Pets and Carpeting: How to Help Them Coexist

If you love pets, and love a home with warm, luxurious carpeting, there will be times when the two clash in troublesome ways. Whether with cats or dogs, your carpeting can be subject to hair, dander, odors, stains and chemical deterioration. Here are a few ways to ensure the two can live in harmony:

Vacuum frequently – Vacuuming is your first line of defense against dirt, hair, odor and stains left by your pets. Twice a week is a good schedule to keep these problems under control, but you may want to vacuum even more frequently if you have several pets. It’s worth the money to purchase a good quality vacuum cleaner with sufficient amperage to do the job-12 amps should work fine. Change bags frequently as the hair and dander collected in the bag can trap odors. Go easy on powdered carpet deodorant. It can clog filters and reduce your vacuum’s efficiency. You can also purchase a ‘pet hair rake’ that you can run over your carpeting to loosen pet hairs before vacuuming. These are available at most large pet supermarkets or online.

Shampoo carpets periodically – Pets have accidents, regurgitate, and track in dirt from outdoors. To keep your carpeting looking fresh and bright, shampoo periodically on a schedule that suits the number of pets in your home and your lifestyle. You can have a carpet cleaning service come in, or you can do it yourself. There are a number of good carpet shampooing machines on the market make by reliable manufacturers such as Hoover, Bissell and Dirt Devil. These cleaning machines are reasonably priced and easy to use, and may be more convenient than scheduling appointments with a carpet cleaning service. These machines generally recommend their own brand of carpet shampoo, all of which are safe for use around children and pets.

Spot clean as soon as needed – It is very important to clean stains as soon as possible. Allowing stains to set into carpet fibers makes their removal more difficult, and digestive acids may damage the fibers. Whenever you find a problem, remove any solid debris with paper towels, then gently blot the area with cold water from the center to the outer edges. Do not rub or scrub-this will damage the carpet fibers. Soak up any wetness with more paper towels and treat the area with a pet stain and odor removal product such as Nature’s Miracle. Blot any remaining wetness and allow to dry. You may need to repeat this action several times. Keep a few stain removal products on hand, such as club soda, Hot Shot, and other products that your carpet manufacturer may recommend.

Whenever you use carpet cleaning chemicals, make sure they are safe for your pets and children. Remove chemicals as much as possible from the carpet surface, and make sure you do not leave open chemicals where they can be consumed by animals.

With these simple steps, you can continue to love your pets, and love your carpeting.

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