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Pet Friendly Flooring – FAQs

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Cleaning Pet Accidents & Solving Common Pet–Related Flooring Issues

Pet–friendly flooring is a great way to reduce the damaging effects of pet traffic, but no pet is perfect and accidents are inevitable. It's important that you prepare yourself by learning how to prevent and manage pet–related mishaps.

Q: How do I stop my pet from digging at my carpet, and how can I repair the carpet after it's been damaged?

A: Sometimes solving this problem is as simple as limiting access. If you have a dog, put the dog in a crate or in a fenced backyard (preferably with an available doghouse) when you're away. If this is not possible, make sure your dog has plenty of space to run around in, as well as toys to play with. Wear the dog out as much as you can before you leave the house by taking it for a run or jog. Consider taking your dog to dog parks or other places to socialize with other dogs. Some cats also enjoy clawing at carpet because of their natural tendency to scratch. Purchasing a scratching post and training them to use this instead will solve the problem. If nothing works, and your pets keep digging at the edges of carpet, trim the carpet down as low as possible so there are no frayed edges.

Q: My dog is destroying my floor by digging, scratching and urinating on it every chance he gets. What do I do?

A: Sometimes, pet training can only go so far. Destructive dog behavior is often caused by loneliness, boredom, anxiety or restlessness. Dogs should not be left alone for more than 8 hours at a time. They need to be walked regularly and given as much outdoor access as possible. You should play with your dog often, and give him/her plenty of affection and attention. Many studies have shown that happy, well–cared–for pets are less likely to be destructive.

Q: How do I clean up pet accidents on carpet?

A: Cleaning pet accidents on carpet is fairly simple, as long as they're cleaned up right away so they don't have time to set. Remove urine by blotting the stain as much as possible with a white paper towel, then rinsing the area with a household cleaner that contains ammonia. Blot the surface again with another white paper towel, and rinse with a diluted white vinegar solution. Blot again and leave a few more paper towels over the area, weighed down by something heavy to ensure the spot dries completely.

Carpet stained by feces can be cleaned by picking up the material with a paper towel and cleaning the area with a stiff–bristled brush and mild–detergent–and–water mixture. Feces that are less solid can be removed with paper towels and the same mixture of water and mild detergent. Rinse and blot the area, then follow up by applying an enzymatic cleaner to help remove the bacteria and odor. These cleaning methods can also be used for cleaning up pet vomit.

If you don't find the mess until several hours or even days later, you may find the area faded or the odor completely sunk into the carpet. The longer it sits, the more likely it is that you'll have to call in a professional carpet cleaner to get rid of the stain.

Apart from having your pet trained, the best way to avoid having your pet soil your carpet is to address the problem that is making him/her act out. Stressful events like someone moving out of the house or the arrival of a new child or spouse can trigger negative behaviors in a pet. Keep in mind that pets can suffer from many of the same ailments as people; a sudden onset of accidents, for example, may mean your pet has a urinary tract infection. See your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. If the pet continues to return to the same spot where it had an accident, the stain may have sunk into the subfloor or carpet pad.

If deep cleaning does not solve the problem, the flooring may need to be replaced. If you find yourself in this situation, consider stain–resistant carpet. While stain–resistant carpet can't prevent stains from occurring, they can go a long way at minimizing apparent damage.

Q: How do I clean up pet accidents on hardwood floors?

A: Pet accidents can rot hardwood floors if they're left too long, so clean them up as soon as you spot them. Remove any solids and immediately blot the wet area with paper towels. Wash the area several times with white vinegar and then rinse it with warm water. Use additional paper towels to blot the space dry and then apply an enzyme cleaner or specialized odor and stain–remover. If you haven't used any of these products before, test them on a small out–of–the–way area to ensure they will not damage your floor. If the stain cannot be removed, carefully try sanding it away and then reapply sealer.

Q: How do I repair floor scratches from my pet's nails?

A: Floor scratches are more easily prevented than repaired. Try nail caps or pet boots for long– or sharp–nailed pets, and consider keeping your pet's nails trimmed. If this doesn't help, check to see if your floor's manufacturer sells a floor scratch repair kit which will contain everything you need to fix scratches. If no repair kit is available, individual floor scratches can be disguised with a stain pen or filled with wood putty. For an immediate fix, try using a similarly–colored crayon. Multiple floor scratches can be taken care of by sanding and refinishing the floor.


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