We love our dogs to bits. They are part of the family. They are the spoilt babies we would do anything for. But, often, we find ourselves in this dilemma: is it worth buying that gorgeous living room rug when we have a pet? The answer is yes! Rugs are a great way to effortlessly style your living spaces, define areas in open spaces and add a bold statement in any room. That’s why we created this ultimate pet-friendly rug guide for dog-owners.
Having a dog does not mean you no longer get to enjoy the beauty, cosiness and warmth of luxury rugs in your house. Instead, there are certain things to consider when being a pet-owner. Here is how to make your home and rugs as pet friendly as possible so you enjoy the best of both worlds!
Common dog problems
Before we go in detail into how to pick your pet-friendly rug, we will first look at the most common issues dog-owners face when owning a rug. Common pet problems include chewing, vomiting, urine, shedding and smell.
Most common among puppies than adult dogs, chewing can be a real problem for pet owners. Chewing will severely damage your rug. In addition to that, swallowing certain rug material, fringes or rug backing can endanger you pet’s life.
Your dog will be bringing dirt, mud and anything else caught in its paws into the house and risks trampling over your rugs that way. These adorable animals have no clue what harm they are doing to your rug but dealing with the consequences can be a real headache for you.
It has happened to all of us, pet-owners. Our fur-baby ate something that did not go down well and now it is vomiting all over the carpet. Stains and bad odour from vomit and bile can be very tough to get rid of.
If not trained properly, your dog might be thinking that the carpet is the most enjoyable place to urinate. The real issue is once a dog feels comfortable urinating in a certain spot, it will most likely do it again and again! Other dogs sometimes feel like marking their territory that way.
Some dog breeds shed more than others and it can become a real nightmare for a rug-owner. The amount a dog sheds really depends on its breed and health. However, generally, dogs shed based on seasons. They usually develop a thicker coat for the cold winter months and shed during spring.
Finally, getting rid of that stubborn dog smell from your rug can prove to be a complicated task. Your fur-baby could be leaving its odour on your rug when it sleeps, sits and rolls over onto it. In winter, your dog probably enjoys the cosiness and warmth of your living room rug, lazing around all day and looking adorable.
Things to consider when buying a pet-friendly rug
So now that we know what some common problems dog-owners are, let’s look at things to consider when buying the perfect pet-friendly rug.
Rugs are available in different materials, so it is important to choose wisely when you are a dog-owner. At Sukhi, we believe that wool is a great material for pet-owners as it is stain-resistant, durable, springy. This is because wool fibres are coated with lanolin which naturally protects the material from absorbing liquids, grease and dirt. This makes it easier for dog-owners to clean vomit, dirt and urine quickly. Wool rugs are also durable and springy: wool can return to its original shape even after when it is stretched upto 30%. So, you do not have to worry about your big dog spending too much time napping on your rug!
Truth be told, we believe that wool rugs are perfect for any home, but especially for pet-lovers!
Picking the right color for your rug when you are a dog-owner is crucial. Having rug colors that match the natural color of your dog will make it harder to see those stray hairs in between cleaning sessions. So, if you have a white puppy, like a Samoyed, go for a light-coloured rug. On the other hand, if you have a have a Rottweiler, consider a dark-coloured rug to hide those pesky hairs.
Another thing to consider is absorbing colors. Absorbing colors are colors that do not reveal stains and dirt. Since stains and dirt will most likely be a daily problem in your home, having rugs with absorbing colors, like brown, maroon and dark blue, can really help not draw attention to unpleasant marks.
Two main things to think about, as a dog-owner, when purchasing your perfect pet-friendly rug are the patterns and structure of your wool rug.
Although wool rugs are very effective when it comes to cleaning stains and dirt and will stand the test of time, the construction of the wool rug you choose could be risky. Wool rugs come in different shapes and forms: the choices are abundant. You might feel lured by modern styles like braided wool rugs, or a bedroom rug with nice fringes. However, these would not be the best choice if you have a pet. It might get its paw nails caught in the braids and chunky structure, making them uncomfortable and damaging your rug. Your dog might also chew on fringes which are a dangerous health hazard if it ends up swallowing them. Pick a rug that has a simple structure and is low pile, like a beautiful hand tufted oriental rug.
Not only are these types of rugs flat and more durable around pets, they usually come in different colors and patterns. Patterns provide intricate details that mask hairs, stains and dirt. They are the perfect rug for the living room or other big living spaces.
Although you might really want that extra-large Beni Ourain rug to put in your living room, it might be smarter to go with two smaller ones instead. On a practical level, smaller rugs are easier to maintain and clean. Also, if one of the smaller rugs is beyond repair, you will not feel like it’s such a big loss!
When dogs urinate on a rug, the liquid sinks to the bottom and is absorbed by the backing of the rug. For this reason, it is critical that you take into consideration the backing of your rug when you have pets. Rug backings you should avoid include rubber or latex. This is because these backings absorb liquids and stubbornly hold on to odours even after multiple washes! On top of that, the moisture and dampness can severely deteriorate the backing and damage your floors as well. Woven rugs are the best choice for pet-owners as their backings are usually made of cotton or polyester. These materials are easier to clean and do not hold on to bad smells.
How to maintain your pet-friendly rug
The first tip we will give you when it comes to maintaining your rug is addressing the problem as soon as possible! When you dog vomits, stains or urinates on the rug, deal with it immediately. Don’t allow time to pass as the liquids will be absorbed into the rug and, potentially, reach deep into the rug and the backing which will make it even harder to clean.
Vacuum your rug to clear up the dog hairs. When using your vacuum, make sure to set the beater bar on high so that the vacuum does not pull on the rug fibres and damage it.
Spot treat your rug when you can by using special spot treatment cleaning products. If you want a more natural cleaner, try using baking soda or vinegar to get rid of urine stains and odours.
What precautions dog-owners can take
Place a doormat at the main entrance
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
The easiest way to maintain your rug is to place a doormat by your entrance door. This way, your dog’s paws will be releasing all the dirt, mud, and outdoor debris at the entrance before entering the living area. Maybe you can even train your fur-baby to wipe its paws!
Consider getting a hypoallergenic dog
If you already have a rug and are now considering getting a puppy, consider a breed that is hypoallergenic. These dogs do not shed which is save you time vacuuming. If that’s not an option for you, then consider brushing your dog regularly to get rid of any excess hair it might be carrying.
Train you dog
Make sure that your dog is properly potty trained, so it knows to urinate and poop outside of the house only. Start early and reward it for good behaviour. You can also train your dog not to go sit on expensive rugs by making it off-limits. Your dog will see the rug as a no-go zone and respect the limitation.
Trim you animal’s nails
Nails can often get caught up in rug material. This can be dangerous or, at least, quite uncomfortable for your pet when it is moving around in the house. To reduce wear and tear of your rugs and make your dog’s life easier, make sure to trim its nails often.
So here you have it: the ultimate rug guide for dog-owners. We know that no rugs are completely pet resistant, but, hopefully, we showed you how to choose the perfect pet-friendly rug and maintain it by taking a few important steps. You can easily buy rugs online at Sukhi on our website and find your perfect pet-friendly rug!