While the love, affection and loyalty of a dog is so rewarding, clusters of dog hair and dried drool have a tendency to diminish the elegance of a damask chair. When you purchase furniture, rugs, and décor; dogs tend to play a part in the decision-making process. Here are some tips on caring for your dog-friendly home:
Upholstery: Performance fabrics, formerly used outdoors, have come indoors. Crypton Super Fabrics is one good example. Crypton offers a range of fabrics from washable twills to suede. Stain-resistant fabrics are good for slipcovers and upholstery as well. Take home fabric samples to see how dog hair attracts/blends/shows on a particular color. If you can’t get fabric that is covered in crypton, then spray your furniture with a furniture protectant that helps deter stains.
Fur-niture: Re-upholster an old chaise in doggy-paw patterned fabric which is theirs to snuggle on in the family room. Leather also cleans very easily and can be covered with blankets. You can put a large sheet over the couch that the dogs like to use so as to protect it from everyday use. When you have company, just fold up the sheet and stow it under the couch.
Carpets: Try to coordinate the colors of your carpets with the colors of your dogs so that the dog hair isn't as noticeable. Although hardwood floors and tile may be easier to maintain, with a little common sense, a reliable vacuum cleaner and an arsenal of stain remover and deodorizer, you can enjoy your carpets and your pets. Keep a “paw towel” by the door to wipe your dogs' paws when they come back from exploring. If you just don’t manage with the carpets, then consider going for laminated floors. Hard wooden floors scratch easily and are more expensive to replace.
Beds: Spread a throw on top of your bed, so as to keep the bed free of dog hair. Wash the throw regularly. White bedding is also a good idea, since it can be easily bleached.
Decorating versus Safe-proofing: Take breakable objects off of tabletops and low-lying shelves. Remove poisonous plants, lock up chemicals and organize wires and cables. It is also a good idea to install locks on low cabinets and add baby gates to any off-limits areas.