Best Dog-Proof Blinds & Window Treatment Hacks to Stop Canine Destruction!
Even the best-behaved dogs occasionally get into a bit of mischief – it’s just something pet parents must learn to accept. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to limit the fallout!
Few household items seem to bear the brunt of this bad behavior more than windows. While remote controls, pillows and shoes are commonly the focal point for canine frustration, blinds and window treatments may be the most commonly destroyed items in most homes.
Why Do Dogs Damage Blinds and Other Window Treatments?
There are a number of reasons that dogs tend to unleash their destructive instincts on window blinds. While some of these reasons may seem obvious, it’s important to determine the primary reason your dog is doing so, to have the best chance of fixing or preventing the issue moving forward.
Some of the most common motivations include:
Reason 1: They See People, Pets or Prey Outside
Dogs – especially those of a territorial nature – often find it necessary to freak out completely, bark and scratch at windows when they see anything of interest outside. This includes not only people and other dogs, but squirrels, cats, birds and anything else that triggers your dog’s barking instincts.
When dogs launch into these types of displays, your blinds are sure to suffer.
You probably won’t have much luck preventing these types of reactions, so the best way to address this issue is by either using a completely opaque window treatment, which prevents your dog from seeing things outside, or by employing some type of protective barrier, that keeps your dog from contacting the blinds.
Reason 2: They Are Suffering from Separation Anxiety
Dogs who become nervous when left at home alone often look for some way to relieve their stress, and this often means finding something on which they can chew.
Window blinds apparently fit this bill perfectly, and they may even take out their frustrations on the window frame too.
To prevent these types of problems, you’ll need to address your dog’s anxiety. This may require you to use a cave-like separation anxiety crate, which will make him feel more secure, or you may need to increase your pup’s exercise time to help exhaust him before you have to go.
Employing puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys may also help keep your dog occupied and distracted. If these strategies do not help solve the problem, you may want to speak with a professional trainer.
Reason 3: They Need to Chew
Even calm dogs need an outlet for their chewing instinct, and if you don’t provide them with something suitable to chew, they’ll find something on their own. And while the idea of chewing on window blinds seems unappealing, some dogs (especially puppies) appear to love the idea.
To address this issue, you’ll need to provide your dog with appropriate chew toys and ensure that the chewing behavior is not the manifestation of some type of anxiety or frustration. Increasing the amount of exercise your dog receives may also help reduce his chewing instinct.
Different Ways Dogs Destroy Blinds
Just as there are varying motivations behind the behaviors of blind-destroying dogs, they accomplish their destructive goals in a number of different ways. Some of the most common ways by which dogs damage blinds include:
Ruining the Cordage
The pull cord on a set of blinds is an intriguing target for many dogs, who can’t help but chew and tug on it. This not only damages your blinds, it can represent a health hazard for your pet.
Accordingly, it is often wise to use window treatments that do not require cords to function, thereby eliminating the potential damage and danger.
Bending or Breaking the Slats
While frantically trying to see through window blinds, dogs often try to force their heads between the slats. This causes aluminum slats to bend, but wooden slats often break in these circumstances.
Replacing damaged slats is rarely easy (or possible), so this type of damage often results in completely ruined blinds.
Chewing the Slats
As mentioned previously, many dogs love to chew on window blinds, particularly the slats. And while wooden slats are probably most appealing to dogs in this context, aluminum slats are not immune to this type of damage.
This kind of damage is often severe, and, in all but the most minor cases, chewed blinds are almost always ruined blinds.
Three Characteristics to Seek in Dog-Friendly Shades
There are three primary traits you’ll want to look for when seeking window blinds that will stand up to your dog’s destructive tendencies. These include:
1. Cordless Design
Many dogs are unable to stop themselves from chewing on the dangling cord of most window blinds. But fortunately, many window blinds feature cordless designs, which eliminate this problem entirely.
2. Complete Window Coverage
By covering the entire window, you can prevent your dog from seeing the types of things that will send her into a barking, slobbering, blind-destroying fit. Just make sure you measure your window (and the frame) very carefully when ordering these types of blinds to ensure a good fit.
3. Robust Materials
Few blinds are made from truly dog-proof materials, but some blinds feature more durable fabrics and materials than others. But don’t forget to account for the fact that thicker, heavier blind materials will also block more light from the outside.
Dog-Proof Blinds and Window Treatments
While no commercially produced blinds are completely dog-proof, several are reasonably pet-friendly and less likely to become damaged by your dog. A few of the best options include the following:
1. Calyx Interiors Cordless Roman Shade
About: The Calyx Interiors Roman Shades are a great option for pet-populated homes, as they not only block the window entirely (which prevents your pet from being stimulated by things she sees outside), but it is made without cords, which often become damaged by dogs.
- Semi-opaque design allows about 35% of the exterior light to penetrate the shade
- Easy to clean with a soft cloth or vacuum (use the upholstery attachment)
- Available in several sizes and colors to match your decor
PROS: The Calyx Interiors Cordless Roman Shades are very attractive and are reasonably resilient to dog-wrought destruction, alleviating the need to choose between form and function. And because they do not require a cord, your dog won’t be confronted with a tantalizing string that they feel compelled to chew.
