some sticky mud, but still.

    I second Folex. It’s like magic. When we get a dog vomit situation (and my husband’s helpful paper towel tents over the piles (???) don’t address the problem), I steam clean and then use Folex to get rid of the inevitable yellow stain on our light colored carpet. It’s amazing stuff.

    Also, we JUST got our new Interior Define couch (in performance velvet!) two days ago. And so far, the dog hair situation isn’t too bad, even though the couch is light grey (almost powder blue) and we have brown, black, and white dog hair. The dogs have been very happy to test it out. So far so good!

  38. Our dogs are both couch surfers as were our dogs before them. When it came time to reupolster the sectional and I was browsing fabric, here is what I did…I used the prong sides of my wedding ring to see if it could snag the fabric. If it couldn’t and I couldn’t even get it to remotely try and catch, that fabric was a strong contender. We chose a fabric that after nearly 5 years has not snagged at all anywhere. Success!!!

    1. I just tried your ring snag test on some sofa fabric samples we’re looking at, and it helped rule out a few options. Thanks for sharing this tip!

  39. Hi, I’m the oversized IKEA sheepskin gal! My pup LOVES them and he has a snuggly place in almost every room (that isn’t my navy velvet couch). Love your work!

  40. We have a dark brown leather sofa, and we found a fitted cover that’s almost the same color. With all the blankies, it’s hardly noticeable! Our dachshund is very comfortable. ?

    We also got a ramp for him. Being a dachshund, he always takes a couple of attempts at jumping up on the couch. We’re concerned about his back — especially when he gets older. We got a Doggo ramp, and it’s great. Really well made and stable. It comes in different stains, and the dark walnut nearly matches our couch. Max doesn’t always use it now, but when he came home groggy from his most recent dental work, he didn’t even attempt to jump. He just went to the ramp and walked up it. That’s a good sign that when he’s older and feebler, he’ll use the ramp all the time.

  41. I have two larger dogs so here are a couple of my tips to offer: 1. Keep their toenails trimmed. Long toenails will wreak havoc on hardwood as well as leather sofas. 2. No to the leather sofa. Ours was destroyed by scratches within a couple of years. 3. I know it sounds crazy, but white everything. I have white slipcovered sofas that can be washed (I also use white throws on them so they can be quickly thrown in as well), and I have a white coverlet on my bed that I can quickly wash. Because they are white, you can throw a little bleach in there for more stubborn stains. 4. Keep your dogs well-groomed. They will shed less and they will be less stinky. 5. Lighten up a little. Getting a dog (and then another) really cured my quest for perfection. In a good way. I got my first dog at a time in my life when I really needed some therapy. He has saved me from myself, really. Best decision ever to get a dog. But make sure you have time for it. Which brings me to advice point 6: Keep your dog well exercised. A well exercised dog will be less inclined to ruin something in your home.

  42. I love the Ikea sheepskin hack I’m stealing that one! My dog has taken over the chaises on both of our sofas so I keep old quilts on them and wash them weekly. We bought a Joy Bird sofa wI researched the fabric extensively and ended up going with the Lucky Turquoise and it has held up extremely well (Blu likes to sneak off of the quilt) and take over the whole sofa when we’re not home.

  43. Loved reading this post and all the comments. Our black lab commandeered our pink velvet Designers Guild sofa and, apart from the shedding, it has held up really well so agree with the velvet recommendation. We also have white sofa and I pull all the seats and backs out at night and stand them up so she can’t get up on it. I agree with avoiding jute rugs – I think I our dog thought it was grass. I had a go at cleaning up the mess a few times but one day I was out and husband at home. He smelled a mess and rang me and said he wasn’t going to deal with and chucked out the rug. No rugs anywhere just hard floors. We put up baby stair gate on our landing to stop dog coming into any of the bedrooms. It was a pain at first but we are completely used to it and really nice to have dog free zone. Thanks for all the advice.

  44. I’ve heard you can get an indoor sofa in Sunbrella fabric, does anyone have any experience with this? I can’t really think of a more durable fabric! I have 2 medium sized dogs and we try our best to keep them off the furniture, but sadly they aren’t always the best at listening 🙂

  45. You’ve caught a lot of it!

    – floorboards and oriental rugs. Although if your dogs regularly rampage through the house (ie high speed cornering), keep the rugs out of the race track…

    – bicarb soda and vinegar, hot water and eucalyptus oil (ALWAYS dilute this).

    – when I saw cleaning, my mind went straight to grooming aids (rake for the Wolfhound, soft brush for the Great Dane, and listerine on facewashers for a quick clean in winter). NB – if your dog slobbers and you have french polished furniture, you need to get the slobber off as soon as possible. Keep drool towels in each room.

    – dog beds. A child’s cot mattress with a throw or sheet tucked over is brilliant, especially if you have large or giant breeds. Vaguely related – crates are a good thing when used correctly, but rather ugly. Covering with a rug or throw makes it easier visually, and enhances the safe “cave” aspect for the dog.

