Best Couch Material for Dogs

Best Couch Material for Dogs at Home (for Living Space)

Updated on

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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According to the AVMA Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, dog ownership has gradually increased in recent years, and typically, many homes now have one or more dogs. On the same note, the demand for pet-friendly furniture at home is rising because many people would love to have their dogs around everywhere, including on the couches. The best couch material for dogs should be durable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains.

Dog owners should go for tightly woven fabrics when looking for the best couch materials. These fabrics do not easily trap pet hair, making them easy to clear allergens. You should also consider strong and solid fabrics due to their durability and ability to withstand dog scratches.

Delicate couch fabrics that quickly wear out and pill when used frequently, for example, silk and linen, are not ideal if you have a pet. As for the stains, it is advisable to go for a medium shade color and patterned fabrics, for they tend to hide minor stains and scratches.

If you are not looking for a new couch, flip covers with the qualities mentioned are a terrific option.

Below, we cover the best fabrics to consider when ensuring a pet-friendly couch.

1. Real Leather and Faux Leather

Leather is made of animal skin making it one of the most robust fabrics. Many pet owners would mostly choose genuine leather materials for their sofas because of their durability and easy-to-clean nature. Dogs are playful and often jump up and down on the seats, but due to the robust nature of leather furniture, they cannot easily scratch your couch.

Leather materials are not just tightly woven; they are solid, making it difficult for dog nails to pierce or get stuck to cause rips on your sofa. The leather couch is easy to clean and doesn't stain. One will need a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt on the couch.


  • They are relatively durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Scratches are easy to mend and could make it more attractive
  • They are solid


  • They are costly
  • Uncomfortable in warmer weather since they can get very hot
  • Can be scratched

2. Microfiber

This synthetic material is known for its stain-resistant nature and can be easy to clean by vacuuming or using a lint brush to remove hair and dander. It is softer compared to other fabrics and very comfortable.

Microfiber materials are tightly woven, making it difficult for dog nails or claws to snag them, and liquids, too, cannot seep into the surface easily.


  • They are very soft
  • They are durable against scratching and ripping
  • Easily cleaned
  • Very common


  • Can be expensive
  • Not as durable as leather 

3. Canvas

Canvas makes the best furniture but can be challenging to find because it is a scarce product in the market. It is a durable, tightly woven fabric that prevents messes and hair from getting trapped between fibers. Their rugged nature makes them scratch-resistant, so your dog's nails will not damage it.


  • Durable
  • Natural feel
  • Tightly woven
  • Easy to clean


  • They are not common
  • Not many colorful options
  • Expensive
  • Not so comfortable

4. Outdoor fabric

Outdoor fabrics are what we see covering patio furniture and are usually meant for pieces located outside. Unfortunately, they are not the most attractive-looking materials for indoor sofas. For a dog owner, it is advisable to use outdoor fabrics because they are highly durable and don't fade quickly.

They are stain and bacteria-resistant and therefore very easy to clean. Outdoor fabric is advantageous to dog owners because pets can't easily scratch it. On the other hand, this fabric is uncomfortable for an indoor sofa due to its stiff nature.

Outdoor fabrics are easy to clean and relatively cheaper as compared to other materials. They are easy to style and blend to your preference because they are readily available in various designs.


  • Available in various styles
  • Very easy to deep clean
  • Extremely durable
  • Do not fade easily
  • Affordable


  • It may not be attractive for indoor furniture
  • Minimal support due to their lightweight nature
  • Uncomfortable

5. Denim

Whenever denim is mentioned, what comes to everyone's mind at first is body wear such as trousers and jackets. The advantages they have when used as body wear are similar to couch fabric. Its resilience to damage and strong nature makes it one of the best material option for pet owners.

It is tightly woven with fewer spaces for the dog's nails and teeth to push through and get stuck to scratch or cause rips. Dirt isn't easily trapped because of the tight weave, making it easier to clean using soap and water.

