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How to protect timber floors from dog scratches

17th Dec '20 • By Rohit Mankame

When you start to see damage to your wood floors because of regular dog activities, you obviously don't feel very good. Luckily, both your dog and you can enjoy your wood floors, and neither party needs to be any worse for wear.

Is there some way to avoid dogs scraping wood floors? The reality is that the intense affection people have for their animals, and the harm these dogs inflict on the luxurious, immaculately smooth surface of the hardwood floor in their homes, clashes with most dog owners. Wood floors usually require regular proper maintenance to maintain them in good condition. So, it can be very discouraging when a puppy comes along and leaves nasty scratch marks all over. Nevertheless, all is not lost. To better secure your flooring, here are several preventive measures that you can DIY or get a professional flooring specialist. Here’s how to clean hardwood floors

dog resting in hands of owner

How do you protect hardwood floors from dog scratches? 

Trim and Cap your Dog’s Nails 

A traditional hardwood finish is easily scratched with nails. Your wood floor will start to look dull and worn over just a few months just because of all the marks from dog claws on the finish. Dogs do not retract their nails entirely, unlike cats, so they are always tapping on the floor as they walk. 

By keeping your dog's nails neatly clipped, you can reduce the damage. The longer they get the more bruises are possible. Yet a scratch here and there can also be caused by even clipped nails. 

Look at having your dog's nails being capped. It is quick to add nail covers, they are humane to use and your dog barely even knows that they are there. Nail caps blunt the nail to avoid the floor, the glass patio door, or even people from hitting it should the dog have a tough time resisting the temptation to periodically leap up on people.

Dog on carpet

Use Rugs and Runners

You should fully cover the floors with rugs and runners in high traffic zones. If your wood floor goes down a long corridor, put a runner in the hallway to avoid dogs (and individuals) running or walking up and down the hallway from showing wear on the floor. Living and family rooms may also benefit from providing a wide rug area especially if your pet spends a lot of time indoors. 

Protect a non-slip underlay on the runners and rugs so that the rug itself does not wear the hardwood finish from sliding back and forth. 

Don't forget about the absorbent entryway and mudroom rugs. All rugs readily trap dust and soil, which is helpful so that no debris or moisture from the ground is followed by your dog. These rugs are more expensive than a simple welcome pad, but when the floors are not always dusty and damp from your dog running in and out of the garden, you will be thankful.

dog scratches on timber flooring

Potty Train your Dog

Your pet's claws are not the single greatest threat to the flooring; it's their urine. It is easy to sand and buff off the scratches made by fur and mud, but stains from potty incidents can be irreversible and cause permanent harm not only to the finish on the timber, but also to the wood itself. It is almost impossible to eliminate the odour and the wood is never going to look the same. 

Dedicate yourself to being diligent with your dog's potty training. Hold the dog in an environment where the floor will not be affected, such as in a kitchen with a tile floor. If timber is in your whole house, cover the floor with plastic or with a removable carpet until correct behaviour is compatible with your pet.

When you have an incident with your puppy, quickly wipe it up. It starts to eat down at the end if urine is left on the floor. It soaks into the wood after it penetrates the finish, and over time the ammonia content gets more and more corrosive, gradually creating deep brown or even black staining, even with refinishing, that can not be eliminated. 

Timber flooring

The best way to avoid permanent staining is not only timely washing and disposal, but it's also the only way to totally eliminate the odour associated with the stain. 

There is some chance if you have stains that are fresh. In order to deal with urine stains until they become too dark or too hard to extract, contact a competent wood cleaning and refinishing agency at

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You would need to reinforce the overall finish in order to keep your floor safe from any more damage due to scratch marks. By applying a few industrial-strength polyurethane wood floor finish coats, you can do so you can even try applying floor wax. The greatest thing about these items is that they can massively help protect your floor from damage of any sort. provides thousands of users with various businesses from interior design to pest & insect control and flooring professionals. Simply search for tradesmen in your area and select the business that best suits your needs. 

If you're needing help finding a good flooring professional for your latest project, click the link below to receive multiple quotes from your local trusted professional flooring specialist.  

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