    – chewing. Divert to appropriate pigs ear or toy. Use bitter apple (or similar – can take a while to find what works for individual dogs) for furniture that can’t be moved out of reach during the teething phase.

    – toys. Brass coal scuttle or jardinier looks good and is not chewable.

    – any surface below dog’s head height – keep it clear. Tails happen. Tongue dropsy happens. The only safe place for unattended food is in the fridge or cupboard.

  46. Great tips! We’re a 2 dog, one cat, and 3 child house here. All allowed on our furniture. 😉

    One thing I have learned from my mom about cleaning up cat/dog vomit and messes is to cut a paper plate or two in half and approach the mess from both sides at once, scooping it up from the bottom. This prevents said mess from getting more smooshed into the carpet fibers, making further clean up much easier.

    Also, as far as my last two sofas are concerned, even though they say dry clean only, I wash them gentle cycle and air dry and haven’t had any problems. I know this may not work for every sofa fabric, but mine were velvet and a tougher microfiber type of fabric. My son was a projectile vomiter as an infant and I had to give it a try or spend a fortune every time he had an accident. One of those try at your own risk, but oh how nice my cushions look after a trim through the machine!!

  47. I wish it were true about the Sven sofa! Sadly it does not hold up well with dogs. I expect a leather look aged over time, but our Sven looks like there are water stains all over it. Nothing worked. It’s literally so gross looking now. We are stuck with it. Who’s going to buy it? Ugh. It’s not like it was cheap either. Almost $2k! Once we finally decide on a new couch, this will likely be donated sadly.

  48. My only addition to this fab blog post is MUSEUM PUTTY! When our dog was a puppy, I used this under ant accessories that were around her level. When playing, she didn’t knock anything over, and if she tried to pick up a candle or small vase with her mouth, she learned that she couldn’t do it. Now she ignores all accessories and I don’t have to even use the putty anymore.

  49. I have 3 dogs & live in a cottage, Ruggable Rugs have been a complete game changer. The best invention ever.

    Also, I couldn’t live with an upholstered sofa, I have 3 slipcovers for my sofa & it makes keeping everything clean & hair-free so much easier.

  50. I had a cat with pee issues so I’ve been through some enzyme cleaners in my day. Biokleen Bac Out is a great cleaner for pet stains, and I also use it for laundry stains and myriad other things. It smells like citrus, so much nicer than nature’s miracle.

    Duvet covers – we like snuggling with out pets in bed but it does mean that the bedding gets dirty faster. Instead of a quilt it comforter, we have a duvet and duvet cover, so we can easily pull the cover off and wash it.

  51. Ruggable rugs curl up on the edges after they are washed. Not good. I saw this on instagram @lacyplace.

  52. I have a large labrador that loves our couches. Purchased two Scat Mats, a battery operated device that gives off a mild shock if touched. We don’t even turn them on anymore and have put plastic shelf liners on other sofas that mimic the Scat Mats. It doesn’t look as nice, but we only leave them on when he’s alone in the house. He knows he’s allowed up to snuggle when we our around as long as there is a blanket under him. As for carpets we made the mistake of buying a rug with viscose and wool content. Dry cleaning is the only option, not good for dogs who have occasional vomiting episodes.

  53. We taught our 90 lb boxer a trick that cleans his feet when he comes in from the wet outside. There’s an LLBean mud hog (water hog?) at the door and a jar of treats. He comes in, sits and waits for me to say SPIN. Then he spins around and around, sits and gets his treat. He will do this as many times as I have treats (clearly food motivated).
    Our 9 lb toy fox terrier picked up on the spinning for treats, too. Every time the boxer comes in, the toy fox runs over (not having been outside) and starts spinning for treats! Hilarious.
    Feet wiped, treats eaten, mamma entertained…everyone is happy.

  54. I had also read all the rave reviews about Ruggable rugs so I ordered one and I HATED IT. The texture felt like when you touch tissue with dry hands and because the rug velcros onto the rug pad beneath it, it is super loud when you walk on it. Like walking on thick velcro pads. I am super surprised these are getting such good reviews because I’m not even terribly picky. Just wanted to throw in another perspective.

  55. I have never had a synthetic rug that cleaned and resisted staining as well as wool rugs. Also, no microplastics in the ocean. Last time I was in IKEA most of the rugs were wool. I would go with this before Ruggables. And I know I am in the minoruty but I didn’t like the Dyson I bought at all. It is all cheap plastic parts. I have a Riccar canister and a Hoover wind tunnel that are pretty much indestructible and take care of pet fur perfectly. The Hoover has the additional advantage of being much less expensive than the Dyson. I would also recommend a bagged vacuum. The motors for bagless don’t last anywhere near as long and fur going through it will make them last even less time.

