Homes with small children, both two and four-legged, furry varieties, can make a mess of our floors.
With urine, dirt and mud (along with other things that end up on your floor) it can be an all day battle keeping your floors clean.
However, if you have pets you want a carpet that is designed to withstand the foot traffic, urine and fecal accidents and other messes that come along with pet ownership.
While you can’t stop nature, you may be able to buy the best carpet for pets and make clean up a lot easier.
Best Pet-Resistant Carpet Brands
- 1 Best Pet-Resistant Carpet Brands
- 2 Is Carpeting Good for Pets?
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Shopping for Pet-Friendly Carpeting
- 4 Best Brands of Carpet for Homes With Pets
- 5 Other Carpet Brand Options
- 6 Care and Maintenance of Pet Resistant Carpets
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
Almost every brand of carpet has a stain fighting treatment or claims to be pet resistant. Only a very few brands actually have carpets that truly offer pet resistance.
- StainMaster PetProtect. The best pet protective carpet on the market.
- Shaw Caress. With True Blue backing, pet stains and odors are a thing of the past.
- Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean. The best carpet fibers for fighting pet stains.
- LifeProof PetProof. Affordable, available and simple to care for.
Is Carpeting Good for Pets?
Pets run around, sleep and lay on the floor and use the floor to help regulate their body temperature. While it is important to have some hard flooring areas where your pet can lay when it is too warm, you need carpet to keep them comfortable, too.
Carpeting helps cushion their steps, the plop-downs when they are tired and their joints when they run around or jump off the bed or couch. However, from a carpet point of view, pets aren’t very good for the floor.
Pet claws can catch and snag causing lifted fibers, tears or other damage. Accidents in the home can also seep down to the carpet base, into the carpet pad and even into the subfloor. When this happens it can produce foul, lingering odors, mold and visible stains, discoloration or even develop holes.
Having carpet for homes with pets is great for the pet, but you need a pet-resistant carpet for your floors.
Buyer’s Guide: Shopping for Pet-Friendly Carpeting
Carpets come in a wide variety of fiber types. Only a few, though, are good for pets. The best carpet fiber is nylon. It is durable, springy and naturally stain resistant. Nylon keeps its shape and appearance longer than most other fibers and is already resistant to tears, damage and color fading.
Wool is another natural fiber that fights stains without extra treatments. It is soft and has a lot of cushion under foot (or under belly) and resists fading, even in direct sunlight.
You may also see a poly-nylon blend. These fibers are great against foot traffic, damage and fading. However, they must be dyed (even white) and these dyed areas are more susceptible to stains than the other fibers. Poly-nylon blend carpets must be treated specifically for pets.
Carpets need to be tough. Foot traffic, pets running, kids playing, all affect the carpet fibers. Over time all carpet will break down and start showing signs of wear and tear. With pets, though, this can happen faster than expected.
Highly durable nylon fibers will stand up longer, look new longer and last longer than most other fiber types. However, nylon may not be soft enough for the other feet (yours) on the floor.
Part of the overall cost and process of getting new carpet will be the installation. You will need to inspect your sub floor after old flooring removal, you need to decide on the type of carpet pad and its thickness as well.
Most contractors will cover all of these things with you before the process begins. However, each stage is important to note and consider. Picking the carpet to install is only the beginning. Make sure you know
Backing and Padding
As mentioned above, the padding is important to the overall carpet install. The padding offers extra cushion when you walk on the carpet, but it also protects the carpet from wear and damage from underneath. Without padding your carpet would wear on the subfloor and develop thin spots or even holes without the padding.
The carpet backing is the underside of the carpet itself. It is the part of the carpet that contacts the padding. Most companies make a semi-durable woven and glued backing and do little else for it.
However, some companies use this opportunity to make extra pet stain and odor protection. Shaw, for example, has a line up that uses the “Backed by Blue” backing that helps prevent urine and liquids from getting through to the pad or subfloor.
These extra steps are important to your purchase decision, so don’t overlook the backing and padding when shopping.
Cleaning carpet can be as difficult or as easy as you want it to be. With the proper cleaning tools, the job can be simple, even with pets. Having a carpet designed to make cleaning easier, will help a lot, too.
We have several articles here to help you clean your carpet like a professional. For basic tips and techniques, check out the section below the brand reviews.
The type of pet you have will also play a part in the carpet selection. Cats and dogs can claw at the carpet, make wear patterns and have accidents. All of these things are noted and addressed by the major carpet brands.
What about other pets, though? Reptiles, rabbits, ferrets and other animal types also make a life on our floors. Some less than others, but they all deserve a good carpet to be on and interact with.
However, each pet type comes with their own set of worries. Make sure your carpet decision reflects the needs of your specific pets.
Warranty and Guarantees
Warranties for carpet are as varied as the brands and styles the carpets come in. You will find limited warranties lasting 90-days to a couple of years. The industry average is about 10 years, though this is just an average.
