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Wooden Flooring: All about Pet Scratches, Stains and Slipping

A lot of home owners who have pets are sceptic about installing Hardwood flooring for their homes. There is a common notion that pets and wooden flooring cannot co exist. Well the good news is you don’t have to give up on wooden flooring because of your adorable pets, with a few tricks and treats you can make sure that your pets and flooring feel gel in amicably!

As you might know all kinds of wood are prone to developing dents and scratches over a period of time and the trick here is to either delay it or camouflage them. People who have larger pets especially very active dogs might have to take extra care to ensure that your flooring is not spoiled.

Tips to ensure the safety of your pets and your Wooden Flooring

1. Avoid the soft woods

As the name suggests this kind of wood being softer can dent easily even if you don’t have any pets around. Another disadvantage of soft wood is that although they look very beautiful they are going to cost you big bucks and will require high maintenance. Some of the soft wood varieties are

American Cherry

Carbonized bamboo

American Walnut Pine, fir, cedar

American Walnut

2. Use solid hardwood rather than engineered hardwood

Solid hardwood has a better quality and engineered hardwood floors have a restricted number of sandings. You can refinish solid hardwood floors it gets deep scratches or pet stains.

3. Think about distressed hardwoods

The distressed pattern is not everyone’s style. But it is suitable for homes that have pets because the dents and scratches will look like a part of the floor design and distressed hardwood are the best way to camouflage the scratches as this flooring has more knots and marks.

4. Woods that have more graining are better for concealing the scratches

Woods with stronger graining such as red oak does an outstanding job of concealing the dents and scratches. Hickory is one more example of a hardwood with greater graining, and it’s harder than oak.

5. Satin finishes and Matte Finishes are best for pets

Satin and matte finishes are typically the best. The glossier finishes tend to reveal the scratches due to the light reflecting off of it.

6. Light coloured hardwood flooring

Normally, lighter colours are a better option for pets as they show fewer scratches. The common species of wood that is used for flooring is Oak and it is naturally light. So, if you have a scratch that breaches the stain colour, it will show less on lighter coloured woods like Oak.

7. Site finished wood a better option than Pre finished wood

Site finished hardwood is a lot better than prefinished hardwood since the seams are typically sealed with polyurethane, while prefinished hardwood may have some spaces on the edges without protection. The gaps will be an issue if your pet urinates on the floor.

8. For refinishing your hardwood flooring on-site, use oil based polyurethane and add an extra coat.

Oil based polyurethane stays on a lot longer than water based polyurethane. And, adding an extra coat will help guard your floors a little bit extra and delay the time for the next refinish. You can read more about oil vs. water based.

9. Doggie socks/ Doggie Shoes

Socks are something your canine friend is not going to appreciate in the beginning but it is a good option for dogs because it not only prevents them from scratching the floor, it also keeps their feet warm in winter.

10. Pet Pee

Usually hardwoods don’t do well with pet peeing. The uric acid can damage the polyurethane and the wood floor and can even turn it into black colour. So the best option is to clean up the mess as soon as possible. Don’t use ammonia to clean the stain, instead use vinegar and warm water. Also try getting solid hardwood so that you can replace sections and refinish the hardwood when necessary.

11. Pet Fur

If your pet sheds a lot then think about getting a hardwood colour that is similar to the colour of your pet’s fur.

12. Regular nail trimming

Trimming and clipping your pets nails will ensure that fewer scratches are made on the floors when they walk or run.

13. Use walk off and/or entry mats

Using them by the key entrances will reduce or prevent water, snow as well as grit from getting on your hardwood floors.

How to protect your pets from getting hurt on wooden floors?

We have discussed about protecting your wooden flooring from pets but you also need to think about making your flooring safe for your pets. Wooden flooring can be slippery and this can restrict the movement of your pets especially the older pets. Here are a few tips to make your flooring harmless for your pets.

Here are a few tips to prevent your pets from slipping:

1. Paw Wax

Paw wax can help add grip for the slipping dog. When smeared over the pads, it helps prevent your pet’s legs from sliding out from under her.

2. Grip tight

The newest invention available in the market for the sliding pet is the toe grips. This accessory made from natural rubber cylinders grips the floor when your pet walks and prevents her from slipping on the floor. You can easily apply the toe grips yourself by first measuring to find the correct size and then gliding the little cylinders over each toenail using the lubricant given with the grips. Once when the grips wear down, you just slip on new ones. The grips do not affect the toenails which will still require clipping regularly.

3. Make a mat path

If your dog is regularly slipping on the wooden floors, consider using yoga mats on the path she takes to her desired resting spot. You can buy rolls that have 100 feet of mat, which you can crop to fit your floor. With 100 feet of mat, you can effortlessly restore worn or soiled sections. These rolls are available in a variety of colours to suit individual decor and styles.

4. Pets in Boots

Boots are a new solution for the slipping dog. The basic boots are balloon shaped, reusable and elongate to slide over your dog’s paws. They are available in a number of sizes and colours. Prefer buying boots that are made from neoprene or breathable nylon. Some of them are lined and others rain and snow proof, but the significant thing to consider is finding a rubber sole to provide grip on slippery surfaces, with a comfortable strap to keep them safely on your pet’s paws. Another factor to consider while buying a boot is whether your dog will wear the boots outside, inside or all the time.

These tips and suggestions will assist you in keeping your wooden floors intact and your pets in good shape!

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