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How to Prevent Dog Scratches on Wood Floors

Hardwood floors are extremely durable and elegant, but this quality of flooring doesn't come cheap. Given how expensive a wooden floor installation can become, it's a good idea to protect the floor finish from as much damage as possible.
There's no reason for homeowners to let their floorboards be destroyed given how much labor goes into keeping them in good condition, not to mention a lot of time committed to the practice.

In Comes Man's Best Friend

If you've installed a new floor while having a furry friend or two run around, you know the stress of hearing dog claws scraping against the wood as they run through the house. Even the sweetest pup with soft paws will have hard toenails that can lead to deep dog scratches.

Thankfully everyone can live together in harmony so long as you take the proper preventative measures to protect your hardwood floors from dog scratches and dents. High-traffic areas are especially exposed to potential damage, so make sure you employ as many tactics as needed to protect your hardwood floors from dog damage.

Start by Consistently Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

DIY maintenance for hardwood floors isn't necessarily difficult — though it does take discipline. While most homeowners would prefer to keep their new floors clean to avoid refinishing them for as long as possible, there are extra benefits when it comes to preventing damage.

The hair and dirt that falls off of dogs can act like sandpaper against wood floors giving every step a chance to scratch the surface. Stay on top of removing this debris and you'll notice far less scratch marks going forward.

Protect Against Dog Scratches with Wax

Using wax on top of your floor finish does more than create a luxurious sheen to the wood. The concept of waxing wood started from practical origins as it helps to create a stronger grip. Once used on ships and boats, wax now has a place in every hardwood floor maintenance routine.

The extra grip provides dogs with more traction when running which equates to less contact between the hardwood and your dog's nails. It's only when dogs slip or skid that they rely on their nails for traction. If light scratches do occur, you can remove them by simply applying a new layer of wax to the impacted areas.

Remember To Trim Your Dog's Nails

Dog owners are some of the most passionate pet owners with an entire industry dedicated to their grooming and hygiene. Dog's nails will naturally dull on their own but this often isn't enough to prevent your entry way from getting scratched when they excitedly storm through the door. Find a good set of nail clippers and take a few minutes to learn how to use them.

You can also enlist the help of your local groomer to grind the nails down if you prefer a professional handle the task. Aside from nail trimming, there are nail covers or nail caps that go over pet nails and create a soft point of contact protecting your floor.

Start a Regular Doggy Exercise Program

Walking is one of the ways that a dog's nails naturally dull as they scrape against rocks and asphalt. Besides, taking your dog for walks is one of the three things every dog owner promises to do along with feeding them and giving them attention.

Dog walks also prevent them from scratching hardwood floors by lowering their energy levels. A gentle walk through the house will have much less impact than a crazed sprint to bark at something through the window.

Stylize Your Hardwood Floors With Area Rugs

There's no shortage of items that can damage your hardwood floors which makes area rugs a universal solution for protection. The scratch resistant polyurethane coating put on most hardwood floors is still no match for heavy furniture or an excited dog running to greet you at the door.

Area rugs also give you a chance to add a splash of color or design to each room. You may even find that your dog has chosen a new area rug as their favorite napping spot, a win-win situation for everyone! For hallways you can explore runners which are thin but long area rugs designed for foot, or paw, traffic.

Explore the World of Dog Bootie Shopping

You've likely seen videos of a dog wearing little booties and having no idea what's going on. Thankfully, today's dog booties are better fit for the paws they adorn to make finding the right pair easy and painless. There's no shortage of style options so feel free to make your pup the talk of the town with designer booties.

One thing to keep in mind when trying on booties is that you can't force your dog to wear them if they don't find them comfortable. Make sure to give them plenty of treats and positive reinforcement while they adjust and don't be surprised if the first pair isn't the right choice.

Protect Your Floor From More Than Just Dog Scratches

Think about the reason you want to keep your hardwood floors in peak condition. You want to maintain a consistent and polished look that truly represents the wood used for each panel. Avoiding scratches is important for dog owners, but dog urine can lead to even more problems that are harder and more expensive to fix.

Dog urine can seep through finished boards and soak the underlying floor which traps both the stain and smell below. If this happens, expect to remove the board in order to address the mess that formed underneath.

No Matter What, Don't Forget You Love Them!

Now that you've armed yourself with the knowledge needed to help prevent dog scratches on your hardwood floors, it's time to remember that accidents do happen. Having a dog in the home will ultimately lead to scratches here and there. But they don't need to be detrimental so long as you maintain short nails and consistent walks while also preparing the floor itself for the impact.

If you have a hardwood floor or a dog and are exploring the possibility of combining the two, now is the time. So go out there, prep your floors and let your new furry friend romp around the house to their heart's content.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.