Young or untrained pets can use a rug as a scratching post or a chewing toy, or worse still, as a toilet. Most physical damage to a rug can be repaired, but pet urine, if it is not noticed, can over time cause terrible damage to your rug by rotting the fabric and discolouration.
To prevent your pet chewing or scratching the rug it is a good idea to provide chew toys or scratch posts until your pet has outgrown the phase or has been toilet trained .
Pet owners know that there is a high chance that your pet will have an accident, either before they are fully house trained or when they are old and incontinent or if they are ill. Fresh pet urine is acidic and warm and this acidity and warmth can cause bleeding of the dyes in the rug. More common is a yellow stain and a urine stain is often very difficult to remove because the acidity makes it bond with the fibres. Fresh pet stains are always much easier to remove and cause a lot less damage to the rug dye and the rug fibres .
The damage from pet urine depends on the type of rug, Pakistani rugs and Chinese rugs are often coloured with dyes that have less stability, the dyes in these rugs are more to susceptible to fading by light and pet stains will cause permanent damage unless the stain is removed quickly.
Untreated pet stains can make your whole rug smell terrible. The original stain spreads throughout the rug, travelling along the cotton warp and weft threads that form the base of the rug , that’s why just treating the stained will not completely remove the urine odour from a rug, it has to be immersion washed.
The odour problem is much worse if the rug has a backing made of latex, urine will bond with latex and the smell is almost impossible to remove, when urine penetrates a jute backing on your rug it can cause rotting.
Urine stains and damage to rugs depends on the urine strength and chemistry and is influenced by , age and sex of your pet they condition of their health and their diet.
A pet stain is acidic but becomes alkaline if it is left in the rug, the water content evaporates and urine salts called urea develop – these absorb moisture from the air and release odour when the room is humid. That’s why the smell of a urine damaged rug comes and goes there will always be a smell of urine from your rug on a damp or humid day.
If your rug is damaged with pet urine there will be fading and loss of rug colour is inevitable over time, the alkalinity of the urine in the carpet destabilises the dyes of the carpet, the dyes fade and there will be colour loss when cleaning is attempted without expert attention.
As a rug owner and a pet lover it is a good idea to roll up your rug and store it until your pet is housetrained. Attend to pet accidents promptly and carefully.
If your pet becomes incontinent or is ill, it is again a good idea to remove your rug until your pet recovers its health.