Nails on a chalkboard are bad enough, but how about nails on your hardwood floors? If you have a dog and wood floors, you've probably cringed more than once at the sound of clicking, scratching, and scraping against the hardwood. But having a dog and wood floors doesn't mean you have to tear your hair out listening to the noise or risk ruining your floors. Here are five simple tips you can follow to avoid your pet's nails doing harm to the hardwood--and your sanity:
Set up a greeting spot
The excitement of seeing family or visitors at the door can cause a dog to dig his nails into the floor as he races to greet them and skids to a stop. To avoid these wood-damaging greetings, set up a spot on a door mat or other damage-proof area where the dog can await and welcome arrivals. You might want to avoid the greeting altogether by crating the dog when people come over.
Use a nail-grinding tool
If you've been using a nail clipper to trim your dog's nails, try switching to a nail-grinding tool, which helps keep nails round and smooth. Be sure to trim nails regularly, and while you're at it, tidy up the hair between the toe pads. Too much paw hair can make your dog slip and more likely to dig his nails into the floor to brace himself from falling.
Exercise your dog daily
A tired dog is a less-hyper dog, and one that won't be tearing across the wood floors and doing damage. Spend at least an hour each day exercising your dog outdoors, whether it's a game of fetch or a trip to the dog park. Even more beneficial for your wood floors is walking your dog on concrete sidewalks and paths that naturally keep nails short and dull.
Give your dog an indoor play space
Set aside a spot inside the house where you keep your dog's toys, and train and encourage him to use that space for play activity. A room in the basement or a carpeted area in the house is a good option. You'll also benefit from keeping the dog's dishes and feeding area off the wood floors, where water and food spills can cause wear and tear.
Floor train your dog
Your dog may not understand why he has to tread carefully on the wood floors, but he can be trained to "settle" when on them. If possible, keep a dog bed or pet-friendly rug on a section of the wood floor, where he can spend his time restfully. Be sure to praise him for good behavior; he'll soon learn what's expected of him while in this area of the house.
While dogs and hardwood may not go hand in paw, there's no need to get rid of one or the other. With the above tips, you can avoid damage to the wood floor--and keep you and your pet calm and happy.