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? for dog owners that have hardwood floors

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006: ? for dog owners that have hardwood floors
By Debbie on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 01:47 pm:

How do you keep them from getting scratched up, or can you? We have been seriously considering getting a dog. My boys are getting big enough to help take care of one, and I am warming up to the idea. Dh initally wasn't too thrilled, but he had been coming around. However, when we went house hunting, there were so many houses that their dog had totally ruined the hardwood floors. I am not talking a little scratch here and there, these were deep scratches throughout the entire floor. Is there a way to prevent this? Do you just have to keep their nails clipped? I pretty much had dh talked into getting one, and now our house hunting trip has him not so sure.

By Conni on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 02:01 pm:

Do you suppose maybe it depends on what size of dog you get?? And the dogs personality or quirks? lol We have big heavier dogs and when they have been playing and running thru the house they have certainly scratched the wood floors. Now, the older they get the less they play like that. But our puppy has a long ways to go. lol She peeled out turning the corner on the wood floors chasing a tennis ball and ruined an area. ugh

My mil had an dog that would scratch the wood door frames when he wanted to go outside. argh She bought it some dog shoes to wear- but he wouldnt keep them on.

I am thinking a little Yorkie or a shihtzu sp? probably wouldnt scratch the floors! lol I love those little lap dogs. They are so cute. :)

By Debbie on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 02:08 pm:

LOL, Conni. We will definitely get a smaller dog if we get one. I have a friend that breeds poodle/schnauzer mixes. This is what I had in mind. They only get up to 15-25 lbs.

It is hard because dh grew up in south Texas, and they just had hunting dogs. So, he is one that thinks dogs belong outside and not in the house. LOL. You know, he hated cats when we met, and I had a cat. He ended up crying along with me when she died. So, he talks big, but is a real pushover!

By Tink on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 02:38 pm:

I'm wondering about this, too. The home we're moving into has hardwood floors and I'm not sure about the damage our dog's nails could cause. She's smaller (about 12 lbs.) and we keep her nails trimmed but they're still there. Since the floors are brand-new, every little scratch and scrape will show. I may just have to resign myself to the scratches and decide they lend character to the house.:)

By Heaventree on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 03:21 pm:

We live in an older home (35+) and the floors were scratched when we moved in so I'm not sure how much additional damage the dog has done.

I think your home is for living in, if you can't live with the scratches and if it's really going to bother you perhaps you should consider not getting a dog. There's nothing worse than resenting the dog for scratching the floor, the dog can't help it. You could also consider confining the dog to certain areas and not letting the dog have free rein in the house. It's all about choices. I think that getting a smaller mature dog might be the best solution. Puppies are hyper and have tons of engry, they run around like crazy and chew table legs, shoes, sofas, newpapers. You have to keep a constant watch for the first 6 months at least. If you do get a puppy, I would suggest getting crate and allow the dog out for supervised play for the first few months. This will help with chewing and house training. Although I love having my dog, in the beginning it was a real challenge. I never thought I would have to get up and take my puppy out at 3am for a pee but I did.

Our dog is now 3 years old and she is just starting to calm down. We can finally walk her without being pulled down the street.

Why don't you go down to your local rescue and/or shelter and talk to someone about the type of family life you have and your expectations they can probably make some helpful recomendations.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works for everyone in your family. :)

By Jackie on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 03:33 pm:

Debbie, I have no idea about the floors, as we are carpeted here, besides the tile kitchen floor. BUT...please do not a get a dog because you feel the kids will take care of it. I guess that came out wrong. Working with a local rescue group, we have had people adopt dogs, because the kids "promised" to take care of them,only to be returned. Why, because the kids DID NOT take care of them, and the parents really did not want the pet to begin with. Im not trying to be mean, I am just posting this from experience of what I have seen.

By Vicki on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 03:46 pm:

I would get the dog and not get a home with hardwood floors if it is going to bother you. LOL We had a yorkie, and yes, little dogs will scratch the floor too!!

You will enjoy a dog much more than you will enjoy perfect looking hardwood floors!!

By Marcia on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 04:06 pm:

We have hardwood throughout, and have had 2 small dogs. I can't say that I've ever noticed any scratch marks.

