The U.S. has more pet dogs than any other country, with 75 million pups finding their way into homes all across the nation. And while these furry friends undoubtedly bring an immense amount of joy into their owners’ lives, they can also be a source of frustration — especially when it comes to damaging a home. It may be in their nature to dig and scratch and have the occasional accident, but that doesn’t mean it won’t frustrate their human parents (and potentially bring down the value of the property). That’s why most pet-friendly housing units charge a separate pet deposit. If you want to keep your flooring in great shape without rehoming your hound, here are a few ways to do it.
Pick the Right Floor
Firstly, you’ll need to have the right floor to start off with. Not only is carpeting often seen as a bit dated and undesirable, but it’s also notoriously vulnerable to pet damage. If your puppy has an accident or decides to chew away the edges of the carpet, it’s going to be pretty noticeable. Porcelain tile and hardwood floors are two of the best options — especially solid strand bamboo, which is three times harder than oak flooring (and is sustainable, to boot). These options can withstand a lot of punishment and can increase the value of your home.
Use the Right Cleaning Products
Whether you have carpets or hardwood flooring, you’ll need to clean them properly in order to minimize damage. You’ll need a powerful vacuum with a well-designed brush and roller to pick up all that hair. There are even vacuum models specifically made for animal hair, like the ones that Dyson and Bissel make. In the warmer months, you may want to brush your dog outside to minimize the hair that ends up being shed inside. The less hair that comes in, the less frequently you’ll have to clean. Still, you should sweep and vacuum at least once a week and use products recommended for your particular flooring type. Double check to ensure that the floor cleaning agents you use are also safe for your dog.
Perform Pet Maintenance
A little bit of pet maintenance can go a long way in protecting your floors. In addition to brushing your pup, you should keep their nails trimmed on a regular basis to prevent scratching. This is especially important with larger dogs, who will naturally put more pressure on your floors when walking and running around. You may also want to take a closer look at your choice in water and food bowls, as certain models may be more inclined to tip over and cause damage to the flooring. After taking your pup on a nice, long walk, be sure to wipe off their paws before entering your home. Keeping mud and water off your floors will allow you to spend less time cleaning and more time playing. In addition, you should always take care to clean up any accidents as soon as they occur. While hardwood flooring and carpeting are meant to be durable, these materials can become damaged or take on an odor if you aren’t diligent with clean-up.
For most owners, minimal scratching and the occasional accident are well worth the joy that their canine companion brings into their lives. But if you keep these tips in mind, you can preserve the look of your floors without placing unrealistic expectations on your pet.