Dogs love sofas but sofas hate dogs! We all know that midnight TV is no fun without your pet curled up next to you, but maintaining furniture (among other things) can be a real nightmare when you have a dog. Getting dog-friendly fabric for furniture can simplify cleaning and make your life a whole lot easier.

Rips, scratch marks, stains and clingy fur are here to stay so it’s important to know what’s the best and worst choices out there:

Best dog-friendly fabric: Microfiber
dog on microfiber upholstery

Microfiber is one of the best upholstery options for pet-friendly sofas. This synthetic, soft fabric is easy to maintain. Spills and stains on microfibre can be cleaned with a damp cloth and claw marks can be brushed away easily.

This fabric is fairly durable and available in a range of thicknesses. Remember to read the cleaning instructions on your product you choose for best use.

Best dog-friendly fabric: Leather
dog on leather sofa

If you’re looking for pet hair resistant fabric, leather is the way to go. Hair can be brushed off and stains can be cleaned easily.

Another great option is distressed leather as scratch marks can blend in easily. Leather also tends to get more comfortable with use and is perfect if your dog loves lounging on the couch.

Best dog-friendly fabric: Vinyl
dog playing on vinyl seating

Vinyl is a cruelty-free alternative to leather and works as a pet-friendly fabric. Durable and easy to maintain, vinyl comes in a number of colours. Opt for high-quality vinyl to make sure it doesn’t fade over time.

Best dog-friendly fabric: Nylon
hairy puppy on nylon chair

Synthetic fabrics like nylon can take a lot of damage and still look good. Nylon is resistant to scratches, spills and stains. Dirt and hair can be easily cleaned too. It’s also one of the more budget-friendly options.

Best dog-friendly fabric: Outdoor fabric
sleepy dog on sunchair

Outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella are a good choice for pet-friendly sofas and outdoor furniture. They are best for heavy use and can take a lot of scratches. Also, they come in moisture resistant varieties.

Worst dog-friendly fabric: Cotton
dog on cotton sofa

You might love the feel of pure cotton because it’s super soft and comfortable, but it’s one of the worst choices if you have a dog. It can be ripped easily and also tends to absorb water and get wrinkled.

Worst dog-friendly fabric: Linen
sleepy dog on linen sofa

Linen is a bad choice for a home with dogs since it traps dust and hair and can be next to impossible to clean. Scratching will damage the fabric and can also make it unravel over time.

Worst dog-friendly fabric: Silk
puppy on a luxurious silk sofa

While silk is super-soft, luxurious and looks great on your couch, it probably won’t last a week in a home with dogs. This is a high-maintenance fabric that can be damaged by regular wear and tear, so you should only choose this for a room where your dog cannot enter.

To make your furniture look better and last longer, you can choose dark coloured or patterned fabrics. This will hide stains and scratches. Alternatively, you can get slip covers to protect your furniture. Regular dusting and vacuum cleaning can help manage shedding pet-hair .