Fido or Fluffy may be part of the family, but their constant affection in your lap or on your furniture can take its toll, and ruin what was once beautiful furniture upholstery on your new sofa or chairs. If pets are part of the family, and you like including them in the seating arrangements, here are some tips to consider when either buying new furniture or reupholstering your favorite quality furniture.

Consider upholstery fabric that has a smooth finish so that cat claws can’t grab deep into the fibers, and colors that are similar to your pet’s hair, so clumps of hair are not as evident on the furniture.

There are a few favorite choices when it comes to the challenge of the upholstery fabric surviving pet visits: microfiber and Crypton® fabrics.

Microfiber is synthetic, typically made of polyester or a blend of polyester and nylon, and has very small and tightly woven fibers, which prevent dirt and dust from becoming trapped. This also works for preventing pet hairs from sticking to the fabric, in most cases. Since there is such a tight weave to the microfiber fabric, it may be stain resistant, but pet accidents on the furniture must still be cleaned up quickly so they don’t soak deep into the fibers.

On the higher end, Crypton® fabric is newer to the market, but have long-lasting durability. It is the most stain-resistant fabric available, and has a moisture barrier to prevent accidents or spills from soaking through the fibers. It is also odor-resistant and anti-microbial, making it a healthier alternative for people with allergies. It’s available in many different styles, patterns, and colors and is also very easy to clean, which is why many hotels and restaurants are using it.

You don’t need to banish Fido to the outdoors or lock Fluffy in a pet carrier for a lifetime. Pets naturally want to get up on the furniture to be comfortable and snuggle, so select the furniture upholstery fabric that offers protection, comfort, and style. Samples of various types of furniture upholstery coverings can be borrowed from a reupholstery store, so you can determine the best look for your environment.