Do you have a pet cat or dog and own leather furniture? If so, then be careful the next time you apply flea medication to your pet.

Make sure your pet and the leather do not come in close proximity for at least an hour or so.

You see, the chemistry in many commercially available topical pet flea medications is not friendly to leather. It can create bleaching or discoloration damage on contact. It acts like a strong solvent, stripping the color from the leather. This is most commonly seen in the form of bleaching/smearing of the leather color on the lower front or lower back and sides, places on your furniture where the pet would rub its neck shortly after the flea medication is applied.

The damage to the leather can be from a distance as well. If your pet vigorously shakes themselves in the vicinity of leather furniture, then a significant number of tiny flea medication droplets can be sprayed across the leather, each having its damaging affect. Every place that a droplet lands can turn into bleached spot. If you see it happen, and then try to wipe the spots, you’ll end up creating a bigger mess by smearing the solvent component of the medication over a broader area.

As a leather repair and restoration specialist I see this problem regularly. Often, the damage is so widespread that it can not be resolved in the home, adding the expense of transporting the furniture to a shop facility for color restoration. The transit costs and extensive restoration involved can run up to or exceed $1,000. I have clients who have paid dearly to have the problem corrected. It is particularly painful if the furniture is just a few weeks old, as was the case recently with one of our clients. Of course this is certainly better than spending another $8,000 for a new lovely leather sectional. But, it’s a sore lesson none the less.

Let the experiences of dozens of my clients help prevent you joining their ranks. When you apply your pet’s flea meds, keep them in a separate room, away from your leather furniture (for that matter any leather goods) until you are sure the medicine has absorbed.

If you are unfortunate enough to already have areas discolored or bleached as a result of your pet meds, the problem can be resolved, though it generally requires professional attention.

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