  56. Thank you so much Ryann! I just got a diffuser for Christmas and never heard that many essential oils are toxic to dogs. I had been running it in the room where my dog spends most of his day and was running it with a vanilla and peppermint mix. Peppermint is on the no-go list. Here I thought I was reading this blog just for fun since my dog is a low shedder and is trustworthy in the housebreaking department. You gave me some valuable health information, thank you!!

  57. Agree with the commenter who was unimpressed with the bag-less Dyson Animal. I am MUCH happier with my Miele that uses bags. (Owner of a small but heavy shedding Shiba). I was really bummed about the Dyson – it was not cheap and everyone online raves about it. We have a sofa upholstered in a cotton/linen blend velvet from George Smith and it’s been indestructible (although it’s a damask fabric that’s I’m not super into, the price was right cause we bought it used) Wool rugs have done very well. The woven fabric upholstered chairs we have, while a tight and durable weave, are showing wear. I may try canvas slip covers next. Or more velvet!

  58. I have a high shedding dog and I can recommend that you only need these 3 products. No need to get new rugs or sofas.

    1. This $30 pet vac which has over 7000 reviews. Nothing removes pet hair on furniture like this little vac. It has nothing to do with power, it’s all about having an integrated lint remover.

    2. This sofa cover. Its soft and actually makes my sofa more comfortable to sit on. Comes in all sizes and most importably, machine washable and super quick to dry

    3. Bissel carpet cleaner. The truth is your pet will have accidents. This has helped spot clean so many of my rugs. I don’t know what it is about my dog, but when needs to throw up, she always does it on my rug and not on the hardwood floor

  59. Speaking from 35 years of experience with multiple dogs (and children), my wool persian rugs have surpassed the dog test many times over. Vomit, urine, feces – even old stains – have disappeared with a good cleaner. I’m lucky to live in San Diego where one of the best persian rug cleaners is based. They have worked wonders. Coming in second are indoor/outdoor rugs. If a pet has an accident I haul them outside, scrub them with detergent and water, leave them to dry and they are as good as new. They also stand up to a dog’s nails – no snags. Annie Selke has the best ones – the edges don’t curl at all. Now, for couches. As far leather couches go, our leather couch was discovered by one of our previous dogs and ever since then, all of our dogs have loved that couch. Yes, it’s true, they are easy to clean and vacuum, but they do not pass the nail test. Luckily, I don’t mind the distressed look, but eventually ours will have to be professionally restored. On the other hand, our microfiber slipcovered Mitchell Gold couch still looks great after 14 years. I’m thinking of dyeing the slipcover to restore the color.

  60. We have a 4 year-old, 80-pound golden retriever who is most definitely our furbaby. He sleeps on our bed, is allowed in all rooms and on all furniture, etc. He’s my first dog ever and I’m also a clean freak. Here are some things that have made it a whole lot easier (and btw, we live in the Pacific Northwest where it’s damp and rainy at least 7 months of the year but obviously my dog needs lots of outdoor exercise):
    – we have a huge L-shaped leather sectional that is easily wiped down (dirt, slobber, etc); also can be easily vacuumed (see Dyson below)
    – Chilewich and Dash&Albert area rugs; both brands are high-quality, stylish, and you can hose them off and dry, and they look like new
    – Dyson V11 Animal cordless vac; yes, it is an investment but considering we vacuum several times a week, dare I say it makes the “chore” actually enjoyable and well worth the cost
    – we brush our dog a couple times a week at minimum; twice a year when he sheds like a monster, it’s everyday. It has become a regular grooming habit and he almost doesn’t mind it
    – we have a small, tiled-floor foyer upon entering the front door. In a low, large, seafoam-green IKEA bin (we stash the lid elsewhere), we keep a pile of clean washcloths (we bought a dozen inexpensively on Amazon that we launder regularly) and a water bottle. We use these, as the writer mentions, to clean dirt and mud off his paws and tummy. We also have a small closet in the foyer alcove where we keep extra leashes, poop bags, his fur brush–basically all his gear.

  61. I didn’t have a dog until adulthood, when I got married and he came as part of a package deal with the husband. We got a second dog together a couple years later. I initially thought that selecting furniture and rugs according to what will hide dog hair best would be really challenging and hamper my style, but it’s been a lot easier than I expected. So if anyone out there has reservations or thinks “this is so much effort and sacrifice; why bother having pets at all?” – it has been extremely worth it for me! I think having more specific criteria for what I can buy actually helps because my search starts out narrower.

    In addition to considering the color of my dogs’ hair and whether it will show up on a rug, I also buy patterned rugs exclusively because they hide the hair better between vacuuming days. I tend to stick to smaller patterns. I only have synthetic fiber rugs, though, so I don’t know if that advice is applicable to other rug materials.

    Currently we wash our dogs in our bathtub, but I have fantasies of building a dedicated dog shower in the basement or garage sometime in the future. I would be curious to hear from folks who have them if they make things easier and are worth the money/effort. I’ve seen lots of pictures of them on Pinterest.

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