Love the softness of your pet and carpet? You can have both, especially with these tips for choosing the best carpet for pets that you both’ll love.
How to Choose the Best Carpet for Pets
Carpet is typically made from several different types of materials, and some of them are better for homes with pets than others. Nylon fibers tend to be more durable and naturally resistant to odors and stains. They are typically treated to ensure that carpets are not stained. Olefin carpets are low-pile. They are made with loops so homeowners should be careful about keeping pet nails short and trim. Both nylon and olefin carpeting are long-lasting carpet solutions that can withstand running and playing.
Wool carpets, on the other hand, are incredibly plush and luxurious. However, wool carpets need to be cleaned promptly and with certain carpet cleaning products to keep them stain-free. Polyester, like wool, is less durable and may not be the best choice for homes with pets.
The carpet pile is the length of the carpet fibers. Longer fibers tend to appear “shaggy” and can be a problem in a home with pets. While these carpets are very soft underfoot, pets are more likely to get their claws caught on a long pile carpet. Instead, pet owners should ask a local carpet pro for short or medium pile carpets that are less risky in a busy household. Tightly-woven carpets like Berber can also catch nails and be easily damaged by pets’ nails.
The best carpet for pets, or carpets, needs to come with a variety of stain-resistant features. There are a variety of pet-friendly options. Shaw LifeGuard® Spill-proof Backing™ come with an option that keeps liquids from soaking into the subfloor and carpet pad. Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean™ offers permanent stain resistance, pill and soil protection, and long-lasting durability. Other carpets come with stain-resistant features that prevent staining and make pet clean-up easy.
Another factor in choosing the best carpet for pets is color. Darker-colored carpets tend to hide stains and spills easier than light-colored carpets. Even a little speck of color can hide some of the dirt that pets track in. If homeowners do want light-colored carpets, they should ask a local flooring pro for carpets recommended for homes with pets.
Carpet Cleaning Tips
Remove as much of the accident as possible.
Pet accidents happen. Unfortunately, even the most well-trained pets have an accident in the house from time to time. The first step of carpet clean-up is to remove solids and sop up as much liquid as possible. There are a few ways to do so, such as with a paper towel or with a utensil (i.e. dust pan, plastic spoon, etc.) that can be cleaned off. It’s important to get the liquid out so don’t be afraid to apply pressure or use a wet and dry vac.
Test a carpet cleaner in a closet or corner.
Even a natural carpet cleaner can discolor or damage carpet. Before applying any carpet cleaner, always test the carpet cleaner in a hidden location, such as under a piece of furniture or in a closet. Some carpet cleaners can permanently fade or discolor carpet. Always use a manufacturer-recommended carpet cleaner to avoid voiding the warranty. Visit a local flooring store and ask for carpet cleaners recommended by the carpet manufacturer and an effective cleaner for carpets.
Stay away from steam cleaners.
Steam cleaners are an excellent way to clean carpets, but they should be avoided when cleaning up a pet accident. The hot water from a steam cleaner can actually lock in the stain and smell. Instead, blot at carpet fibers after removing solids and liquids. Remember to blot instead of scrub; applying too much pressure can damage carpet fibers.
Tackle the odor.
The last step of cleaning up a pet accident is neutralize the order. If the odor is not removed, the pet may return to the site and have an accident there again. Instead, apply a mixture of vinegar and water or visit a local flooring store for a professional carpet odor neutralizer created specifically for the task.
Use rugs to prevent the mess.
One of the easiest ways to prevent pet clean-up is to place rugs by exterior doors and in hallways or areas adjacent to carpets. Rugs naturally catch some of the dirt and mess that pets track in.