If you're a pet owner, you embrace all that comes with having a furry friend as part of the family. You enjoy the companionship and personality of an animal, but you also have to accept the realities of potty accidents, shedding, spills, and dirt. It might seem like keeping a clean house with a dog or cat is impossible, especially with carpeting. However, with some simple care and maintenance tips, you should be able to have beautiful carpeting and a happy pet.
1. Invest in a powerful vacuum.
A basic, cheap vacuum will not be able to handle the hair from shedding pets, especially because you'll also need to clean furniture and other upholstered surfaces regularly. Look for a vacuum that is rated for cleaning up pet hair.
Clean out your vacuum filters often to ensure maximum suction. If possible, try to vacuum daily. This prevents hair from getting ground down into carpet fibers. Once hair is caked into carpet, it becomes much harder to remove it.
2. Get serious about housebreaking.
Hair is not the only threat to your carpet. Pets who live indoors can have accidents, especially if they have health problems or if they are young and still learning. When you get a new pet, start house training as soon as possible. If you put it off, you'll have trouble breaking the habit of a dog or cat going on the carpet instead of going outside.
Accidents will still happen, especially at first. You should stock up on a good urine cleaner. Don't just use a household cleanser or carpet cleanser. You should use a cleaner made specifically to break down urine so that it loses its smell. You should also have a powder that lifts liquid out of the carpet and allows you to vacuum it up, instead of scrubbing at a spot with a rag, as this can just push particles down further into the carpet fibers.
3. Create "safe" areas for new or visiting pets.
To help protect your carpet during house training, try and keep your pet in safer areas until they become more reliable about going to the bathroom. For example, you might gate off your kitchen and make that the place where you dog has access to food, water, and his or her crate. After your dog has learned to potty outdoors, you can expand the perimeter to carpeted areas. Visiting pets can also use the safe space until they learn where the doors are and what it is like in the new space.
4. Choose pet-friendly carpet.
Some carpets are better suited for pets. For example, a low-pile carpet that has a high stain resistance is great for pets because these carpets are made from synthetic materials that will not discolor from accidents. Without long fibers, hair is less likely to get caught and stuck, making cleanup with a vacuum more effective.
You can also talk to your flooring company about having your carpets protected with a product like Scotch Guard, will helps to prevent liquids from soaking into the carpet, reducing the likelihood of stains.
5. Have your carpets professionally cleaned.
Pet owners should have their carpets professionally shampooed more often than non-pet owners. Invest in this service at least twice a year, but if you notice wear and dirt discoloration, you can get it done even more often. For in-between cleaning, you might want to get a personal steam cleaner to remove dander and small stains.
6. Properly groom your pet.
Finally, grooming helps to prevent damage to carpeting. Your pet's nails, for example, can pull at carpeting and make it look frizzy and worn. If nails are well-trimmed, the chance of damage is reduced. Brushing your cat or dog on a regular basis reduces shedding, which in turn reduces the hair on your carpet.
Contact a flooring company like LTA Flooring for additional advice.