Protecting Hardwood from Dogs and Cats

One of the most difficult parts of owning hardwood flooring in your home is protecting it from scratches and dents, and nothing does this faster than energetic animals. While most people big dogs would be the primary issue, little dogs and even cats and reek havoc on your flooring. If you have yet to install hardwood floors or you’re thinking about moving into a home that has them, then thank goodness you found this list because it will save you a world of grief down the road. So here is a list of things to keep in mind to help prevent scratches:

1. Get Carpets or Rugs in high traffic areas

This is the most simple and most effective way of protecting your floors. Any area you place a rug will reduce the possibility of getting scratches down to 0. The question you need to ask yourself however: how many rugs will you need to protect the floors and will it look tacky? Also, rugs can be very expensive. If money is an issue or your in a rush then consider just hitting your local home depot or walmart and you can find some decently priced rugs that will get the job done, even consider kijiji or craigslist.

Tip: You can buy a carpet runner and cut it into rectangular pieces to cover hardwood stairs.

2. Get your dogs nails trimmed regularly

The main culprit here are dog nails, and if you continue to get them trimmed then over months and years you can begin to cut them shorter and shorter (as the quick recedes). You can minimize the contact with the floor by doing this, although it doesn’t always help with very active or playful animals. Take your dog to a professional groomer or check out sites like for more information on clipping your dog.

3. Consider nail caps

Nail caps are little plastic caps that you place over your dog or cats nails in order to completely remove the sharp edge that will dig into your floor. These work great if you start them off young, but adult dogs or cats have a real issue getting used to these and generally chew them off. We recommend you try it with your pet at home and see if it works, if the trail run is a success then your hardwood problems are solved. Check out SoftPaws for more information.

4. Just keep pets away from the hardwood

And probably the most simple method, just keep your pets off the hardwood. If your hardwood is localized in one area of your home, you can train your pet to simply avoid that room. If training has proven too difficult try things like a baby gate to prevent them from entering. This requires some patients but is a great solution as well.

Aside from pets, make sure you also sweep up any dust or debris that if slid on can scratch the floors, and any furniture that can slide as well. If you have very playful dogs (Like I do) then you will find many surprising things that can scratch your floors, so make a list of possible dangers to the floor and take preventative action.

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