Pets come in all shapes and sizes and are a significant part of our families. Whether our pets are furry, feathery, or even scaly, our families are not complete without them. Unfortunately, our homes are not always built with our pets in mind. Many homes feature gorgeous hardwood floors, which can accidentally be ruined by your pets if you do not intervene. Here are several steps you can take to ensure your pets still feel at home while also protecting your beautiful hardwood floors.

Add rugs toshy high-traffic areas

Rugs are a great tool to protect your hardwood floors without seeming too obvious about it. Place small rugs in front of doorways, runners in hallways, and larger rugs in common lounging areas to protect your wooden floors. Many rugs will also aid in creating ambiance in your home and complement your beautiful hardwood floors.

Place water-resistant mats around pet facilities  

In addition to rugs, mats are another great tool for protecting your hardwood floors. Mats should be placed in areas where your pets eat. Many dogs and cats are messy eaters and drinkers, so spills are expected. Place a mat under their food dishes to catch the crumbs and water splashes to prevent extended contact with the hardwood floors. Water damage is a common threat in these conditions. Another mat that is highly recommended is one that catches and traps cat litter. Depending on the hardness of your wooden floors, cat litter can dent and damage your hardwood floors, as well as scratch the surface finish. Make sure to sweep and clean these areas often to prevent spreading these particles around your hardwood floors.

Ensure your pets’ nails are regularly trimmed

The most common damage to hardwood floors occurs in the form of scratches made by dogs with neglected paws. While it is strongly recommended for the health of your beloved four-legged friends, grooming your dogs and regularly trimming their nails can save your hardwood floors from unnecessary damage. While the threat of damage from cat claws is much lower, a startled cat can also scratch your floors while they attempt to flee. Therefore, it is also advised to keep your cats’ claws maintained. The same goes for other types of pets that have the freedom to roam around your home as well, including bearded dragons, parrots, and ferrets.

Clean up pet urine

Another common damage hardwood floors sustain is prolonged exposure to pet urine. The acidity of urine has the potential to damage the finish and underlying wood if left unchecked. Vigilantly inspect your floors for urine spots and clean them up as soon as possible. Remember, pets usually return to the same spot to relieve themselves so if you locate an area that is frequently used as a bathroom, clean and deodorize the area first; then place an obstacle over that spot to prevent further undesired behaviors. There are also many products available to help discourage this behavior in pets, if needed.

You do not have to choose between your pets and your elegant hardwood floors. With a few extra measures, both you and your beloved pets can comfortably enjoy your hardwood floors. A few steps will go a long way to extend the longevity of your hardwood floors and protect them for years to come.