The best animal friendly fabrics and finishes to protect furniture and floors

Ashley abramson

THE WASHINGTON POST – Taking care of an animal is as much responsibility as it is joy. Along with training, staying on top of feedings, making sure your pet is exercising, and visiting the vet, you’ll need to protect your home from pets.

But that doesn’t just mean putting up barriers and keeping chemicals out of reach. If you want to ensure the longevity of your furniture and floors, choose fabrics and finishes that are resistant to pet wear.

In general, it is best for pet owners to opt for durable, easy-to-clean materials that are stain resistant and do not readily absorb odors. Russell Hartstein, a certified behaviorist and dog trainer in Los Angeles and founder of Fun Paw Care, added that properly train your pets on where to do their “business” and what is appropriate to scratch or scratch. Chewing goes just as far in protecting your furniture and floors. If there is a mess, always try to clean it immediately to avoid lasting stains and odors.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice your interior design sensibility to incorporate animal-friendly fabrics and finishes into your home. Here are some of the best options, according to experts.


When choosing a floor, aim for a tough material that won’t highlight your pet’s scratches. An interior designer in Los Angeles, Mark Cutler, suggests using ceramic or porcelain tiles. They’re scratch-resistant and easy to clean, and because they’re non-porous, they don’t easily absorb odors from dog or cat accidents.


If stone isn’t your style (or if it’s too cold), hardwood isn’t out of the question. Cutler suggests a factory finished floor rather than real hardwood if your goal is to prevent wear and tear.

Just keep in mind that even treated wood is naturally more porous than other materials, so you’ll need to notice – and clean up – spills and messes quickly.


Carpet isn’t ideal when pets live with you, but if that’s what you have, protect yourself as much as possible from messes and pet hair by investing in rugs. Keep in mind, however, that rugs made from natural materials can be more difficult to clean than synthetic rugs.

Nichole Schulze, Cutler’s design partner, recommends investing in a few indoor and outdoor rugs, designed with stain and odor-repellent synthetic materials. When your pet does a mess on the mat, you can take it out, clean it with detergent, and spray it with a hose. You may even be able to disinfect it with diluted bleach.

With an indoor-outdoor rug, Cutler suggests using an underlay and replacing it about once a year.


There are plenty of attractive outdoor rugs out there, Cutler said, but if you want a more traditional look, a low-pile wool rug may be the best option. Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries Creative Director Sarah Tringhese said wool is naturally water resistant, so animal damage shouldn’t seep into it. It’s also relatively easy to clean, but for stubborn stains, consider professional cleaning.

Either way, avoid shag rugs if you have a pet. “These types of rugs are the most difficult to vacuum thoroughly, and it may take a few days to properly remove odors, as it is difficult to reach the base and takes a long time to dry,” said Irina, owner of the Rocket Maids cleaning company. Nikiforova.

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