When buying new furniture or rugs, choose colors that complement your pet’s fur (if you have a golden retriever, for example, avoid navy.) Look for stain-resistant materials, like microfiber. Choose patterned rugs that hide stains. Indoor-outdoor rugs can be washed down. Other types, like Ruggable rugs, can go in the washing machine. And get a pet-hair-friendly vacuum cleaner, like a Dyson V8 Animal. If you have a puppy, avoid furniture with wood legs, because what puppy doesn’t love demolishing a stick?
Alessandra Wood, the vice president of style at Modsy, an online design service, likes leather because the fur from her dog Coco, a Chihuahua and Jack Russell mix, won’t stick to it. But don’t expect that leather sofa to look pristine after a few rounds with your pet. “It’s not for type-A people who would freak out when they see a scratch,” Dr. Wood warned. “You have to be someone who loves a good pair of vintage boots.”
Get on Your Dog’s Level
Spend time figuring out what your space looks like from your dog’s vantage. That’s right, get on your hands and knees and check out the view.
“Is there an electrical cord under the couch that you may not notice? Are your most important pieces of artwork at mouth level? Is it safe for them? When in doubt, put it up,” said Colleen Demling-Riley, the dog behaviorist at Dogtopia, a national dog day-care franchise based in Phoenix. “Dogs will be dogs, they will chew things.”
Pay attention to how far your dog has to jump to get to the sofa (if you allow that sort of thing). Over time, that impact can take a toll on any dog’s joints. Position an ottoman, stool or sturdy poof at the foot of the sofa to provide a lift, without sacrificing the style of the room.
Store the toys in a basket that the pooch can access, but choose one that looks nothing like the ones that store human items, lest the dog mistake your favorite slippers for a new chew toy.
And watch to see where your dog finds a calming corner. Maybe it’s a nook in your home office, or a living room chair. Wherever it is, help your dog claim it by leaving a blanket, bed and some favorite toys. “If your dog is there, let him be,” Ms. Demling-Riley said.