There’s no denying the fact that dogs are wonderful pets, but the level of damage they can cause in the home can cause even the most passionate dog lovers some discomfort. Hardwood floors, for example, tend to bear the brunt of a dog’s activities. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this.
To protect your hardwood floor from dog scratches, you need to either provide more protection for your floor or put more effort into controlling the damage your dog can possibly do with its nails. This will require keeping the nail short at all times or putting some protective cover on them.
The rest of the article will go into detail on different ways you can protect your hardwood floor from dog scratches and how to significantly reduce the chances of your four-legged friend inadvertently ruining your floor.
Why Is a Dog Scratch Bad for Your Hardwood Floor?
Depending on the size of your dog, a scratch can leave an unsightly dent on the floor. This can ruin the overall appearance. Of course, if the scratch happened in a corner that can be hidden from plain sight with some covering, it may not affect your décor. Anywhere else, and it would become a problem you’ll have to explain to every visitor.
Additionally, a scratch can weaken the overall integrity of your floor. A portion of the floor with its top layer scratched away by your dog is more prone to damage from water, or urine. Depending on the severity of the scratch, it could be the entrance to the inner layer of your entire hardwood floor.
So what can you do to protect your hardwood floor from scratches?
9 Ways to Protect Your Floor from Dog Scratches
1. Use Carpets and Rugs
You can protect the hardwood floor around your dog’s favorite spots or rooms with a carpet or rug. If the dog runs across the same portion of flooring per day, the scratches will start to appear. A carpet or rug will provide protection against this. Some excellent options you can consider include the Gorilla Grip Original and the Home Dynamix Vega.
The downside to this is that you’ll end up hiding large sections of the floor, which may not align with your décor goals. Don’t want to change the décor in your home? Consider the other options below.
2. Keep the Dog Out
If you’ve got hardwood flooring in only one part of your house, you can install pet gates that can keep the dog out. Carlson Extra Wide, Summer Multi-Use Deco, and Regalo 192-Inch are just some examples of pet gates you can consider.
Don’t forget to get an option that matches the size of your dog.
3. Cover the Dog’s Nails
Dog nails are always exposed, so you have to cover them up. Depending on the size of the dog, you may need help from someone to hold the dog down while applying the covers. Dog nail covers are affordable and typically come in packs of 100 pieces.
4. Trim the Dog’s Nails Regularly
Dog claws grow quite fast, especially when they spend a lot of time indoors. This is why you should make some effort to keep the nails very short at all times. The BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers are a perfect tool to use.
You should keep in mind that the process will take longer than cutting your own nails, so don’t rush it. Pay attention to ensure you are not trimming too close to the dog’s skin, or you’ll leave it in pain and distress. Don’t forget to also trim the fur between the dog’s paw pads. This will help ensure the dog doesn’t slip and get injured.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time regularly trimming your dog’s nails, take it out for a walk regularly. There are many advantages to walking your dog, but one that is relevant to this conversation is that the friction from walking on the sidewalks can considerably trim your dog’s nails.
5. Buy Dog Boots
Dog boots achieve the same thing as nail covers, which is prevent your dog’s nails from coming in contact with your hardwood floor. However, they are easier to use. While you’ll need to cover individual nails with nail covers, you only need four boots for each leg.
The best dog boots come with anti-skid bottoms, so you don’t have to worry about your dog sliding and falling while walking across the wood floor. You should know, though, that it may take a while for your dog to get used to walking with the boots. Also, watch the dog carefully in the early days of using the boot as some of them can keep trying to chew them off to resolve the initial discomfort they feel.
6. Wax Your Floorboards Properly
Waxing your floorboards is an excellent way to prevent dog scratches. Since waxing ensures extra grip for the dog while walking across the floor, it won’t need to use its nails as a way to ensure traction or as brakes when dashing to the door or anywhere else.
Apart from giving the dog a better grip, the layer of wax ensures that the scratch will most likely not get deep enough to cause significant damage to your floor. Once you notice any scratch, another coat of wax will be enough to cover it up.
Does your floor have a protective coating that isn’t wax? You should also reapply it every few years. Talk to the manufacturer or your floor installer for more information about the coating material used. By maintaining the coating, you’ll reduce the chances of your dog scratching deep into the wooden floor.
7. Keep Your Floor As Clean as Possible
If you allow too much dirt across your floors, you are making every movement across the floor a potential scratch. The dog doesn’t even need to use its nails as the dirt on the ground acts like sandpaper and will scrape through the surface even while your dog is merely walking over it.
8. Don’t Give the Dog Bones or Toys
Keep your dog out of a room with hardwood flooring if you want to feed it bones. The dropping, picking up, and gnawing at the bone can lead to scratches across the floor. If the bone is heavy, there could be dents as well.
The situation is the same for heavy toys. Take the dog outside when it needs to chew on a bone or play. If that’s unrealistic for the moment, ensure there’s protective covering across the floor or take the dog to another room with more resilient flooring.
9. Buy a Dog Bed
If your dog has a favorite spot where it spends most of its day laying around, it may leave scratch marks when it wants to get up. A dog bed in that spot ensures the dog is more comfortable while preventing scratches and general wear. The PetFusion Ultimate and Furhaven Ergonomic are some options you should consider.
Protecting your hardwood floors from dog scratches is possible. You only need to protect the floor or get some cover for your dog’s trimmed nails. The option you choose will depend on factors such as your décor tastes, the size of your dog, and your ability to get it to wear a dog boot or nail cover.
The quality of protective coating you have on your floor can also play an important role in your decision making as some coatings can take more beating than others.