Four-Legged Foot Traffic: Tips to Help your Pets and Rugs Coexist

Pets can be a pretty tough on a home. More specifically, pets can be tough on area rugs. Wear and tear, scratching, fur build up, accidents, and dirt are just a few of the difficulties associated with pet ownership. But people are not going to give up their furry friends that easily. So that begs the question, how does someone own a pet AND keep their rugs from being embarrassing blemishes in their home?

cat and rug

First things first, let’s talk materials. The first assumption when picking out a pet friendly rug might be to grab a rug made from synthetic fibers. In some respects this makes sense because synthetic fibers do pretty well at wicking away moisture and they are resistant to mold and mildew. The problem is that rugs with synthetic fibers do not typically have a very dense pile meaning all the dirt, grime, fur, etc. can really work their way deep into the pile of your rug. That is not exactly an ideal situation when you go to clean the rug. Wool, which seems to be the answer to every question in the rug world, is probably your best material option for a pet-friendly rug. Wool is naturally stain resistant and it holds dirt near the top of the rug pile, which prevents it from being ground deep into the fibers. One drawback to wool is that it can attract pet hair, but the aforementioned dense pile will make vacuuming that hair pretty easy.

It is also important to know the tendencies and needs of your specific pet. A sisal rug may work just fine for a dog owner. As long as the rug stays dry, the fibers will resist dinge and dirt. But cat owners should reconsider this rug material. What would you guess is a common material used in cat scratching posts? Yup, sisal. Cats are very likely to turn your beautiful accent rug into an expensive scratching pad if it is made from sisal fibers.


Choosing the right style of rug can make a big difference in a pet owner’s home. I’m not talking about appealing to your pet’s penchant for interior design. I’m talking about picking rug patterns and designs that will help to disguise the fur that is inevitably going to get on your rug. Bright color palettes and intricate patterns can help to make the fur not stand out instead of showing off every single strand. You may think a solid dark colored rug will hide the dirt and fur but in reality that lack of color diversity is going to really highlight all the impurities that have accumulated. Picking the right color scheme and motif will ensure that the occasional vacuuming will be all it takes to keep your rug looking clean.

pet rug bed

Rug can make any space more comfortable. Because pets spend much of their time lying on the floor, a rug can be a great way to give your pet a comfy place to nap. It is important to note that if a rug is the most relaxing option your pet has, then the rug is where your pet will be sleeping. So if you have, say, a very expensive hand knotted New Zealand wool rug or an Indian made silk rug, you may want to provide a pet bed. Dogs especially can leave a worn spot where they’ve been sleeping due to their habit of repeatedly circling before lying down to sleep. If you are buy your rug, in part, to be a comfy spot for your pet, great. If you do not want your pet sleeping on the rug, make sure they have a better option.

Pets and rugs can co-exist, there is just a little more preparation and planning involved. If you pick the right material and pattern and are sure to vacuum regularly, you’ll be able to keep your rug from looking like it was made from your pet’s fur. Enjoy your rug, enjoy your pet’s company, and be sure to share this guide with others on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. One more thing, enjoy these pet shaming pictures…

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