Cookie the cat

The UK is a nation of pet lovers. Collectively, various studies estimate we spend anything between £6 billion and £14 billion on our beloved pets over a year; some research suggests that this can be as much as £10,000 each, for pampering our pooches, from haircuts to accessories, dog walking companies and more. With couples marrying later, many commentators believe that the ownership of pets will increase as cats, dogs and many other kinds of animals make for ‘substitute family’ but all this can have an impact on how we dress and accessorise our home. But, if you are a dog friendly house, or a haven for cats and kittens, don’t assume that hard floors, with not a rug or carpet in sight is your only option. It isn’t; there are a huge number of rugs, from wool rugs to shaggy rugs that perfectly suit a household full of pets!

Choose the wrong one and results can be disastrous!
However, there is a knack to choosing the right kind of rug that a) your pet will not destroy and b) won’t leave you frustrated as you throw away a tattered rug that you paid a lot of money for, but only the week before…Here we have put together some hints and tips to help you choose the rug you like, will fit your home in terms of both style and size, but will not face instant destruction

What you need to bear in mind:
Claws and paws carry dirt and bacteria, as well as being sharp and having a nasty habit of creating holes and tears in fabric of sofas, rugs and carpets, may not always work well with some kinds of materials. Materials that are easily snagged or need specialist cleaning may not be perfect choice for the home with pets; some materials are easier to keep clean and also more robust to the behaviour exhibited naturally by some pets. Wool rugs, although not the cheapest on the market, can withstand pets and their claws and are easily vacuumed. They can also be spot cleaned with a variety of cleaning products available form a variety of hardware stores, but always read the label. 

What materials can work?
Cotton chenille rugs are soft to the touch and great underfoot. Even better pets love their softness to, enjoying curling up and sleeping on them, as well as playing. Naturally ‘fuzzy’ to the touch they have one downside – they attract loose hair and fur, so if you invest in this material, expect to get the vacuum out on a fairly regular basis, however, with pets, you’ll be doing this anyway! But, they are not too robust when it comes to washing or cleaning them, so be cautious.
Woven cotton rugs, on the other hand, are light enough to pick up and give them a good shake outside, dislodging fur and dirt granules. Durable and available in small enough sizes that they can be washed in the machine, they are popular with pet owners. BUT, they are not scratch or chew proof, so if you have a puppy, you may find this becomes it ‘security blanket’… You may have seen indoor/outdoor rugs and these make great additions to any home, with or without pets. They are built to last and to withstand rough play, scratching, dirt, chewing and scratching (within reason!). They can also be washed and hung out to dry…
Shaggy rugs may not seem the immediate or obvious choice for a household with pets but, you will be surprised at what the modern-day shaggy rug can offer the modern home. They are now far more robust in their design and manufacture, hence they can be vacuumed as many times as you need to; some can also be washed in the machine. Some of the more delicate fabrics and materials may need to be avoided but there is no need to compromise on style just because you have pets…

Colours and patterns
Again, rugs suited to homes with pets come in all colours and patterns. In fact, advice for the homeowner has always been that in busy households with children and pets, patterns rugs and carpets are much better at hiding ‘debris’ until the vacuum can make an appearance. If you do have a busy pet household, choosing a ‘busy’ or intricate patterned rug that ties in with your interior d├ęcor is a great addition. 

This, in terms of pets, is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the supersize rug in the lounge is just fabulous but, they are not easy to move if you need to take it for professional cleaning or just freshen it up yourself. With young dogs and puppies especially, being able to wash and clean rugs in a space is important; accidents happen and if you have a supersize rug that requires professional cleaning only, then the two are not going to mix well…

There are rugs out there that are great for homes with pets. We have hopefully shown you that the range is just as vast for you as they are for pet-free households; which rug will your choose?