Dog Mom’s Guide to Keeping Your Carpets Clean


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When you share your home with pets, it can often mean that you have to make some sacrifices when it comes to the furnishings around you. Even the most well behaved furry friends can come under scrutiny when it comes to keeping carpeted areas clean and hair-free.

Hard flooring is often the easiest option to keep clean but it’s not always conducive with claws. Hardwood flooring can be a nightmare to keep free from scratches, meaning that your beautiful floors may end up looking a little worn out.

Lots of people still prefer to have carpets in certain areas of their homes and with a little care and consideration, it can be possible to maintain fresh and clean carpets when living with pets.

Our home is entirely hardwood or tile flooring, but we do have rugs and/or runners in every single room. And, as you all know by know, I am insanely OCD about our home looking like a freshly staged showroom. 

Here are some of my personal tips; some of them might seem a little excessive, but I promise you it is worth it!



Wipe Your Paws

It might seem obvious, but if you get into the habit of wiping their paws when they come in from outdoors, it’ll prevent dirt from being transferred around the house. Keep a towel near the door, so that it’s easy to grab before they bound in.

My latest and greatest purchase is the Gorilla Grip Original Indoor Durable Chenille Doormat. I can’t tell you how insanely helpful it has been for our home this winter and especially during “mud season” when all the snow is melting and our yard is literally a mud hole! It is extra-absorbent, machine washable, easy to vacuum (once the water and mud dries), We have the 60″ x 36″ and it fits perfectly at our side entrance where we let the dogs in and out. I can’t believe I am getting that excited about a door mat, but if you have dogs and you live in the Midwest you probably feel my pain when I refer to “mud season.”


Vacuum Your Carpet Regularly

You should vacuum your carpets every day at the very least, to avoid a build-up of hair and any lingering smells that accompany them. Vacuum as necessary and especially so when they’re molting. If you keep on top of the hair, then it won’t be able to settle into the carpet.

If you’re looking for a new vacuum, I’ve rounded up the best vacuums for dog owners in this recent blog post.


Keep Your Dog Clean

If you keep your doggies clean and groomed, then your carpets and rugs will love you more for it. Maintaining the condition of their fur will also make an impact on the amount of hair they will leave lying around on the floors.

I groom our Akita, Kenzo, about 2-3 times a week year-round. It just is so necessary with his frequent blowouts and double coat. Vík doesn’t shed nearly as much, but I try to comb him whenever I can just to keep his hair silky smooth and free of dust and dander. 


Use Baking Soda

If you notice any areas that are smelling less than pleasant, then you can raid your baking cupboard and simply sprinkle some baking soda over your carpet to deodorize any odors. It works its magic best over a few hours and even better overnight, then all you need to do is to vacuum up the powder to freshen it up. After we watch our Jeopardy and start to get ready for bed, I’ll occasionally sprinkle some in our living room, close the pocket door, and then vacuum it up in the morning. 


Get a Carpet Cleaner

To keep your carpets at their absolute optimum, it’s always a good idea to treat them to a professional clean every now and then.

I recommend using a company like Cleanville will ensure that every inch is covered. I know my parents always aimed to have your carpets professionally cleaned every year to keep them in good condition when I was growing up. 


Have Stain Removers On Hand

When Caleb and I first bought our Andes West Elm couch we were celebrating in our living room with a bottle of wine and watching Jeopardy. You can probably guess what I’m about to say next… yep. I spilled my wine on our brand new couch and some dribbled onto our new rug as well. But! With a little stain remover, you would never ever notice!

Accidents (dog or wine-related) are always going to happen, so it’s a good idea to have provisions around to treat your carpets as soon as mishaps arise. Small portable carpet cleaners can do wonders for small areas, as well as steam cleaners. 


Use Runners for High Traffic Areas

There are always spots in the house that have the most footfall, so think about putting down some extra rugs or runners in those areas, to save your carpet or hardwood floors underneath. 

We have a runner along our kitchen island and several small floor rugs throughout our kitchen, one at the base of the fridge where Vík likes to sleep and Kenzo likes to munch on ice cubes and we have one underneath their food and water bowls. 

Small rugs and runners are easy to wash and you can always shake them outside if you don’t feel like doing an extra load of laundry this week. 

west elm leather couch clean rugs for dog owners

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