May is National Pet Month, and approximately 67% of U.S. households have pets in their homes. And not all are standard dogs, cats or goldfish. Like many things impacted by the pandemic, the domestic pet population is no exception. In the last few years, there’s been a distinct rise in consumers bringing more exotic pets into their families – from bearded dragons to floppy-eared giant Flemish rabbits so the flooring experts at Carpet One Floor & Home have compiled the best flooring options for these pets.

Consumers considering adding an exotic pet should do some homework on all aspects of the housing and care for an exotic pet, and that includes flooring. In fact, a recent Forbes Advisory study showed that more than two-thirds of Americans would pass on the perfect home if it wasn’t a good fit for their pets.

The flooring experts at Carpet One Floor & Home have specific tips for more exotic family members, but first – some general tips for the best floors for any pet:

  • Consider the pet's size and weight. If you have a large or heavy pet, you'll need flooring that can withstand their weight and claws. Hardwood floors, for example, can be scratched and damaged by sharp nails.
  • Think about pet's activity level. If you have a high-energy pet, you'll need a flooring that can stand up to their wear and tear.
  • Take into account the pet's habits. Some pets, like birds, like to chew on things. If you have a pet that chews, you'll need a flooring that is not easily damaged by their teeth.
  • Consider pet's allergies. Some pets are allergic to certain materials, like carpet fibers or hardwood dust. If your pet has allergies, choose a flooring that is hypoallergenic.
  • Donate old flooring. If you install new floors, check with your local animal shelter to see if they can use your old flooring. Many animal shelters can use donated flooring for kennels, cages and in other areas of their space.

Exploring Flooring For Some Popular Exotic Pets

Bunking With Beardies. Bearded dragons – “beardies” as they are affectionately known to those who love them – are growing in popularity as house pets. It’s not surprising when you understand why they are so beloved by owners – they are lizards that are very social, intelligent and really enjoy hanging out with their humans. They mainly thrive in a large habitat/terrarium, but they love to get out and roam occasionally, particularly outside in grass. When they are inside with their families, experts advise setting them down in rooms with low pile carpet they won’t get claws stuck in or luxury vinyl, stone or hardwood floors with traction. Tile may frustrate beardies who tend to slip and slide on it.

Bearded Dragon Fun Fact: Bearded dragons actually wave – they “raise” their hands to signal their owners when they want to get their attention. Famous “beardie” owners include Drew Barrymore, Kim Kardashian, Chris Pratt and Chrissy Tiegen.

Rooming With Giant Flemish Rabbits. Bigger than many average-sized dogs, Giant Flemish Rabbits are the largest domestic breed out there. Generally docile in nature, they can make good pets. The best flooring for these floppy-eared pets is something that could mimic grass, or a plush textured cut pile that’s trackless, so owners are less likely to see paw prints showing up on floors. Other interior design notes are to make sure the areas of your home the bunny might roam into are sufficiently rabbit proofed. Rabbits of all shapes and sizes tend to chew through wood, so protect furniture legs and baseboards.

Giant Flemish Fun Fact: The average size of a Giant Flemish Rabbit is a whopping 2 ½ feet long and their ears are around 8 inches long The biggest Flemish Giant rabbit on record, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is four feet, three inches.

Homing A Hedgehog. Maybe it’s fictional “hedgies” like Sonic or Mrs. Tiddle Winks from Beatrix Potter that have led to the growth in pet popularity of these prickly pets –more people are picking hedgehogs as pets. Hedgehogs are small, furry creatures that are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hedgehogs are generally considered to be good pets for people who are looking for a low-maintenance animal. They are relatively quiet and do not require a lot of space. However, it is important to note that hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so they will be most active at night. If a hedgehog roams freely at night, carpet with loops can catch their sharp little toenails – so limit their unsupervised carpet time. Another hedgie tidbit: they are prone to licking and chewing to anoint themselves, so avoid harsh chemicals to clean floors or carpet where the hedgehog spends most of its time.

Hedgehog Fun Facts: Hedgehogs have between 5,000 and 7,000 spines/quills.

The Perfect Pad for Potbellied Pigs. Blame it on George Clooney, but ever since the actor famously got a potbellied pig it put a brighter spotlight on pigs as pets. Potbellied pigs come in many sizes, and this becomes a problem when an adorable little piglet grows into a 200-pound adult. Experts advise potential potbellied pig pet owners do some homework, know what they’re buying and understand what size they’ll get. As far as floors are concerned, potbellied pigs love to dig. Keep in mind that a sturdy floor to withstand potential digging and curious hoofs is the better, safer flooring choice for a pet pig.

Potbellied Pigs Fun Facts: They are very intelligent animals and can be trained to do tricks. Pot-bellied pigs are also very social and enjoy being around other pigs and people.

No matter what type of flooring you choose, it is important to keep your pet's needs in mind. By choosing a durable, easy-to-clean flooring option, you can help to keep your home looking its best and your pet safe and healthy. For more information on pet friendly flooring for all types of pets, please click here.

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