Pets are part of the family. Dogs, cats, and other animals share our houses and our lives. They therefore influence the decisions we make about decorating and furnishing our homes. This is especially true when it comes to rug-buying. Many pet lovers would rather live with bare floors than relegate their pets to the mud room or even worse — outdoors.
Whether it’s the musty odor a pet leaves behind, the inevitable accident during training, or the outright misbehavior that sometimes occurs, you need to consider the consequences of pet damage when you buy new rugs. The first line of defense for making your rugs — and your house — pet-proof is to consider the type of rug you lay on your floors.
Indoor/outdoor rugs come in a wide range of colors and styles now; they can complement almost any indoor decorating scheme. The beauty of an indoor/outdoor rug is that you can easily clean it when it gets dirty. Just take it outside, scrub it down with a mild detergent, and let it air-dry over a porch railing or clothesline. Niggling pet odors and accidental discharges disappear completely. Once it dries, you’ve got a rug that’s as good as new.
The weave on various kinds of rugs may undergo substantially more wear and tear than others when you have pets. Long nails and claws, for example, can get caught in hooked rugs. Simply by treading across a hooked rug, your cat or dog can create a snag or pull. Similarly, shag rugs and thick hand-tufted pieces, with pile that’s a quarter-inch high or longer, can catch long nails too. Your pet can pull out fibers inadvertently when trying to free itself. Instead of hooked or shag rugs, stick with flat, low pile to prevent this kind of wear.
If you prefer hand-knotted beauties on your floors (or if you’ve got other rugs you can clean), you must get to an accident as quickly as possible. Spot cleaners made by Capture® are ideal for such messes. Blot the cleaner on the spot with a wet sponge. Avoid rubbing or scraping, which can destroy the rug’s fibers and spread the mess. Use cold water so you don’t damage the rug’s color or wool fibers. Continue blotting with fresh cool water until the mess is gone.
If your pet marks a certain spot on a rug repeatedly, spray an enzyme-based neutralizer such as Nature’s Miracle® to remove any scent. You may not be able to smell anything, but the scent might be what keeps attracting your pet to the area.
For the best of both worlds (beauty and ease-of-use), we recommend a hand-knotted rug with a low pile. Rugs made of natural materials are the only ones you can have professionally cleaned. Once your pets have an accident on synthetic, machine-made rugs, they will never be pristine again. While you can certainly spot clean anywhere Spot made a spot, in the end, you may still be able to spot that spot. A thorough professional cleaning for your tufted or machine-made rugs just isn’t possible.
So if you have pets, your best bet is an all-natural, hand-knotted rug or an inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug. Even Spot will enjoy it.