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As a pet owner, I know how worrying it can be when you’ve just had a new floor put down and the cat or dog runs in excitedly. Whilst a well house trained pet won’t usually cause any problems there are the inevitable incidents of vomiting, wet paw marks, bird & mice remains and claw scratching. Short of keeping the pet outside all the time, which is not advisable or ideal, there is not a completely fool proof course of action.

However, there are a few things you can do to help protect the flooring in your home from damage caused by household pets. These will keep stains to a minimum and they are as follows:

Laminate Flooring

Laminate floors are incredibly durable and very easy to look after. They are based on a 3-layer principle which includes a surface layer, a core fiber body and an underneath layer. The top level, also known as the print level, uses computerized technology to create highly realistic reproductions of hardwood, stone, tile or brickwork. Upon this is a top coating of melamine.

The result is flooring which can withstand scratches, burns, spills and most stains. This makes it an ideal flooring material for a home with pets.

However, one drawback is its slickness. As one can see from videos posted to Youtube, the hilarity of a kitten or puppy slipping and sliding on slippery floors is highly amusing. For adult cats and dogs it can be dangerous. Muscle and ligament damage can result from an animal’s legs going sideways, which is not a natural movement for most 4-legged creatures.

Hardwood Flooring

Wooden floorboards are highly susceptible to scratch damage and they are not much better when it comes to staining. They can, on the other hand, be refinished but you don’t want to do this too often. The best option is a high-grade hard urethane finish which will make visible damage less likely. You can also get pre-finished hardwood flooring which come with a scratch-resistant coating.


She knows she’s bad

Other Types of Flooring

Bamboo, Cork, Stone and Tile Flooring will need special sealers if they are to remain in good condition. Depending on the amount of use the floor gets, this will probably need to be done every 12 months. The sealants will stop water, vomit and other pet related liquids from getting into the pores and cracks, thereby preventing long-term staining.

Carpets are great for pets but they can be destroyed pretty quickly, especially around the door area, if you’re not careful. In my own house, an area of carpet outside my bedroom door is all but worn away from my cat’s excited scratching in the morning when she hears me stirring from slumber. You should also look to get your carpets professionally cleaned once a year to keep them fresh.

Keep Them Out

No, I don’t mean out of the house entirely. By this I mean keeping them out of certain rooms which have new and expensive flooring. If you living room has been newly decorated then make sure you close the door behind you at all times. Find an area of the house, such as the kitchen, hallways or dining room which they can roam at will and install some cat beds and playthings in this space. This is particularly important if you have an indoor cat which isn’t allowed out.

My own cat has a cat-flap from where it can go in and out freely, thereby giving it a large amount of quality space and natural walking areas. Therefore I’ve not needed to buy special pet furniture, scratching posts or toys. With a pet that stays indoors, the potential for damage through boredom is greater.

Following these guidelines should help prevent your new flooring from being damaged. With common sense and adapting to changing conditions and behaviours, it’s not too hard to protect your floors from pet damage.

See also: Pet Furniture for Sale.