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When you have a dog living with you, the choice of rugs can become complicated. It is not simply a matter of choosing what color and pattern you like. You also have to think about your dog’s safety and what will stand up to the wear and tear introduced by a four-legged friend.
The best area rugs for dogs are made out of materials that can withstand a lot of muddy paws and the odd poop or pee accident. It helps if they do not show up the shed hair and are easy to clean. To help you choose, we’ve prepared a useful guide to the best area rugs for dogs that you can buy.
A very versatile and hard-wearing dog rug that would suit any home. It is available as a rectangle, a runner or a round rug and in many different sizes. The 3-foot x 5-foot rectangular rug would look great in a small room. If you put the legs of a sofa or chairs onto the edge of the rug it makes the room look more spacious and avoids a cluttered look. It also makes it easier to lift the area rug if you need to.
The versatile design of a repeated motif will complement any décor and is available in many colors including dark green, red or light brown. This is a half inch thick rug that will stand up to a lot of punishment. It is very hard-wearing and made of polypropylene so it will not stain and does not shed. It is also easy to clean.
An area rug with a contemporary, diagonal design. It is available in four sizes and a range of colors including grey, ivory, and navy. Other designs are also available. The 5 foot 3 inches x 7 foot 3 inches size will adequately cover the center of a small living room.
The rug is machine produced in Turkey to the highest standards and is an inch thick. The ‘power loom’ process produces a pile that is durable and long lasting. It is made from polypropylene so it will not shed. It is also stain, soil and flame-resistant yet it is soft to the touch. It can be spot cleaned with appropriate cleaning solutions and vacuumed.
Available in four sizes and a range of patterns and colors
A medium sized, rectangular area rug at 5-foot x 8 foot that is half an inch thick and would suit a medium sized room. With this size of the rug, it is best to align the front of the sofa and chairs with the rug as it gives a feeling of space. If you place the front chair legs on the rug it makes it more stable.
This rug is designed in the US and is also available as a round rug or a runner. It has an attractive, traditional Turkish rug design in pastel colors to suit any décor. It is manufactured in Turkey from polypropylene so it is easy-to-clean and stain resistant and it will not shed. The rug is a third of an inch thick and the cotton backing makes it softer and more durable.
A lovely rug with a floral medallion design in gray, navy, teal and ivory that would suit a living room, or dining room and even a bedroom. It covers a rectangular area of 6 foot 7 inches x 9 foot 3 inches and so would suit a medium to large room. There are smaller and larger sizes available.
The rug is machine-made in Turkey from polypropylene fibers and has a jute backing to give it strength and durability. It is a third of an inch thick and vacuuming is the best way to keep it clean although it can be spot cleaned with an appropriate cleaning solution. It resists stain, soil and is flame resistant and it will not shed thanks to the power-loomed design. The rug is soft to the touch.
6 foot 7 inches x 9 foot 3 inches rectangular rug
Made from polypropylene fibers with a jute backing
The name of this rug gives its game away – the self-heating Furhaven Dg Mat easily creates a comfortable snooze zone for your pooch. The pile is delightfully ‘furry’ thanks to the soft shammy-like chenille nodules which makes it a pleasure underfoot. And the beauty of this dog mat is that while it looks homely and stylish, it is also a dab hand at keeping things clean. Designed to soak up moisture as well as trap dirt, dander, sand and other doggy debris, it also helps to protect your floors against any dog accidents or messes. You also get a choice of earthy colors, including sand, mud and charcoal and a range of sizes so you can get the perfect fit and look for your home.
This is a very compact dog rug (mat) that measures just 17 inches x 30 inches and would be suitable for doorways, hallways, and corridors. It has an attractive doggy design with bones and pawprints on a beige and brown background.
It is made from a nylon pile with a height of just a quarter of an inch with a slip-resistant rubber backing for safety. The pile is colorfast and the rug is mold-resistant as well as stain-resistant. It can be spot-cleaned but cannot be put in the washing machine.
A small area rug (3 foot 11 inches x 5 foot 3 inches) that would be an attractive addition to any room with its lovely Persian design and modern ‘distressed’ appearance. It is also available in other designs and sizes and makes a great pet carpet.
It is made in Turkey from the highest quality polypropylene so it is soft and durable. It is suitable for homes with pets thanks to its durability and you can spot clean it. Regular cleaning with a vacuum will keep it looking at its best.
