Keeping your flooring in shape can depend on its design and whether or not you have pets. Here are tips for homeowners on protecting hardwood floors from dogs.
You love your dog with all your heart. What you don’t love is the little scrapes they put on your hardwood floors with their long nails. As a pet owner, this is a constant day-to-day struggle. When the dog scratches up the floor, it makes the floor vulnerable to odors and moisture.
There are ways of protecting hardwood floors from pet nails and other unfortunate accidents, and good news - it won’t cost you tons of money.
Sometimes all it takes is a little crate training and using the right cleaner to clean up your pet's messes. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your floors free from damage.
1. Train the Dog
The best way to keep your floors safe from your dog is to prevent it from walking on them when you're not there. This means that it's time to buy a crate and begin training.
It's not as hard as it seems. Most of it just involves creating a positive mindset toward the crate. Place your dog in it when they are winding down. They'll begin to think of it as a place where they can take a breather.
Couple that with positive reinforcement by giving them a treat every time they go into the crate and you'll have them trained in no time.
If you don't have access to a crate, you can use baby gates and closed doors to block off certain areas of your home while you're not around. Until they are properly potty trained, keep their access to the non-waterproof floors to a minimum.
2. Apply Hardwood Sealants
No matter how potty trained your dog is, accidents happen. Sometimes they can't hold it in while they wait for you to put on your shoes. This is especially true for older dogs.
Your floor will be able to handle these accidents a lot better if you apply a sealant to it. Sealants create a protective barrier that will prevent urine from seeping deep into the wood. It will also stop your dog's nails from scratching up the floor when they're running around.
The most common sealant around is polyurethane. Apply about three layers on your floor, giving one layer plenty of time to dry before you add another one.
It's important to note that even though you've protected your floor with a sealant that it isn't foolproof. It helps but you'll still need to clean up your dog's messes as soon as they happen.
3. Use Penetrating Oil
There is one problem with using polyurethane sealant. It protects your floor but it adds an unnatural shine. It sort of subtracts from the natural aesthetic because it makes your floor look a bit plastic-like.
If this is a problem for you, use penetrating oil instead. As the name suggests, penetrating oil reinforces your floor by leaking down into the fibers of the wood. It will do the same job as the sealant and look a lot less artificial.
4. Lay Down Area Rugs
Area rugs and other pet-friendly flooring materials can add a little bit of color to a room, and they provide an extra layer of protection against puppy nails and messes. Be sure that whatever rug you get is resistant against pet urine.
At the very least, invest in one that can simply be hosed off. As far as placement goes, keep an eye on your dog. If there is a place in the room where they always tend to go to the bathroom, that's where you'll want to put the rug.
If they tend to bolt from the furniture to the door when someone knocks, then you should consider putting a rug in their path to stop them from scratching the floor. It will give them a little extra traction too.
5. Keep Your Pet Groomed
Of course, the best way to stop your pet from scratching your floor is to keep their nails trimmed. Not only will regular nail clipping protect the floor, but it's also good for your pet.
Running on the hardwood with long nails hurts them. If you're worried about them scratching the floors after their salon treatment, you can invest in nail caps for dogs or put dog booties on them.
6. Use the Right Cleaner
Messes on hardwood floors need to be cleaned up right away. If they are allowed to sit, they will begin to seep into the wood. If this happens too often, it will damage your floors and cause a nasty odor to get trapped in them.
Of course, you can't use just any cleaner on the hardwood. Your best bet is going to be to use some kind of enzymatic solution.
7. Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Pet
We know, with your busy schedule you're not always at home. When you are at the house, keep a watchful eye on your dog. If they begin to squat, stop them, and let them go outside.
If they begin to pace around like they're looking for a place to potty, take them outside. Train your dog to bark at the door when they need to go out. Whatever you do, don't yell at them when you notice that they're about to pee.
Protecting Hardwood Floors From Mischievous Pups
While hardwood floors look wonderful and add a natural feel to your home, scratch problems can arise when you have a pet. You've got to take measures for protecting hardwood floors or they may be scratched by nails or damaged by pet urine.
As long as you use some of the preventive measures on this list, you should be able to have gorgeous floors for a long time to come.
Are you ready to have your hardwood floors installed? Contact us to get a free in-home estimate.