Pet + Carpet Doesn’t Need to Mean Disaster

Just because you have a pet, doesn’t mean your carpet has to suffer. Following a few simple guidelines of carpet maintenance and taking care to treat messes, accidents and spills immediately, can extend the life of your carpet and make you a happy pet owner.


It is important to remember that managing odor and cleanliness of your carpet go hand in hand. Often odor is the result of a mess that has not been cleaned properly or inconsistent regular cleanings. It is far easier to maintain a schedule of cleaning than wait until the mess or odor is driving you from the house.

When creating a plan to care for your carpet while living with a pet, it is helpful to ask these questions:

  • How often am I willing to vacuum?
  • What is the age of my carpet?
  • Am I planning to replace this carpet in the next year?
  • What is my budget for maintaining my carpet?
  • How well trained is my pet?

With these questions in mind, you can begin to craft a care and maintenance plan that fits your lifestyle and time – while not stressing you out. Below are guidelines for caring for a carpet in a living space with a cat or dog. Use these to help you plan out how to keep your home sparkling.


  • Vacuum carpet more frequently to capture pet hair and dander from your pet’s fur.
    • A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be able to see the hair while standing upright.
    • It is recommended to vacuum 2x a week for medium soil carpet – families with children or elderly, or a non-shedding pet.
      • Remember even if a pet doesn’t shed they will leave dander, and bring in dirt from the outside.
    • It is recommended to vacuum 3x a week for high soil carpet – families with pets and/or smoking.
  • Try sprinkling baking soda on carpet before vacuuming – it can help clean and reduce odors.
  • Make sure your vacuum is set to the right height.
    • Set too low and the vacuum can damage your carpet over time.
    • Set too high and the vacuum loses effectiveness.
    • To get the right height: Set the vacuum to its highest setting, turn it on, then lower the brush until it hits the carpet.
  • Have your carpet professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months at a minimum. These guidelines can help:
    • For medium soil carpet, in heavy traffic areas of the home, a deep cleaning is needed every 6 months, with a restorative cleaning annually.
    • For high soil carpet, in heavy traffic areas of the home, a deep  cleaning is needed every 3-6 months with restortive cleaning twice annually.
  • Clean up new messes promptly and then follow the steps for spot and stain removal.
  • The longer a mess sits on the carpet, the harder is it to clean. 
  • Use your hand (with a glove, plastic bag, or cloth) to extract solid messes and quickly cleanup of pet accidents. Keep in mind that these quick clean ups don’t take the place of periodic deep cleaning.


Consistency is key, as well as being realistic about your time. The good news is that once your carpet care plan is in place, it will be easier to care for your carpet and still enjoy having your pet as part of the family.

When scheduling your annual or semi annual deep clean or restorative cleaning, let ServiceMaster Clean know of any high traffic areas or spots on the carpet that might need a little extra TLC. We back our work up with 60+ years of industry expertise and a passion for excellence and customer service.

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