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January 9th, 2024

Welcome to a two-part blog about dogs and floors. Today, we are looking into whether hardwood floors are bad for dogs.

First, let us look at whether hardwood floors are dangerous to dogs’ physical bodies. In short, the answer is not really.

Old, Sick, and Disabled Dogs

When dogs get old or sick, they can fall and get hurt. Most of us grow up thinking dogs are bulletproof and tough as nails when it comes to rough and tumble actions on the ground. However, the truth is that dogs can fall on the ground and get hurt just like humans can. This is especially true of dogs with injuries or disabilities and those who have aged into their senior years.

Apart from the injuries that can occur by a dog slipping on a slick floor, hardwood floors do not seem to pose a physical, long-term threat to dogs’ paws, joints, bones, or bodies. However, the real discovery is how a dog living on hardwood floors could be affected emotionally.

Emotional Health

The most significant concern for dogs living on or around hardwood floors is their emotional well-being. This might not sound like a big deal initially, but the research shows us otherwise.

Most dog owners invest lots of care and resources into how their dog behaves. However, families all over find themselves stumped as to why their family pet acts up or displays unwanted types of behavior. They will spend hours and hours training their dogs to behave as they would like. They hire professionals to come to their homes to train their dogs. They might even send their dog to obedience school. However, not many people realize their dog might suffer from an instinctual trigger causing bad moods and behavior.

Dogs have trouble walking and feeling comfortable on most hardwood floors. They experience this because their paws and nails cannot grip the floor’s surface. This causes serious physiological reactions that affect dogs in different ways. Some breeds of dogs do better with the stress this causes than others.

Similar to humans, when a dog feels out of control or like they’re slipping, it triggers a response in their body and mind. It might be compared to the sudden rush of panic you and I might feel as if we’re slipping on ice or a wet floor. This type of reaction repeatedly occurring over a long period could dramatically change how a dog acts and behaves.

Veterinarians and animal researchers have begun exploring how these factors influence a dog’s mind and psyche. The results are astounding. There are a lot of “bad dogs” that are just ill-equipped to live on hardwood floors! There are ways to help your dog adjust, like keeping their nails and fur on their paws trimmed. You can read about this here.

The only real way to know if your dog would be affected by hardwood floors is by letting it try out a hardwood floor. You could bring your dog somewhere that has hardwood floors or install hardwood floors and see how your dog does. If you already have hardwood floors, though, keeping aware of if they avoid the floors and stick to rugs and mats might be a way to tell if they’re having trouble with them.

So there it is. Are hardwood floors bad for dogs? No, it seems that they are not. However, they can prove problematic for some dogs.

If you need help deciding what kind of floor would be best for you and your family, we would love to help. Please call us today with any questions you might have.