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Protect Your Hardwood Floors from Pets

Beautiful, rustic hardwood floors are one of the best choices an Indianapolis homeowner can make. Not only do they add a unique richness and character to any space, but with the proper care and maintenance, can last a lifetime. We’ve already outlined some tips on caring for your hardwood floors, but what if your home has a special family member that walks on four legs?

dog on hardwood floor


When you have a hardwood floor, pets (especially dogs) can cause some problems. Since most warranties don’t cover pet damage to your hardwood, what’s a pet-loving homeowner to do? Don’t worry. Here are a few simple ways to balance your love for your pooch with the great look of hardwood flooring:


  • Keep your pet’s nails trimmed. Most vets will perform the service during a regular appointment, or you can purchase your own pair of nail trimmers from the pet store. If trimming their claws makes you a little uncomfortable, look into applying a soft gel-based cap to keep your pet from scratching and skitting across your beautiful hardwood.


  • Use area rugs and floor runners. These coverings can prevent wear and tear from both your beloved pets and human guests. Pets will often prefer to walk on the less slippery, softer surface of a rug over hardwood.


  • Make sure your pet is getting plenty of exercise. Most hardwood damage from dogs comes from when they try to run across the floor. Since they can’t get traction on the wood, their nails tend to dig in and scratch your floor. Get them plenty of exercise in the yard or take them on frequent walks so they aren’t as likely to run around indoors.


  • Be attentive to spills and get them cleaned quickly. Puddles of water from spilled water bowls or the unfortunate pet accident can damage your hardwood floor. Use an absorbent pad under water dishes or a plastic tray to set the dish on. Also be sure to clean up any pet accidents as soon as you see them.


  • Most of these tips apply to dogs, but what about cat owners with hardwood floors? For our feline friends, make sure to provide plenty of scratching posts. While cats usually can’t cause a lot of damage to hardwood, they can cause scratches and can tear carpets. Bribing them to scratch their toys with a little catnip doesn’t hurt, either.


If your pet does manage to damage your hardwood floors, not all is lost. The beauty of hardwood is that it can be repaired in isolated spots or if needed, sanded and refinished, buffing out those imperfections. Are you and your pooch ready to learn more about hardwood floors? We’ll help you get started with Tish’s free Hardwood Flooring Guide.