The Safavieh Adirondack Collection Ivory and Silver Oriental Vintage Medallion Area Rug features an oriental-inspired transitional pattern finished with a central medallion motif. The area rug has a low 0.375-inch pile, giving it a sleek finish and making it ideal for any room in the house. The rug’s colors and patterns give it a vintage look and means that it can enhance any décor within your home. The enhanced polypropylene fibers and refined power-loom construction make the rug virtually non-shedding and ensure that it is easy to care for. The rug is hardwearing and can withstand use in high traffic areas, while still being comfortable to walk on or for your dog to relax on.
Dimensions 9’ x 12’
Oriental-inspired pattern with a central medallion
If you are looking for a soft and cozy area rug that is suitable for dogs, then the Gorilla Gap Original Faux-Chinchilla Area Rug might be just what you need. The rug features an extra-plush top layer of thick, shaggy material that adds softness and warmth to any room in the house. The rug is available in a wide range of colors and sizes, so you can find the perfect rug to match your décor and room size. The strong and durable backing adds durability to the rug, making it suitable for high traffic areas. Durable grip dots help prevent slippage, improving safety for you, your children, and your pets. A foam middle layer adds extra comfort and cushioning, giving you a sense of luxury. The rug can be machine washed on a cold wash and can even be tumbled dried on a low setting.
If you don’t want to have to give up on a modern designer style if you need a dog-proof area rug, then check out this geometric beauty from Rivet. With a colorway of black, ivory, gray and brown, the chevron effect of this 8-foot by 10-foot rug will draw the eye across the surface, leaving any mucky marks cleverly disguised until you can clean it. The medium pile of this wool-blend rug is soft enough for your pooch but durable enough for high traffic areas in your home. And the pile height means this rug is also quick and easy to spot clean. You will need to buy a rug pad if you want it to be non-slip but for a statement rug that can cope with your pets, this could be the modern floor covering for you.
Of course, the main consideration when buying a rug for your home is the design and color and this is a matter of personal taste. Bear in mind that your dog is likely to track mud and dirt from outside onto the rug. They also like to chew and tug at rugs. Shed fur can show up on rugs and look unsightly but flea eggs can actually live inside it. There is always the possibility of pee, poop, or vomit being deposited on the rug and causing a stain as well as a lingering odor.
So, if you are buying an area rug for a room where your dog will be spending a lot of time, there are some other things that you should look for.
Material: This is a key consideration. It needs to be durable and easy to clean. Manmade fibers like polypropylene and nylon are ideal. They trap dirt and shed hair near the surface so that it is easy to vacuum away. Wool will also do this but it is expensive and will cost a lot of money to replace if it gets stained.
Stain-resistant: In reality, there is no such thing as a 100% stain-proof rug when you have a dog in the house. Nevertheless, some rugs are more resistant than others. Polypropylene is a material that is known for its stain-resisting properties. You should be able to spot-clean the rug and it will look as good as new.
Odor-resistant: Odors can be harder to get rid of than stains. Some material clings on to them, even after you have washed off the substance that caused the smell. Heat-treated polypropylene is excellent at resisting odors.
Color: In general, darker colors are better because they will not show up dirt from mucky paws as much as light colors. On the other hand, if you have a heavy-shedding dog with a pale coat, this will show up on a black rug! You may be better off choosing a rug that matches your dog’s coat.
Pattern: Pattern choice is not just about what you personally find attractive. The pattern of a rug is important when it comes to shedding fur and stains. Plain rugs of a single color will show up on every hair that your dog sheds! Whereas, a complex pattern will help to hide it. When it comes to hiding stains, a tight pattern is the best option for pet-friendly area rugs. There will be no open areas where stains can show up and they will just get lost in the complexity of the pattern.
Size of a pile: The best rugs for dogs have a short pile. They are easier to clean and will not trap shed hairs. Also, your dog will not get their claws stuck in it which can cause damage to themselves and the rug. For this reason, a cut pile is preferable to a looped pile. Some dogs actually like to dig in long piled rugs which is not desirable at all!
Tassels and fringes: These should be avoided completely. There will be a temptation for your dog to chew and pull at them. They can present a serious choking hazard if they come loose.
Backing material. A tufted rug with a glued-on back is not the best carpet for pets. Urine or other body fluids can soak through them into the glue and create a permanent odor. Latex backing material will break down if it is repeatedly soaked with urine and will stick to the floor surface beneath. If this is a hardwood floor, it can cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage.
