Design Dilemma: Best Rugs for Pet Owners | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Best Rugs for Pet Owners

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Cat and dog owners have a lot of strategic thinking to do when it comes to choosing a carpet or area rug. Pick the wrong rug, and you’re sure to see a pricey investment succumb quickly to cat clawing, dog hair, and of course, those unavoidable puking episodes. Inside of a week, your bright new rug will look as dirty, ragged and worn as your dog’s favorite rawhide bone.

On the other hand, choose the right rug and you’ll be amazed and grateful for easy maintenance and good looks that resist the worst rigors that your pet has to offer.


Go for a patterned rug.

A patterned rug can hide a multitude of sins, including housebreaking mistakes, gastrointestinal distress, and fur balls. The busier and more detailed the pattern, the better your rug will be at hiding stains and dirt. (Which is why so many hotels feature patterned rugs).

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Over the years, I’ve found that the absolute best rug for hiding stains and pet fur are traditional Persian rugs. They’ve got pattern and color, they are exceptionally well-made out of resistant wool, and they don’t look cheap. A relatively tight weave means that many Persians will stand up well to cat’s claws.  The rug below, for example, couldn’t be a better match for a white lab. It’s got plenty of color and pattern to hide stains, but it’s also got some whites mixed in, which will hide stray fur.

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Here are a couple of other good choices:

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Choose your base carpet color based on the fur color of your pet.
This seems almost obvious, but it’s something that many pet owners ignore. If you have a black lab, you should avoid that white flokati rug. If you have a white dog, forget the black carpet. Below, a cream cowhide rug is a practical choice for the owners of a cream dog.

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Consider cowhide. And speaking of cowhide, it turns out there could be no better choice of rug for pet owners, and particularly cat owners concerned about cat clawing. Cowhides can be brushed free of pet fur easily. They can be easily washed and are pretty resistant to stains.

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Consider shagShag could be a good option if you’re looking for a rug that will hide lots of stray hair. The gray rug below would be perfect for a gray shaggy dog or gray Persian cat. The down side of shag is that it can be more difficult to vacuum and is likely to trap dirt.

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Indulge in the trend of the moment, especially if it’s a Moroccan beni qurain rug.

These rugs are chic and beautiful, but in general, white and light rugs do not work well for pet owners. Vomit and urine stains, mud tracked in from outdoors, or just general dirt is likely to quickly sully the look of these rugs.

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Avoid sisal and jute if you’re a cat owner. Many cats are especially attracted to just this sort of texture when it comes to clawing, which is why jute is frequently used on cat scratching posts. If you own a cat, you’re much better off with a flat-weave kilim. So, not this:

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But this:

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So let’s summarize:

Pet owners would be wise to choose colorful, patterned rugs with a tight weave. Both low-pile Persians and flat-weave kilims work very well in homes with pets. Pet owners should stay away from white rugs, light-colored flokatis, Moroccan beni qurains, and in general, any light, solid colored rug. Dark solid-colored rugs should also be avoided if your pet’s fur is white or very light. Unless you can vacuum on a daily basis, you’ll want to choose a rug that more or less matches your pet’s fur, rather than contrasts. Wool rugs are often of higher quality, and generally seem to stand up better to the punishment your pet will mete out.

Keep these simple guidelines in mind, and you’ll see that you end up with a rug that will look good and last for years, with very little maintenance and plenty of pleasure for you and your pet.

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