You love his shaggy ears, his friendly bark, and the way he comes running to the door as soon as you open it. But if there’s one thing you could probably do without, it’s Fido’s effect on your carpets. Sure, the love of your animal is worth a few inconveniences here and there, but you shouldn’t have to choose between having a pet and keeping your carpets pristine. These four steps can help you pet-proof those carpets and keep them clean, cozy and comfortable. Bath Time: Simple as it seems, the cleaner your pet is, the cleaner your carpet will likely be. Make sure that you’re regularly bathing your pet (especially dogs), and be sure to wipe their paws before coming back in the house from outside. Without muddy paw prints, your carpet will be t Brush-Out: If there’s one thing that can keep your carpet looking dingy and dirty, it’s a few layers of pet hair. Not only will hair hide the color and texture of your carpets, but it’ll also end up all over clothes, shoes, and furniture. Brushing your pet daily can greatly minimize the amount of hair they’re leaving on your pretty rug. hat much cleaner. Spot-Treat: For those inevitable times when Fido has — ummm — an accident, be careful with your spot cleaning. Using plain club soda and blotting at stains (not rubbing) can help reduce the appearance of the stain. You can also try using one part Borax, two parts cornstarch or soda. Clean up the mess, then apply the Borax mixture and let it stand. Vacuum it up after an hour. Buy the right food: Your dog food might have added colors that can stain the carpet when your pet drags it onto the rug or inadvertently leaves it there due to acid reflux or upset stomachs. Buying natural, neutral colored food can prevent food stains. Got a carpet-trained pet? Share your tips below.