PET-TESTED, PAWS APPROVED: The Complete Guide to Pets & Rugs

Puppies are in! Interior design is trending! And now, the two can live in harmony with Well Woven’s array of affordable, pet-friendly rugs. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how families with a resident four-footer can keep their rugs looking great and lasting for the long haul.

Gila Grey Machine Washable Rug | @donut_the_mini_pig


Let’s start with the basics: whether the pet comes first or the rug comes first, all the playful love, belly rubs, and fetch on your amazing rug may also come with a few “Oops!” moments that might affect your rug’s appearance and longevity. So, let’s go through the main elements that we can expect in the life as loving pet and rug owners: 

Rug Care Tips Your Pet Will Love

DIRT: Whether or not your dog likes to indulge in a mud bath from time to time, any pet that spends time outside is bound to track in dirt and debris caught in its paws. The goal is not to worry about it, but to take steps to prevent it from getting too deep into the fibers where the aftermath becomes “not so fun”. 

CHEWING & SCRATCHING: Most common with puppies and bored cats, idle chewing and scratching can damage a rug quickly. Some rug material, if swallowed, can also upset your pet’s tummy and even cause a trip to the vet.  

SHEDDING: Depending on the breed, some animals shed more than you’d ever think possible. When built up, all that hair can be both a visual and allergy-inflaming nuisance. Combined with a HEPA approved vacuum, rugs can be a great way to trap pet hair and dander and manage allergens in the home.

URINE & VOMIT: The BIG ONE! Ha—well, accidents happen. Some dogs pee when they get excited, and some cats vomit when they don’t agree with what you served for dinner. Even with a perfectly trained pooch, it pays to be prepared, as stains and odors can be tricky to get rid of.

Jackie Crimson Rug | @bexleyboys


Say your home already includes one (or several) furry family members, and you’re looking to add some life to the living room with a new rug. How do you go about choosing one that will mesh with a barking, clawing, shedding lifestyle? 

PILE MATERIALS: We suggest looking for something durable, affordable and stain-resistant when you’re living with pets. Often, this means synthetic rugs like those made of polypropylene or chenilleNatural rugs like those made of wool can actually absorb the accidents and odors your pet may cause, which, over time, may lead to discoloration, fading and a smelly home. Other styles like those made of jute can be difficult to clean since they’re coarsely woven.

COLOR: No need to find a total match, but finding a rug with a similar shade of your pet will help hide shedded hairs. And since stains and dirt will likely be a recurring issue, having a rug with absorbing colors, like brown or dark blue, can help cover up messes. But that doesn’t mean don’t clean it up (we all think it sometimesjust being honest). The faster you attend to any dirt or liquid on a rug, the better. Similarly, rugs with more detailed patterns will help distract the eye from dirt. 

Cassino Contemporary Chevron Brown Kilim-Style Rug

STYLE: A flat woven rug style works best but if you want a little oomph to your floors, opt for something straight-cut with a low pile and a simple structure (like this). Liquids will soak in slower than they would with high-low styles or shag rugs with lots of nooks and crannies, for example, and they are easier to blot dry and pick out most solids from.

RUG BACKING: Go with a rug backing that’s easy to clean and not super absorbent. When a dog pees on a rug, the liquid sinks and can be absorbed by the backing. Materials like rubber or jute will grab ahold of that liquid, trapping the smell and moisture, which can deteriorate the backing and go on to damage your floors. But rugs with a polyester or cotton backing like these machine washable rugs are less absorbent, making them easy to clean and more forgiving with smells. Let someone else be that friend whose house smells like they’re raising 101 Dalmatians.

Tarifa Rust Machine Washable Rug | @annadanigelis 


We’ve all been there (ok, maybe not everyone)a few thousand dollars later and we’re walking on eggshells around the house, nervous that something will go wrong on the new rug. Looking at you, Rover. No one needs that extra stress, and with Well Woven rugs and other pet-friendly interior design choices, you can leave it at the door. We allow you to be the interior design inspiration to your friends without breaking the bank or worrying about wasting thousands in order to live the Dog Mom life. 


Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing like sinking your bare feet into a thick shag rug but when rooming with a pet, that plush material is a magnet for both fur and dirt. These rugs, especially when punctuated by fringe or tassels, can look just like a chew toy that is begging to be played with, so use caution when adding them to an otherwise pet-friendly space. Similarly, the handmade, one-of-a-kind heirlooms that are just as beautiful but even more delicate are best put in a pet-free space.

Nord Brown Indoor-Outdoor Rug |


Fortunately, there are a ton of Well Woven rugs with a construction and design that makes them excellent for pet-friendly homesafter all, we know firsthand how quickly pets become family. Our machine washable rugs are convenience, value, and style all in one dog-friendly package. Our indoor-outdoor rugs are built to take a beating from rambunctious toddlers and their hyper puppies. And all of our rugs are durable and stain-resistant, making rug care easy, whether you’re dealing with cat vomit, marker murals, or spilled coffee. Have a dog that loves to chase his tail? Our new premier rug pads help rugs stay in place even when your pup gets a little wild.

Menda Blush Machine Washable Rug | @Charlieandbodie


Even with the most pet-friendly rug in the world, having an animal call your living room ‘home’ will take a toll on the rug’s material. Minimize those affects with a few rug care habits: 

  • Even if you skipped the ‘wipe your paws’ chapter in Dog Training 101, having a doormat at your home’s entrance will help limit the dirt and debris tracked in by pets. 
  • Vacuuming every one or two weeks helps control shedded hairyou’ll be amazed at how much is picked up! Remember to raise the beater bar and turn off the wild spinning bristle brush for best results. 
  • We know that trimming your pet’s nails can be an ordeal, but it will help avoid rug damage and stuck claws. From our crew of pet lovers to yours, we suggest having a professional do this.
For even more rug maintenance tips, see our guide here.

    Patli Ivory Rug | @petiamphotos


    Many of us have been there: your puppy is so excited to see you that he promptly pees on the rug. You can hardly get mad at this adorable pooch for being so overjoyed with your presence. Instead, grab a non-toxic, environmentally friendly pet stain remover (a DIY version of ½ cup hydrogen peroxide and ½ cup dish soap attacks odor, bacteria, and stain) and tackle that stain quickly. If left too long, vomit or urine can be absorbed into the rug and will require a call for professional cleaning. Just make sure you use a non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaner to keep harmful chemicals away from your kids and pets. We must protect what we love mostthe future depends on it together! 

    Atri Beige Rug | @thehomeupdate

    If there is some wild and unforeseen out-of-control moment we didn’t chat about here, please reach out to our experienced care team. We are here beyond your first rug moment!