Enjoying The Best Of Both Worlds: 3 Tips For Maintaining Beautiful Hardwood Flooring With Dogs

Canadians are pet lovers, with 57% of all households owning at least one pet – among which, 32% own dogs. Most homeowners avoid getting hardwood flooring when they have dogs around; however, you can easily have the best of both worlds by following these 3 simple tips.

Avoid Scratch Marks by Trimming Your Dog's Nails and Applying a Scratch-Resistant Coat

Hardwood flooring, regardless of the type of wood that you choose, will scratch easily. It does not stand a chance against your dog's hard nails, and these scratches can easily take a toll on the overall appearance. A quick solution is to be diligent in trimming your dog's nails whenever you hear them clack on the hardwood surface. You want to make sure that the nails do not protrude over the paws.

While most experts recommend opting for laminate flooring instead, due to the fact that it has a scratch-resistant coat, you can actually purchase hardwood flooring that has the same properties. Look for flooring that has a layer of aluminum oxide applied over the top. The aluminum oxide is basically a clear coating over the flooring that will prevent it from getting scratched. Keep in mind that the aluminum oxide will make your flooring scratch-resistant and not scratchproof, so you still need to be diligent in cutting your dog's nail or bringing your dog to a groomer regularly.

Prevent Water Damage by Applying a Waterproof Coat

As your dogs will easily track dirt, mud and rain all over the hardwood floor, apply a waterproof coat to prevent any water from staining the surface of the flooring. If you neglect to mop up the water quickly, it may even end up seeping into the bottom of the hardwood flooring. At which point, the moisture that has accumulated may end up causing the bottom of the hardwood flooring to rot. You want to be particularly diligent in waterproofing the entryways.

To do so, clean your floor thoroughly first in order to remove any dirt and dust that may have accumulated on the surface. Next, you want to sand the floors, so that the water-based polyurethane wood floor finish, or any other type of waterproof finish, adheres better to the flooring afterwards. Apply the waterproof finish with a foam applicator. You want to wait for each coat to dry completely before applying another coat on top. You will need to apply several coats in order to get high quality results.

The waterproof coat ensures that cleaning up after your dogs in the future will be much easier and will also protect your hardwood flooring from water stains and mud. You can let your dog play as much as it wants outside without having to worry about any damages to your flooring.

Protect High Traffic Areas with Rugs

Regardless of how high quality the hardwood flooring is, it is still susceptible to regular wear and tear. To prevent the hardwood flooring from aging quickly, place rugs at high traffic areas, so that the surface does not get worn out too quickly. You want to make sure that you get rugs with non-skid pads underneath in order to prevent accidents from happening. 

Placing a rug at the entryway can also be a great way of preventing rainwater trekked inside from seeping into the hardwood flooring. The rugs may even add a flair of character to your home.


You don't have to compromise on the overall look of your home just because you own a dog. With a little effort, you can easily maintain hardwood flooring even if your dogs love to go outside often. Make sure that you do spend the time to clean the flooring regularly, and you'll be fine.