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Tips for Choosing The Best Flooring for Dogs

Man's best friend. Dogs can be adorable and fun but let's face it, as a dog-owner, you don't want them ruining or scratching that chic floor you put so much effort and time into maintaining. And what's more, accidents will happen, you don't want stinky odours dominating your home.

So what flooring options strike a balance? What is the best flooring for dogs? Flooring that is both dog-approved and loved by humans. Before we get into what flooring options you have to make both you and your fur babies happy, let us tackle what's not on the list.

Flooring No-No's for Pet Owners

Carpets

Of course, these furry pets love carpets. It's a fluffy, comfy haven for them, but if you are a pet owner, you know it's a no-no with all the pet hair it traps. Carpets will trap so much dirt, ticks, fleas, and other tiny pests your furry friend may bring in. Aside from that, carpets will also easily stain.

Solid Hardwood

As a homeowner, you know solid hardwood is like that top-dollar jacket that's dry-cleaned only and needs to be freshly-pressed. The bottom line is hardwood flooring is high maintenance. Scratches and puppy pee will permanently damage them.

Additionally, dogs have a hard time getting their footing on hardwood flooring. However, if your heart is still set on them, consider getting engineered hardwood flooring. They look like the real thing but are a little less high maintenance, especially if you have these furry friends around the house most of the time.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring that's not waterproof can prove such a troublesome flooring option for dog-owners. They are also not so pet-friendly since they are slippery, especially for dogs prone to hip-injuries. However, today's market provides more pet-friendly laminate flooring options.

Now let's get right into pet-friendly flooring options:

The Best Pet-friendly Flooring for Dogs

Getting the best floorings for pets involves two primary considerations:

1. Scratch-resistant

Dog nails come into contact with the floor as they walk, and the fact that they instinctively claw and scratch much harder than we do means scratch-resistant floors make the best flooring for pets. Since scratch-proof doesn't exist, you generally need to consider getting hard floors or floors with a heavy and robust protective layer that can also be refurbished.

In the quest to find the best flooring for dogs, consider getting floors that scratches don't necessarily stand out but blend in.

2. Water-resistant

No matter how well trained your fluffy one is, pet accidents will happen, and that's not all. You will also experience many water bowl spills or food spills, and let's not forget that some dogs drool a lot.

As a pet owner, you'd want to avoid floors that can be permanently damaged at the slightest spills if not cleaned promptly. Consider flooring that's easy to clean, and that's waterproof, or that has a high water- resistance.

With all these in mind, here is a rundown of the best flooring for dogs:

1. Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is a winner when it comes to the best flooring for pets and dogs specifically. Not only is vinyl flooring soft and comfortable under feet, but it's also scratch-resistant, waterproof, and stain-resistant. Despite its tag, Luxury vinyl flooring is a relatively inexpensive option for pet owners.

A great plus is that it can perfectly mimic different looks, including hardwood, natural stone, or tiles. Luxury vinyl comes as either Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) or Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP).

Good quality vinyl floors, properly installed, will hold well with pet accidents. Most luxury types of vinyl are water-resistant, and others even waterproof. Making it is easy to clean and maintain.

Ordinary vinyl floors have had a bad rap in the past, but many recent developments make luxury vinyl floors a top choice for dog owners.

Pros:

  • Luxury vinyl is stain and scratch-resistant
  • Vinyl is easy to clean
  • Vinyl flooring is soft, quiet and comfortable underfoot
  • Most luxury vinyl is water-resistant, and there are waterproof options also available
  • Vinyl mimics a realistic wood and stone look
  • Vinyl is durable
  • Vinyl is easy to maintain
  • Vinyl flooring is a relatively affordable option as compared to other pet flooring options

Cons:

  • Vinyl dulls easily

2. Bamboo Flooring

Although most people refer to it as hardwood, bamboo is classified as grass. It's tougher than most hardwood and makes a more scratch-resistant and water-resistant flooring for dogs. Bamboo flooring has gotten a little more popular in the last couple of decades and is considered an excellent pet-friendly flooring option for dog-loving homeowners.

Bamboo flooring is unique, sturdy, stylish and durable. It's considered a great option if you want to achieve that natural wood-like look.

Bamboo is still a little sensitive to moisture, so they are not entirely waterproof but are water-resistant enough to work well with potty-trained dogs. For the best experience with bamboo flooring, get the highest-ranking hard quality bamboo.

Overall, bamboo flooring is eco-friendly, easy to clean and easy to maintain. It goes without saying that it's one of the best flooring for dogs.

Pros:

  • It is durable
  • It is stylish
  • It's an eco-friendly option
  • It's tough and is resistant to wear and tear
  • It's easy to clean and maintain
  • It's scratch-resistant and water-resistant

Cons:

  • Low-quality bamboo flooring can disappoint you
  • Relatively pricey
  • Although it's water-resistant, it's not entirely waterproof

3. Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is naturally anti-microbial, making it one of the best flooring for dogs. This anti-microbial property simply means that you don't have to worry about mould and allergens in your home as a dog-owner.

