Dogs on furniture… A debate that has divided pet owners for centuries and is still a heavily contested issue today!
With so many more people becoming pet owners and your pup’s status as a member of the family, it can seem unfair not to allow them to cuddle up with you on the couch or bed. That said, many families still hate the idea of their furry companion jumping on the furniture and would much prefer to keep them off.
Whether you’re for or against pups on the furniture, there are many things to consider, and consistency is key when ensuring your dog understands what’s expected of them.
Having your fur-baby close to you has been scientifically proven to have positive effects on the human body. From lowering blood pressure to improving sleep, there are many benefits to allowing your pup to curl up with you, particularly at night.
Studies show approximately 56% of dog owners choose to let their fur baby into the bed and sleep soundly with their four-legged friend next to them. Dogs tend not to be too disruptive to sleep (particularly compared to a feline companion) and can even provide comfort and security, reducing symptoms in people living with PTSD!
One of the main reasons most dog owners won’t allow their pup on the furniture is potential behavioral problems. These people believe that allowing the dog on the couch or other furniture may give the pup an unfounded belief that they are in charge… But this is commonly shown not to be the case.
If you like the idea of curling up on the couch with your dog but are concerned about potential behavioral problems, establishing clear guidelines and expectations is key to a happy family.
If your dog snaps or growls at you when you try to join them on the couch or bed, then you should be sure to remove them immediately. You may need to make specific pieces of furniture off-limits (whether on a permanent or temporary basis) and encourage your dog to move for you when you want to sit down.
Health & Safety
While it’s completely understandable that some families don’t allow their pets on the furniture due to the mess that inevitably follows, others are concerned about health and safety problems that could arise from sharing your space with an animal.
There are a handful of diseases that your pup could contract and pass to you, but these are rare. Regular vet visits will prevent these problems and also benefit the household in general.
Regular grooming is essential if you’re going to share your personal space with your pet. Occasional baths, wiping dirty paws clean, and ensuring your pup is free from flees or other parasites will ensure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone.
Back and joint problems.
Although most people who decide not to allow their pets on the furniture is to protect the human family members, some may prevent their dogs from jumping up to protect them from medical problems such as pain in their back or joints.
Jumping up can be incredibly strenuous for dogs, particularly smaller pups, and the impact when jumping down can be particularly harmful.
If you’d love to have your pup curled up on the couch or bed with you but are worried about their joints, getting a specialized dog ramp (like the ones from Chasing Tails) could be the perfect solution!
Regardless of whether or not you allow your fur baby on the furniture, it’s also crucial to provide them with their own personal space as well.
A comfortable dog bed placed near the furniture you use most often (the couch and bed) lets you keep your pup close without allowing them to jump up… or a place they can be dismissed to if they’re misbehaving.
If your pup is crate trained, a crate can be a great place to give your pup a sense of security and comfort, or you could even build a ‘doggy den’ in your living room to give them a warm spot all of their own.
No matter what decision you make regarding pets on the furniture, consistency is key.
Be sure that every family member and guest who enters your household is aware of your rules, so they don’t get confused. If you say “no,” but your partner says “yes,” this will make training impossible and lead to an unhappy pup and unhappy household.
As with any doggy training, providing plenty of praise and rewards for a good dog will make the process easier.
Establishing clear boundaries early on will create a happy household and a pup who will love you for their whole life.
About the Author
Pippa Shaw is a freelance copywriter able to write confidently on almost any topic thanks to her eagerness to learn and passion for storytelling. She lives on her 28ft sailing yacht with her partner and cat and dreams of traveling the world: writing in every country.