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 for the furnishings around you. Even the most well-behaved furry friends can come under scrutiny when 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 stay free from scratches, meaning that your beautiful floors may look a little worn out.

Lots of people still prefer to have carpets in certain areas of their homes, and with a bit of 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 have rugs and runners in every room. And, as you all know by now, I am insanely OCD about our home looking like a freshly staged showroom.

Here are some of my tips for keeping your carpet clean with pets; some might seem excessive, but I promise you it is worth it!

clean rugs for dog owners graphic

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 most significant 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, especially during “mud season” when all the snow is melting and our yard is a mud hole! It is extra-absorbent, machine washable, and easy to vacuum (once the water and mud dry); we have the 60″ x 36″, and it fits perfectly at our side entrance where we let the dogs in out. I can’t believe I am getting that excited about a doormat, but if you have dogs and 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.

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

Keep Your Dog Clean

If you keep your doggies clean and groomed, your carpets and rugs will love you more. Maintaining the condition of their fur will also impact 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. Vik doesn’t shed nearly as much, but I try to comb him to keep his hair silky smooth and free of dust and dander.

west elm leather couch

Use Baking Soda

If you notice any areas smelling less than pleasant, you can raid your baking cupboard and 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 vacuum up the powder to freshen it up.

After we watch our Jeopardy and start getting ready for bed, I’ll occasionally sprinkle some in our living room, close the pocket door, and vacuum it up in the morning. 

Get a Carpet Cleaner

To keep your carpets at their absolute optimum, it’s always good to treat them to a professional clean 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 celebrated in our living room with a bottle of wine and watched 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. But! With a bit of stain remover, you would never notice!

Accidents (dog or wine-related) will always happen, so it’s good to have provisions around for treating your carpets as soon as mishaps arise. Small portable carpet cleaners can do wonders for small areas and 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. 

I LOVE Ruggable Rugs! They are great for dog owners because they vacuum easily and are washable!

We have a runner along our kitchen island and several small floor rugs throughout our kitchen, one at the base of the fridge where Vik 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. 

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