Carpet Damage From Dog
September 29, 2018 8:03 AM   Subscribe

My dog is pulling out my carpet fibers. Is there any way to save my rental deposit?

I thought I could keep her in a pen for short time periods (like when I'm taking a nap or short trips to the store) instead of always keeping her crated (where she doesn't bark and is non-destructive) but clearly I can't because despite toys and treats she keeps pulling out my carpet fibers

I live in a rental. I don't have any extra carpet but it's just standard apartment carpet so I feel like I should be able to get a close-enough match at the store. Is this kind of repair do-able for an amateur? I really don't want to lose my deposit. I have 2 small areas that are damaged (small one is about .5", big one is 1" by 6"). I'm not looking for perfection, just good enough to pass a short inspection.

I want to know if this is realistic (and if so how and where I can find out how to do it) or if it's a lost cause.
posted by Aranquis to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
How long have you been in the apartment? There’s something in most US states that says a carpet is supposed to be replaced every 5 years so if you’ve been there for a while they may be limited in how much they can charge you for the damages.
posted by raccoon409 at 8:39 AM on September 29, 2018

There’s something in most US states that says a carpet is supposed to be replaced every 5 years

Citation needed. To the best of my knowledge this isn't true; this may be a misunderstanding of the law that if a landlord replaces the entire carpet they can't charge the tenant for it all at once but must instead depreciate it over 5 years (if the carpet is tacked down) or 27.5 years (if it's glued).

Here in California, a carpet is considered to have a useful life of 8 to 10 years, after which the landlord can't charge the tenant for replacement.
posted by Lexica at 9:33 AM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Get an area rug large enough to put under her pen. And outdoor rug which is water damage resistant would be good. That should stop her from continuing to make damage.

Rent a carpet shampooer that fluffs up the pile and see how it looks after you clean it if you have not already done so.

Take some of the damaged fibre with you to a rug store and see how close a match you can find.

Much depends on the rug and its ability to hide the damage, and on whether it is sun faded or age darkened or not. You are unlikely to be able to fix the damage without there being an obvious and unacceptable patch. The only way to guess if it will work is to do the legwork and see if you can find some carpet that is a close enough match to be worth trying.

How good is the condition of the rest of the rug? if you are lucky the whole rug is several years old and near the end of its life. Consider if staying in the apartment for several more years to age the rug out would be reasonable.
posted by Jane the Brown at 11:59 AM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Sorry, I don't have any carpet tips. (We switched to laminate flooring in our house due to this very issue.) But a suggestion to prevent more damage is to keep her nails shorter and smoother. Trim them more frequently so you can get them down to a shorter regular length. If she'll stand for it, file the rough edges off.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:44 PM on September 29, 2018

I’d lay a rug over the top of it.
posted by Jubey at 2:21 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’d put another rug over the top to protect it and prevent more damage, but you are probably out of luck on your deposit. Your dog damaged someone else’s property and it costs money to repair it, that’s what the deposit is for. That doesn’t seem unfair or unreasonable to me in this situation.
posted by cakebatter at 3:52 PM on September 29, 2018

This is a sideways sort of answer, but when my dog was a puppy and was ripping up the carpet in a rental, I rubbed a little bit of clear unscented deodorant on the carpet. It wasn't enough to hurt him, but it was unpleasant-tasting enough that he left the carpet alone.
posted by zoetrope at 12:22 PM on October 1, 2018

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