First of all, you will be aware that carpet is manufactured with either a cut pile or a loop pile. Dogs, cats and loop pile carpet do not go well together.
If they decide to chew or scratch at the looped pile, particularly around the room perimeter, they are likely to catch an end thread and it will run. Then your carpet is ruined. I’ve known that to happen within hours of a new carpet being laid.
I’ve also known a home-owners Great Dane to enter the house once the carpet fitter had finished and left the house, only to vomit green chewed-up couch grass onto the nice new carpet!
Second, wool fibre carpet is not really suited to regular pet accidents, so avoid a wool carpet if you are concerned about long term care and maintenance.
What’s Best For Pets?
Here are my quick and simple pet lover’s tips for a practical easy-care carpet:
1. Polypropylene Fibre
Always buy a polypropylene (olefin) pile carpet which will usually be stain resistant and is often guaranteed by the manufacturer to be bleach proof. This means that you can use bleach based cleaners on any difficult stain, without fear of taking the colour out of the carpet. Polypropylene is the least absorbent of all man made fibres. This means that any wet spill or liquid stain will sit on the surface of the fibre: it cannot soak into it.
2. Cut Pile not Loop Pile
A loop pile carpet will run or ‘unzip’ if one of the loops is caught. Cats like to play with loose fibres or scratch at the bottom step of a staircase and they will pull a loop pile carpet to shreds, if given the chance! Dogs will often scratch at the floor asking to get out when left alone. They will easily pull a loop pile carpet to shreds with their claws.
The simple answer to these surface pile problems is to buy a cut-pile carpet. Each tuft of a cut-pile carpet is an individual structure and will not affect the surrounding tuft if it is pulled on.
3. Gel Back Carpet
Make sure to buy a compressed gel back or water proof backing as part of your carpet. A gel backed carpet is water resistant; some are even water proof, so cleaning up liquid spills is made easier. If necessary, scrubbing and soaking to remove a stubborn stain will not usually harm the carpets construction. Just bear in mind that you will need to allow for drying-out time. There is a large choice of gel back carpet available, so they will not be difficult to find.
So, when shopping for your next pet friendly carpet, make sure to ask your retailer for a cut-pile, polypropylene fibre, gel back carpet and you will find it much easier to cope with pet dog and cat ‘events’ in the house.
Always check with the carpet retailer that the carpet you are buying has a stain proof guarantee. Many of the polypropylene ranges have a ten year guarantee (some even lifetime) against staining.
Beware though, some manufacturers restrict their stain-proof guarantees to food and beverage stains only, so always check the small print or get the retailer to do it for you.
If you must buy a nylon (polyamide) carpet make sure it is a good quality fibre with a soil retardant treatment and comes with a stain resistant guarantee.