How to Pet-Proof Your Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floors are incredible, timeless additions that can make your home look great. They’re warm and inviting and help to tie a room together. Pets are also great additions to a household. They bring life and excitement to a home. Hardwood floors and pets, however, aren’t the best combination sometimes. Hardwood floors are slick and prone to scratches. Pets, especially dogs, don’t have the best traction on slick floors. Also, they have claws that can scratch up your floor. Your hardwood floor might seem incredibly hard, but dog claws are usually harder. Here are some things you can do to pet-proof your hardwood floor.

Plan Ahead

The first thing you could do is to choose the hardest wood you can find. Every hardwood is rated on the Janka hardness scale; the harder the wood, the less likely it will be to scratch. If you don’t have those options or if you already have the hardwood floor, you’ll have to just pet-proof it the best you can.

Wax or Finish

A great option to protect your floors is to wax them or use some kind of wax-like product for floors with polyurethane finishes. The wax is softer than the harder polyurethane finish. That means it’s not as slippery and will provide better traction for your pets. Better traction will make them less likely to slip and hurt themselves or scratch the floor. Also, the wax will absorb some of the pressure from the claws and make them less likely to scratch your floor.


Your pets likely follow similar patterns when they move around the house. Cats typically have a favorite windowsill or a favorite perch. Dogs have paths they take to get outside or a favorite spot on the floor where the sun comes through the window. Whatever the case may be, you can limit the amount of time they actually spend on the hardwood floor by installing rugs. Small rugs can be used as paths through the house. Dogs are especially educable; they can be trained to stay on the rugs and avoid the hardwood.

Textured Hardwood

If you have the option to have your floor refinished, you should consider having it hand-scraped or wire-brushed with a low gloss finish. That will create tiny scratches all over the floor. The floor will provide your dog with better traction. Also, any scratches that occur will likely just blend in with the new surface of the floor.

Any of these could be great options for your house. You might combine multiple suggestions to better protect your floor. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us.