Cork flooring is primarily made from wood products, which means, like most wood flooring it provides, warmth and traction for your pups. Keep in mind that although it'll provide more scratch-resistance than traditional wood, it can still be scratched or be damaged. It would work best if you kept your pet's nails trimmed.

Additionally, cork flooring is water-resistant but not entirely waterproof, so if your furry babies are still potty-training, make sure you clean any spills immediately to maintain the floor.

Another bonus is the fact that they absorb sound. This means that in as much as you love your furry pet friend, you don't have to put up with the noise it makes while it noisily trudges through the house. Overall, it is considered one of the best flooring for dogs.

Pros:

  • Cork flooring is anti-microbial therefore mould and mildew resistant
  • It provides a comfortable pet-friendly flooring option
  • It gives you that woody, stylish appearance
  • It absorbs sound
  • It requires very little maintenance

Cons:

  • It is not entirely scratch-resistant
  • It discolours if exposed to excess sunlight
  • It's not an ideal option for rooms with heavy furniture

4. Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is water-resistant, stain-resistant and timeless. A personal favourite for most homeowners and considered one of the best flooring for dogs. When combined with grout lines, they provide enough traction for your pups.

Tile or stone flooring is ideal for pups at any age. This flooring is very forgiving, whether you have a new puppy that's still trying to potty train or an older dog that's having trouble controlling its bowel movement since it's waterproof. As well, you can easily vacuum that pet hair making it relatively easy to clean and maintain, besides the fact that it will never go out of style.

You also don't have to catch your breath every time you remember that you forgot to trim your dog's nails since this flooring option is scratch-resistant. All these perks and tile flooring still ranks high as one of the most affordable pet-friendly flooring choice.

The minor downside tile flooring poses is the fact that it's a little cold and hard for your pup. This means that you will have to keep soft, warm pet beds someplace in the house that dogs can lounge on. Alternatively, if you don't want them living on your soft, warm laps, consider adding a radiant underfloor heating system to warm up the floor both for you and your dog, especially if you live in a cold place.

Pros:

  • It's scratch-resistant
  • It's waterproofIt's durable
  • It's easy to maintain and clean

Cons:

  • It's hard and cold

5. Laminate Flooring Engineered Hardwood

For all the hardwood lovers, here's some good news. If your heart is still set on hardwood flooring, go for laminate engineered hardwood flooring.

There are great wood-resembling options in the market. Just be sure to have a tough, thick and scratch-resistant top finish to it.

Another practical consideration for dog-owners is to go for a textured, rustic, scraped or distressed look, so in case your dog actually scratches onto it. The scratches will blend in instead of standing out. Other than for scratch protection, the texture/ scrape adds to traction for the pups since laminated hardwood floorings can be pretty slippery.

Also, remember to clean spills immediately after dog accidents happen. If you're out shopping and still unsure of what to pick between bamboo flooring and laminate engineered hardwood flooring, bamboo will hold longer if you have a big dog that loves to play fetch while in the house.

Yet these laminate floorings are a great choice if you don't mind spending a little. The furry one will coexist really well with this laminated flooring.

Pros:

  • It gives a durable flooring option
  • The flooring is stain-resistant
  • This laminated floor is easy to clean
  • Although it is not scratch resistant, the scratches your dog makes are less noticeable
  • Laminated floors make a good resale value for homes
  • These laminated floors are more water-resistant than the traditional hardwood floors

Cons:

  • These floors can be a little slippery for dogs
  • They are not as durable as the natural hardwood floors

Other Pet-friendly Flooring for Pets

  • Rubber pet flooring
  • Artificial pet-friendly turf

Frequently Asked Questions on The Best Flooring for Pets

A. How do I remove the carpet stain after my dog has had an accident?

A little sprinkle of baking soda and white vinegar should do the trick. Use a cloth to wipe what you can first, then pour some white vinegar over the carpet stain and let it soak through the floor.

Afterwards, sprinkle a generous amount of the baking soda over the vinegar-soaked stain. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes. It will magically lift any odour or stain from the fibres of the carpet. 

B. Between laminate and vinyl flooring, which one is better for dogs?

Your best bet is on vinyl. Vinyl is better than laminate for dogs when you try to weigh out the best type of flooring for dogs.

Laminate might seem easy to clean, but in fact, it can warp badly when it gets wet. However, some new water-resistant options are slowly coming into the market.

Furthermore, compared to vinyl, laminate can be pretty slippery underneath your dogs’ paws, especially if it's not scraped or textured, leading to accidents. Plus, with little traction, dogs are more likely to dig their claws into the floor to walk steadily.

Vinyl flooring should give a more secure and steady footing for both you and your dog. Most vinyl flooring choices are water-resistant, and if you don't mind paying a bit more, you can go for the waterproof options, which is by far a much more superior choice available for dog owners.

C. What type of flooring is best for an older dog?

If you have an older dog, stay clear of natural hardwood and laminate floors especially. Older dogs have trouble getting a steady footing or slowing down. Additionally, older dogs have more trouble controlling their bowel movements, so they will have accidents more often, which could cause long-term damage to your hard floor or laminate floor. A tile or waterproof vinyl flooring option is one of the best ways to go for dogs that have frequent accidents.