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Dog owners often find themselves choosing between a home that’s decorated for their own comfort and style, and one that can withstand life with dogs. How many of us throw an old blanket on our beautiful sofa, so the dog can watch TV with us, and then pull it off when company comes?

The question of balancing style and practicality often comes up when you are remodeling, renovating, or decorating your home. One of the more important decisions you’ll make as a dog owner will involve flooring. Luckily, there are ways to keep your carpets clean (and yourself sane) even with the messiest pets.

Advantages of Carpet for Dogs

The choice is easier in rooms that naturally get a lot of wear and tear, such as kitchens, mudrooms, and bathrooms. But what about rooms where you dream of having some plush carpeting under your feet, but hesitate because you have dogs? There actually are some advantages to carpet when it comes to dogs.

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Unlike hard-surface floors, dogs won’t slip and slide on it, especially puppies that have not yet found their grown-up balance. Unlike hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or tile, carpets won’t accumulate scratches and scuff marks, so there’s no more worrying about damage from pets’ paws and claws. Carpeting is also noise-muffling, which is especially nice in upstairs rooms or apartments. You can choose the color and style you want. Plus, your dog will appreciate having a soft, warm place to snooze.

Beagle laying down on the carpet indoors.

Types of Carpeting for Homes With Dogs

Once you’ve decided that carpeting is right for you, select one that can withstand the usual dirt and occasional accidents that come with living with dogs. You’ll want:

  • Material that repels spills, from your morning coffee to the wine your dog’s tail just swept off the coffee table
  • Superior stain resistance. Life happens, but it doesn’t have to live permanently on your carpet
  • A carpet that stands up to heavy traffic and wear-and-tear
  • A serious warranty, just in case

Once you find the perfect carpeting, invest in regular a carpet cleaning service to prevent long-term wear and tear on carpet fibers. The longer you wait to clean for things like spots or traffic patterns, the more likely your carpet is beyond repair.

Remember that all carpets are different — that’s why professional services have expert technicians to make sure your carpet is cleaned to its specific needs.

Dalmatian laying on the floor in the living room at home.
alvarez via Getty Images

How to Keep Carpets Clean With Dogs

You’ll never keep all the dirt and mud off of your dog. However, you can follow a few tips to help keep your carpets clean when you live with dogs.

  • Dry your dog’s paws when they come inside. That will help prevent dirt from embedding in the carpet. They may not like it. But if you’re consistent, they’ll learn that they can’t come in until you wipe their paws.
  • Blot up spills as quickly as possible. The sooner you clean up a spill, the less likely it will turn into a stain. Make sure to blot because wiping and rubbing can make the stain worse.
  • Clean any accidents with a neutral cleaner to help remove the acidity of your pet’s urine
  • If you do find old spots or spills, there are many pet-safe cleaning solutions you can use on carpet

No matter how careful you are, all dogs make messes or have accidents at some point. Finding a professional, pet-safe cleaning service is key to keeping your home clean and your pet healthy. Some cleaning services are EPA Safer Choice recognized, meaning they are safe for both you and your pets. Some carpet cleaning services also offer upholstery cleaning, odor removal, and professional spot/urine removal as add-ons.

If you’re concerned about allergens that come with having a dog, professional carpet cleaning can remove common household allergens from carpet. Take the fear away from letting your dog on the carpet or furniture by using a pet-safe professional cleaning service.

We all make some compromises when we share our home with a dog, whether that means never leaving food on the counter, making room in the bed, or designating one armchair as “the dog’s chair.” But you don’t have to compromise when it comes to flooring. Your family can enjoy the comfort of a soft carpet, and you won’t have to gate off a room for fear of what your dog will do to the carpeting. Your dog can come in and enjoy family life with you, worry-free.

Related article: Expert Tips on What Your Puppy Can Safely Chew
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