We all love our pets, but—admittedly—there are times when that love gets tested. Like when our favorite cat rips up the carpeting. Or when the puppy has an accident on the carpet (even after months of house training!). And then there are those trying times when the dog takes a bite (literally!) out of the new carpet.
During those times, pet owners need a LOT of patience even as the questions race through their head. “Can my carpet be saved? How am I ever going to get THAT stain out? Can that big rip in my carpet be repaired? Do I have to get new carpet?”
The comforting news is that you’re not alone. We’ve helped pet owners with damaged carpets plenty of times, and in all different kind of situations (pet stains, rips, tears, holes, etc.) The bad news is that sometimes the carpet can be cleaned or repaired, other times not. We’ve put together a list of cleaning and repair tips that can keep your carpet looking new—or assist you with the decision to save or replace (if you have any doubts, e-mail us or message us with pictures and information so we can help).
How to fix it: Start cleaning your carpet as soon as possible. Before you apply any cleaner, remove the solids or blot up the liquid. Do not scrub hard on the carpet; it can damage the carpet. If necessary, use a wet/dry vac to remove a lot of liquid. Once the liquid is completely absorbed, test your cleaner on an area of the carpet that is not visible to guests (i.e. in a closet, a corner, or under furniture). Even household solutions can damage and discolor the carpet; when in doubt, contact a local flooring store to get an approved cleaner that won’t void the warranty. Apply the cleaner and blot at the stain (again, not too hard!). If the source of the stain is pet urine, spray the stain with a mixture of two tablespoons of white vinegar and one quart of water.
If that doesn’t work: If you still can’t get the stain out, contact a carpet cleaner with professional equipment and cleaners that can take care of even the worst pet stain. Sometimes the liquid gets absorbed into the carpet pad; the odor cannot always be removed in these situations. To find out, contact the pros to get a free estimate and an answer on whether the stain and odor can be eliminated.
If you have to replace: Visit a local flooring store to view pet-friendly carpets. There are specific carpets designed just for households with pets. Ask about waterproof carpets, carpets with a blocker that keeps the liquid from reaching the pad, or a stain-resistant carpet.
Holes & Rips
How to fix it: The exact type of repair depends on the amount and kind of damage; always keep extra carpet for every room on hand just in case it is needed for repair (your installer typically gives you any excess carpeting after it is installed). When your dog removes a piece of carpet, it can be replaced with another piece (cut to the exact size) from your excess supply of carpeting and double-faced seam tape. A section of ripped carpet can be replaced in a similar manner. Contact a flooring installer if you need assistance; a carpet repair is typically affordable (especially when compared to the cost of replacing the carpet).
If you have to replace: Talk to a local flooring pro that really knows the kinds of pet-friendly carpets on the market. Choose a carpet that is durable and can handle pet nails (unfortunately, there is no carpet that can handle a determined set of pet jaws!) to avoid rips. Carpets with high piles can catch pets’ nails, causing snags and injuries. Keep your dog’s (and cat’s) nails trimmed to avoid rips or snags in the future.