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If you’re torn between your love of pets and your love of decorative rugs, we’ve got some good news: You can have both! You might think that you have to sacrifice style for functionality, but it turns out that’s not the case. We’re here to help you navigate finding the right pet-friendly rug for your home, but before we start, there are three things you should keep in mind. First, you’ll want to find a rug that’s durable and easily cleaned so it’ll look new even after Fido gets his muddy paws on it. Second, it should have a low pile so your playful pets won’t do too much damage with their claws and teeth. Third, (ideally) it shouldn’t break the bank, since anything can happen when pets are in the house. Below, we rounded up the five best types of rugs you should look for to check off all of these boxes. We’ve also included stylish recommendations for each type, so you can get one step closer to finding a rug that both you and your pet can agree on. But first, let’s break down the rug types you should avoid.
Note: Rug prices are listed for size 5′ x 8′ or similar.
These finds are a no-brainer. Whether your pet likes to get dirty outside or is prone to accidents, a washable rug is your best friend. Every couple of weeks (or as needed), just throw it into the washing machine, and voila — your rug is good as new. Ruggable is a brand we’ve tested and love for its ingenious design. The company sends both a thick rug pad and a thinner decorative cover that attach together — the pad stays on the ground while you throw the cover in the wash. In particular, we recommend this minimal-patterned rug. So simple and so stylish.
A natural dried plant fiber often used in burlap, jute makes for a beautiful, organic rug that fits any decor style. These types of rugs are highly durable and fairly easy to clean. Running a soft vacuum over them quickly gets dust and hair out of their crevices, so they’re a good idea for a fur-filled home. This bleached jute rug from World Market is made of 100 percent jute and has a soft texture that makes it comfortable for human and pet feet.
Nylon, polypropylene, and other synthetic materials are known for their durability and ease of cleaning — two rug musts when there’s a pet in the house. These fabrics are pretty non-absorbent, which means they don’t stain easily, and they typically have a low pile, so they won’t be easily chewed or clawed at by your curious four-legged friend. Bonus: Synthetics tend to be less expensive than other materials, as proven by this oriental polypropylene rug from Joss & Main. Go ahead and get two, just in case.
Wool isn’t just a great winter sock material, it’s also surprisingly pet-friendly when it’s used to make rugs. Wool fibers are highly flexible and won’t lose their shape when they get wet, making wool rugs extremely durable. Like synthetic materials, they’re not fluffy or stringy, so your pet won’t be tempted to tear at them. Even better? The material naturally resists stains and moisture, and if dirt gets onto a wool rug, a vacuum can easily pull it out. That means you can even go for one that’s white, like this intricate mid-century-inspired rug, without fear that it’ll get completely discolored.
Rugs made for both indoor/outdoor use are a smart move for anyone looking for a rug that can take a beating. Their sole purpose, really, is to weather the elements — and to look good while doing so, of course. They’re meant to resist whatever the great outdoors has in store, including water and stains, and they typically require no more than a quick shake to clean. Many options, like this gray Moroccan-inspired rug made of polypropylene, are pretty enough to work in any indoor space.
Sarah M. Vazquez also contributed to reporting.