Size: At the end of the day, it is possible that something will happen to your rug. It may be best to buy two smaller rugs rather than one bigger one so that replacements are not so expensive.
Materials to Avoid
There are some materials that are very unlikely to withstand the rigors of life with your four-legged friend. Here are some examples.
Viscose: This is a lovely material that feels like silk and has a sheen. It is in no way dog-proof. It will stain very easily and the mark will be almost impossible to remove. This is not good news if you have a dog running in and out of a muddy yard or who is prone to poop accidents in the house.
Seagrass: A very attractive natural material that is great at catching dirt and sand. The disadvantage is that dogs tend to be attracted to the natural fibers and like to poop and pee on them! Even if you can get rid of the visible stain, the fibers will not release the smell and it will hang around in your home until you get rid of the rug. The fibers can expand and contract when they get wet so a lot of spot cleaning will wear them out.
Hook and loop materials: These are very soft and luxurious but are not great for homes with dogs. Their claws can get caught in them and when they pull, the continual loop design means that you could lose a whole section of the rug!
Rayon, silk, and chenille: These are luxurious and delicate materials and so are best avoided in rooms where dogs spend a lot of time.
Advantages of Using Area Rugs for Dogs
You would be forgiven for thinking that buying a suitable rug for your home is just too complicated and that you won’t bother but that would be a mistake. There are several advantages to using pet-friendly rugs.
They look great: You don’t have to sacrifice style to get a hard-wearing and dog-resistant rug. You can have both. Rugs are available in a huge range of patterns and designs to suit any home and will give your décor that finishing touch.
They protect hardwood floors: Hardwood floors and dogs do not always mix. Your dog may not appreciate skidding around on the floor and they may scratch it with their claws or with toys. A large rug affords a lot of protection. For more dog-friendly floor types, check this article.
They protect carpets: If you do have fitted carpets, you will know how much they cost to replace and how much it costs to get them professionally cleaned. Dogs can cause a lot of damage to carpets by soiling them with their paws, shedding on them, and with the ‘little accidents’ that can sometimes happen. A rug provides a barrier between the dog and the carpet and extends the life of your carpet.
Dogs like them: Dogs love to curl up with their family and a rug gives them somewhere comfortable to do that.
Safety: Shed fur, water spills and moisture from wet paws can make hardwood surfaces very slippery. A rug helps to absorb that moisture and to trap shed fur where it can be removed safely. Very small rugs can be used for this purpose in doorways and hallways.
Best Area Rugs For Dogs FAQs:
Q: Will steam cleaning or water cleaning damage my rug?
A: This depends on what material the rug is made from. Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions on how to best clean the rug. Many manmade fibers such as some polypropylenes are durable enough to withstand steam cleaning.
Most materials in dog-proof rugs will withstand cleaning with water but again, it is best to check. Spot cleaning with water and an appropriate cleaning solution is a useful way of dealing with small areas of dirt and poop and pee accidents.
Q: How often should I clean a rug for dogs?
A: A daily vacuum will be needed to collect up all the loose shed hair and dust. It also keeps your rug looking at its best. Cleaning the rug can be carried out as it needs it. Some owners like to clean dog-friendly rugs three or four times a year. In between, you obviously have to spot clean any poop or pee accidents.
Q: Do I need a protectant on my rugs?
A: It is not necessary for stain-resistant rugs but could be a good idea for other materials. Often it has to be reapplied after a few months.
A: Jute rugs are durable but are not entirely scratchproof. If you have a dog that loves to dig, then you may find that your rug does not last as long as it would with a less enthusiastic dog. Jute rugs are also easy to clean but tend to easily show liquid stains, such as urine. Such rugs can be vacuumed regularly and are easy to wash; however, stains need to be treated quickly to stop them from becoming ingrained. Natural fibers, like jute, are also favored by dogs over human-made fibers. So, a jute rug is more likely to attract your dog and provide them with a comfortable place to lay.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is a hard-wearing rug that is rectangular and would look great in a smaller living room – Unique Loom Trellis Collection. It has a repeated motif pattern that would complement any décor and will not easily show up marks of shed fur. It is available in several colors.
It has a short pile (half an inch) so it will not get caught in claws and is easy to vacuum. The polypropylene fibers are stain-resistant and odor-resistant and are easy to clean.
Sharon is a Ph.D. scientist and experienced pet content writer. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a Cockapoo puppy. She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and turning it into easy-to-understand articles that offer practical tips. When it comes to our furry friends, she knows that there is always something new to learn!