It's great when our four-legged friends join us in the living room, with some of us even encouraging them to snuggle up on the sofa with us on an evening. As a pet-owner, your living room can always be susceptible to shredded upholstery and stained carpets, so knowing how to dog-proof the area will make life a lot easier — and less stressful! — for you both.
So, whether you’ve just bought a plush new sofa, or are sick of hoovering fur off your current one, here are five ways to effectively dog-proof your living room.
Preserve your sofa
Dogs love digging, and for some of our furry friends, it certainly doesn’t stop when they come indoors. If your dog scratches your sofa it can cause significant damage, whether it’s upholstered fabric or leather. Giving them a special bed of their own to settle down onto will reduce the likelihood of your sofa being shredded — our training video for teaching your dog to settle on their bed might help with this.
However, if you allow your dog onto the sofa with you, make sure you’re keeping it looking and smelling fresh and clean. Laying down a slip cover can instantly protect your sofa from being covered in fur. If you have a leather sofa, then you may find it needs some occasional maintenance to keep it in good condition: this leather cleaning kit from Timeless Chesterfields should erase any muddy prints or scents. And with the latter including both a protection cream and soft cleaner, there’s no need for a costly professional to come do it for you!
Hide all cables
One of the biggest hazards to your dog is the amount of live wires that’ll be linked up to various devices in your living room. Securing any loose wires with a protective casing, like this D-Line multi cable cover from ScrewFix, will stop your pet from getting to any cables — so they stay safe and you can still watch your favourite soaps!
However, if floor-level wires are still proving an interest to them after this, you may need to pay a professional to mount your TV and hide the cables behind the wall. This will remove all danger of your dog managing to get hold of them, so you’ll have complete peace of mind.
Choose stain-resistant flooring
If you’re going to allow your dog into your living room, it’s sensible to have easy-clean flooring. So, if you’re planning an upgrade in the near future, switching out your carpet for a stain-resistant one, like this range from Carpet World, will ensure any accidents or mud trails will be easy to clean. There’s plenty of colour and loop pile options to choose from, so you can still achieve your dream living room look.
However, if you’re not planning a living room overhaul anytime soon, adding a large fluffy rug can encourage them to sit on this rather than your cream carpet. But, to significantly reduce the chances of outdoor stains transferring to your living room, be sure to wipe and wash their paws thoroughly before they come into the house after a mucky day out.
Store hazards on shelves
Some dogs will be tempted to chew almost anything, so keep anything dangerous on a high shelf. Getting down to their level and taking a look around is a useful tool for identifying possible temptations and hazards at their eye-level.
Small items like kids toys, houseplants and pens are among some of the things that seem less obvious to dog-proof in your living room, but they could also be the most hazardous. Remote controls and lit candles also pose a big risk to your dog, so make sure everybody knows not to leave these in reach, no matter how short a time your pet would be left unattended with them.
Put up a fire guard
In the winter months, dogs are just as fond of a warm cosy fire as us humans, so don’t be surprised to see them huddled round the fireplace. However, this is an obvious danger to them — particularly if you have a curious and inquisitive pet!
Remove the danger of burns and accidents by putting up a fire guard, like this extendable one from Baby Travel, which will prevent your dog from being able to get too close to the fire from any angle. It adjusts to fit a range of fireplace sizes, so you don’t have to worry about your furry friend warming up by the open flames in winter. Just make sure your dog is always supervised whenever the fire is lit!
Dogs are curious and sociable animals, so it’s only natural that they’ll want to retreat to the living room to relax alongside you. Keep them safe while in the living room with our top five tips for dog-proofing it — best of all, it doesn’t have to mean diverting from your dream interior look!