While pets bring a lot of joy and love into millions of homes, they take an enormous amount of looking after. Not only that, they often leave a lot of mess and dirt in their wake. A lot of dog owners in particular switch to hard flooring to make cleaning and maintenance faster and simpler — and miss out on the benefits of having a great carpet.
But with the right combination of preventative and cleaning methods, there’s no reason why you need to ditch your carpet for an easy life. Here are a few tips that should help you to extend the life of your carpeting when you have dogs at home.
Implement a dry paw policy
Lots of people have a no-shoe policy in their home in order to protect their carpets — so why not do the same with your dogs? Implement a dry paw policy to ensure mud and dirty water doesn’t find its way onto your carpets. Place thick mats at every doorway, along with a few absorbent towels. Every time you get back after a walk, clean and dry your pooch’s paws.
Install hard flooring in your hallway
Despite your best efforts, dogs will be dogs, and they’re bound to bring a degree of moisture and dirt into your home. As the first line of defence is the hallway, make sure you have a wipeable floor in this area. So, when your dog shakes off the dirt and moisture on their coat after a walk, it’s easy to clean up. And it’s better they do this on tiled or vinyl floors than on your expensive living room carpet.
Use rugs and runners
It’s always a good idea to protect high-traffic areas of a carpet from wear and tear, but it’s essential with certain types of dog in the home. Identify where your dog likes to play and sit, and place some rugs or runners in the area. If you’re having trouble with little accidents, this is a good way of adding a protective barrier.
Choose the best vacuum cleaner for dog hair
Regular vacuuming is essential for a carpet’s long-term health. It removes potentially damaging debris, as well as hair and dander that can lead to bad smells (many of which can be permanent). Find the best vacuum cleaner for dog hair, and use it every day — whether you think you need to or not. Something with a motorised brushroll and bagless suction is probably best. Also, make sure you have a full complement of accessories so you’re able to remove dog hair from awkward areas.
Be prepared for messes
When the worst happens, and your dog makes a mess on your beloved carpet, swift action is essential. Start by scooping or blotting the excess mess away, and then cover the area in baking soda. This will soak everything up, and absorb bad smells before they really take hold. A dedicated carpet cleaner can be used to get rid of what’s left, but white vinegar or a steam cleaner can work just as well. Just make sure you check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions first.
Deep clean your carpets regularly
It doesn’t matter how hard you try to keep your carpets clean, having a dog in the home means you’ll need to deep clean your carpets more regularly than would otherwise be the case. While there are shampoos and various treatments for the job, nothing works as well as the power of steam. Use one of the latest, water-efficient steam mops to ensure you don’t drench your carpet. The addition of a simple carpet attachment can turn them into powerful carpet cleaners.
Protecting your carpets from the messes caused by a dog isn’t rocket science — but it is hard work. Take preventative measures, be ready for accidents and deep clean regularly to ensure your carpets stand the test of time.