By Reds9298 on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 05:07 pm:

I agree with Vicki!:)

We don't have hardwood, but considered it for our kitchen/dining room 3 years ago. Our flooring people recommended against hardwood because of our two terriers (one is 30lbs, one is 14lbs). They said it would be scratch heaven, and it was soooo expensive that I couldn't live with the scratches knowing how much we would have paid for it.

We ended up paying a little less and going with laminate that takes anything. Kind of along the lines of what Heaven said, I knew that *I* would cry everytime I saw a scratch on my hardwood, so that's why we didn't go with it. I didn't want to be mad at my dogs all the time!:)

By Debbie on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 05:28 pm:

Well, the new house we bought has hardwood floors, so we have no choice there. In fact, almost every house we looked at had them. Wow, I also feel that a house is for living in, but I also like to keep a nice home. I asked the question because this is another thing we need to think about. I take this decision very seriously and feel that once you get a pet it is yours for life. If I didn't take it so seriously, I wouldn't ask questions first.

Jackie, don't worry. I know that my dks will not be the only ones taking care of the dog, and the main responsibility will fall to me. I just feel that they are now old enough to help. I know that I have to want the dog because I will be the main caregiver. I am trying to decide if I really want this or not.

I don't know why I am walking away from this post feeling chastised. I really just asked a question, so I have more information to weigh when we make this decision. Really, all I wanted to know is if a dog would scratch hardwood floors or not. And, if there was a way to prevent it. I didn't really ask anyones's opinion on whether we should get a dog or not.

By Jackie on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 05:41 pm:

Sorry Debbie, I did not mean to offend. It is just hard for me to hear that people want dogs because the kids say they will take care of them. I was only stating my opinion from experience,nothing more nothing less.

By Tink on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 05:45 pm:

I understand why you feel that way, Debbie. The only solution I've been able to think of is those small rubber nail covers that I've seen advertised but I, personally, feel kind of silly using those. We'll be renting and, while I don't mind the scratches much, my landlord will. I hope there will be other possible solutions offered.

By Annie2 on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:00 pm:

We have a large sheperd and a small Papillon. We also have two rooms with hardwood floors. We don't have any scratches from the dogs nails.

I do keep a hardwood floor scratch paint pen in the house but have only had to touch up when the floor when dh "moved" the entertainment center.

By Conni on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:32 pm:

We had 2 large dogs when we built our house and then got a 3rd. We put hardwood down and at first it took me awhile to get the hang of it (dont ask- it just took me a bit to adjust.) Now I *wish* we had done hardwood through the entire dowstairs!!! I love it. You have hardwood floors in the house you just sold Debbie, right? Most of the houses for sale in our area have hardwood. The scratches dont bother me. Because we have *kids* and *ourselves* that scratch the floors, mark up the walls, spill on the carpet even tho we have a no eating/drinking in the living room rule. lol So, it doesnt bother me to let the dogs in to play for awhile or let them lay in front of the fire in the winter. I dont resent my dogs or my kids or myself for scratches on the wood floors. Pets or no pets you will end up with some scratches on the wood floors. jmo It's no different than carpet to me- you have to replace carpet every so often and you have to refinish hardwood at some point too. :) I hear you about trying to keep a nice home tho!! My home needs alot of work right now. :( It is definitely starting to look a little more than lived in. We need new carpet and are painting.

I think I might wait until you have been in your new house for a little while before you get a dog. And just enjoy the newwww. :) You could always lay alot of rugs around to protect the wood??? I am guessing keeping the dogs nails trimmed would help too. :) Tink, my dogs would eat anything I put on their feet- lol ! My yellow lab is a big goofball!! :)

Debbie, my kids help *alot* with the animals, even my 6 yo.

Good luck with your decision!! :) And obviously you are doing the right thing asking these questions beforehand. :)

By Conni on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:38 pm:

Annie, I am ashamed now, you are much better on your floors than we are. lol One time I was putting a heavy *cross* on the wall and I finished, turned around to walk off and it FELL. Hole in my wood. *blushing* Nothing a little errr puddy wont fix.

