Picking the Best Hardwood Floors For Your Older Dog

Older dog

The appeal of hardwood flooring is undeniable. The beauty, durability, and easy clean up make hardwood an easy choice for many homeowners. However, there are some members of the family that may not find hardwood as enjoyable as others.

Dogs, especially older dogs, can have trouble with hardwood. Like tile, it can be slippery and difficult to navigate for older pets. Fortunately, there are hardwood options that can make everyone in the home happy.

Hardwood Flooring and Your Older Dog

There are three main issues you will need to address when it comes to picking the best hardwood floors for dogs – slippage, scratches from the dog’s nails, and urine stains. Each of these are things you should consider before you finalize your flooring decision.


Hardwood floors can be quite slippery, a real issue for an older dog. If the floor is slippery enough you can bet the dog will do its best to avoid walking on it. Running and jumping on the floor will also be questionable. There are a few different solutions to this problem.

The most obvious answer is floor coverings. For the areas that your dog frequents, you can purchase rubber-backed mats and carpets that will provide the necessary traction your older dog needs to feel comfortable on your new flooring. Dr. Shannon Budiselic, a Physical Rehabilitation Veterinarian, recommends these on her blog. These mats can look quite stylish in most homes and come in a wide variety of designs to fit most any interior.

Another option is to choose flooring that provides better traction. The best hardwood floor for your pet might be a more rustic design; one where the grain is more apparent and the boards are wider. You can talk to your hardwood floor provider about the various options you have that will provide more traction for the animal. The best hardwood floor may be less refined – yet just as beautiful – and far more appropriate for your older dog.


Your dogs’ claws are surprisingly good at creating scratches and nicks in your hardwood flooring, even when they are well trimmed. This can be a pretty frustrating experience when you have spent so much time and money on your new floor. Even a small dog can, over time, put grooves in your floor that only a sanding and refinishing can pull out. Depending on the floor material – such as engineered hardwood – you may only have a few sandings available to you before the structural wood underneath the finish starts to show.

The best preventative for this particular problem is a harder material for your flooring. Pine, for instance, is a soft wood that is not capable of standing up to your dog’s nails. Something like Brazilian walnut or hard maple may be better able to withstand the wear and tear of your dog’s nails and everything else that comes through your door. Bamboo can also be purchased that is surprisingly hard and durable, thanks to the resins that are incorporated into the bamboo during the manufacturing process.

Urine Stains

Given enough time, any wood floor will soak up a liquid left on it, including accidents your dog leaves behind. Fortunately, you can have a board replaced by your installer if this does happen. The best way to deal with this problem is to clean up any accidents as soon as possible. There are various solutions that can help remove a pet stain, but prevention is most effective by far.

You Can Have Both

You can have a hardwood floor you love and keep your older dog happy as well. The best way to get exactly the product you need is to contact your favorite flooring dealer and discuss your situation. A trained professional can give you exactly the solution you need for your home and your pet.

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