Pets – they keep us warm at night, raise our spirits when we’re feeling down, and protect us from all the bumps in the night. Unfortunately, they also destroy carpet at an alarming rate. So, what is a pet-loving home owner to do? Well, you could tear out your carpeting and install highly durable, and stylish hardwood flooring. However, there’s something very comforting about carpet and having it in at least a few rooms can really add a cozy feel to a home. With that in mind, here are some carpeting tips for pet owners that should allow you to keep your carpet and your pet.
A major concern for pet owners is the damage and possible future health risk that can result from pet accidents on the carpet. Moisture can cause bacteria and mold to grow, which is an even bigger problem than the original mess. Plus, as pointed out by the Humane Society “As long as your pet can smell his personal scent, he’ll continue to return to the ‘accident zone’.” The site recommends soaking up as much of the stain as possible with a layer of paper towels and then newspapers (and newspaper under the stain too, if possible). You then walk around on the pile for a minute or so to help the paper absorb the liquid. After, the area needs to be rinsed with cool, clean water and blotted again or dried with a wet vac.
Often, pet accidents occur for only a short time while training or during a time of stress. If accidents are an ongoing issue for your pet there are other options. If you have an accident-prone pet but still want carpet in your home, HowStuffWorks suggests that you “consider carpet tiles, which make replacing damaged sections of the carpet easier.” There are also some carpets made specifically for pet owners. These kinds of flooring block moisture from seeping into the carpet padding, where the liquid may be retained and cause further problems.
The accumulation of pet hair is another big issue for those who have both pets and carpet. Allergy sufferers have even more reason to be concerned about pet hair buildup in carpeting, as it can really exacerbate their issues. Fortunately, a lot people have come up with their own pet hair removal methods, many of which have the same basic principle.
Typically, the idea is to first loosen the hair from the carpet and then vacuum it up. Loosening the hair can be done in numerous ways. Lifehacker.com suggests rubbing a squeegee (yes, like you use to clean windows) over the carpet to pull the hair up to the surface. You can also try a damp sponge mop or practically anything else with a rubbery texture. Alternately, there is carpet on the market that’s manufactured to release pet hair easily.
Cats especially love to scratch at carpeting. Their intention is not to destroy your lovely new flooring; scratching is an instinctual habit and one that helps them shed their old claw layers. So, what kind of carpet stands up best to this need to scratch? TheNest.comsuggests avoiding looped carpets as the loops can easily get snagged and become worn down and unsightly over time. They further advise that higher piles will often wear slower, but it is important to keep in mind that these kinds of carpet often hold onto more hair than lower pile options.
As you can see, when shopping for new flooring it’s important to consider the needs of the whole family, pets included. The more thought you put into the decision ahead of time, the longer it will be before you have to make those choices again. Choose wisely and you, your pet, and your carpeting can coexist happily for many years to come.