It may sound daunting, but you should read through the small print and figure out the warranty before you buy. You don’t want to get stuck later if you need to make a claim.
The overall price is going to be a big deciding factor for you. You need to account for the cost of the carpet based on square footage, of course, but there is more. Padding, tack strips, sub floor repairs, professional installation, the list goes on.
Carpet itself is relatively affordable, usually costing as little as $2 or $3 per square foot, but the installation and preparations add to the cost. Make sure you are aware of them all before you buy.
Best Brands of Carpet for Homes With Pets
When it comes to fighting and preventing stains and odors, StainMaster is the best there is. While other brands may have more styles, colors or options, no one tops StainMaster for pet resistant carpeting.
The company began making products to clean carpets from all types of messes. They expanded to all floor types and eventually began manufacturing their own carpets. This combination of pet treatment and carpeting styles led to one of the best carpeting options on the market.
Among their many lineups you will find the PetProtect line. Arguably the best of the best, PetProtect not only has technology and innovation, they have decades of experience behind each fiber.
The nylon carpet fibers are created and woven using pet stain fighting chemicals and treatments that StainMaster is known for. From the very start of the process to the packaging and shipping, these carpets are treated with stain and odor fighting properties.
Unlike some other brands, their fibers actually repel pet hairs. This means that when you vacuum your carpet the hairs are released much easier, preventing deep embedding and making clean up even easier.
They also feature a special treatment that prevents liquids from soaking through to the backing and padding underneath. When spills or urine does happen, the carpet is also woven to be breathable, so air flow continues and helps evaporate the moisture.
Each StainMaster PetProtect carpet comes with a lifetime warranty that covers urine staining, food and liquid stains, soiling and static build-up resulting in static shocks. Depending on where you purchase the carpet, you will also get a limited warranty that covers loose fibers, untwisting and abnormal wear and tear.
|Stain and odor fighting built into each fiber||Can get expensive|
|Won’t cause static shock||Warranties vary based on purchase location|
|Maintains look and feel for years|
|Doesn’t allow liquids to penetrate to backing|
2. Shaw Caress
Shaw is among the best carpet and flooring manufacturers out there (if not the best). It only stands to reason that they can battle the best of the best for a top spot in pet proof carpeting. Though their approach is a little different.
Shaw uses natural and artificial fibers. Each carpet is designed to be plush, long lasting and hold up to anything you can put on it. They fight fading, staining, odors and matting on a more natural level, meaning less chemicals and treatments are needed during the production.
While Shaw has more styles and line ups than most other carpet companies, one in particular stands above the rest. The Caress line is made to be some of the most gorgeous underfoot flooring you could ever install.
Their 40+ colors and styles, pile heights and fiber thicknesses are all designed to be fade resistant, and fight stains. However, they are also designed with pets in mind. Not only do the carpets feel good to walk, lay and play on, but if your pet does have an accident, it is easy to clean.
With the Backed by Blue running the entire line up, you don’t have to worry about urine stains or odors sticking around. The backing is Blue certified (a Shaw name, not ours) that prevents any moisture or liquids from getting though.
While your padding and subflooring is safe, so is the carpet. Repelling moisture and odors, once you clean the mess up, it will be like it never happened.
|Carpets naturally resist stains, odors and fading||Not as many stain fighting processes as other brands|
|Easy care and low maintenance||Pricey|
|Backed by Blue prevents liquids from seeping through|
|Among the softest carpet underfoot available|
Their SmartStrand Forever Clean carpeting is hard to find, but well worth the search. When you do find them, the options will be limited, your color and style choices are diminished. However, they produce standard colors and exceptional styles, so this limit may not be a big concern.
Along with the best pet warranty for carpet, Mohawk competes directly with StainMaster for innovation and technology. They, too, have an encapsulated fiber that doesn’t absorb moisture or odors.
The Forever Clean aspect comes from the Nanoloc technology that works like the StainMaster carpets, preventing pet fur and shed hairs from getting embedded in the fibers, making it much easier to clean and maintain.
You will also find a natural fiber without any dye spots which is where stains adhere. Without dye spots, stains are repelled and the liquid is not absorbed. Now any mess or spill, including urine stays on top of the carpet and is simple to clean up.
These fibers are also designed to look great for a long time. The individual fibers spring back after being stepped or laid on, making a more durable and aesthetic carpet that doesn’t become matted or trampled for decades.
|Best pet warranty for carpet||Not available in all areas|
|Doesn’t absorb any moisture||Smaller style and color choices than other brands|
|No dye spots for stains to adhere|
|Appearance and spring last longer than most other brands|
If you are on a tighter budget and still want a great carpet for your home with pets, LifeProof has what you need. This Home Depot exclusive brand has added PetProof technology to their LifeProof carpet line up.
