Your dog is more than just a pet — he’s part of the family. That’s why you still love him even though his hair and nails are wreaking havoc on your home’s flooring.

Still, there’s a happy middle ground: you can protect your home’s floors in a way that’s comfortable for both you and your dog. Here are the best ways to do it, depending on the type of floors your home has:

Carpets and dogs can be a bad combination, especially for pups in the midst of potty training. That’s because carpets can soak up scents and stains, especially if you don’t see them right away. Once your dog is grown, he can still have an effect on your plush carpet flooring. They absorb scents and attract hair shed by your pooch.

  • In the short-term: It may not be the prettiest option, but covering your carpets with plastic is the best way to repel accidents. This might be the best way to protect floors while your puppy learns to go outside.
  • In the long-term: Your dog doesn’t have accidents indoors anymore, but he still brings his hair and scent with him wherever he goes. As such, you’ll want to invest in a vacuum proven to be effective on pet hair. You’ll also want to get into a routine of deep cleaning and shampooing your carpets so that they smell fresh, no matter how your pet smells.

Wood Floors
Wood floors are a little easy to clean in the short-term, so long as you catch your puppy’s accidents as they happen. One big problem with wood floors is your dog’s long nails: they can cause scratches to your floor.

  • In the short-term: It’s up to you to make sure your dog’s nails are well manicured, since shorter nails are less likely to scratch your floors than long ones. You can also pick up some booties for your pet to wear inside, if regular nail-trimmings aren’t enough.
  • A layer of wax can also do the trick. Not only will it protect your floor from deep scratches, but it’ll also make small lines and nicks easy to fix in the future. All you’ll have to do is re-apply the wax to fill a scratch and voila: perfect floors restored.
  • In the long-term: A long-term solution to your problem could be a new, more durable set of wood floors. Reclaimed wood is stronger against scratches than brand new hardwood floors; plus, older wood from barns, ships and wine barrels has plenty of character and pre-existing imperfections that your dog’s nails won’t ruin.

Concrete Floors
The name alone implies that concrete will withstand just about anything, and it will be a great surface against a dog’s accidents, as well as its nails, hair and scent. The only way to protect your concrete floors is the same in the short run as in the long run: a layer of sealant will make it easy to protect against stains, wipe them up and sweep up any hair that’s been shed.

Tile and Laminate Floors
These two types of flooring are on the opposite ends of the spectrum and will require different courses of action to protect them from a pooch’s paws.

  • Tile floors: Like concrete, tile is the perfect companion to your pup. They’re easy to clean and maintain, so long as they’re sealed properly.
  • Laminate floors: On the other hand, these floors are perhaps your worst option when it comes to a dog-friendly finish. Laminate floors come with a seal, but it’s one that cannot be bulked up or replaced. As such, scratches that happen or stains caused by your dog will become permanent eyesores. Your only options are to have a cover on your floor at all times, or to replace it with a more durable, easy-to-clean option.

Go Floor It
You now know the best ways to protect your home’s flooring while making your dog feel at home, to boot. All there’s left to do is go for it — and go floor it: you and your dog will be happy you did.

Emily Folk
Conservation and Sustainability Writer


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