Are you considering adopting a new pet? If your answer to this question is yes, the summer season might be the best part of the year to do so. Longer days and warmer temperatures would give you plenty of hours to spend outside, helping to forge a bond that will likely last a lifetime.
In a house adorned with hardwood flooring, though, doubts about the consequences of these choices are not uncommon. Puppies and kitten are famous for their tendency to be destructive, especially in their earliest formative years. Things will get better as your new friend grows, but you should still get ready to deal with a few headaches.
Nevertheless, despite what most people believe, pets and hardwood floors can indeed coexist. Just like with anything else in life, making it work is going to require some effort on your part. Sounds confusing? Don't worry, that's what you're here for!
In the next few lines, we'll go through the most important details you should keep in mind when adopting a pet or when installing a hardwood floor in a house that is already home to one!
Understand What You're In For
Puppies, kittens, rodents, and exotic creatures have one thing in common: they're all animals. As such, they are mainly driven by their natural instincts. Some of the above might decide to elect you as their guide, but even those will act erratically from time to time.
If you can't stand the sight of your new pet ignoring your commands, consider adopting a trained one or one that will spend most of its time in a cage. Remember that even mice or bunny rabbits will need to stretch their legs every once in a while, though. As long as the newest member of your family has paws, teeth or claws, you should expect some form of scratching.
A young pet is just as curious as a little human being. In their minds, the world that surrounds them is a continuous flurry of noises, smells, and colors that they've never seen before. As such, these little creatures will want to take in as much as they can. A cat is likely going to test whether they can slash through your new hardwood flooring; a dog might try running on it.
Gradually introducing your new animal to the floor is always a great idea. Have the pet get comfortable with the material: let them sniff it, feel it under their paws, and slowly teach them that the thin layer of wood in front of them is no enemy. As soon as they learn to consider your new floor as part of the house, most pets will lose interest in it.
There is one last thing to consider: before you even begin to think about the right pet for you, you should make sure to understand what you're actually in for. Most household animals are going to be around for 10 to 15 years. During that time you will - for all intents and purposes - share your living spaces with them. In fact, most cats would believe that they are the owners and you're the guest!
Plan Your Day To Reflect That Of Your Pet
A bored pet is possibly the largest threat to the structural integrity of your home. Unless they are locked in a room or safe behind bars, the little balls of fur will drag their feet - and more often than not their tongues and claws - around the house. The trail of destruction that they can leave in their wake is sometimes hard to imagine.
Free-roaming animals need to burn off their excesses of energy. When they are not given any other means, they'll use what's around them to do so. Just to be clear, this is where a dog might decide to dig a hole through your hardwood floor, a kitten may want to claw it or a rodent might try to file its teeth on it.
Letting your dog out for a walk in the early morning and playing fetch or other demanding activities will tire them enough to keep them quiet throughout the day. Cats, on the contrary, are more sleep-inclined creatures. A feline can rest for up to 18 hours a day, meaning that you'll have to keep your guard up when they're awake.
If you want your companions to be calm and peaceful while you're not home, dedicating some of your free time to them should be a priority. Unfortunately, busy lifestyles and hectic schedules might make that impossible to achieve. This is especially true for people who live in larger cities.
In such cases, consider tasking another member of your family with taking care of playtime or hiring a sitter. The latter could end up being a tad expensive, though, another detail to keep in mind before you go ahead and adopt a pet.
Pick The Right Material For Your Hardwood Floor
Hardwood floors come in a variety of forms, finishes, colors, and materials. Each of these not only allows for finely tuned customization of your house, but also features technical characteristics that could make them less or more suitable for pets.
If you share your home with various animals and finally decided to switch from tiles to hardwood, take a moment to pick the perfect material for your situation. It isn't only about resistance to scratches and damage. Watching as your pet slides across a varnished wooden floor may be fun, but the creature could seriously injure itself if you're not careful.
A pet that likes to run will be more comfortable with a solid wood flooring, for instance. The grooves between each of the tiles let your friend keep a steady grip on the surface. Textures are important too: a floor that is too slippery will scare your pets, giving them the idea of being unable to balance their weight on it.
Recycled or laminated floors are yet another valid option. Cheaper to manufacture and more resistant than their hardwood counterpart, these solutions are the perfect compromise between quality and affordability. If you live in a house where pets are a constant presence, this solution may be the most suited to your needs.
When in doubt, get in contact with a professional and ask for their opinion on the matter or for a custom quote. For those living in or around the city of London, our team will be more than happy to hear you out and provide you with everything you need to get started!
Prevent and Mitigate The Damage
Preemptive action is usually the best way to avoid having to deal with the results of an unruly pet. As soon as the animal or the floor enter your house, you should make sure that boundaries separating the two are established and enforced. Here, time is of the essence. Wait too long and your pet will simply begin to consider the new material as their own.
Teaching a dog or cat not to walk on hardwood floors can be challenging, though, especially if the material covers large portions of your home. In such cases, you may want to try resorting to physical barriers. Carpets, corrals, and cages can prevent a young whelp from tearing the house apart, at least until they get comfortable with their surroundings.
It is possible that you reached this article while looking for ways to repair the damage that your pets already inflicted upon your floors. After all, the internet is full to bursting with do-it-yourself solutions and tips. Before you go ahead and wipe your house down with some mysterious concoction, please consider its possible side-effects.
Restoring hardwood floors to their former glory is a much simpler and cheaper operation than you'd think, but you should still avoid unnecessary risks. Enlisting the help of a professional not only means dealing with someone who knows what they're doing, but also makes sure that the results can stand the test of time.
Owning a pet doesn't automatically stop you from installing and enjoying hardwood floors throughout the house. With constant dedication and a bit of patience, just about any household animal can be taught to thread carefully and to respect your belongings.
If your new companions flat out refuse to stop scratching your floors, you shouldn't despair just yet. It may take months to properly train an animal, especially one that is already well into adulthood. Stay calm, try again, and remember that violence is never the answer.
Need to know more about hardwood flooring and about options for people with pets? Contact us now for a free consultation!