Five Must-Have Flooring Features for Pet Owners

Whether you’re in the market for your first home or you’re simply refreshing your long-time residence, it’s always important to consider how certain aspects of the space will match the needs of each member of your household. And these days, that increasingly means thinking about your dogs or cats. Did you know that as of 2024, about 2/3 of households in the country own a pet—and more than half of them consider their furry companion to be just as important as any human member of the family? So, if you’re a pet owner who’s shopping for new floors, you might need to give serious thought to whether they’re a good fit for your furry companions. Here are five of the most important things to look for when choosing floors that can accommodate your pets’ needs, without compromising on your style goals.

Choosing a Carpet for a Pet-Friendly Home

Cats and dogs and carpet living together! It doesn’t have to cause mass hysteria.

Let’s clear this up right away. These days, pets and carpets can peacefully coexist in the same household. Thanks to continuous advancements in stain-resistant carpet fibers, overall durability, and other pet-specific features, you can now happily enjoy soft and cozy carpet floors without constantly worrying about your cat or dog ruining them.

Carpet with PUP® Pet Urine Protection

Perhaps the single biggest concern that pet owners have with carpeting is the issue of any “accidents” that will happen. Even the most dependably house-broken pets can have them, whether Spot gets nervous during a thunderstorm and leaves, well, some spots, or Nala gets lazy and misses her litter box. It’s almost an inevitability that every pet owner will, at some point, need to deal with pet urine on their carpet. This is where carpet with Pet Urine Protection (PUP®) saves the day.

PUP carpets from Empire Today® are specially crafted to resist the penetration of urine and other liquids into the padding underneath. When a pet accidentally goes to the bathroom on a typical carpet, even an immediate clean-up response might be too late because the urine has already begun soaking into the padding. Once that happens, it’s nearly impossible to fully clean—and it’s that soaked-in urine that ends up causing the lingering smells often found in pet-friendly homes. But because PUP carpet resists the soak-through of urine, you’ll have more time to thoroughly clean up any messes, greatly reducing the chances of any lingering smells. As an added bonus, PUP pet-friendly carpet will usually also have other valuable features, like enhanced resistance against stains and the formation of mold and mildew.

Today’s general stain-resistant carpet will go a long way towards preventing urine stains and can often be enough protection for the rare bathroom boo-boo.  But for households with pets that tend toward more frequent accidents, it’s worth upgrading to a PUP pet-friendly carpet from Empire®.

Odor Neutralizing and Hypoallergenic Carpets

A pet’s bathroom habits are only one aspect to consider when it comes to choosing carpets for cats or dogs. Regardless of how well-behaved they are when it comes to bathroom breaks, or if they never so much as roll around in the backyard, there will always be certain lingering odors that come along with owning a pet. A major source of these odors is pet dander—microscopic flakes of skin that are shed by your cat or dog. All animals that have fur release dander, and though regular bathing will reduce it, there’s nothing that can be done to totally prevent it. And what can be even worse than the resultant odor is dander’s effect on air quality.

Pet dander is a very common allergen and is, in fact, the underlying cause of the majority of pet allergies. After being shed, it floats in the air and then settles on every surface in your home, working its way into the nooks and crannies of your carpet. Once there, it can be hard to fully remove and gets thrown back into the air every time the carpet fibers are disturbed. The good news is that there’s a product that addresses both of the issues caused by pet dander.

Exclusive to Empire Today, HOME Fresh is a 100% hypoallergenic carpet with advanced odor-neutralizing capabilities. Its innovative design greatly increases airflow through the carpet and padding below, letting your vacuum’s suction reach deeper and remove more allergens like dander. Plus, an odor-neutralizing mineral is integrated into the fibers, actually canceling out the substances that cause odors once they hit the carpet. The result is cleaner, better-smelling air in your home—a must-have when it comes to pets and carpet.

Cut-Pile Carpets Keep Claws Comfortable

Choosing the best carpet for cats and dogs should be about more than just making coexistence more convenient. It’s also important to consider how your floors can impact your pets’ comfort and even health. Carpeted floors in a pet-friendly household often come with one major, unfortunate snag—pun intended. The loop-pile construction used in some of today’s popular carpets is notorious for ensnaring cat and dog claws, sometimes trapping their paws. When the pet reacts and pulls their paw away, the yanking can cause them great pain and, in some instances, actually tear their claw off.

It’s important to make sure that your carpet is comfy for all members of the family.

So, if you’re shopping for carpet for cats or dogs, it’s highly recommended to stay away from loop carpets. A common misconception with new shoppers is that a low-pile product like Berber would be the best carpet for pets. While it’s true that Berber is well-equipped to stand up to wear and tear and some of the staining that often comes with pet life, it Is, in fact, a loop-pile carpet. And though they’re relatively low-profile loops, they still pose a risk to your pets. Instead, look for carpeting with cut piles, like plush or frieze carpet. As a plus, many of the frieze and plush carpets available from Empire offer the aforementioned benefits like PUP treatment or hypoallergenic construction, making them an ideal carpet for pet-friendly homes.

Waterproof or Water-Resistant Flooring

Waterproof or water-resistant floors offer a double-whammy of convenience when it comes to pet households. First is the protection they offer against the liquid messes caused directly by pets. Whether it’s a knocked-over water bowl, a potty accident, or a trail of wet footsteps tracked across the kitchen, knowing your floors won’t be damaged by that wetness is a huge stress reliever.

Waterproof vinyl tile flooring can eliminate a large part of the stress of washing your dog indoors.

But the benefits of waterproof floors extend beyond just protecting against your pet’s liquid mishaps. They also make cleanup of all sorts of messes—liquid or solid—much easier. And that’s because a waterproof construction means you don’t have to be concerned with how wet your mop is or if you let a caked-on stain soak for a few minutes before you begin scrubbing. Even if your pet never has an accident and never plays in the mud, waterproof or water-resistant flooring can be a serious blessing when it comes to cleaning up after your pets.

Scratch-Resistant Coatings

Hard surface floors have long been the favorite for pet-friendly homes, but even those don’t always play nicely with pets. Anyone who’s ever caught a stray claw during an aggressive play session knows how sharp they can be—and many flooring materials are no match. While ceramic and porcelain tiles are naturally scratch-resistant, they can be a little cold for many areas of the home. While materials that are slightly softer—like hardwood, laminate, or vinyl flooringwill be more comfortable, they’ll also be easier to scratch. That’s where scratch-resistant coatings come in.

Empire offers an extensive range of scratch-resistant laminate, vinyl plank, and hardwood flooring. These products are finished with an ultra-tough aluminum oxide top coat, which helps guard against the scratches and scuffs that would damage an unprotected floor. That means your pooch can run laps till through the house until he’s pooped, and you won’t have to worry about your new wood floors getting destroyed in the process. As an added benefit, this coating also protects against fading caused by the sun’s UV rays, and eliminates the need for any regular polishing or waxing.

The Best Flooring for Dogs and Cats Can Be the Best for Humans, Too

The great thing about all shopping for pet-friendly flooring today is that you don’t have to compromise on what you really want just to make life with a cat or dog a little easier. You can get all of the beneficial features discussed above, without sacrificing on style or comfort. We know there are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for flooring, and as always, we’re here to help. Give us a call or contact us online to set up a free in-home consultation, and you’ll quickly be on your way to finding the best floor for your pets—and the rest of your family.

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