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Preparing Your Pets For Hardwood Floors, And Vice Versa

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Hardwood flooring is lovely, and as it ages, it takes on a well-worn sheen that shows how much people have made good use of the space. That is, until a dog shows up and scratches up the whole thing, right? Dogs can really affect hardwood floors, and if you want to install hardwood in part of your home, you may hear horror stories of how quickly the hardwood got scratched up. You can prevent a lot of damage to hardwood if you plan correctly.

Choose the Hardest Hardwood You Can Get

When you have a heavy pet scampering around with long claws, you're going to get floor scratches. But if you get hardwood flooring using the hardest wood possible, you'll avoid at least some of the scratches that softer woods might sustain. The wood should have as many coats of finish as possible, but keep in mind that the finish won't help much if the wood on the floor is not tough.

Suggested woods include Brazilian cherry and Ipe. You may want to talk to flooring companies about where the woods they offer rank on the Janka Hardness Scale. It also helps to get solid natural wood, rather than an engineered product. Keep in mind that the harder the wood, the more expensive it is likely to be, but those cheaper, softer woods are going to need refurbishment or replacement sooner, thus costing you more money.

Commit to a Pet Care Schedule

So now that you're looking at extremely hard woods, it's time to look at your pet's claws. Dogs don't retract their claws like cats do, so any time that dog runs across the floor, those claws will hit the surface. You need to keep the claws clipped and clean. Also, train your pet so that it doesn't act up in the rooms with hardwoods -- you can teach it to obey commands to be calm until it gets into a carpeted section of the house.

Dog Socks Could Help

Dog socks are a thing -- knit socks made for paws. Some have rubber soles so they can be used outdoors, too, while others are purely knit material meant for lounging about indoors. There are even disposable options. However, some dogs don't like having their paws inside these, and you do want your dog to have bare paws occasionally so air can reach them. A compromise could be that you put the socks on the dog when it's about to enter the part of the house with hardwood floors. Keep pairs of socks in different places in the house.

Hardwood flooring companies have seen it all regarding dog damage. Work with a company rep to identify wood flooring that your dog will have a harder time scratching up. For more information, contact your local residential hardwood flooring services.