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Protecting Your Hardwood Flooring from Pets

Owning pets and having hardwood floors can be difficult. Claws can send deep gouges into the wood, urine can cause irreparable damage, and hair is, well…everywhere. So how do you keep your hardwood floors safe? PurezaWood talked to 3 pet loving, hardwood floor owning homeowners (V, C, and J) in order to find out how they successfully maintain the quality of their hardwood floors.

 

What type of floors do you have in your home?

V: Solid European White Oak

C: Engineered Brazilian Walnut

J: Solid Acacia

 

What type of pets do you have?

V: Three German Shorthairs

C: One cat, one Schnauzer

J: One Bulldog

 

What type of damage could your pets potentially cause to your floors?

V: Honestly, every type of damage. German Shorthairs have nails that grow very fast, and they love to tear around the house – particularly when the mailman comes. We have a large backyard with a doggy door and they come and go as they please, so we have to keep an eye out for mud and dirt. Our oldest dog also has had a few bladder issues, requiring me to constantly be on the watch for any possible accidents that could ruin our floors.

C: Jack (my Schnauzer) is obsessed with playing fetch. OBSESSED. So I spend a lot of time throwing the ball, and he spends a lot of time sprinting across the hardwood flooring in our living room. There is the issue of hair as well…not from the dog as much as the cat. He sheds quite a bit.

J: If you buy a Bulldog, then you are essentially purchasing gallons and gallons of drool. Drool and nails. For a while he also did this thing where he would try to chew – yes chew – on the floor.

 

How do you protect your hardwood flooring from your pets?

V: Pets have no idea that we worry about the quality of our hardwood floors, so it’s hard to yell at them for something they can’t understand. Over the years, we’ve developed a few habits that have saved us a lot of money and a lot of stress:

  1. Trim their nails often, and trim them well. Rather than taking them to the groomer once a month to have it done, we do it ourselves so we can do it more frequently. We even bought a file so we can file down any sharp points and make sure that they won’t catch an edge on the floor. In the beginning we would sneak up on them while they were asleep and quickly trim a nail or two, but now they’re pretty used to the whole routine and just put up with it.
  2. Put rugs in areas where the dogs tend to spend a lot of time running. We have a few placed strategically throughout our home, and I know without a doubt that they have extended the life of our hardwood flooring.
  3. We coated our floors with a high quality urethane. If you have a lot of pets like we do, I can’t recommend this enough. It will make your floor more scratch resistant and more stain resistant, so when they come in soaking wet and track water all over the house there is time to clean it up. This also helps for any accidents in the house – we haven’t had any stains yet!
  4. We remember that our hardwood floors are just floors. If there is a scratch (we do admittedly have one or two) we don’t worry about it too much. Floors are there to be used, and having pets is worth the trouble!

C: We take Jack to the groomer once a month and have his nails done. He is small, so we don’t worry too much about him doing a lot of damage, but when we play fetch I do try to change it up so he isn’t repeatedly running over the same spot in the floor.

We actually had our cat before we had our hardwood flooring, so we chose flooring that matched the color of our cat’s hair! It might not be something that most pet owners or homeowners consider, but it makes our lives a lot easier. You can’t see the hair when we don’t have time to clean, and hardwood flooring actually makes cleaning up cat hair much easier. I can’t imagine if we had carpet.

J: First off, I have invested in a Wet-Jet Swiffer sweeper. My friends have told me that it’s good to use plain vinegar and warm water to clean up any drools/accidents/throw-up, but I personally can’t stand the smell so I use the Swiffer.

I trim my dog’s toenails pretty often, but I also play fetch with him outside on our gravel road. I’m not sure that I can prove it, but I feel as though it wears his nails down a little so I don’t have to trim them as often. Plus the pads on his feet are insanely strong.

I clean up immediately after he eats. He is a messy eater and inevitably spills water and food all over the floor. I also have his water and food dish waterproof mat to act as a buffer between his mess and the floor, but sometimes it seems like it gets everywhere.

Most importantly, I have trained my dog well so that he doesn’t have any accidents in the house. When he had his floor-chewing problem, I would squirt him with a squirt gun every time he started acting up, which he loathes. After a few weeks I noticed the chewing lessened, and now it has almost entirely stopped happening. I do keep the squirt gun out and visible so he sees it and remembers not to repeat the bad behavior. I also try to discourage any large messes that he makes, and I just try to be a responsible pet owner.

 

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