So you want to keep the beauty of your hardwood flooring but feel like your fuzzy family members might be throwing a wrench in your plans.

Keeping your hardwood floors looking pristine in a household with dogs may seem like a challenge. But with the right approach, getting a dog-proof hardwood floor finish to protect your hardwood floors from scratches, spills, and pet-related wear and tear is entirely possible!

Here’s the low-down on how to achieve a dog-proof hardwood floor finish so your pets and your floors can live happily in your home.


Things to Consider When Choosing a Hardwood Floor Finish for Dog Owners

Durability and Scratch-Resistance

Dog claws can wreak havoc on even the best hardwood floor finishes, leaving behind scratches and marks that detract from the beauty of the surface.

That’s why it’s crucial to choose a hardwood floor finish with high durability and scratch resistance, like polyurethane, aluminum oxide, and penetrating oil (which we’ll touch on in a bit).

You’ll need to consult with a professional to determine the best steps on how to better protect your flooring, whether it’s pre-finished hardwood flooring or unfinished) is essential for preserving the integrity of your hardwood floors.


In addition to scratches and wear, pet-related moisture can also pose a threat to hardwood floors (you know, the pee, the puke, and everything in between that nobody likes to deal with).

Spills, accidents, and pet-related moisture can warp, swell, and further damage your wood if they’re not dealt with immediately. The good news is that a dog-proof hardwood floor finish has moisture resistance built in, so you can make sure your wood isn’t touched by the messy wear-and-tear that your pup could bring to it.

image of two brown puppies hugging on a blanket on a hardwood floor


Sheen and Color

And although sheen and color aren’t directly related to dog-proofing your floors, it’s sure nice to have a floor you love! In case you need a quick lesson:

By the way, sheen refers to the level of shine or glossiness of the finish, while color refers to the hue or tone of the wood.

Matte or satin sheens are popular choices for dog owners as they can help conceal scratches, pet paw prints, and other imperfections more effectively than high-gloss finishes. They’re considered lower-sheen options, creating a more natural and rustic look while minimizing the appearance of wear and tear.


Maintenance and Cleaning Ease

Most pet owners know that they need to put some extra care into their home, be it because of the fur, the scratches, the accidents, or all of it!

Certain hardwood floor finishes require more upkeep than others and can withstand frequent cleaning without dulling or discoloration.

In this same vein, make sure to use only approved cleaning products provided by your hardwood flooring manufacturer. These cleaners are specially formulated to preserve the appearance of the hardwood flooring. It also removes dirt, grime, and yes, even pet-related messes!


The Best Dog-Proof Hardwood Floor Finishes

We mentioned the importance of having finishes that are durable, moisture-resistant, easy to clean, and stylish, to boot. So without further ado, here are some of the best hardwood floor finishes to stay safe from the wear and tear of any fuzzy family member that comes its way:



Polyurethane is a much-loved choice because of its durability, scratch resistance, and versatility. It’s highly resistant to scratches, spills, and pet accidents.

In fact, it serves as a protective barrier that maintains the integrity of the hardwood surface, even in high-traffic areas frequented by pets. This can not only protect your beautiful flooring from your dog’s nails and scratches but also prolong the lifespan of your flooring as well, keeping it looking beautiful for years to come.

Since polyurethane is such a popular choice, it also has a slew of different sheens and colors, like matte, satin, and glossy, so your floors can be beautiful and protected.


Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum Oxide shares many similarities with polyurethane, boasting durability and scratch resistance. In fact, it’s even more durable and scratch-resistant than other options!

However, it tends to offer both fewer sheen and color options and requires professional application because of its unique properties.

image of golden retriever on light hardwood floor playing with a rubber ducky while on its back


Penetrating Oil

For dog owners who prefer a natural look and feel, penetrating oil finishes are a great way to go!

Penetrating oil highlights the natural beauty of wood with a warmer, more matte finish. Aluminum oxide and polyurethane finishes offer more versatility in terms of sheen and color options.

Penetrating oil also offers great moisture protection by penetrating the wood fibers. It’s also easy to spot-repair when you need to.


Ongoing Maintenance and Care

Routine Cleaning with Approved Cleaner

Regular cleaning helps remove pet hair, dirt, and debris that can accumulate over time and damage the finish.

The best cleaning fabric for your hardwood flooring is either a microfiber mop or a cloth; anything else could scratch the surface or protective layer.

And of course, while we’ll need some cleaning solution to get the job done, use as little moisture as you can. Lightly dampen the mop or cloth with an approved cleaner as opposed to dunking for an effective and gentle clean.


Immediate Action for Accidents

Quick response times are essential to prevent staining and keeping a dog-proof hardwood floor finish (and, let’s be honest, keeping your house smelling nice, too!)

When your dog has an accident, blot up liquids with a clean cloth, and use a manufacturer-approved cleaner to remove stains.

image of a happy dog in the entryway of a home, sitting on a mat on top of a hardwood floor


Nail Trimming

And why not minimize scratch risks before they happen in the first place? Trim your dog’s nails regularly (or ask a grooming service to do it for you).


Area Rugs

Area rugs are a simple way to safeguard your hardwood floors from scratches, dents, and wear caused by pet activity.

Place area rugs in high-traffic areas (and your pet’s favorite spots!) so you can have yet another layer of protection from damage. Bonus points if you find rugs with non-slip backing to prevent slipping and sliding in areas where your dog loves to play.


Furniture Pads

Your finished hardwood flooring will thank you for protecting them from scratches with simple furniture pads attached to the bottom of chairs and tables.

Over time, pads may wear down or become detached, so inspect them periodically to maintain optimal protection for your floors.

Durable and pet-resistant hardwood floor finishes are out there, and ready to welcome themselves into your home just as much as you’re ready to have just-like-new hardwood floors again.

With TriArt, nothing is stopping you from getting a customized, protected, and beautiful dog-proof hardwood floor finish!

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