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The Truth about Cats, Dogs and Carpets

Posted by on Dec. 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM
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If your pet has free run of your home you're going to find that it's harder to keep that home clean than it would be without the pet. All of life is a trade off and pet owners generally accept the mess in exchange for the joy they bring. At times however, the issue is brought home and never more so than when you buy a new carpet, it might not be a problem in the bedroom but it's a different matter in the lounge. The chances are you don't want to ban your pet from the living room, but neither do you want to see your precious new acquisition ruined.

What Exactly are the Problems?

There are three ways in which pets are tough on carpets, there's the extra dirt they bring in, fur and hair shedding, and the 'other' messes that pets sometimes leave behind themselves. So, how can you minimise the risk of damage in each of these areas?

Dirt and Mud

This tends to be more of a dog problem than a cat one. Cats generally dislike being dirty and they'll clean their own paws, dogs in contrast seem to love being muddy. Dogs are also often a fair bit bigger than cats, so they carry more dirt and mud in. The best way to deal with this is to ensure that you dog gets its paws cleaned before coming onto the carpet. You can either do this by cleaning them yourself, or, believe it or not, you can train your dog to wipe or wash its own feet. Contrary to the saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks! Teaching your dog to clean its paws really could cut down on the amount of time you spend carpet cleaning in the future. There are lots of videos on the internet and many articles too that describe how to do this, so check some of them out if you'd like to give it a try.

Fur and Hair

Regular grooming of both dogs and cats will minimise the amount of fur that's likely to be shed onto the carpet and most pets enjoy the fuss. Again, pets can be trained to accept the process even if they don't like it. It's impossible to eliminate shedding altogether however, unless you've chosen one of the non-shedding breeds, changing your pet to make life easier on the carpet is hardly practical. You can however consider the sort of carpet you'll be buying if you share your home with pets.

The Right Type of Carpet

Look for something that's treated for stain resistance and of a tight weave, cut pile is recommended over loop as it's lest likely to be torn up by claws. Nylon is more durable than wool and avoid deep piles where the hair can work its way into the carpet. Finally, unless you want to spend all your life vacuuming choose a patterned rather than a plain carpet.

Pets who Mess on the Carpet

You'll keep a puppy or kitten away from a new carpet until you know they're house-trained and trustworthy but sometimes an older pet has an accident. If the accidents are occurring frequently take you pet to the vet to get it checked out as this could be a sign of a health problem.

Sometimes it's not an accident, both dogs and cats will use urine to mark their territory and sadly your new carpet is particularly vulnerable to this behaviour. It just doesn't smell the same as the old one and your pet is feeling the need to correct this. Neutered animals are less likely to territory mark than un-neutered ones and again there are training techniques that can be used to discourage this behaviour.

You'll want to clean any animal mess from your carpet immediately. When you do so make sure the carpet cleaner you select is odourless, as a scented or perfumed cleaner is likely to attract your cat or dog back to the spot. Professional carpet cleaners may have specialist products for removing pet urine and you can also buy suitable cleansers from good pet stores.

by on Dec. 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM
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