Here in Bozeman, we love our four-legged pals. While they may be man’s best friend, they are certainly not hardwood’s best friend. Time and time again we find ourselves scrubbing away accidents and growling about claw scratches around the house.

Floor Coverings International Bozeman is here to tell you that the two can indeed coexist, it just takes a little extra work. Follow these hardwood flooring care tips to keep your floors looking pristine, even with a furry friend running around.

Protect your hardwood flooring in Bozeman

Accidents Happen

The most common concern from dog owners is that the accidents that happen, especially during puppyhood, will deteriorate or warp expensive hardwood. It is true that acidic fluids damage the finish of hardwood flooring and can eventually seep into the wood itself if not taken care of properly. When left for a long period of time on old or poorly sealed hardwood, the odor will permeate the wood and be extremely hard to remove. Urine can also lead to discoloration of hardwood if it gets past the finish.

It is wise to prepare for these accidents and buy the proper soaps and sprays to clean them up quickly if Spike forgets where the back door is. If you have a puppy, have to leave your dog indoors for an unusually long amount of time, or have an older friend who can’t always make it outside, training pads around the house will at least ensure that they have somewhere to do their business indoors without destroying your flooring.

Clean Routinely

Cleaning regularly is a great habit for any hardwood owner to have, and it is essential if pets are around. Sweep pet hair and tracked-in dirt off the floor and mop up anything that won’t collect easily. Make sure to clean thoroughly in the area where they eat and drink to avoid food stains or water damage on the floor. On especially muddy days, wipe your pet’s paws clean before they come inside. All these practices will protect your floors as well as keep your home looking cleaner year-round.

Prioritize Hardness

The best way to protect your hardwood investment begins even before it arrives at your home. Do your research and choose a hardwood that has an especially high Janka hardness rating. Exotic species such as Brazilian cherry or walnut tend to be harder than many traditional American-grown varieties. Other good options to consider would be hickory, maple, and white or red oak. It is also important to apply multiple layers of a durable finish so that even if your pet does manage to scratch your floors, it will just be the finish rather than the wood itself.

Avoid fine grain, uniform profile, or dark-colored hardwood; these will display scratches more prominently. Instead, choose a wood with natural markings or color variation so any acquired damage from canine nails won’t look obvious. Consider a wood like sweet birch that has a lot of color variation and a hardness rating of 1470.

Most of us go through life with a pet by our side, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the finer things in life like hardwood, too. Simple, mindful habits will allow you to keep your pet and ensure your hardwood lasts a lifetime. If you have concerns about damage from pets or want to learn more about the hardest wood species available, contact your flooring experts at Floor Coverings International Bozeman today!

Have carpet? Learn more about the Best Carpets for Bozeman Pet Owners.

Photo credit: Igor Normann