We all love our furry, four-legged family members and we love to share our spaces with them, including our outdoor patio areas. Between muddy paws and sharp claws, those furry friends can take a toll on patio furniture, especially if you have a dog that likes to chew things or a cat that likes to scratch surfaces. When it comes to buying outdoor patio furniture, it’s important to select fabric and materials for creating a patio that’s stylish enough for entertaining guests, but also just as comfortable for you as it is for your furry friends.
Here at Christy Sports Patio, you can count on most of our outdoor patio furniture being ready to withstand all outdoor weather elements and to be more durable to take on the wear and tear of your dog or cat. Here are some tips we recommend to help protect patio furniture from pets . . .
Start with Furniture Covers
It’s important that you protect your investment with a set of fitted patio furniture covers. The best patio furniture covers have expert stitching and clean angles – covers that have been perfectly tailored to keep your patio pieces snug and dry in all kinds of weather and protect against animals. When not in use during the summer, patio furniture covers can still be used to protect the furniture from dog hair, cat scratches, or any other pet mishaps so that your outdoor patio furniture will last a long time even with animals in the backyard.
Choose Sturdy Patio Furniture Materials
Ideally, pet friendly materials are those that can resist any chewing and scratching such as high-gloss finishes and powder-coated metals or aluminum. Recommended patio furniture materials that both wear well outside and are resistant to claw and teeth marks include the following:
Patio furniture made from these materials is almost indestructible and not attractive for your pets to chew or scratch. Aluminum patio furniture is not only durable, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing and affordable. Outdoor dining tables, chairs, and benches made of aluminum tend to be crafted in a more traditional or transitional design style with a little more decorative detail work in the metal. Aluminum doesn’t rust, so cleaning and maintaining are easy! Simply spray down with water as necessary, then spray with silicone or wax to protect the surface from scratches and pitting.
Wrought iron is extremely sturdy as well, and it’s not much fun for your pets to scratch or chew since it is basically tough metal. Outdoor patio furniture made of wrought iron is also generally crafted in a traditional design style. Its charm, however, is complimented by its sturdiness, making it one of the better choices for your outdoor entertaining space. While wrought iron is virtually indestructible by pets, keep in mind, iron can rust if you don’t keep an eye on the paint. Keep clean by wiping furniture down with warm, soapy water and immediately dry off. Apply a new coat of paint and seal with silicone each season to protect and maintain a fresh look. With proper maintenance, iron will not show signs of wear, chewing, or scratching, and will last you and your pets a lifetime.
Wicker furniture is not only weather resistant, but pet-friendly too. It is both functional and flexible, as well as comfortable and easy to maintain. The look of wicker is traditional, yet stylish and with the right cushions your patio will be inviting for you, your guests, and your pets. The flexible poly resin material can also be molded into the flares and curves of traditional styles, or the low, clean lines of contemporary design.
With a quick spray of a hose or warm soapy water, you can easily clean wicker and it dries in no time. Just be sure to get covers for the cushions (see more on pet-friendly fabric below) and your patio will be pet-friendly and ready to enjoy.
While it may seem that wood is out of the question when choosing outdoor patio furniture that is in constant contact with pets, that’s not necessarily the case. It simply means maintaining with a soft wash with warm, soapy water and applying an extra coat of paint or varnish once a season to keep wood furniture in tip top shape. In fact, wood tables and chairs can be painted in a variety of colors – to match your house or in bright colors to liven up your yard – making it ideal patio furniture. Adding protective waxes will also help protect from scratching.
TIP: Of course, the key with any outdoor furniture that your pets have constant access to is training and monitoring.
Choose Pet Friendly Fabrics & Fabric Covers
Just because you have pets doesn’t mean you have to give up the comfort and color of cushions, which can bring personality and style to your outdoor entertaining space. When considering “pet-friendly” fabrics, definitely play with patterns – choose darker colors or patterned fabrics that will help hide any stains or pet hair. Steer away from that cream color patio sofa or bench – while you may love it, it will soon be covered in paw prints and pet hair. Patterns and prints help disguise stains and do not show pet hair as easily, and in turn, your patio furniture keeps looking great!
TIP: Go for fabrics that are stain resistant, durable against moisture, mildew and odors, and can be easily cleaned with warm water and/or bleach.
Another option is to invest in microfiber, which is a tightly woven synthetic material that’s stain and scratch-resistant, making it a top choice for pet owners.
If you choose outdoor patio furniture with fabric seat cushions, you may want to invest in cushion covers. Make sure you get covers that can be easily removed for washing. Being able to remove covers often to throw into the washing machine makes it easier to keep pet hair from sticking to you or your guests. Additionally, pets can easily track in dirt and accidents do happen. Removable cushion covers not only solve any pet problems, but also allow you to shake things up a bit and switch out with new covers and colors.
Tread Carefully with Carpets
Outdoor carpets and rugs tend to trap odors, so you’ll want to choose a low-pile option, which is thin, but durable, and much easier to clean than thicker carpet. Again, play with patterns and colors, and choose something that is stylish, yet can blend away stains and pet hair.
There you have it – our tips and tricks on selecting and maintaining pet-friendly outdoor patio furniture. Stop by any Christy Sports Patio location and let our experts help you choose the right pieces to fit the way you and your pets live together.