This is How to Choose the Best Hardwood Flooring for Your Dog

January 14, 2019

Posted in macstaff

Rocky Mountain region residents love dogs. Your friends at MacDonald Hardwoods are often asked which types of wood flooring will fare the best with dogs. There are many suitable options available but there are a few rules of thumb that will help you select the best flooring for you.

Choose Hardwood Flooring

First of all, it is important to mention that hardwood flooring has many advantages over other flooring options. It is completely natural. The wood is harvested from forests in a specific pattern and process that ensures its long-term sustainability. There is no better option for hygiene, air quality, and protection from allergens. Engineered hardwood is durable, but solid hardwood flooring is better for homes with pets.

Available Options

Years ago, the options available for hardwood flooring were very limited. A homeowner could select one of a handful of colors that had little or no grain or texture. This traditional look is still popular today but now it only represents a small segment of the options available. There are many different types of hardwoods in a full range of colors – some are naturally occurring while others are stained or whitewashed.

Dog Lovers

Dog lovers need to be concerned with three issues when choosing a hardwood floor: color, gloss, and species hardness. Experienced dog owners recommend that you choose a hardwood species that is very hard so that it will resist scratches and dents. They recommend a light color so that animal hair will not be easily visible. And, they recommend against using a glossy finish because it tends to shows the scratches more easily in reflected light.

Hardwood vs Softwood

The Janka Hardness Scale shows the hardness of each species of wood. While a softer species would not hold up well in a house with pets, a harder species will not be impervious to scratches and dents. In our 2015 survey of designers from around the U.S., more than 50% of them recommended Oak to their clients with dogs.  Other popular choices were bamboo and Hickory.  To determine which hardwood species is best with pet concerns and the Denver area climate, consult one of the experts at MacDonald Hardwoods.

Avoiding Scratches

A typical nail trimmer cuts dogs’ nails but leaves a sharp edge. If a dog owner also files the dog’s cut nails, the nail surface will not scratch as easily. Some dog owners use Soft Paws, vinyl nail caps that glue on to the dog’s nails. Problem solved!


Dog lovers also need to be concerned with avoiding moisture on the hardwood floors. It is very important to avoid the possibility of the dog urinating on the wood flooring, especially when no one is home to clean it up right away.

The dog’s food and drink should be placed on a waterproof surface to avoid any moisture reaching the wood floor. Even homes without a dog should have an absorbent rug by the entrances to avoid tracking rain, snow, or dirt into the house. Having a rag handy to wipe off paws is very helpful as well.


We all understand that sometimes accidents do occur. Visible scratches can be easily remedied with a new coat of finish applied periodically. Damaged or stained sections of hardwood flooring can be repaired or replaced. Learn more about the best hardwood flooring to consider other aspects of your lifestyle before making a final decision.