Shopping for an area rug when you have pets can be a challenge. Some people think rugs and pets don’t mix, but it’s really a matter of choosing the best rug type and material for your home. Before you shop for a rug, ask yourself a few questions:
- What type of pets do you have, and how many?
- If you have a dog, is it a puppy or a mature dog?
- Do you have a long-haired or heavy shedding breed?
- Does your pet go outside and track in mud and dirt?
- What color is your pet?
Consider Your Pet When Rug Shopping:
If you have a puppy, or an elderly dog prone to accidents, smaller area rugs that are easy to clean are very practical. Cotton rugs like dhurries and chindi rugs can be washed at home and hung to dry. Outdoor rugs are excellent too – often made of recycled PET fiber, they can be laundered or hosed off outside.
Cats love to scratch and stretch, so you’ll want to avoid rug textures that are thick and nubby, and any natural fibers like jute or sisal. Very flat rugs, like kilims, and soft pile rugs are much less appealing for a good scratch.
One of the tricks interior designers use to minimize the mess from pets is to match furnishings and rugs to a pet’s color. It doesn’t have to be an exact match – but if cat and rug are both gray, you won’t have to chase down every stray hair. If you’ve ever had a dark sofa and light colored pet, this idea makes perfect sense! Busy patterns help hide paw prints too.
Shop: Sapporo Persian Bazaar
Even if you can’t match your pet’s color, you can still hide the fur by avoiding the sharp contrast between light fur and a dark rug, or vice-versa. Mingled and busy patterns are helpful too – fur and footprints show up too easily on a solid background. This rug with an abstract design and medium color palette forgives a multitude of sins:
If you have pets that go outside and track in dirt (think rambunctious retrievers) then stronger color and pattern is a big help. In old English country homes it was common to use leopard-spotted carpet, since there were always dogs running about! If you have active dogs, look for a mix of medium and deep colors, with a bold pattern and mingled design:
Synthetic Rugs Are Best With Pets
Synthetic fibers like polypropylene are durable and cleanable, so they’re the perfect rugs for heavy traffic areas like family rooms. Choose low-pile designs so tracked-in dirt will vacuum up easily. While professional cleaning is best, synthetic rugs are easy to clean yourself (use a cleaning machine designed for home use). If you have pets, vacuuming a couple of times a week will reduce how often you need to shampoo a rug, and extend its life.