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The 5 Best Rugs for Dog Owners

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 and Rugs: A Perilous Pairing

Dogs put rugs and carpets through some pretty full-contact abuse. Some of the main ways dogs inflict harm on fiber-based flooring include:

  • Dogs can track mud, dirt, grease and anything else through which they may collect on their paws all over your beautiful rug.
  • They can chew or tug at the threads, leading to an unraveled mess (and a serious health hazard, should your dog decide to swallow the threads).
  • Their shed fur will tend to collect on the rug, which will compromise its aesthetic appeal.
  • Dogs may pee or poop on the rug, which can lead to lingering odors and unsightly spots.
  • Dogs may vomit or cough up bile on the fabric, which can lead to discoloration and more odors.
  • Rugs can serve as egg-deposition sites for fleas.

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

Things to Consider When Selecting Rugs for Homes with Dogs

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.

Material

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.

Color

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.

Pattern

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.

Avoid Rugs with Tassels or Fringe

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

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.

Avoid Rugs with Glued-On Backs

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.

Look for Outdoor Rugs

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.

Size

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.

Accident-Prone Breeds

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 Frise

Pug

Dalmatian

Dachshund

Chihuahua

Pomeranian

Maltese

Cocker Spaniel

Yorkshire Terrier

carpets-for-dogs

Rug-Cleaning and General Carpet-Care Tips For Homes With Dogs

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:

  • Some rugs – particularly those with a very short pile – are easy to de-fur with a lint roller, so keep one on hand for regular use. If you don’t have a lint roller, you can make a make-shift version by wrapping a few loops of duct tape around your hand, with the sticky side facing out.
  • Brush your dog regularly to remove some of the shed hair before he can deposit it on the rug. Do this outside so you can get rid of some of the hair before your pup even comes inside.
  • Purchase a high-quality vacuum designed for homes with pets. A good pet-oriented vacuum that will suck up the dog hair stuck to your rug will help keep it looking its best (it’s also a good idea to keep the amount of hair in your home low if any members of your family struggle with allergies).
  • Have a good spot-cleaner on hand. Even dogs that are very well housebroken occasionally have accidents or barf something up on the rug. A good spot-cleaner can be all the difference between saving the rug and tossing it in the dumpster Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator is one a great choice.
  • If your little pup has an accident, try to blot as much of the liquid as possible as quickly as possible (hand towels are generally more effective than paper towels). Then, apply a little baking soda and vinegar or some hydrogen peroxide or a commercially made pet-stain remover to the affected area, let it sit for a while, and then blot up the cleaning solution. Just be sure to spot test a small, inconspicuous spot with either choice before saturating a large area.

5 Best Rugs for Homes with Dogs

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.

1. Maxy Home Decorative Area Rugs

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.

Price: $$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Very short pile makes it quick and easy to vacuum the rug
  • Inherently stain, fade and wear-resistant
  • Available in 17 attractive color patterns

PROS: Unlike many of the other rugs that are suitable for use with pets, Maxy Home Area Rugs are pretty affordable. While they are designed to be stain-resistant and easy to wash, you can take a little bit of comfort knowing that you won’t have to spend a fortune to replace the rug if it becomes ruined.

CONS: The Maxy Home Area Rug is made from olefin, which is not the best material for homes with pets, but because it is stain- and bacteria-resistant, it may be an acceptable choice for homes harboring very well trained dogs, who are unlikely to soil it.

Sizes: Available in three sizes: 3’3” x 5’, 5’ x 7’ and 7’10” x 9’10”

2. A2Z Rug Cozy Shaggy Collection

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.

Price: $$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Will not stain, fade or shed and is easy to vacuum or spot-clean
  • Made from 100% polypropylene pile with a cotton backing
  • Available in 22 great-looking colors

PROS: Most of those who purchased this product found it quite soft and comfortable, yet it remained easy to clean. In fact, even owners of long-haired dogs typically found it easy to keep the A2Z Shaggy Rug clean. Most owners were extremely pleased with the color and appearance of the rug as well.

CONS: Because this carpet features a deep pile, it isn’t an ideal option for dogs who shed frequently or are prone to chewing on things. Additionally, because it is only available in solid colors, it isn’t great at hiding dirt, hair and stains. Additionally, the rug lacks a non-slip backing, so you’ll want to purchase a rug mat separately.

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.

3. Corrigan Studio Salt and Pepper Area Rug

corrigan dog friendly rug

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.

Price: $$$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Salt-and-pepper color pattern works very well for camouflaging shed hair and dirt
  • This rug comes in rectangular, round and oval shapes to suit just about any space you have available
  • Handmade from very durable polypropylene fibers to ensure it lasts for years

PROS: Most customers simply love the Corrigan Studio Salt and Pepper Area Rug. Several reviewers commented that the color pattern helped to hide dirt and most also loved the soft feel of the rug. In general, complaints were quite rare, and generally only applied to the color.

CONS: You’ll pay a little more for the Corrigan Studio Area Rug than you will for any of the others in our review, but the quality of the product is simply unmatched. Unfortunately, the Corrigan Studio rug is only available in one color pattern, which means it is only a good choice for some decors.

Sizes: Available in 14 sizes, ranging from 3’ x 5’ to 8’ 6” x 11’ 6”

4. Mercury Row Artemis Aqua Area Rug

mercury rug for dogs

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.

Price: $$$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Fire-retardant construction provides enhanced safety for you and your family (including your four-footer)
  • Power-loomed construction ensures excellent quality and durability
  • Unfinished back looks similar to the front

PROS: Most customers raved about the appearance and quality of the Mercury Row Area Rug, but perhaps the best thing about it is how easy it is to clean. You can simply take it outside and hose it down with cold water, and then let it sit out in the sun to dry (be sure to flip it over periodically so that both sides dry).

CONS: Some customers were slightly disappointed that the color displayed on their computer monitor did not perfectly match the product once it arrived, but this can happen with any area rug. Even those customers who complained about this problem still found it to be quite attractive.

Sizes: Available in 26 different sizes, ranging from 2’ 2” x 4’ to 12’ x 18’

5. Mercer41 Currey Outdoor Area Rug

mercer rug for dogs

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.

Price: $$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Power-loom construction used in the manufacture of the rug
  • Made from long-lasting polypropylene for extra durability
  • Available in five different color options to match any home’s décor
  • Round, rectangular and square footprints make it applicable for a variety of situations

PROS: Most owners simply loved the Mercer41 Outdoor Area Rug. Many reviewers were very happy with the color pattern, as well as the feel of the carpet underfoot – particularly for a rug with such a short pile. Several customers also noted the ease with which various spills came right out with a little carpet cleaner.

CONS: Despite the durability of the Mercer41 Outdoor Area Rug, the manufacturer recommends having it professionally cleaned, which may be a problem for owners with dogs, who may need to have it cleaned frequently. Additionally, like several of the other rugs in our review, this one should be used with a rug pad to prevent it from sliding around.

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.

About the Author Ben Team

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.

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