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Can you have a rug that’s both fashionable and pet-friendly? You don’t have to sacrifice beauty for function when it comes to rugs! There are a plethora of options available that will add interesting elements of texture, colour, and eye-catching aesthetics to your home while still being durable enough to withstand the clawing, gnawing, scratching, spilling, and accidents of all kinds that come with living with pets. In this handy guide, we will walk through some simple considerations when choosing a rug that can be enjoyed by both ourselves and our furry friends.
Ultimately, your search should boil down to these three considerations:
First, let’s look at the big no-no’s:
Pile refers to the soft, small threads projecting out from your carpet. High-pile rugs like shags can add great texture and comfort to your living room or bedroom—and cozy little nook for our pets (a shag can sometimes feel even furrier than our pets)—but they are notoriously difficult to clean. Steer away from shags if you have pets or small children—think of all the gunk that can get lodged in between those long, fluffy threads as well as how easy and fun it would be to pull on them! If you insist on a shag, however, a high-pile in wool would still be cozy, but much easier to keep clean than a synthetic.
Jute and sisal are natural fibres derived from plants, which translates into an eco-friendly, high quality material. They offer rich natural tones that lend a relaxed boho feel to any living space. Any dry earth and hair from your pet’s paws and fur would be very easy to clean off from a jute or sisal rug, however if your pet has an accident on it—it’s ruined. Further, during playtime, the pet’s nails can pull up the large weave of the yarn and ruin the rug. One redeeming feature of jute and sisal is that even if the rug were to be ruined in this manner, depending on the location of the pull or stain on the rug, it could be beautifully layered with another rug on top.
Depending on the construction of the rug, some (i.e. hand-knotted rugs) will have a natural fringe that is inseparable from the rug itself, and others (i.e. hand-tufted) may have a fringe added on for beauty’s sake. Whether you love them or hate them, your dog or cat will most certainly adore the fringe or tassels—they make such tempting chew points!
No matter how much you trust your pets or children, accidents will inevitably occur. Your strapping young dog will eventually grow old with a weak bladder, and your little angel in the crib will turn into a curious toddler. Take whatever precautions you will, the costliest heirloom rug in the house will eventually fall victim to an accident of some sort! In other words, skip the pricy, valuable rugs and look for something more practical.
Now that we know what to avoid, what should we be seeking out, exactly?
There is a reason why the majority of Persian rugs are made of wool: a natural fibre, wool produces quality, durable, easy-to-clean, vacuum-friendly rugs that are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to stains and moisture. Wool fibres won’t lose their shape when washed.
Washable rugs launder easily at home, meaning a quick toss in the washing machine and a line dry can make them fresh and clean. Some come in two-pieces (a non-slip rug pad with a washable rug cover), and others in one-piece with an integrated non-slip backing. They combine stylishness with convenience.
Don’t let the the term “synthetic” throw you off: synthetic rugs can meet your home décor needs to a tee! Nylon, Polypropylene, acrylic, and polyester are popular synthetic rug materials because they are generally weather- and water-resistant, and oftentimes stain- and fade-resistant. They don’t absorb liquids so they are not prone to stains. They are ideal for high-traffic areas and are generally a more affordable option to natural fibres.
Built to weather the elements, outdoor rugs are durable, cleanable, mold-resistant, and won’t fade in the sun. But outdoor rugs can actually be used indoors! Paired with fun, fashionable patterns, they are an excellent pet-friendly choice. These rugs can withstand wear and tear, and their fringe-free, low-pile construction which means your pet won’t have anything to chew on or claw at. Give them a good shake and voila!—they are clean! Many are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), part of the polyester family, which is a recycled and easily recyclable plastic that offer superior stain resistance, durability, strength, static-resistance, and fashionability—all from recycled soda bottles!
Interestingly, choosing a rug that both we and our pets love is a win-win: it may seem counter-intuitive, but if you find a rug that Fido and Kitty like to nap on, the probability of an accident is greatly reduced as dogs and cats tend to have a natural aversion to peeing where they sleep!
Which rugs have worked for you and your pet-friendly home? Let us know in the comments below!