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February 26th, 2024

Are dogs bad for hardwood floors? Yes and no.

Dogs have a reputation for being bad for hardwood floors, but why? The reason might not be what you think it is.


The most common conception is that dogs are bad for hardwood floors because they will scratch them. While this is true, scratches aren’t the largest threat dogs pose to hardwood floors.

Most hardwood floors can now be protected against toenail scratches from dogs. Soft and unfinished hardwood floors are susceptible to dogs’ claw marks, dents, and scratches. However, most hardwood floors today can come pre-treated and finished in ways that add protection to the wood. As a result, with routine maintenance, hardwood floors can stay mostly safe from scratches from dogs’ nails.


The #1 danger that a dog posses to your hardwood floors is its urine. Dog urine that is allowed to puddle on top of a section of hardwood flooring can be disastrous. Due to its high alkaline content, urine left out on hardwood floors will quickly become corrosive. If a dog urinates on hardwood flooring while the owner is away at work or on a trip, it doesn’t take long to create a stain.

Unlike the scratches and dents a dog can leave on hardwood flooring, urine stains are much harder to repair. Typically, it is easier and more affordable to replace the section of the floor that has been stained. Unfortunately, sanding and refinishing will likely not get a urine stain out of hardwood.


Vinyl flooring is an excellent option for homes with dogs. Vinyl flooring can be purchased with multiple grades of a wear layer, providing outstanding protection against scratches, dents, spills, and stains. Vinyl is also waterproof. So any missed puddles of urine won’t permanently stain the floor. For those who still want to use traditional hardwood floors, there are many boot and sock options for dogs to wear around the house.

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