We all love our pets! But for those of us who also love our rugs....they don't always mix! Pets can cause quite a bit of damage to rugs. Here are some of the most common and some ways to combat them.
One of the most common issues with pets is the problem of accidents on your rugs. Any time a pet has an accident it can lead to damage if not addressed immediately. Pet urine can cause odor, color stripping and foundation damage over time. The first thing that needs to be done when you notice a pet stain is to get as much up as possible right away!!! Pet urine is acidic and not immediately harmful, but as it dries it leaves behind salts which attract bacteria. The bacteria feed on the urine salts and the waste of the bacteria is what causes the long term odor. The only way to remedy this is to completely flush out the residual salts from the dry urine. Most often this can only be done by an enzyme flush. Diluting the fresh stain with vinegar and water and extracting the solution with an extraction machine will help draw all the salts out and keep the area from smelling over time. Repeated accidents in the same spot can leave the foundation damp and subject to dry rot, which is irreparable damage.
Cats and dogs alike love the feel of the soft, warm wool. You may often find your pet cuddled up on a corner of a rug, but only after the circling and primping of the area that often comes before the settling in! Cats may even find the wool a good "scratching post." This can often lead to snared or worn pile. Snares or pulled wool can often be carefully clipped. Worn areas are more difficult to repair. Cats and dogs also leave behind oils from their fur, as well as lots of shedded hairs! Frequent vacuuming will help with this and a professional cleaning with pull out the oils that attract dirt.
Probably the most frustrating thing a pet can do is CHEW on your Oriental rugs. Chewing and licking of the pile and/or fringe can lead to permanent damage! Puppies, especially, like to chew on the soft wool to ease the soreness of their teething mouths. Unfortunately, there is not a quick fix to this problem, but some things can be done. Fringe is the easiest to repair. Chewed up fringe can be replaced or the end of the rug can be re-fringed with good results. If the pile has been chewed, the rug can be cut down to remove the chewed up area or a patch can be used to cover a hole...both of those repairs can effect the overall value of the rug. The image above shows a rug that was chewed all around the border, The outside borders were removed and the rug was then overcast. The rug is still useable but considerably smaller!!
We don't necessarily recommend you get rid of your pets, and we certainly don't want you to get rid of your rugs! The best way to prevent damage to your rugs from your pets is to try and keep your pets away from them. Pet even the pets appreciate the luxury of your Oriental rugs, so constant diligence and frequent cleaning may be the best answer. If you have issues with your rug, from your pets or otherwise, feel free to bring them to our shop for a free consultation of repairs.