My sofa killed my dog. Now I need a new sofa
February 10, 2020 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Help me find pet-safe recliners (or let me know there is no such thing). Many specifics inside. Trigger warning if pet death disturbs you (as it does me)

We had power recliners in our home theater. Yes the sofa came with a warning about pets, and we were careful.

While the chair was reclined our small chihuahua climbed in the back of the chair. He then lost his footing, got his neck caught in the springs, and died instantly. We had to cut open the bottom of the chair to retrieve his body. Needless to say we were devastated.

Now it's time for new sofas--both to replace the dog-killer and to get a new sofa in our living room.

We'd love recliners, but we will never have dog-killing furniture again.

We understand there's always a risk of being careless and bringing the footrest down on a pet, but that's not what happened in our case. The dog got in the back because the back of the sofa with the springs was exposed when the chair was in the reclined mode.

What I think MUST exist, but can't find, are sectional sofas etc. that are closed in back when reclined and when erect, as well as having cloth in front that prevents any pet from crawling inside the sofa/chair while it is reclined.

I'll take full responsibility to not close the footrest on our pets, but I need to be sure they can't sneak inside the furniture when I'm not looking.

Do such chairs/sectionals/theater chairs exist? I have not yet found any
posted by arniec to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm wondering if you might narrow your search into items that, not unlike the quintessential Eames lounger, are not exactly recliners with lots of levers/moving parts but still give you that functionality/comfort factor.

Even the classic futon bed (with optional ottoman) might be a fit but it does have moving parts and a determined/inquisitive pet could theoretically get into trouble there as well I suppose.

I bet you're going to struggle to find something certified/warrantied/guaranteed specifically not to harm pets in the traditional overstuffed sofa/loveseat/recliner format. I'm far from an expert and happy to be proven wrong of course.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:13 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]

XWe have a ~10 year-old Stressless human-powered no-lever reclining sofa that would prevent a pet from gaining access to its interior. They make sectionals too. Since our sofa is so old I can't make a specific recommendation, but it might be worth poking around their website. I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by carmicha at 8:28 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]

I always worried about this when I had a sofa with a recliner. I almost never used it because of that. I’ve since gotten a sofa with a chaise section and I love it. All the reclining possibilities, no moving parts!
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:53 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]

You could turn it over and cover the opening to the springs etc yourself. Since it's the underside, it doesn't have to be very pretty -- some upholstery fabric from a fabric store, a staple gun, and deep strong staples should do it.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:25 AM on February 12

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