If you have pets everyday can seem like a bad hair day and the pet hair, dandruff and the dirt they leave behind can get you down. The good news is that you can purchase pet friendly furniture and flooring that can help minimize this problem and it does not mean that you necessarily have to sacrifice on style. It is well to be informed as to what products are compatible with our furry friends before you go shopping for furniture and flooring so you can get it right first time.

 

Let’s start with your furniture. If you allow Fido on your sofa you will need to look out for something which is well built with a sturdy wooden frame, particularly if you have an… ‘amply proportioned’ canine! The stress of a large dog jumping on and off your sofa can severely limit its life if poorly built. A good Furniture Consultant should be able to guide you towards something that can withstand years of doggy gymnastics quite comfortably.

 

When it comes to fabric choices you cannot go wrong with tightly woven fabrics like microfibre or canvas. Chenille, velvet, and silk are no-gos unless you get a special performance variety. Microfibre, also known as microsuede, is a pet owner’s dream, it is resistant to stains, hard to rip and lasts for a very long time. Low pile fabrics such as microfibre and synthetic velvet are less likely to trap any funky odours your animal family members might leave behind. Pet lovers should check out a fantastic fabric called Aquaclean, it’s soft to touch, washable, hardwearing and so smooth that hair has a hard time sticking to it, combine this with a hygiene protector such as Safefront and you have all round protection against viruses and bacteria and mites. Leather is a pretty good choice too, it’s easy to clean, can be periodically wiped down with a damp cloth and won’t gather hair, but it can be scratched by sharp nails. Avoid untreated aniline leather which although gives the most natural look, will show every mark and scuff – and instead steer towards treated pigmented leathers, which are more durable. Be aware that ‘split’ or re-constituted leather, common on less expensive pieces and from many catalogues, is much less hardwearing than the top grain hides found on better quality pieces. Man made ‘faux leather’ is also a great way to go.

 

It has to be said that almost no fabric can take constant scratching or clawing. If this is the case you need to take matters in hand and have your pets nails regularly manicured. If it is a cat then providing a scratching post can be quite helpful or use a deterrent like orange scent, apple juice or or cider vinegar.  You can buy protectors for the sides of your sofa to limit the damage. There are favorable reviews of rubber nail caps nowadays and these have become quite popular in resent years. Developed by a veterinarian they do not inhibit the growth of the nail or stop them from retracting. Purchase a set online and see what you think. It might solve the problem for you. Nail caps come in an assortment of colours and if nothing else your pet will certainly look stylish!

 

Choice of colour is also something to consider. Patterned prints or textured fabric make marks harder to spot. Opt for darker colours and neutrals like navy, black, grey and brown and of course you should avoid white at all costs! A good way to go is to match your sofa to your pet, which would make the hair much less visible. A good lint brush would not go a miss or you could encourage your pet to snuggle up on a pretty throw when she has her afternoon snooze. An application of stain protection will help guard against the most beastly of pet marks. This can be provided upon request at most good furniture stores.

 

The last thing you want to worry about when playing fetch with your pooch is the damage he might do to the floor and it is not only wear and tear you need to worry about but moisture produced by accidents or drool that can also take its toll even on hard flooring. Carpeting can give your companion a non slip surface to play on, it offers traction unlike tile or hardwood which is slippery and can cause injuries. It also absorbs sound but obviously is not quite as cleanable as a hard floor. Again choose your colours carefully using the same guidelines outlined for the furniture fabrics. Avoid a loop pile which can be snagged and pulledout. Synthetic Olefin fibres, bleach-cleanable polypropylene or nylon and wool are all good choices as far as stain resistance is concerned.

If you do go for hard flooring then Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT), cork and bamboo are all good choices as far as scratch resistance is concerned. Cork is also antimicrobial, which means that it is less likely to develop bacterial growth. Wet messes and muddy foot prints are more easily cleaned from hard flooring. LVT is a quieter choice and choosing one with a textured surface would give more traction. More fragile solid wood floors are noisy, vulnerable to scratches and can stain easily unless you have a strong protective finish applied. Rustic planking, in either real wood or synthetic, is an excellent choice… its on trend, less slippery and the scratches will blend right in.

 

Always keep in mind that furry friends go hand in hand with a certain amount of mess and you can only ever hope to keep it somewhat at bay, but there are one hundred and one solutions out there these days to help you to make your home with your pets the cat’s meow!