Should Your Dog Be Allowed On The Furniture?
Some families have a casual attitude about allowing the four-legged family member join them on the furniture, while other households have concerns about this practice. It can be hard to refuse that furry face and the big eyes silently pleading to join you, and most dogs want nothing more than to be curled up beside you at all times. Allowing your dog to join you on the sofa allows you to share companionship and snuggle time, but there are drawbacks to consider.
From a practical standpoint, allowing the dog onto the sofa means allowing more wear and tear, dog hair, mud, dirt and debris onto the sofa also. While this is mostly just a housekeeping concern, for family members with allergies it can also be a medical issue. Also, there are some diseases that can be transmitted from dogs to humans such as ringworm and scabies, and if your dog has fleas or ticks you may not wish to welcome those parasites onto your sofa. Many of these concerns can easily be addressed by using a pet flea and tick control product and ensuring that your dog is healthy with regular veterinary visits. If you’re concerned about protecting the furniture from fur and dirt, one good solution is to use a special pet throw. The Snoozer Pet Luxury Sofa Throw is a washable throw made specifically for this purpose and it has a waterproof non-skid bottom so it won’t slide off.
Another basic concern is space. If you have a very large dog, it may not be physically possible or comfortable for you both to share the sofa. Even some not-so-large dogs enjoy sprawling out and can take up more than their fair share of the available sofa real-estate.
Some people also feel that letting the dog onto the furniture makes the dog feel he is in charge which may contribute to unwanted behaviors such as dominance. Dogs that refuse to budge or worse, growl when moved off the furniture should probably not be allowed to claim the sofa as their territory. This guarding behavior indicates that your dog is claiming the space as his own, and allowing your dog to jump onto the furniture whenever he chooses will only reinforce his dominant behaviors.
Only you can decide whether you’re comfortable allowing the dog onto the furniture. If you don’t want your dog joining you, you’ll need to spend some time training your dog to stay “off.” Another option to a total ban on the furniture is to allow your dog up only when invited. If you decide not to allow your dog onto the furniture, provide a comfy pet bed so your dog has a cozy place of his own to use instead. This is especially important if your dog is older, has stiff joints, or easily gets cold.
Whether you choose to welcome your dog onto the furniture or prefer that Fido stays down, it’s important to be consistent so your dog clearly understands what’s allowed. Your dog will be fine whether he’s allowed on the furniture or not, as long as he knows what’s expected of him.