How to Have Beautiful Floors: Tips for Dog Owners

Around 40 percent of households in the United States have dogs as part of their family. However, many homeowners cringe at the thought of their dogs damaging their wooden floors with scratches and stains.
The good news is you don't have to stick to limited flooring options, such as vinyl, just because you have a dog. Here are some tips on how to keep your floors looking shiny and beautiful.

Choose the Right Flooring

When it's time to replace your flooring, if you have your heart set on wood, you'll want to consider your dog in the type of wood flooring you choose. Oak, maple and cherry are excellent options as they're very hard and more resistant to scratches. 
Floors made from softwoods, such as pine, are much more prone to scratches and don't hold up as well in homes with dogs. 

Choose the Right Finish

When you have dogs in the home, the finish you choose is almost as important as the type of wood you select. From shellac to lacquer, the sheer variety of finishes available may seem overwhelming and confusing.
Your top concern should be durability when you have pets. With that in mind, choose a very durable finish that lasts a long time, such as water-based urethane. It gives a clear finish, is very durable and easy to clean and offers excellent protection for hardwood floors.

Take Preventative Measures

The best way to maintain your wooden floors when you have dogs is to take some preventative measures to protect your floors. Here's a good place to start:
  • Nail Trimming. Scratches in hardwood floors are a major complaint of families who have dogs. Regularly trimming your dog's nails is one of the best preventative measures you can take to keep your wooden floors looking good. Talk to your groomer to determine how often to have your dog's nails trimmed. 
  • Area Rugs. Strategically placing area rugs throughout rooms with wooden floors helps protect the floors. Examine your rooms and determine the spots with the most dog traffic. Dogs are den animals and often like to spend time under coffee tables and the like. These make perfect spots for area rugs.
  • Designated Play Areas. It's not just your dog's claws that threaten the appearance of your wooden floors; their toys can cause scratches as well. Try keeping your dog's toys in designated play areas that either have an area rug, tile or carpeting. This way your dog won't scratch up your floors while playing.
  • Door Mats and Runners. Dogs track dirt and debris into the home on the pads of their feet. This debris can damage your wood flooring. To prevent scratches, place mats at the door or runners in hallways leading into the home. These steps will go a long way in protecting your flooring.

Maintain Your Floors

Along with taking preventative measures, routine maintenance will also help keep your floors looking their best, even with a dog frolicking around. Here's what your maintenance plan should include.
  • Waxing. Waxing your floors helps protect the finish and repel dirt and debris to keep your wood looking shiny. You'll typically need to have your floors waxed once a year. If you have a high-traffic household or notice your wood dulling sooner, you may need to wax twice yearly.
  • Treating Spills and Stains Immediately. Be vigilant when it comes to treating spills and stains. They can damage your floors if allowed to sit for too long.
  • Keep Floors Clean. Regularly sweep, vacuum and mop your floors to remove dirt and buildup. The cleaner you keep your floors, the longer they'll last. 
Wood floors aren't off limits for families with pets. With a little know-how, you can keep your floors in excellent condition. Contact Silmar Flooring when you're ready to explore your flooring options.