It’s well known that pets can improve our mental and emotional wellbeing and general quality of life. But they can also make quite a mess. They can shed fur and bring in dirt and debris from outside. They increase the risk of pests like fleas. And of course, there’s always the chance of toilet accidents. All this can wreak havoc with your carpets.
So, how do you keep your carpets in pristine condition without forcing your pets to live outside?
Regular cleaning is key
Regular carpet cleaning can stop any major build-up of fur, dirt or debris. You should vacuum your carpets at least once a week. You want to vacuum up any visible hair before it becomes embedded in the carpet and any dirt before it gets ground into the pile.
Regular vacuuming can also stay on top of any insect problems. When you have pets, fleas are always a possibility. On top of that, your pets can bring in insects and insect larvae from outside, and these insects can quickly settle into your carpets and multiply. Regular and thorough vacuuming will help to take care of these insects before they can get a foothold.
And it’s not just about regularly cleaning your carpets. Regular pet washing and grooming is also important. This will remove any dirt, inspects and odours from your pets before they get transferred to your carpets. Be careful to not over-wash your pets, as they can develop skin conditions. Once every two to four weeks is suitable for most pets.
If your pet goes outside, make sure to wipe their paws before they come back in. Keep a towel near the door for this purpose. Lay a mat down too to get the worst of the dirt off their paws. You can even teach your pet to wait at the door until you’ve cleaned their feet.
Provide specific pet places
Another way to minimise the effects your pets have on your carpets is to provide them with dedicated places to lie or sleep that aren’t on the carpet. Pet baskets or blankets can be easily washed and will stop your carpets from becoming stained or pet-worn in particular places.
Properly clean any “accidents”
Your pet may have an accident if they’re still being housetrained, their routine has changed, they’re feeling unwell or they’re getting older. If this happens, don’t worry, your carpet can cope but it’s important to act quickly.
For pets that are still being housetrained, try to keep them out of carpeted areas until they reliably use a litter box or go outside. Once an area has been peed on, many pets will return to the same spot. Even if you can no longer smell the urine, your pet may be able to and may continue to use that same spot. They may become confused when you discipline them for peeing somewhere that already has that particular scent. This is why it’s so important to properly clean any soiled areas.
If your pet does have an accident, use a pet-friendly carpet cleaner to spot clean the area as soon as possible. Like any other stain, dab with a clean cloth from the outside of the stain to the inside to avoid spreading the mess.
To prevent your pet thinking this spot is now acceptable for toileting, you can also use a pet odour remover. Ensure the odour remover has enzymes – this is what breaks down the proteins that release the smell.
Once you are treating any underlying conditions your pet has, you can return your attention to your carpet. If spot cleaning and regular vacuuming is not working to remove stains and odours, call a professional cleaning service. They will be able to use specialist equipment to deal with any problems.
If your pet is frequently toileting on the carpet, speak to a veterinarian. There may be a medical condition that is causing your pet to lose control of their bladder or making it difficult for them to go outside.
There’s no reason you can’t have furry friends and clean carpet. All you need to do is take the time to prevent extra dirt and fur building up and to clean up accidents as soon as possible.