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Do you feel like it's hard to have a pretty home while also owning a dog? Our canine companions are playful, rambunctious and messy creatures after all. But just because you have a dog, doesn't mean you can't have the look you want for your house or apartment. Here's some home decor that looks good and holds up to life with dogs, in our experience.
It may seem like throw pillows that work for dogs are easy to find, but there are several factors to consider. For instance, how much does your dog shed? We have one heavy shedder and one light shedder, so we had to find materials that didn't attract too much fur. Also, how long do you keep your dog's nails and do they like to scratch or dig? If the answers are yes, you may want to steer clear of woven materials that can catch on a claw.
We've tried out tons of affordable throw pillows and found that polyester, cotton, linen blend and leather (faux and genuine) seem to work best to repel fur. Most of our pillows are either faux fur, imitation velvet or corduroy and bouclé. These are some of the pieces we've found that have stood up to our dogs' shedding and scratching to rearrange the pillows just how they like them.
When we moved to our house, we needed new couches. Between anal gland issues, a potty training puppy who loved to scratch the couch and more, the old one had been destroyed. We did learn a few good lessons from it though:
We took these into consideration as we searched for a new couch and went with a Burrow couch for our primary living room. They offer three seating options that go with almost any style and come at a good price. But why we gave them a try was because of their performance fabric, which features a tight olefin fiber weave that is stain and scratch resistant. To combat stains, they use a deep dyeing process that colors each individual strand to the core (as opposed to fibers that have little pores to absorb stains). The fabric has passed rigorous durability testing and can be easily cleaned. In addition, the fabric is made from up-cycled materials, has zero chemical additives or treatments and is CertiPUR-US certified to be free of ozone depleters, formaldehyde, heavy metals, flame retardants, and other harmful things found in non-certified cushions.
We've had our couch for over six months and it has absolutely stood up to our dogs thus far. Our dogs have played all over the couch, brought slobbery toys on it, jumped on and off (used it to launch off of, in other words), dug their claws into it, tracked mud onto it and even had a few accidents on it (thanks to a mild case of spay incontinence). The performance fabrics held up so far. Plus, you can't see fur on it (which could depend on both the color of your dog's coat and the couch you choose - we chose a light gray).
They also offer a performance velvet that is durable, stain resistant and easy to clean. It passed a 100,000 double-rub test, which is a furniture industry standard for measuring wear and tear. Burrow also claims their velvet doesn't pill, fade, and or become threadbare.
Also of important note, Burrow uses sustainably-sourced hardwoods and single sheets of bent plywood for their frames to reduce any weak points. Each panel is also connected by steel plates and brackets for added stability. Great for dogs like ours who like to jump on, off and all over the couch.
Use our referral link for $75 off your purchase of $300 or more!
Amazon also has their own furniture and home decor lines that we've purchased from for years and their products are almost always good quality. They offer many smaller couches with performance fabric as well. Some are labeled as moisture repellent and stain resistant, while others are labeled simply as performance fabric or velvet upholstery. Here are some options:
It may seem counterintuitive, but genuine leather is actually a good choice for pet owners - which is why we went with a leather couch for our secondary living area and leather chairs in our primary living area. This is because leather is thick and tough, making it highly durable and long-lasting (faux or recycled leather, on the other hand, is much thinner and less durable). While it's unlikely claws will puncture leather (it's best to keep nails trimmed to be safe), they can cause scratches or marks. But not to worry - real leather distresses and develops a patina over time, so this will only add to the character. Our younger dog leapt off one of our leather chairs, causing some marks (no punctures!) that only add to the leather.
Pro Tip: You can attempt to avoid scratches by opting for heavily protected or protected leathers.
Another perk of leather furniture is that it's incredibly easy to clean - simply wipe up spills or fur (which doesn't tend to stick to genuine leather). It also repels odors, so smells won't be absorbed. Of course, genuine leather furniture is more costly but, because of these reasons, can be very worth it. You can find genuine leather in many stores, including Amazon's brand (which may come at a better price!):
Area rugs are a tricky thing to buy when you have dogs, especially ones that shed. We've mostly avoided getting larger ones (e.g. for the living room, dining room and bedroom) because we had one seven years ago and it just attracted fur. That being said, we do have many smaller area rugs for the kitchen, office and more that have held up to our dogs. And when I say held up, I mean they've withstood running, playing, zoomies, drooling, scratching, accidents (anal gland, as well as urine and feces thanks to a negative pet sitter incident) and more.
Indoor plants can truly take your space to the next level, brightening up the room and bringing in the freshness of nature. They also have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, increase creativity and focus, and improve our mood (not to mention the air quality). But many plants are toxic to dogs, so it can be hard finding ones that look nice and keep your pup safe. Fortunately, there are plenty of options that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles.
We have a few larger ones, like a cast iron plant (which can grow up to two feet) and a money tree (which can grow up to eight feet). And we have some smaller ones, like a peperomia or baby rubber plant (not to be confused with a rubber tree), which grows up to 12 inches. We've also had a majesty palm and an echeveria, though they did not survive my lack of green thumb when I first started caring for plants (to no fault of their own). To learn more about toxic houseplants and pet-safe alternatives that give a similar vibe, check out our article!
Visiting your local plant shop is always a wonderful way to shop small and support local. But it's not always the most convenient or affordable, so you can also visit Home Depot or order online. We've ordered multiple plants from Costa Farms and American Plant Exchange over the years. A few other pet-safe plants they offer include:
You can also check out the Rooted store on Amazon, which has a whole section of pet-friendly plants. If you decide to go for some of the toxic houseplants (we did) just make sure they're out of reach or your dog is trained not to eat them!