Cats may have their own version of “The Great Escape,” but dogs don’t. They can’t climb out windows or under doors to get away from a bad situation. The only way they can leave is if you let them outside. And that’s why it’s so important to find the best couch material for your dog.
If you’re like most people, then chances are good that you already have a sofa in your living room. It may be an old one that has seen better days, or maybe you bought it when you first moved into your house. Either way, this piece of furniture probably saw its share of use during college years as well. But there’s no reason that your favorite pooch couldn’t enjoy sitting on it with you.
All it takes is some planning and thoughtfulness about what kind of materials will work best for your dog. After all, not everyone wants their sofa covered in fur, nor do they want it smelling up the place with urine. So here are 7 Best Couch Material For Dogs, starting with fabric.
Fabric might seem obvious enough, but it’s often overlooked. Some fabrics look pretty nice, while others just won’t cut it. Here are a few things to consider before picking a fabric for your dog’s couch:
Is it soft? If you’ve ever sat down on a hard wooden chair, you know how uncomfortable it feels after awhile. That same feeling can happen on your dog’s couch if he sits too long, especially if his skin is sensitive. This means you’ll need something that’s really plushy-soft, similar to baby Tickle Me Elmo.
Does it wash easily? Not every fabric washes as nicely as we’d hope. Some require delicate handling, which makes it harder to clean the cushions later. To avoid having to buy new ones again, make sure you pick a fabric that doesn’t shred easily.
Can it withstand lots of wear and tear? Most of us aren’t careful enough when washing our clothes, ourselves, or even our homes. When we put dirty laundry in the hamper, we often forget about those extra items that didn’t quite fit. A couch with a stain that refuses to come out could end up looking grosser than a used condom (which isn’t nearly as easy to clean). Make sure the fabric is tough enough to handle whatever life throws at it.
How much does it cost? Sure, you may love the color pink, but if it costs more than $50, you’re going to want to pass on it. Chances are high that you won’t see yourself using pink fabric as often as other colors, so you should go with a more versatile choice such as white.
What kind of texture does it create? Does the fabric feel silky smooth or rough against your hands? Or does it feel like velvet? These differences can affect how comfortable your couch ends up being.
2. Wicker and Suede
Wicker and suede are two popular options for pet couches because of their natural appeal. Of course, these type of couches are usually more expensive than traditional leather, vinyl, or mesh types. However, if you prefer the rustic appearance over anything else, you might want to give a wicker or suede couch a try.
Here are a couple things to keep in mind when shopping for a wicker or suede couch:
- Are the seams sturdy? Like any sort of woven material, seams can weaken over time. In addition, wicker and suede have been known to crack after many years of heavy use. Be sure to check for signs of damage around where joints meet the frame.
- Do the corners fray? As with any type of material, loose threads can cause problems for pets. Loose stitches can expose your dog’s insides to foreign objects or bacteria. Check for frayed edges after cleaning.
- Are the cushions removable? Removable cushions allow you to change out the pillows without worrying about stains. Plus, if you decide to move the couch, you can take the cushions with you rather than having to replace them.
Leather is another great option for a couch material that also happens to be fairly affordable. Just like with any product, though, there are caveats to watch out for. First off, leather is generally very durable, making it ideal for older dogs with arthritis. Unfortunately, this also means that leather couches are meant for longer periods of lounging.
Other things to keep in mind include:
- Check for tears. Leather tends to stretch out over time, which can lead to rips and holes. Look for places where the fabric appears overly thinned out. Also, be aware that leather can fade quickly if exposed to sunlight.
- Check for odors. Like humans, dogs’ bodies produce sweat and oils through body heat. If left unchecked, these substances can seep through the leather and attract bugs and grime.
- Make sure the seats are non-slip. Leather can dry out over time, leaving it prone to slipping. Try out the couch before buying to make sure everything works smoothly.
Plastic is a great alternative to leather and offers a number of benefits. One big advantage is that plastic couches are easier to clean. Unlike leather, plastic doesn’t harbor bacteria. Another perk is that unlike leather, plastic is resistant to fading.
But plastics also tend to break down quicker than other sorts of material. Over time, they lose rigidity and become more pliable. On top of that, they can warp with age. All this adds up to a shorter lifespan compared to leather.
Still interested in giving a plastic couch a shot? Here are a few things to remember:
- Check for cracks and chips. Plastics can chip and crack just like wood. Take care to inspect the couch thoroughly before purchasing.
- Check the warranty period. Many manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 30 days to 2 years. Read the fine print to understand exactly what coverage each agreement includes.
- Consider the size. Don’t assume that because the couch looks small now, it will always stay that way. Consider how large your dog is and whether he’ll still be able to sit comfortably on it once it’s filled up.
5. Foam Rubber
Foam rubber is made of recycled tires and forms a firm yet flexible cushion. Although foam rubber is cheaper than leather, it’s also less durable. Because it’s made from recycled tires, however, it doesn’t harm the environment as much either.
Aesthetically speaking, foam rubber is a great choice for anyone who prefers a softer look. There are several different grades of foam available, depending on how firm they want their couch to be. Still unsure what to think? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Look for scratches. Scratches shouldn’t be visible unless you examine closely. Avoid purchasing a foam rubber couch that shows deep marks.
Check the price tag. While foam rubber is a little cheaper than leather, it’s also worth noting that it’s typically more expensive than polyurethane foam.
Consider comfort. Because foam rubbers are soft, they’re usually not recommended for larger breeds. Instead, opt for one that’s suitable for medium-sized dogs.
Purchasing cushions for your dog’s couch is optional, but they can add extra comfort if needed. Basically, cushions are designed to provide support for your dog’s back, spine, and head.
There are dozens of different kinds of cushions available, including memory foam, latex, fiberfill, shredded foam, and foam pellets. Each type provides varying degrees of support, durability, and breathability.
To choose the right kind for your pup, consider these factors:
- Size matters. Before you purchase a particular style, measure your dog to ensure that the seat fits him properly. Even if the cushions look proportionate, it’s possible that they don’t actually hold enough weight.
- Check the label. When choosing a specific brand, read labels carefully to assess the quality of each cushion. Test cushions by sitting down on them to see how they feel.
- Choose wisely. Memory foam cushions are great for smaller dogs, but they can also pose health risks. Latex cushions are safer for larger breeds, but they’re susceptible to mold. Shredded foam cushions are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, but they lose their form after a short amount of time. Pellet cushions are cheap, but they can smell unpleasant due to chemicals.
Rug padding is a common layer underneath rugs that protects floors from scratches and dents. Rug pads are usually made of wool, synthetic fibers, or cotton. Choosing the wrong rug pad can result in unsightly gaps between the carpet and flooring.
Before you shop for a rug, take a moment to figure out what kind of surface your existing flooring is made of. Then match the rug to that kind of surface. If you’re replacing an existing rug, ask salespeople if they can recommend a rug pad that will work with the flooring underneath it.