Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pets on the furniture? Protect your couch from dog hair in 3 steps

Sinead demonstrates why pets on the furniture can be great
People are pretty evenly divided about the idea of pets on the furniture. Dogs, in particular, seem to draw some pretty vehement responses. To some people, dogs are filthy creatures that roll in all sorts of things that should never be on the couch. People like this ban dogs from all furniture (and as I discovered recently, people like this tend to own a lot of rentals on VRBO).

But there are a lot of us, including me, that adore having our pets on the furniture with us. Sinead and Liam are big-time cuddlers, especially in the evening, and I just know that I'd miss out on a lot of their love if I didn't let them up on the couch. And I just don't want to give up moments like this.

Liam the pug cuddles with his person on the couch
But allowing these guys up on the furniture means taking a few steps to keep everything clean, tidy and protected. And I have a three-step action plan.

1. Clean those dog feet when they walk through the door. 

I keep wipes and towels by the doors when the fall hits. And, I used the "wait" command to teach Liam and Sinead to stop within a foot or so of the door when they come inside. That little pause allows me to wipe off their paws (sorry, but I couldn't resist) before they walk into the house and onto my couches and chairs.

2. Brush, brush, brush. 

The biggest issue, in this house, is Liam's pug hair. These little guys shed all year round, and if they're on couches and chairs, they leave a little tuft of down with each and every visit. Brushing coats on a regular basis allows me to pull out some of that excess fur before it even leaves their little bodies, and that helps me to protect the furniture, just a little bit.

3. Use blankets and beds. 

Cuddling is easier, especially in the winter, when everyone is warm. Liam and Sinead tend to settle right down when they have a blanket to sleep on. And, blankets can be popped in the washer, where washing an entire couch can be tricky. I have an entire closet full of fleece blankets that I rotate and wash on a regular basis, and that helps me to keep the hair down just a little bit.

Sinead the Boston terrier loves to spend time on the couch
Now you could, of course, skip all of these steps and just keep your pets away from the places you plan to sit. But seriously: How could you resist this little face? And why should you? Our pets have a limited time with us, as I've been reminded this week, so we should do all we can to make every minute count. If that means a little planning and a little cleaning (and maybe a few stray hairs on your clothes from time to time), that's a small price to pay, right?

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