It might seem pointless to protect your outdoor furniture from your animals since the furniture is already exposed to all kinds of elements. However, pet proofing your furniture will not only keep it cleaner and ready for use by humans, it will help your furniture last longer. Below are some ideas to help protect your outdoor furniture from your pets.
If your dogs are chewers, try to not leave them unattended outside for too long. Dogs chew the most usually when they’re anxious or bored and both could easily happen while you’re gone. If you do leave them outside while you’re at work or away for hours at a time, consider spraying your furniture with products that deter pets through the smell. Most of the scents wouldn’t be noticed by a human nose but are pungent for dogs’ sensitive noses.
The same applies to cats and scratching. Start by putting a scratching post outside if the surrounding trees don’t do enough to appease their desire to scratch. You can spray the furniture with odorous scents. You can also use a squirt bottle filled with water (and a little vinegar or peppermint oil for especially stubborn kitties) to spray your cat when you catch her scratching on the furniture.
If your dogs and cats are already used to getting on your furniture, it’s going to be hard to break that pattern on your outdoor furniture. You might want to start by deterring them from getting on all human furniture. You can use the squirt bottle for both cats and dogs and make them get down every time you see them on the furniture to create a new pattern of behavior. You can try the trick of placing tape, sticky side up, or aluminum foil on the furniture when it’s not in use to deter your pets from jumping up. They won’t like the tape sticking to their paws or the noise the foil makes.
You may want to consider investing in patio furniture that can’t be as easily messed up by your animals. Any furniture made out of metal is safe from chewing and scratching and with no cushions you can easily do a wipe down whenever someone wants to use the furniture. If you already have all your furniture, you can also use old sheets or slipcovers to protect the furniture. Sheets and covers are easy to remove when humans want to sit and you can quickly clean them in the washing machine.
You can also provide your dogs their own personal patio furniture if they insist on getting up on your furniture. Encourage them to lay there with positive reinforcement. You can get them used to considering it their spot by leashing them near it so they have no choice but to lie down and relax in the spot. Over time, they’ll do it on their own. Cats won’t as easily adapt to sitting in one specific spot but as long as they have plenty of places to take a catnap in the sun, they shouldn’t use your furniture too much.
Pet proofing your outdoor furniture is much the same as doing it to your indoor furniture. It doesn’t take much effort or money to keep your furniture safe from pets.