Many of us are pets lovers but keeping animals in the house and ensuring our carpets remain looking their best do not always go hand-in-hand.
Some people are tempted to give up, and simply choose hard flooring instead, finding it easier to maintain when animals are about. But for those who do like to feel the soft warmth of a carpet under foot, there are options.
Think About Colour
The colour of your carpet is perhaps the first place to start. This will need to tie in with your overall colour scheme while also being a sensible option with your pets.
Firstly, think about the animal traffic in and out of the room you are designing. Will you have pets – particularly dogs – that might, despite your best intentions, be coming in and out with muddy paws.
If so, you will have to go for a darker shade – try blacks, chocolate browns or even deep terracottas.
Next, you need to consider co-ordinating your pet with your home! Having a carpet that is constantly covered in obvious animal hair results in a lot of work with the vacuum cleaner.
If you have a long-haired dog, cat or even rabbit with dark hair, then do not lay a light carpet.
Similarly, white or grey hairs will be far more noticeable on a darker carpet. To overcome the problem of grubby paw prints from a light-coloured animal, choose a patterned or multi-coloured carpet.
With regard to wear and tear, always take advice from your carpet retailer or manufacturer – and remember that you do tend to get what you pay for.
Find out what level of guarantee comes with the flooring, this should give you an indicator of how long it is expected to last. The longer, the better.
Also consider the Pile on the Carpet. Although long pile may be warmer and more comfortable underfoot, choosing a shorter pile may wear better and less likely to encounter paw damage. Look for a non-looped pile as this is likely to pull on nails and to be loosened by playful cats.
If you have a puppy or kitten and are worried about house training stains, then once again take advice from your supplier.
Some carpets have been treated with special chemicals and therefore come with a certain degree of built-in protection.
These carpets come in a range of twists, piles and colours, so you should be able to find something that broadly meets your design needs. If not, research just how easy it will be to clean the carpet you really desire, should the worst happen.
Some carpets, such as those made from man-made mixes, will be more suitable for Home Cleaning with a vacuum, gentle rubbing or carpet shampoo. Others, such as those made from natural fibres, will need more careful handling.
Finally, there are a few people who despite their animal allergies just cannot resist keeping a pet or two. While many of these owners will opt for hard flooring in a bid to be able to keep their home hair-free, others many still wish to have carpets.
Options for those householders would be to have as short a pile carpet as possible or to have the carpet cleaned with a product that works to break down pet allergens.