We love our pets but hate the havoc they wreak on our carpets. Even the most adorable and well-behaved fur babies have accidents from time to time. The keys to protecting your home are quickly tending to accidents, spot-treating and following these 10 pet-friendly carpet maintenance tips.
Vacuuming regularly is suggested for all carpeted homes to increase air quality but is that much more important to do so when pets occupy your home. Vacuuming regularly removes dirt, dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other microscopic organisms that contribute to poor air quality. Vacuuming often, at least 2-3 times a week, will reduce pet hair and dirt buildup. Large clumps of pet hair can clog your vacuum.
Pro Tip: use a rubber-bristled carpet rake to remove hair clumps by hand prior to vacuuming.
Don’t Forget the Furniture!
Even if your pet is not allowed the privilege of sitting on your furniture, hair and dirt can travel and land on furniture by air or shaking. Any dirt or hair on the furniture will inevitably make its way to the floor. Therefore, when vacuuming the carpet, be sure to remove hair by vacuum or pet tools from your furniture, too. Additionally, pet beds and towels are hair magnets. Wash these weekly to avoid transfer to your furniture and carpets.
Designated Pet Areas
For pets that continue to have accidents or that are potty training, consider confining them to areas in the home without carpet while you are away.
Protect your carpets and your pets’ health by watching what they eat. Many pet foods are made with artificial flavors and colors. Those colors may stain your carpet if regurgitated or eaten over your carpets. Not only should you monitor what your pet eats, but where it eats. For easy clean up, keep water and food dishes in rooms without carpet.
Clean Eating Areas
To avoid hair, dirt and liquid transfer from pet eating/drinking areas to your carpets, clean bowls thoroughly and weekly. Additionally, it would be wise to mop the floor beneath pet dishes weekly.
Dirt, mud and grime are easily tracked in and transferred to your carpets when pets exit and re-enter your home. Placemats with thick rubber lining at each exit/entrance to your home to catch dirt and keep towels nearby to gently remove dirt from pets’ paws.
Add Area Rugs and Runners
Not only will area rugs or runners decorate your home, but they will protect your carpet from high-trafficked areas. These rugs will catch dirt hair and pet dander; are easy to clean; and are cost-effective. If ruined, area rugs or runners are much easier and affordable to replace rather than your carpet in its entirety.
Regularly Groom Pets
A good rule of thumb: the cleaner the pet, the cleaner your carpet. By grooming pets often, less pet hair and dander will be transferred to your carpet. In addition to bathing and nail clippings, this includes brushing your pets’ hair (dogs, yes but cats, too!) often.
Accidents Happen; Act Quickly!
Removing pet stains quickly, while they are still wet, will protect your carpet from further damage and odor. Once larger pieces of the accident are removed, use paper towels are cloths to blot remaining liquid stain. Then work a carpet cleaner or a carpet-safe home remedy into your carpet, careful to avoid scrubbing. Sprinkle with baking soda, let sit, then vacuum to remove any odors.
Schedule Professional Cleanings
Routine carpet cleanings will properly treat and remove pet stains and prolong the life of your carpets.