They have created an affordable, stylish and durable carpet that helps you win the fight against stains and odors. While they aren’t as long-lasting and preventative as the other options on this list, the cost savings alone make LifeProof a popular decision.
Their stain fighting technologies are applied after the carpet production. However, it is applied throughout the carpet, not just to the fibers, making the entire carpet, backing included, more resistant to stains, odors and moisture.
The collection is fairly small, with only 15 current colors and styles to choose from. While this can be a detriment, many find the lack of options easier to make a decision through. If you need a décor or color match, though, you may not find it here with LifeProof.
What you will find is a durable carpet that is easy to maintain and clean. The affordable price tag helps reduce overall carpet installation costs and many Home Depot stores will offer great deals on purchase and install combinations.
|Affordable carpet and installation||Not the biggest selection|
|Low maintenance and easy to clean||May not last as long as other options|
|Installation can be purchased with carpet||Medium and high-pile options can get matted easier|
|Very few hidden fees|
Other Carpet Brand Options
As mentioned a few times in the article, almost every carpet manufacturer today has a pet resistant line up. This can make the choice even more difficult. However, there is one thing to make a note of.
Aside from the brands on this list, almost every other brand with a stain-fighting, pet resistant carpet line uses the products manufactured by StainMaster. If you are going to buy a carpet with StainMaster treatments, you may as well get it from StainMaster themselves.
Not only is the protective treatment added at every stage of the manufacturing process, but it is designed specifically with pets in mind.
Other brands apply the treatment to the end of the process, making it technically pet resistant, but not as thorough and dependable as buying from StainMaster directly.
Care and Maintenance of Pet Resistant Carpets
Aside from a regular vacuum you also need to care for your carpeted floor in other ways. General maintenance is quick and easy. You can even inspect the carpet while you are vacuuming.
You want to check the edges around the baseboard and any seams between rooms or around transition molding. Look for lifting, bunching and loose fibers. This is a sign that you may need to stretch your carpet or repair a tear.
You also want to look for areas that aren’t coming clean with the vacuum, this can be signs of a stain or deeply embedded dirt and debris. When you have a few of these areas or notice the carpet becoming matted in high traffic areas, it is time to use a carpet cleaner.
These solution based shampooers and cleaners have many varieties and capabilities. There are models specifically designed for cleaning carpets with pets, too, so you can ensure you are getting the best clean possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
We will now answer some of the more common questions about pet resistant carpet. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to ask us using the comment section below the article.
Q. Can I “pet proof” my existing carpet?
- There are products you can buy or make to help deter your cat or dog from peeing on your carpet. You can also treat your carpet with stain fighting products. However, nothing you can buy or make is a permanent answer.
The only way to get a pet resistant carpet is to buy one that has been made from scratch with pet resistance in mind.
Q. Is pet resistant carpet worth it?
- Even if you don’t have pets, a pet resistant carpet is a wise investment. Not only can they hold up to higher levels of foot traffic, but their stain fighting and odor blocking properties make them useful for human messes and spills just as much as they fight odors and stains from our pets.
Q. What color carpets are best for homes with pets?
- The color of your carpet can either help hide shed hair and stain spots or help hide them. Many experts and studies have shown that dark colored carpets do the best at hiding. However, if you have a white furred animal, the white shed fur will show up even more on dark carpeting.
The best carpet color for pets is a dark shade of a multi-colored fiber, that mixes black and browns, gray and whites or even black and whites.
Q. Does dog pee ruin carpet?
- Dog pee has a lot of nitrates, which give it that strong odor and deep color. When applied directly to carpet, the urine can soak through the backing, into the pad or even the subfloor. The padding and subfloor aren’t treated for odors and urine can make these smells stronger over time and almost impossible to remove.
As for the carpet itself, it can break down the fibers over time, force the carpet to lay flat and even loosen the fibers enough that your vacuum pulls them up.
Pet resistant carpets are specially manufactured and treated to help prevent these damaging effects and protect the padding underneath.
Q. How do you get pet odors (urine, feces) out of carpet?
- There are several products you can by at many pet stores or home improvement stores. However, you can also make your own solutions.
Vinegar is a natural deodorizer, that when sprayed on your carpet can help remove odors from the carpet fibers. Vinegar also has an odor most dogs don’t like, so they will stay away from that area when peeing or marking.
Baking soda sprinkled on the carpet and left to absorb moisture and odors before being vacuumed up is also a good home remedy for stain and odor removal.
Finding the best carpet for pets can be a challenge. There are a lot of options in both styles and colors as well as brands. While almost every carpet brand has a line or two of carpeting labeled as pet friendly, it doesn’t mean they have active steps in their manufacturing process to help prevent stains and odors.
This article showed you what to look for in your next pet resistant carpet purchase. We also showcased the best brands of carpet for homes with pets. Hopefully you have a better idea of what to look for when making your final purchase. If not, feel free to reach out and we can point you in the right direction.