One of the main factors in choosing flooring is your pets. You love your furry friends dearly, but between dirt, scratches, spills, and other issues, they can cause serious wear and tear on your floors over time. Carpets in particular can lead to a number of problems. Here’s what you do and don’t want when it comes to pet friendly carpets.

What You Don’t Want

You’ll want to avoid looped carpet fibers, as your pet’s nails can snag on them. This can lead to a torn carpet, and unsightly gashes across your floor. But even worse than that, your pet’s nail itself can tear if it gets caught in a loop, which is painful and may require emergency medical attention.

Carpet with a high pile can also be problematic. Higher pile can trap pet hair, particularly during shedding season. It also retains pet dander and any dirt your pet may track around. Not only does this make the carpet more difficult to keep clean, it can also cause problems for any allergy sufferers in your home. 

Finally, you should stay away from any carpet materials that include Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs). These materials can be harmful to your pet, as well as to your family, causing irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Look for a carpet that bears the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label, certifying that it has lower levels of VOCs and is environmentally friendly.

What You Do Want

Find a carpet with cut fibers, which won’t snag like loops. Nylon is a great material, as it’s durable and will stand up to a lot of foot traffic, particularly from pets’ nails. Get low pile carpet as well, which won’t trap pet hair, dander, and dirt as easily. This makes it easier to keep clean, and better for your allergies.

As far as maintenance goes, many carpets are treated with stain resistant material, to keep them safe from spills and general dirt. This makes cleanup a lot easier, and allows your carpet to continue looking good, even after a lot of wear and tear from your pets. An odor resistant treatment can be helpful as well, to keep your carpet from retaining bad smells from your pet.

Carpet color choice can be helpful in this matter as well. If your pets’ hair is darker, than a dark carpet color can help to hide it, as well as making dirt and stains less noticeable. Unfortunately, if your pet is a lighter color, their fur will stand out more on a dark carpet—and dirt and stains will stand out more on a lighter carpet color. A nice neutral color makes for a good balance in most situations, and the right pattern can help hide dirt as well.

These are the main concerns to be aware of when it comes to your pets and your carpeting. Your animals make as much use of the carpet as you do, if not more, so their comfort and safety should be one of your main concerns. Talk to your local flooring expert and let them help you choose a carpet that meets both your and your pets’ needs.