Hardwood floors are a beautiful, traditional option that adds value and character to a home. They also need regular care and maintenance to keep them looking as attractive as they did right after the flooring installation. This is especially true if you have pets, which can damage flooring if you aren’t careful. Luckily, being proactive will give you some peace of mind.
How Pet Owners Can Protect Hardwood Floors
1. Use Floor Coverings
Scratches from claws are a main source of pet damage to hardwood floors. Dogs are the main culprits, but cats can scratch the floor too when they’re in a hurry. You may also notice marks after your pet tracks in dirt or mud; if anyone walks on the dirty area, sand grains may scuff the finish.
You can prevent most of this damage with mats at the door to catch most of the dirt, as well as rugs or runners along common walkways to act as a buffer between the floor and your pet’s claws. As a bonus, your pet is less likely to slide and scramble on rugs than on the smooth surface of the bare wood.
2. Watch Out for Spills
Wet spills on hardwood floors can leave stains, damage the finish, or even warp the wood if left too long. To prevent these messes, clean up mud at the door before you let your pet inside, maintain a bathroom routine for your pet to prevent accidents, and use stable, heavy-bottomed food and water bowls on top of a mat to prevent spills while your pet is eating.
Whenever there’s a wet spot on the floor, blot it up as quickly as possible, then clean any remaining residue. The faster you are, the less chance the liquid has to seep in.
3. Trim Your Pet’s Nails
Dogs should have their nails trimmed every three to four weeks to keep them healthy. An added bonus is fewer scratches on your floor. Cats need a trim more often, at least every two weeks. If you prefer not to trim your pet’s nails, there are rubber claw caps you can use to protect your floor while keeping your pet comfortable.