We love our pets some 78 million dogs and 86 million cats. Pets come at a price. We have the veterinarian bills, food, fencing, carriers, extra cleaning, leashes, toys, pet care when we are away, damages, on, and on, and on.  I am a professional carpet cleaner providing carpet cleaning in Portland, Oregon.  I mostly clean carpets and a big part of that work centers on the family’s furry friends or rather the carpets that the furry friends love. My day often revolves around pet urine odor removal or carpet damage repair done by pet claws or teeth.  Sometimes I catch a family in the process of changing carpet and they ask, “What kind of carpet would you recommend for me and our pets?”

If you can afford wool, I would not recommend that you buy it. Wool will attract your pets for reasons you won’t like. Pets seem to smell the sheep scent of the wool and want to compete with the sheep they have never seen, but can smell. Pets will scratch and defecate on wool or other natural fibers before doing so on man-made fibers. Wool absorbs more than synthetic fiber and is harder to clean. For wall to wall wool carpet pet urine causes permanent damage. Wool carpet cleaning is not difficult. If you have pets then I recommend that pet owners stick to nylon or olefin.

Stay away from the closed loop, Berber-style carpets. Pet claws can accidentally get caught on the loops and leave a snag. Cats have more accidents with the loops than their dog friends. Olefin carpet resists stains better than nylon; however, it is not as soft as nylon. In most circumstances nylon would probably be your best bet for a pet carpet.

Deep pile, dense, lush carpets and pets don’t mix. You can have carpeting and pets but you have to remain practical. Get something that you can easily clean and something that will not attract clawing. You might even consider some of the new modular carpet tiles. If you pet ruins a spot in the carpet, you can just pull it up and replace it with a new tile. But don’t worry professional carpet cleaners with carpet repair expertise, like me, can also repair your nylon carpet.

Some companies have started offering a carpet with a waterproof, secondary backing made from polyethylene that keeps pet urine from soaking into the padding.  Pet Agree ™ by Solutia is one such company offering this new backing. Ask your carpet retailer for it or similar products by name. One issue I have with this type of carpet padding is that it is still stapled to the floor and doesn’t have water-proof seams, so urine can underneath the pad create a difficult situation for drying.

I ran across an article about picking a pet carpet that has a couple more ideas that hadn’t occurred to me. They mentioned color. Pick a color of carpet that coordinates with your pet. No, it’s not about matching for style. It’s about your pet’s hair not showing after one walk through the house. Also choose a color that doesn’t show muddy footprints. Go with the carpets manufactured for stain resistance. Carpets have come a long way. The technology provides fibers that resist common stains within the fiber. You can have stain resistance without the danger of chemicals coming off on your pets or kids.

Hope this information is helpful. Until next time…Sean.