Rugs are a great way to soften up the hardwood or tiled floor in your home, but dogs (and their feline counterparts) can quickly wreak havoc rug, carpets, and anything else that’s ground level.
And while there are no perfect rugs for pet-loving homes, some options are definitely better than others.
We’ll discuss a few of the best rugs available, some of the features that make them great choices and talk about general rug and carpet care for homes with a resident four-footer.
Dogs put rugs and carpets through some pretty full-contact abuse. Some of the main ways dogs inflict harm on fiber-based flooring include:
But do not fear! Several rugs that are designed to limit the severity of these problems, and there are a few things you can do to help
You won’t find many rugs that are marketed as “pet proof,” but you can find rugs that feature the characteristics that will make them last longer and remain looking better, if you have a pooch at home.
Different rugs are made of different fabrics, and some stand up better to pet-precipitated abuse than others do. Wool and Nylon are among the most resilient and durable options, although polyester is also a good choice.
Wool is, however, much more expensive than polyester or nylon in many cases. Olefin is a marginally acceptable material for rug construction, but those made from rayon and silk are best avoided.
Dark colors are obviously preferable in many ways, as they won’t show dirt as obviously as light-colored rugs will.
However, you must also consider your dog’s color.
Even if he isn’t a heavy shedder, he’ll still contribute his own fibers to those of the rug. Put a dark rug in a home with a light-colored pup, and you’ll spend all your time vacuuming up his hair.
Like color, the pattern of any rug you buy can make a big difference in the way it shows dog hair. Plain, single-color rugs will let you see each and every hair against the solid background; complex, busily patterned rugs will help de-emphasize your dog’s shed fur.
Even dogs that aren’t problem chewers seem magnetically attracted to the fringe or other loose threads attached to the edges of rugs, blankets, curtains and other fabrics.
These can represent a safety hazard and lead to intestinal blockage if they’re swallowed; just skip them and avoid the issue entirely.
Pile – a word that refers to the threads making up the rug – is always an important consideration when selecting a rug.
Some rugs feature looped pile, but while this can feel marvelous on your feet, it can also catch your pet’s claws. Accordingly, it is wiser to opt for cut pile rugs.
Glue-backed or tufted rugs feature a bottom material of some type, that has been glued to the rug. Urine can soak through this glue, effectively ruining the rug permanently and creating a permanent odor.
Outdoor rugs may not be made with the same level of finesse that indoor rugs are, but if you are interested in getting the most durable rug possible, outdoor models are often the best bet. Outdoor rugs are not only designed to hold up to the weather, they’re built to hold up to more vigorous cleaning tactics.
To a large extent, the size of your rug will depend on the constraints of your home and budget. But, it is wise to consider opting for smaller rugs whenever possible. Not only are these rugs easier to roll up and take to the cleaners if need be, they are cheaper to replace, should that become necessary.
Unfortunately, some breeds are notoriously difficult to housebreak. This makes them less-than-perfect candidates for living in a home with expensive rugs.
If you’ve got one of the following breeds, be sure to consider your decision to acquire a rug carefully (conversely, if you are still looking to add a pup to your life and you love rugs or plush carpets, you may want to avoid these breeds).
Bichon FrisePug Dalmatian Dachshund
ChihuahuaPomeranian Maltese Cocker Spaniel Yorkshire Terrier
Always follow the manufacturer’s suggestions when trying to clean a rug or remove a stain. However, there are a few basic tips that will usually be helpful. For example:
While there aren’t any rugs designed explicitly for use by pet owners (at least, none that we’ve been able to find – please let us know if you aware of any in the comments), there are a number of options that possess the traits you’d like to see in a good rug.
The following five are among the best available.
About: Maxy Home Area Rugs are a pretty good option for homes with pets. In addition to being quite soft (which both you and your pup will appreciate), the Maxy Home Area Rug is easy to clean and built to last.
Sizes: Available in three sizes: 3’3” x 5’, 5’ x 7’ and 7’10” x 9’10”
About: A2Z Shaggy Rugs are one of the few shaggy carpets available that may work well with your pup, thanks to the use of high-quality materials and manufacturing techniques used. Thanks to the long, luxurious pile, which is approximately 1 ½ inches long, this rug provides incredible comfort and will surely become one of your pup’s favorite places to sleep.
Sizes: Available in 15 different sizes, ranging from 2’ x 6’ to 12’ x 15’. Most sizes are rectangular, but two round versions are also available.
About: The Corrigan Studio Area Rug is actually designed to be used indoors or outdoors, which means that it is more likely to stand up to your pet’s abuse than many other rugs. In fact, this rug is specifically designed for homes with pets or a lot of foot traffic.
Sizes: Available in 14 sizes, ranging from 3’ x 5’ to 8’ 6” x 11’ 6”
About: The Mercury Row Area Rug is a durable and high-quality area rug that is characterized as “pet friendly” by the manufacturer. Unlike many other rugs in our review, the Mercury Row Area Rug features a premium color pattern that not only looks great, but will help hide shed fur and dirt.
Sizes: Available in 26 different sizes, ranging from 2’ 2” x 4’ to 12’ x 18’
About: Mercer41’s Outdoor Area Rug is designed to withstand the brutal conditions of outdoor use, so it is more likely than many other rugs to stand up to the occasional accident.
Sizes: Available in 22 different sizes, ranging from 2’ 6” x 4’ to 12’ x 18’
As you can see, there are a number of great rugs on the market that may work in your pet-populated home. Most owners will likely find a winning product among the five detailed above.
Have you found a great area rug that stands up to your pet’s abuse? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.