Whether your pup is chewing up your furniture, marking it, or just sitting on it depositing hair and dirt, it can be frustrating to keep him away from that favorite chair or couch. Although a Google search will reveal myriad myriad recipes for dog repellent for furniture or other belongings, not all are furniture-safe solutions.
Fabric: know your type
Leather and wood are very pet friendly—unless your dog develops a taste for chewing on them. Some types of leather and wood furniture can also be affected by water or essential oils. Always apply a small amount of the solution to an inconspicuous spot and check back after 24 hours to make sure it didn't fade or stain, recommends SailRite.
Fabrics on sofas and chairs can easily be stained—some are even permanently ruined by plain water. So it's crucial to know what type of material you're dealing with before you apply any dog repellent—natural or commercial—to the fabric on your furniture.You can't tell just by looking at which fabrics will get stained by homemade dog repellent for furniture. The four most common fabric codes found on furniture are W, S, X, and WS, according to Spotless Flooring.
"W" and "WS" are the only types of fabric that you can use a spray to keep dogs off furniture. without ruining the fabric. Keep in mind that homemade dog repellent with essential oil could cause oily spots, and only "WS" fabrics will allow you to use a solvent to remove them.
"S" means "solvent only" and "X" means it needs to be professionally dry cleaned. If your fabric furniture is either of these types, use alternative means to keep dogs off furniture such as turning the cushions on end or covering it with crinkly paper when you're away.
Spritz it—or not
Some of the most effective commercial repellents hail from ingredients you might have in your kitchen, says Fuzzy Rescue. Citrus, hot pepper, and vinegar are three common ingredients that most dogs despise.
Benebone recommends making a spritz using vinegar and citrus essential oil. Start with a clean spray bottle with 1 1/2 cups of water. Add 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and 20 drops of orange or lemon essential oil. Lightly mist water-friendly furniture with the solution.
Essential oils are easy to apply to cotton balls. Dog's noses are many times more sensitive than a human's so even a few drops on a cotton ball might do the trick. Protect your furniture by putting the cotton ball with essential oil in an open plastic baggie and tucking it between or behind the cushions.
Keep pets safe
When using essential oils, observe your pet to make sure they are repelled by the scent. A dog strangely attracted to a cotton ball with orange oil or hot pepper oil on it could suffer diarrhea or vomiting from licking the substance or absorbing it through the skin, according to the American Kennel Club.
Pets can also be sensitive to diffused essential oils, according to the ASPCA so watch for symptoms if you opt to run an oil diffuser on a table to keep your dogs away from the furniture. Lethargy, unsteadiness, and a depressed attitude can be some of the earliest signs of essential oil toxicity in your dog.
Training: the best remedy
Teaching your dog to stay off the furniture is the safest natural method to get the desired result. Teach your dog to respect barriers such as child gates and exclude him from rooms with forbidden furniture when you're not there to supervise.
Let him in the room when you're there and be consistent in telling him "off" each time he tries to get up on the furniture. Vigorously shaking a can with change in it when your dog tries to jump up can provide a startling reminder that furniture is a "no." Do not squirt your dog with spray to keep dogs off furniture. You could cause serious injury to his eyes, mucous membranes, or airways.