CONS: Some owners simply don’t like the appearance of Roman shades, which makes them a poor choice for some homes. Additionally, these particular shades allow some light to penetrate into your home. While this may create a nice atmosphere in the home, it also has the potential to allow dogs to see people or pets walking right outside the window, which may trigger your dog’s destructive tendencies.
2. Arlo Blinds Roman Shade
About: Like many other Roman shades, Arlo Blinds Shades are made without a cord, so they are less likely to be damaged by your dog.
And because these shades are designed to completely cover the window, they’ll prevent your dog from seeing things outside that may send her into a shade-destroying fit.
- Available in three different lengths for every given window width
- Polyester fabric is both durable and attractive
- Clean with a soft cloth or vacuum using the upholstery attachment
- Designed to block about 65% of the light shining on the shade
PROS: Arlo Blinds Shades are relatively durable Roman shades, and they lack many of the things (such as cords or chew-tastic slats) that attract the attention of dogs. Because they block most of the light coming into your home, your dog is less likely to see cats, squirrels and other things outside, which may cause her to begin damaging the shade.
CONS: A few owners found that these blinds were not especially well made, but given their very reasonable price, this is only a minor problem. Some other owners complained that the strings used in the design are sometimes visible from an indoor point-of-view.
3. Chicology Free-Stop Cordless Roller Shade
About: The Chicology Cordless Roller Shade is another great option for homes with destructive dogs. Like Roman shades, this roller shade completely covers the window, preventing your dog from seeing outside.
The Chicology Free-Stop Roller Shade also features a cordless design, so your dog won’t be able to chew or tug on the string.
- Free-stop design prevents you from having to wrestle with the shade to achieve the desired length
- Available in eight different sizes
- Made from 100% polyester yarn
PROS: The Chicology Free-Stop Shade features most of the things you’d want in a pet-friendly window treatment. Several customers who tried these shades were very pleased with both the way they looked and functioned.
CONS: A few customers complained of sizing issues, but these types of problems can occur with any window shade. Just be sure that you measure your window carefully in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and select the size you intend to order carefully.
4. Chicology Cordless Vertical Blind
About: Chicology Cordless Vertical Blinds may not be appropriate for smaller windows, but they are a great option for scenarios in which they will work.
Vertical blinds will part easily, allowing your dog to stick her head through to see out the window. And because this product features a cordless design, it is especially well-suited for homes with pets.
- 100% PVC construction
- These blinds can allow varying amount of light into the home, by rotating the slats
- Cordless design is safer for your dog
PROS: Vertical blinds usually work pretty well for homes with dogs, as they yield easily when your dog tries to push her head through them. This allows her to look and bark at things outside, without having to tear her way through the window treatments first.
CONS: These vertical blinds are only available in one size, so these are not appropriate for all windows. Additionally, while vertical blinds are generally better able to withstand what your dog dishes out, they are not bulletproof, and some dogs will manage to pull the individual slats off the track.
DIY Hacks for Protecting Your Blinds
If you don’t think that any of the blinds mentioned above will stand up to your dog’s paws and jaws, you can try a few different DIY solutions.
Not all of these approaches will work in all situations, so you’ll need to consider your home, your dog’s behavior and your preferences before deciding on a particular approach.
Privacy films (similar to window tinting) can be used instead of blinds to provide the privacy you need.
However, this approach means that while the film will still allow some light to enter, you won’t be able to see through the window – you’ll have to open the window to see outside.
Cordyal No Glue Window Film is a great option for owners that want to try this approach, as it can be repositioned when necessary (which makes installation easier), and it also helps to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Odhams Press Carlyle Privacy Window Films are another good option, and they feature interesting and attractive graphics.
Heavy-duty curtains may be a viable solution for some dog owners.
This strategy is probably best-suited for protecting your blinds when you leave the house: Simply pull the curtains into place when you leave, and you can prevent your dog from contacting the blinds. This may not be feasible with very large or strong dogs, but thick, heavy fabric will protect your blinds from smaller pups.
Deconovo Blackout Curtains are a good example of heavy-duty curtains that may stand up to your dog’s pawing and clawing better than some window blinds do.
Leave Your Blinds Partially Raised
This approach feels like cheating a bit, and you’ll have to sacrifice some of your privacy when doing so, but raising the blinds a little can help protect them. Given the opportunity, many dogs will dip their head up and under the raised blinds when looking outside the window, rather than trying to fight their way through them.
If no other strategy works for you, you can simply try to block your dog’s access to the blinds by using a window guard. For example, the Kidco Mesh Window Guard mounts outside the frame of your window, which would prevent your dog from contacting the blinds.
While the largest, strongest and most destructive dogs may be able to rip through the mesh, this guard should provide adequate protection from most others.
For more on dog proofing check out this article!