Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Stop Dogs from Scratching Hardwood Floors

By Suzanne Alicie

Hardwood floor owners often find that their favorite puppy paws have left terrible scratches that ruin the finish of their floor. As a dog owner who has hardwood floors, I can share the despair and dismay at all those unintentional marks. The dogs don’t intentionally scratch the flooring, but a good play session with a tug of war rope can cause their claws to dig in. Running to the door to greet you in the evening and coming to a sliding stop can leave a huge gouge in the surface of the hardwood floor. Simply put, there are many ways your dog can unintentionally scratch your hardwood floor.

It can be very difficult to keep your dog from scratching a hardwood floor, but with a little preparation and adaptation you can keep both your dog and your beautiful hardwood floor.

Grooming to Protect Hardwood Floors

Proper claw grooming is very important to help preserve your hardwood floors. Dogs have hard claws that grow much the same as human fingernails. Unless your dog spends time outside his claws will likely need to be trimmed and shaped in order to keep them under control.

There are dog grooming products such as claw clippers that are made specifically for a dog’s nails, and files to smooth the edges of the nails. You can buy these tools in order to groom your dog’s claws yourself, or you can take your dog to a professional groomer. Your dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly so that they do not click and scratch the floor when they walk. If you trim your dog’s claws at home be very careful not to cut the nails too short, you could cause your dog a great deal of pain.

Doggie Fashion Accessories to Protect Hardwood Floors

Pet specialty stores have booties that you can buy for your dog in order to keep him from not only scratching your hardwood floor, but to also protect furniture and you in case he jumps. Some are made of a soft flannel and others have leather soles so that the dog can even wear them outdoors.

These little booties don’t interfere with your dog’s ability to walk, although the first few times you put them on you will probably enjoy a good laugh. Dogs don’t usually enjoy anything on their feet and initially will tend to high step or walk sideways as they adjust to the booties.

Another thing to watch when you put booties on your dog is their tendency to gnaw in order to remove something they don’t like. It will take time and patience on both your part and on the part of your dog to get him to happily wear booties. Nonetheless, the effort will be well worth it when it comes to protecting your hardwood floor.

Protecting the Hardwood Floor for Dogs

In the event of a small scratch, as distressing as it can be, you must understand that your dog did not make the mark intentionally. Punishment will not make any difference to the inadvertent scratches that will occur.

To protect your hardwood floor you may choose to apply wax. A layer of protective wax will help provide a buffer between your dog’s claws and the actual wood of the floor. This can make treating light scratches as easy as reapplying wax and filling in the gouge that was caused by your dog.

Dogs are a responsibility and much like children they will cause messes and damage, but dog owners love them anyway and just try to keep the destruction to a minimum. We will happily live with a scratched hardwood floor to enjoy the unconditional love of our puppies.


  1. I would also suggest trying some of those soft claw nail caps.

  2. Very helpful article...Thanks


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