Denim is very durable and protective of your couch from pet ruins. However, denim has a specific look making it difficult for one to blend it with the existing furniture.


  • Casual but unique design
  • Tightly woven
  • Tough and durable
  • Easily cleaned with soap and water


  • Specific looks that may not be appealing to most people
  • Not a versatile decor choice
  • Fades easily
  • It may not be easy to find

6. Pleather

Pleather material is the synthetic version of leather. It can be an excellent alternative to real leather if you have smaller or old pets that don't claw or scratch. It is not as long-lasting as real leather, but just like real leather, the synthetic variety is stain-resistant and doesn't absorb spills. Moreover, it is easy to clean and does not hold onto smells.


  • Easy to clean
  • Non-absorbent
  • Do not stain


  • Easily scratched
  • Not as durable as real leather

7.  Plastics

Plastics may not be the most comfortable material for a seat or couch cover. But to prevent your pet from ruining your couch, plastics are a sure bet. With messes, they are easily washed or just wiped.

Plastics are non-absorbent; therefore, your couch doesn't absorb the mess and spills from your dog, protecting it from staining. Plastics are prevalent and very affordable.


  • Non-absorbent
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean


  • Not attractive
  • Not very comfortable

Fabrics To Avoid With Dogs

Other types of attractive fabrics are not pet friendly; you should avoid them for your furniture as a pet owner.

1. Tweed

Tweed is loosely woven. The dog's claws or nails are caught by the loose threads causing rips and holes on the couch when they try to get loose. They also tend to trap and hold hair and mess deeper, making cleaning difficult.

2. Suede

Suede is one of the most durable fabrics, very soft and gentle, but if your dog messes it with mud, drool or pee, it stains. The stains are often visible, and it isn't easy to clean them. Pet owners should not go for materials with high maintenance costs.

3. Silk

Silk can be a beautiful fabric for your furniture, but not what you want to have around a dog. It is thin and loosely woven, making it very delicate. Silk stains easily and would require a professional cleaner.

4. Velvet

Velvet is a smooth and soft fabric. Its nature makes it capable of trapping a lot of dog hair. It is also highly absorbent and stains easily. The maintenance cost of a velvet sofa could be higher because it requires a professional cleaner like silk.

For pet owners to go for the recommended fabrics for their couches means there are ways in which dogs ruin the furniture. The damages could be claw marks or dirt.

Ways Dogs Ruin Furniture

1. Messes

 When dogs spend some time outdoors, it's most probable that they will walk on some dirt or mud that gets stuck on the bottoms of their feet. Then, they will come back and jump on the couch, making the dirt stick and easily stain your couch.

Dogs could also accidentally relieve themselves on the couch because they are young, too excited, or have incontinence issues. Some fabrics will make it easy to handle this with just a quick wipe using a wet cloth.

2. Scratches

Your couch will likely receive scratches and tears with a dog at home. In most cases, when they jump on or off the couch, their nails may get stuck, causing a scratch or a rip. To manage scratches, you can trim your pet's claws or nails and use tightly woven fabrics for your couch.

Dogs go through a chewing phase, and sometimes when they cannot find something to chew on, your furniture may be their option. Your puppy's teeth may ruin your sofa if you are not careful. Dogs chew toys. Buy your pet a variety of them to avoid this loss.

3. Shedding

Shedding may not damage your couch, but it can ruin its look. You will be vacuuming your couch almost all the time to remove pet hair, which is expensive and time-consuming.


Having pets should not be a hindrance to a comfortable and stylish home. You can still keep up your home's excellent look while providing your dogs with a comfortable environment. If you are to share your sofa with your pet, always remember to invest in that fabric choice that you can both enjoy. 

Remember, the main threats are nails, hair, dander, messes, and chewing, so avoid high maintenance choices, loosely woven and delicate fabrics that hold messes and tear easily. Luckily there are more viable options you could choose from to protect your couch from your pet's accidental damages.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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