We all love our furry friends, but there’s no denying that cats and dogs can be hard on your home. Muddy paws, claws, and the occasional accident can ruin a beautiful rug if you’re not careful. But with a pet-friendly rug, you won’t have to choose between your pet and the decor of your dreams!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to consider when looking for a pet-friendly rug. From the material to construction, to patterns and maintenance, you’ll walk away confident you’re buying the best rug for living with your precious pet.
Pet-Friendly Rug Materials and Construction
With so many options when it comes to rug materials and construction methods, you’d be forgiven if you don’t know exactly where to start. While every type of rug will have its pros and cons, it’s easy to narrow it down when you consider the needs of your situation.
In the case of pet-friendly rugs, you’ll want a durable, easy to clean rug that won’t show water damage in case of any unfortunate accidents. To help guide you, here are a few dos and don’ts for selecting pet-friendly rugs.
DO: Look for low-pile and/or flatweave Rugs
No matter how hard you try to stop it, if you’re living with a dog it’s inevitable that muddy paws will eventually touch your rug. Low-pile and flatweave washable rugs ease the pain of this eventuality by being extremely easy to clean.
The short fibres of a low-pile rug have a hard time hanging on to dirt, while flatweave rugs have no pile to grab dirt with at all! With these rugs, a quick vacuum or even washing in the washing machine is usually all you need to remove everyday messes.
DON’T: Select a plant fibre rug like jute or sisal
If you decide to get a flatweave rug, you’ll notice that a lot of these are made of natural plant fibres like jute or sisal. These materials are very popular for their rustic look, low cost, and high durability.
However, you should use caution when buying these for homes with pets. Both jute and sisal are extremely absorbent, which means urine stains will be nigh-impossible to remove. To make matters worse, these natural fibres will even encourage some dogs to do their business there.
Unless you are extremely confident in your dog’s training, it may be better to go for a synthetic material like polypropylene or another, more easily cleaned natural material like polyester or cotton.
DO: Check the backing material and foundation of your rug
As well as being a popular choice for braided rugs, jute is often used as a backing material for pile rugs made of other materials like polypropylene and even wool. Jute is great for this job thanks to its durability, but that, unfortunately, means you could run into the same problems with absorbency that you were trying to avoid by staying away from a braided jute rug.
The most pet-friendly rugs will have a cotton or synthetic foundation. However, if the rug of your dreams happens to have a jute foundation, don’t fret too much—you’ll just need to make sure you’re extra vigilant about cleaning messes.
DON’T: Get a loop-pile rug
If you choose to get a hand-tufted rug, you will have a choice between a cut pile or loop pile.
When the pile yarns are pushed through the backing material of a tufted rug, they form small loops on the other side. Often, these loops are cut to an even height, forming a “cut pile”. Other times, the loops will be left forming a “loop pile”.
While loop pile rugs are attractive and generally durable, they can be problematic for pets. Long claws can get caught on the loops, which can damage the rug or possibly injure your pet! You can mitigate this chance with diligent nail trimming, but many people will just opt to stick with cut pile rugs.
DO: Consider indoor/outdoor rugs
Some of the most popular options for pet-friendly rugs are indoor/outdoor rugs.
Typically flatweave rugs made of a synthetic material like polypropylene, these tough rugs are designed to stand up to the elements. They’ll handle your pet with ease. And, thanks to the patterns both modern and classic, it’s easy to find a great rug that fits just as well in a living room as it does on a patio.
Pet-Friendly Rug Patterns
Not only do patterned rugs look beautiful and emphasize your style, but they also can go a long way toward hiding dirt and keeping your home looking clean. Generally, more intricate patterns will be better at this than simpler patterns. Traditional or abstract designs tend to be better for homes with pets, while simpler geometric designs or solid rugs should be avoided.
You should also consider the colour of your pets when picking the colour of your rug. Dark colours are usually better at hiding dirt and stains, but not if you have a light-coloured pup! If your dog or cat sheds a lot, try to match the colour of your rug to the colour of their coat to keep your home looking clean.
How to Clean Pet Stains
As we’ve emphasized throughout this article, pets can be messy. Even if you’ve taken every step to mitigate this, accidents can still happen. So, what do you do then?
Left untreated, urine stains will start to smell. As with all stains, cleaning them quickly before they have a chance to set will be the best way to protect your rug.
Never use a steam cleaner on urine. The high heat involved will only amplify the smell and help set the stain. Instead, treat them like any other stain, but use an enzymatic cleaner designed to deal with pet stains. These are specially formulated to counteract the foul-smelling and potentially dangerous chemicals found in urine.
Act quickly, avoid the heat, and remember to lightly dab rather than scrub, and pet stains will be no problem.
Find the Perfect Pet-Friendly Rug Online
At the end of the day, there isn’t just one type of “pet-friendly rug.” The rug that is best for your family (including its furrier members) will come down to your tastes and needs. At The-Rugs.com, you’ve got options. Check out our washable and outdoor collection rugs for the perfect pet-friendly rug for your home