We love our pets, but they can be really tough on rugs and carpets. The scratching and clawing, the dirty paws, the spilled food and drink, those gross gifts brought in from outside, not to mention the unfortunate little accidents – all these and more can seriously take their toll on your carpets, leading to stains, bad smells and sometimes irrevocable damage.
So let’s have a look at some simple ways to protect your rugs and carpets from pet damage.
Choose a pet resistant rug
If you haven’t yet bought your rugs, there are a few factors you should consider in order to make them a little more pet friendly. First, think about the colour. Rugs with multiple colours and rich patterning will better disguise stains. Don’t go for solid coloured rugs that are too light or too dark, as these will more easily show up stains.
Aim for stain resistant rug or one that is easily washable. You should also look for something durable. Delicate rugs, like fine silk rugs, won’t stand up to the clawing and tearing that pets can subject rugs to.
Use fabric protector
Fabric protectors, like Scotchgard, can help to protect rugs from moisture, stains and smells. Fabric protectors coat the rug fibres with a protective barrier that repels stains, making them easier to clean up and reducing the risk of permanent damage or smells getting worked into the rug fibres. Fabric protectors are good for protecting carpets and rugs from urine stains, pet drool, dirt and mud or accidental spills.
Monitor your pet’s toilet habits
Be vigilant when it comes to monitoring your pet’s toilet habits. Ensure that any pet accidents or spills are cleaned up and disinfected as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of permanent staining or bad smells settling into the carpet or rug fibres.
Remember that pets can be sneaky when finding favourite out-of-the-way corners of the house to urinate. Keep an eye on your pets and make sure that cats are using their litter and dogs are regularly going to the bathroom outside. If something seems to be disrupting their regular toilet habits, make sure they haven’t found a sneaky corner of carpet to make their toilet.
Regularly groom your pet
Regular pet grooming is vital for keeping your home clean and your carpets and rugs fresh (as well as keeping your pets happy and healthy). Make sure dogs are regularly washed and groomed and have their nails trimmed.
Cats are fastidious when it comes to cleanliness, but they can still shed quite a bit of fur. Regular brushing will help to minimise the amount of fur that ends up in your carpets and rugs. The main issue with cats, however, is how much they love to scratch at carpets and rugs; and this can lead to some major damage. While vets can trim cats’ claws to reduce length and sharpness, you should never declaw a cat unless your vet recommends it for medical purposes.
You should also remember to regularly treat your pets for fleas. Fleas can easily transfer from your pets onto carpets and rugs, creating a health risk for the whole family.
Supply pets with scratch-friendly surfaces
Make sure pets have appropriate scratching and climbing surfaces so they don’t feel the need to pull at your carpet. This is especially important for cats. Provide multiple scratching poles and pads and encourage your cats to use them rather than clawing at the carpets. Cats can be picky creatures, so it may take a few attempts to find a scratching surface they really like.
Create separate pet areas
Minimising the amount of time your pets spend on your rugs is a great way to reduce the risk of damage. Set up appealing and comfortable pet areas for them to relax in. This may include pet beds, cushions and blankets, easily washable throw rugs or other comfortable surfaces that are easy to clean and will keep pets off rugs and carpets.
Regularly clean and wash rugs
To keep those carpets and rugs as clean as possible you should clean them regularly. Some tips how do you keep your carpets in pristine condition without forcing your pets to live outside? This needs to be done whether you have pets or not, but pet owners should be even more vigilant when it comes to cleanliness. Carpets and rugs should be vacuumed at least once a week and steam cleaned every couple of months to remove fur, dander, saliva and urine and to kill any germs or bacteria lurking in the fibres.