Even the most well-behaved pooch can damage hardwood floors, simply by being a dog. Despite your best attempts to protect your floor, many pets occasionally have “accidents,” and if the urine soaks in it can be difficult to repair. You can prevent this by anticipating problems and taking steps to protect your floors.
Supervise Your Dog
Simply watching your dog closely can reduce the likelihood that he’ll urinate in the house and cause damage. Give him frequent potty breaks, either by taking him for a walk or letting him out in the backyard. If he seems like he needs to go out, let him out promptly. Also, if only certain areas in your home have wood floors, don’t let your dog into those areas unless someone will be there to keep an eye on him.
Seal Your Floors
Applying a sealant or other protectant can guard against damage and make your floors easier to clean. Use a polyurethane sealant, which coats the floor and makes it less likely that scratches and spills will cause damage. If the floor is unfinished, you’ll likely need one coat of sealer and at least two coats of protectant on top of that. Even with a sealant, dog urine can still soak in if left to dry. If your dog does have an accident, clean and dry the floor immediately to prevent the urine from soaking in and reaching the subfloor.
Lay Down Pet-Friendly Flooring
If you limit your dog to a certain area or areas of the house, overlay the floor there with something resistant to damage or that you can clean more easily. For example, lay down area rugs that are stain-resistant or that you can clean by hosing them off. You can also purchase carpeting that’s separated into sections, allowing you to replace just a small section instead of the entire carpet.
Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Long nails can scratch wood flooring, creating scratches and grooves that allow urine to seep in. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to limit damage and prevent urine from permeating the floor. If the urine does seep in, this can require costly cleaning products or treatments to remove the smell. Trimming your dog’s nails also protects his health, because long nails can break and cause pain.