The Best Rugs for Big Dogs (and little ones, too!)
If there's one thing I've learned the hard way, it's that all dogs don't go with all decor! I hate to put a damper on things, but wishful thinking just won't make your fluffy white rug last if you've got claws tearing into it daily. Trust me, I've been there. But do not be dismayed! I'm here to share the solution to this problem from my own trial and error over the years.
If you follow along on Instagram, you've probably seen our Great Dane x English Mastiff, Summer. I got her at 7 weeks old and ended up purchasing a fluffy ivory rug a few weeks later. It was a great HomeGoods find and I figured I could totally make it work! Besides, how cute would my puppy look laying on that soft, fluffy rug!? I know, you're all shaking your heads, thinking "idiot!". It was just a few months and lots of chew toy chunks embedded into the fluff of the rug later that I ended up tossing it in the garbage. (The rug, not the puppy.) I wondered if I would ever be able to find a rug with the look I wanted that Summer wouldn't destroy.
Fast forward a few years later when my husband and I bought our first home together. There are hard wood and tile floors throughout the main living spaces and just some old carpeting in the spare bedrooms and workout room. THANK GOD. Hard floors in the main living spaces were an absolutely must-have for me. The carpeting at our previous beach rental was an absolute nightmare to keep clean and I spent more time trying to clean dog paws off than actually playing with the dog. I'll spare you from those hideous photos. Just use your imagination.
Once we moved into our new house, I knew I wanted a woven rug to bring in a laid back coastal feel, but I wasn't sure how they would hold up. I did a bunch of research on different types of natural fiber rugs and I settled on sea grass. It is the toughest (and roughest) of all of the fibers. Keep in mind that sea grass is not the softest of materials, but we aren't bothered by that at all. Summer loves laying on this rug too, so clearly it's quite comfortable if you're a dog.
Of course, I waited until there was a great sale on the 9x12 bordered sea grass rug and brought it home. I've had this rug for over 3 years now and it still looks like new. I would absolutely recommend getting a tightly woven sea grass rug because the weaving is so strong and durable, that even 170 pounds and nails like eagle talons whipping across it haven't damaged it one bit! I can't even believe it myself.
This rug is also really easy to vacuum! Although she doesn't have chunks of hair balls coming out like a husky or lab would, she does still shed! I just run the vacuum over this area once or twice each week and that takes care of any hair or dirt.
In my humble opinion, the best natural rugs have backing sewn into them. This means that the amount of "dust" coming from the fibers is extremely minimal and it shouldn't damage your hard wood floors. In some cases, it's best to add a rug pad underneath to prevent any slipping, but our massive How Now Brown Couch sectional that came with my husband holds the rug in place. As a side note, I've found that IKEA has the best non-slip rug pads for unbeatable prices. Even after the cost of shipping, you're still paying less than anywhere else. You could probably buy two and put them next to each other if you need them in a larger size. You can find them here.
In our living room, which is more of a "sitting room", I really wanted a softer, chunkier rug with fringe. I absolutely loved it when I laid it out, but it only took a couple of days to see what would happen to it's large woven loops if Summer's claws caught onto them! Eek! I had considered purchasing a rug to layer over it for aesthetics, but it became obvious that adding another rug would be very practical too.
My top rug vacuums up so well! I love how thick the fibers are and the extra cushion it adds to our floor. And most importantly, Summer is a huge fan. She can be found squeezing herself into the floor space surrounding the furniture in the living room throughout the day.
If you've been going through rugs like crazy, I hope this post will help you find a longer lasting solution that's also stylish!
Jessica (and Summer) ;)