Big and heavy or small and cuddly, a dog can easily damage a wood floor with its nails. This leaves ugly marks on the floor and if the marks are deep enough, the cost of repairing them can be pretty high. Instead of always going through the trouble of refinishing your floor to get rid of the claw marks, there are techniques you can use to prevent the marks in the first place. They will keep your floor beautiful and ensure that it lasts longer without any damage. These techniques are discussed below.
Your dog should undergo grooming frequently. Specifically, the toenails should not be allowed to grow too long past the toe pad. They tend to grow long quickly so make sure that you always have some clippers around to trim them. Alternatively, you can take the dog to a professional groomer.
Also make sure that the nails are always manicured. When they are trimmed, they can be left with rough and jagged edges that can cause a lot of damage on wood flooring. Manicuring them involves grinding down or buffing out those rough edges and leaving them smooth. Other than being safe for the floor, such nails also ensure that the dog does not get caught on carpets and rugs.
Another aspect of grooming to take care of is trimming down the hair between the toes. At times, when the hair gets too long, it can inhibit walking especially on a smooth floor such as a wood one. The dog therefore compensates for this lack of traction by gripping hard with its nails. If it is on wood flooring, deeper and more serious scratching occurs. Trimming the hairs removes the need for the dog to create deep scratches on the floor as it walks or runs.
2. Use of rugs or carpets
If there is a certain location inside the house that your dog spends most time in, place a non-skid carpet or mat there. This is especially helpful for those dogs that guard doorways and then jump up quickly to respond to something. An entry way mat can be of big help in preventing these scratches. It would also be a nice place for the dog to nap especially during the day time. Another section to place a mat is around the eating area. This prevents scratches and also keeps the eating bowl from sliding on the smooth floor.
3. Non-skid booties
Chances are the dog will not spend all its time where you have placed a rug. To protect your whole floor, you need to find a longer term solution. This solution is non-skid booties for dogs. Go to the local pet store or an online store and purchase non-skid dog booties. These are soft rubber coverings on the paws. They are comfortable for the dog and prevent its nails from getting into contact with the floor. A good bootie may last for 6 to 8 weeks before needing a replacement.
4. Carpet runners
A carpet runner can be used on sections of the floor which experience high traffic. If a dog keeps running along a section such as the hallway, the carpet or floor can get easily damaged. Choose a carpet runner that is non-skid and which can be easily machine washed.
5. Proper training
Although it may be difficult to train a dog not to scratch the floor, it would be more effective to avoid training it to do activities that involve lots of movement or gripping inside the house. If you are going to train your dog to run or catch something, do it outside where it cannot damage anything with its nails. You can also discourage the dog from certain bad habits such as running around in the house or scratching at a certain corner of the room.
6. Playing area
When a dog is playing, it tends to do a lot of scratching and running around. Ask your kids to only play with the dog where there is a mat or outside where nothing will get damaged.
Do not wait until your floor is already damaged before you start looking for effective solutions. You will find yourself with a large floor repair budget. Even worse, you may need to replace sections of the floor is the scratching is particularly bad. To avoid these costs and hustles and ensure that the floor lasts longer, implement the above tips immediately.