A Pet Owner’s Guide to the Best Carpet for Animals


After you bring a pet into your home, your life will never be the same. In addition to having a brand new live-in best friend, you also have a new four-legged creature to clean up after and train. That means your carpeting will take the brunt of brand new stains, scratching, and pet-related odors.

In terms of durability and stain-resistance, either nylon or polyester carpeting would be best for a home with animals. High-pile carpeting is recommended in homes where cats or dogs scratch or pull at the carpet. And, dark-colored carpet is ideal if your dog or cat sheds a lot of hair.

If your goal is to keep your home looking presentable once you bring home a furry friend, you might want to think about getting new home carpeting. So, we’re going to be reviewing the different types and colors of carpets that work best for pets and what you can do as a homeowner to keep your carpet clean!

The Best Type of Carpet for Pets

The actual type of carpet is perhaps most important when you have pets roaming around your home. After all, you want your carpet to last for years and be able to withstand just about any amount of pet claws and stains.

The most durable type of carpet for pets has to be nylon. It’s known for being extremely durable and won’t pull every time your beloved cat has the urge to scratch, or your dog decides to go for a sprint around the house. Moreso, Nylon is recognized as one of the most durable fabrics in the carpet industry1.

Nylon is also noted for being easy to clean and rather stain-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it being obvious that you have a home full of pets.

The second best type of carpet for pets would be polyester. This type of carpet is also highly-regarded for its ability to resist stains and fading over time 2. However, there is one major downside. Polyester carpet is known for shedding, which might only be intensified every time your dog or cat has playtime or the urge to scratch.

Which, by the way, will be often.

Avoiding Wool Carpet

Wool carpet is considered to be high-end and very luxurious with quite the hefty price tag. For the price you’re spending on wool carpet, you’re getting a soft and cushiony carpet that’s gentle for both children and pets.

Though wool is also stain-resistant and quite durable, it does have one major downside: It’s every insect’s dream.

The larvae of “carpet beetles” and small insects tend to burrow deep within your wool carpet, destroying your carpet while also exposing your animals to insects. In reality, many insects love wool3. This can cause an allergy in your cat or dog and an insane amount of scratching and itching. It also means that you’ll have to replace your expensive wool carpet even sooner than you expected.

Save yourself a little money and lean toward nylon or polyester.

Pile Height

Another thing you need to consider is the pile height, which is essentially how tall the carpet fibers are. Though low-pile carpet like Berber resists dirt and hair much better than high-pile, low-pile carpet is an absolute nightmare if you have a dog or a cat that likes to scratch.

That’s because low-pile carpet is made of a system of tightly-wound loops that are constructed of delicate fibers. When your claws of your animal pull, it essentially frays these fibers and ruins the appearance. 

Carpet with a higher pile would be a better choice, but you don’t necessarily have to go with a shag carpet. Just choose a pile height that’s not completely flat to the ground and doesn’t have the loop system similar to Berber carpet.

Coloring of Carpet

Whether your pets shed year-round or just during certain months or seasons, you know just how much loose pet hair can show on fabric, furniture, and carpeting. Dark carpet is generally seen as most effective at hiding animal hair (maybe not as much for yellow labs). Dark-colored carpet is even more effective if you have pets with darker hair.

The bonus that comes along with the dark-colored carpet is that you don’t have to vacuum near as much to get rid of the visible stray hairs. However, you might want to continue keeping up with vacuuming, especially during shedding season, or if you have pet allergies.

The downside is that light-colored pet hair might be even more visible on extremely dark carpeting. So, you don’t necessarily have to get black or dark blue carpet but choose something darker than a regular light beige.

Keeping Your Carpet Clean

Getting the perfect type of carpet, pile height, and even carpet color is a great way to guarantee the life span and appearance of your carpet, but it’s your responsibility to actually take care of your carpet. Here are some things you need to know about caring for your carpet when you live with animals.

Vacuuming

Whether you have a cat, dog, or any other type of animal living in your home, you want to make sure that you’re vacuuming several times per week. Every few days should be sufficient for removing pet hair, dandruff, and pet allergens.

To keep your carpets as fresh and clean as possible, you can invest in a tool like the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner. This type of vacuum is capable of picking up dirt, dust, and hair, but it’s also a functional carpet cleaner. That means it’ll actually use pet-safe shampoo on your carpet to remove any pet stains or messes. It’s an efficient all-in-one tool that filters your dry and wet messes for easy dumping.

Deodorizing

Even if you’re bathing your dog every single weekend, you know how smelly he can get. Simply drooling on your carpet after dinner time or having an accident can cause these liquids to seep into your carpet and release an unpleasant smell. It’s important that you deodorize your carpet to keep your home smelling fresh, especially when you have pets.

That means to stop focusing on air fresheners and purchase carpet deodorizing products like ANGRY ORANGE Pet Odor Eliminator Pet Spray instead. This particular product has a pleasant citrus scent and is rather powerful on any type of pet mess, including urine. Just spray it directly on your pet’s mess and get rid of that lingering scent of urine.

Removing Stains

Whether your pet is drooling, vomiting, or going to the bathroom on your carpet (yuck), the stains usually last much longer than the odor. As soon as you notice a pet stain on your carpet, it’s important that you use an enzyme cleaner to remove the stain as quickly as possible. Otherwise, that pet stain might just be there for good.

Tools like Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle are capable of being used on all types of flooring and actually tackles the enzymes associated with these pet messes head-on. In the process, your carpet should no longer sport an ugly stain and instead, have a nice ol’ mint scent.

All in All…

Whether you’re bringing home a new part or remodeling for an old one, the last thing you want to worry about is if your carpet is going to hold up from all the “great” things your pet will do to your carpet. Even if you have the most elaborate and luxurious carpet, there’s a decent chance that your cat or dog will still scratch it, cause stains, or leave stray hairs just about everywhere.

Your best bet is to get a higher pile nylon carpet with darker coloring. Also, take the initiative to keep your carpet clean through vacuuming, removing stains as soon as possible, and deodorizing frequently!

References

  1. Beyerlein, A. Nylon Fiber Facts. Clemson University,[1999](http://nylene. com/nylene_pdfs/clemson_university_report. pdf). Interviews with Anette Timmer-Larsen, Director Marketing, Communications & C2C, Rudi Daelmans, Director of Sustainability, and Willem Stas, Director of Operations at Desso
  2. Watson, S. A., & Warnock, M. M. (2003). Comparative analysis between recycled and newly manufactured carpets. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal31(4), 425-441.
  3. Powning, R. F. (1953). Studies on the Digestion of Wool by Insects VIII. the Significance of Certain Excretory Products of the Clothes Moth, Tineola Bisselliella, and the Carpet Beetle, Att Agenus Piceus. Australian journal of biological sciences6(1), 109-117.

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