I am a strange one tho- I like things that look old and beat up. lol All of my furniture is finished with a distressed finish and so are my kitchen cabinets. I would love to have wide plank wood floors with a distressed finish. :)

By Truestori on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:39 pm:

I have a big dog and a little dog and my newly refurbished hardwood is shot! We are thinking about tile for the whole downstairs because the dogs have sucessfully ruined my floors after so much hard work. I love my dogs, but couldn't they come nail free?? LOL :)Goodluck, Debbie. I too say enjoy a pet free home for awhile :)

By Vicki on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:51 pm:

I really don't know why your feeling chastised either. In your first post I didn't read anywhere that you had already bought a house that had hardwood floors. I got the impression that you were still looking.

So yes, it has been my experience that dogs (as well as kids and many other things) will scratch the hardwood floor. I don't know of anything that would prevent it as it has been my experience that when my dog comes home from the groomers (and getting her nails trimmed) that they feel even sharper right after they are cut. So I don't think keeping them trimmed is the answer either.

Sorry if I offended you in my first post.

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:23 pm:

Haven't read any of the other posts, but I can tell you that my dog hasn't scratched the floor that much, but since the floor is an older one, it's hard to tell.

The real problem I have is the DOG HAIR!!! I have a dog with very long hair, but even in the summer when we get her hair cut way short, shedding is still a problem. I vacuum at least 2-3 times a week (yes I vacuum my hardwood floors :)) and if I don't I will find the hair all rolled up in the corners and behind the furniture like it was tumbleweed in the desert! UGH!

By Debbie on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:29 pm:

Thanks everyone, it sounds like if we get a dog, scratched floors are something I will have to live with. My current hardwood floors have normal wear and tear scratches and marks. It doesn't bother me. I was just suprised at how many houses we saw that had deep, deep scratch marks all over the floors. They were totally ruined. It is the first thing you noticed when you walked in. I wanted to know if this was common with dogs, or if it was maybe the type of wood or whether the dogs nails were kept clipped, etc.

Vicki, the reason why I asked about the floors is because we have bought a house with them. Dh and I have been going back and forth about a dog. I wanted to know if a dog would ruin the floors or not. Because if they do, it is definitely something else to think about while deciding whether or not to get one.

Jackie, I do understand where you are coming from, especially since you foster dogs. My dks have wanted a dog for several years. I just haven't wanted one. LOL. Now, we are considering it and I am weighing everything because I do see this as a major decision. I see getting a dog as a commitment for the life of the dog.

As far as being offended, I just don't think comments like, "a house is to be lived in" were necessary.

By Reds9298 on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:38 pm:

I can understand why you felt that way, although I don't think anything was intentional. I also read into your original post that the hardwood floors were an option and not a definite, so I should have read more carefully.

And " a house is to be lived in" is relative!! :) I don't let my child eat anywhere but the kitchen, everyone's shoes come off at the door, and there is no smoking. Lots of people think I just need to "live in" our house, but I don't go for those particular things.

Hardwood floors are really nice, especially if they're newer and I think you're being very wise to really consider the effects of having a dog on your home before getting one. After being home for 2 years now and my dogs being out all day (and laying on couches and beds all day), I've decided that the "next" dog(s) will NOT be allowed on couches on beds because they just ruin stuff with everyday wear and tear. And our dogs are our BABIES and I still feel that way.

Good luck in making a decision. As a big dog lover, I respect that you're taking your time to decide if getting one is best for your family all around.

By Imamommyx4 on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 12:55 am:

I love my hardwood floors. I have 2 dogs (a 12 yr old 35 lb mutt, and a 10 month old 10lb yorkie poo). I really can't tell that the dogs have done anymoe damage than the kids did or the furniture did (the soft things on the bottom of the chairs came off but did my kids care), the baby high chair, repair guys, etc. I just figure that at sometime in the future, they'll all be out of the house and I'll miss them making their scratches.

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 09:38 am:

I don't know, but would putting a hard polyurethane finish on the floors help? But I do think it is just a fact of life that a dog is going to cause some damage somewhere, some time in your house, and if you get a dog that simply goes with the territory.

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