6 Best Flooring Choices for your Dog!

Fellow dog people, if you’re like me, I’m sure your first thought when seeing gorgeous floors is “I must have that in my home” and your second thought is “but what would the dogs do to it?” Worry no more. There are many flooring solutions that keep both you and your furry friends in mind. Let’s go through some options.

1. Carpet - while this is normally thought of as the most problematic for the humans, it is the most popular with animals. After all it is the softest for them! Shaw’s “Life Happens™” line may be the solution - luxurious and feels warm underfoot. Life Happens™ carpets have next-generation backing materials and coating, either version forms a waterproof barrier that prevents liquids from soaking into the carpet and sub-floor, even if they sit on the carpet for an extended period of time. They are also designed to be fully recyclable, making them good choices for eco-conscious humans.

TIP: Be sure to stay away from styles with loops as pet nails can snag on the loops and cause the carpet to wear faster.

2. Hardwood Floors - Though this is one of the most desired types of flooring in a home, it is not the best choice for pets that aren’t perfect angels. Pet urine can stain the hardwood, leaving a terrible smell and a dark spot in the wood. Even if urine accidents are cleaned up quickly after the fact, the urine may still seep into the wood, causing damage. That also goes for water from your sloppier water bowl drinkers.

If your heart is set on hardwood (and it is great for easy sweeping up the shedding dog hair) the harder the wood, the more likely it is to resist scratches from a dog's nails! Oak, Maple, Cherry are great but stay away from softwoods like pine, chestnut and fir. Ask us for a full list of hard vs soft options.

TIP: If the flooring is coated with a high quality urethane, it will be more scratch and stain resistant.

3. Laminate - While this may work to provide the look humans want and is great with not showing scratches, it can be difficult for pets, especially dogs, because they will slip and slide as they walk or run through the home and can cause hip damage. An embossed or textured finish can help with this. On the plus side it is great for scratches, accidents and spills with easy cleanup. Also, be warned, if you don’t like the tip tap sound of little feet on a hard floor then laminate might just drive you a little crazy. Laminate is known for having a bit of a hollow and louder sound to it compared to other flooring like solid wood or tile, so you can imagine what it will bring to your dog’s footsteps.

TIP: Because they are slippery and uncomfortable to lie on, rugs are recommended throughout the home to help the pet.

4. Vinyl - one of the best choices for most pet owners. Extremely affordable and provides great traction for your pet. Available in a wide variety of designs, such as natural-looking luxury (and soft!) vinyl, it is a durable option that does not compromise on style. It is often referred to as resilient flooring for the very simple reason that it is one of the most durable. Scratch resistance and it softens the sound of your pet’s nails when they walk (no more click click click). Any accidents can be easily cleaned.

TIP: Stay away from the cheaper options with Vinyl.

5. Cork - a green flooring choice good for the environment and the health of the occupants, pets included. Cork is an antimicrobial type of flooring that will reduce the growth of mold and other allergens. Cork is scratch resistant, though it should be swept regularly to prevent scratching from dirt particles. It is an excellent sound absorption option, so as pets walk across the floor, it will not be as loud. While the flooring is water resistant, it is a natural product, so spills should be cleaned up promptly. Discoloration of this flooring will happen over time when exposed to sunlight. Cork flooring is warm and pliant making it comfortable to walk upon and can withstand foot traffic very well.

TIP: Avoid placing really heavy furniture on Cork as it can cause and indentation. Not good for the piano room.

6. Tile - This type of flooring is amazing for pet owners because it does not scratch easily, and scratches don’t show as they do in other types of flooring. When pets have accidents on the tile floor, there is much less reason to worry over how this will impact the condition of the flooring. With these two factors considered, this is a good choice for pet owners, but the floors are hard and cold (even in Florida) so they are not very comfortable to lie on. Porcelain or ceramic tile is also a good choice in terms of wear and tear for pets. It won’t scratch easily. If pets don’t manage to make it outside before relieving themselves, the urine won’t damage the condition of the floor as it would with hardwood.

TIP: Consider using area rugs and pet beds to give your furry friend a cozy place to relax.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to all the above flooring options for pet owners and depending on your pack.

Remember the following pet concerns when shopping:
  1. Scratch resistancy (keep those nails trimmed!)
  2. Accident and mess cleanup
  3. Sound
  4. Comfort for your best friend

Now all your family members can enjoy those new floors!