Best pet-friendly flooring options

With time, our pets, whether dogs, cats, or even that little bedside aquarium, becomes an integral part of the family. The flooring in our home may make or break the decor, but as a pet parent we must be concerned not just about the typical wear and tear of the flooring, but also about its impact on our pet’s health. Do you know that marble floors can easily cause hip issues in dogs due its slippery nature? And let's not forget that dogs lick floor many times a day for a variety of reasons. So you need to pick the best pet friendly flooring which are not only durable but also easy for your pets.

Scratching is one of the most common problems with pets and floors, particularly if their nails aren't kept short. Even if your pet doesn't scratch the floor, they might leave their mark by merely strolling, running, or jumping around.

Let me share with you an incident you must be very familiar with. 

Dog’s excitement to welcome his owner

The doorbell rings, your dog leaps off the couch and sprints along the hallway, barking, slipping or skidding around a corner, and sprinting to the front door. While the dog was sleeping on the couch, its body was automatically healing and repairing itself, with relaxed ligaments and tendons. He jumps off the couch and lands on tiles or flooring when the doorbell sounds. With such speed the body torques itself with pressure on front legs while the hind legs struggle for balance. The dog's only goal is to get to the door as quickly as possible, so he gathers all of his limbs and stands on all four legs to sprint to the entrance. He gets up and continues, only to tumble and hit the front door with the side of his neck. Looks natural and comical right? But the damage it can cause to your dog's body, however, is not amusing! Soft tissue injuries are very common - all because of flooring type.

While there has been limited research on the importance of flooring for dogs, certain studies have shown that particular floor types have a direct impact on the health of a dog. 

So how to choose the best pet friendly floorings?

There are various factors to consider while selecting an appropriate dog floor. Before you make your final decision, keep the following points in mind. The flooring should include the following features:

  • Support & comfort for lying, running, walking and sleeping
  • Non slippery texture
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-absorbent quality, so that your pet can separate himself from the excrement, if any
Wooden flooring with rug

Some flooring, for example, absorb a dog's waste and urine, making cleaning more difficult. You won't see them, but whatever is absorbed stays as an irritant to your dog's paws and skin, or as an attractant for the dog to urinate and defecate in that location again in the future. Check out our article on ‘Choosing pet safe cleaning products’ to learn how to clean your home with pet safe products. Slippery floors especially in young pups can lead to hip issues and permanently damage their bone structure and sometimes affect their leg structure permanently (paws deviate from each other) medically known as Carpel Valgas. 

Finding scientific information on the finest dog flooring is dependent on your and your dog's unique circumstances. It was discovered how some floors impact the paws of Beagles in one study examining interdigital cysts.

5 Best Pet Friendly Flooring Options

So before I share my top picks for pet safe flooring options, let me be honest with you. Every floor type has its pros and cons. There is no such thing as an absolute best flooring for dogs, a lot depends on your dog, his/her age, special requirements and of course your ease with its maintenance. But following are some of the best pet friendly flooring available in the market.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is one of the most comfortable, pet-friendly flooring solutions available. Cork is an excellent choice for pet flooring since it is naturally antibacterial. As a part of the wood family, it is scratch and water resistant. Though you might have to compromise in the overall look of your apartment (marble & hardwood have their charms!) this floor type is very ideal for a pet home. 

Bamboo Flooring 

Would you believe it if I told you that bamboo flooring is one of the hardest, most durable, and pet safe flooring options available? One of the flooring industry’s best kept secrets and now you know it too! Bamboo is a unique wood flooring option that appeals to dog-loving families due to its robust, durable, and elegant nature. It is not only durable and comfortable for your dog but adds a lot of style to the aesthetics of your home too.

Laminate Flooring

Well, there is no denying that laminate flooring has been a hot choice since months now. Its real wood resemblance is improving day by day and hence I see its demand overshoot within the next few years easily. It is very durable, hard & stain resistant but slippery for dogs! But hey, there is a solution. Opt for textured or scraped laminate floors, they tend to be non-slippery and more robust than the traditional ones. 

Stone Tile Flooring 

Stone tile is a long-lasting and appealing alternative for your home and pets. It is unquestionably one of the greatest flooring options for dogs and their owners for a variety of reasons, but it does have some drawbacks. It can be really hard and cold for dogs especially during winter. I’d highly recommend investing in some good soft furry carpets and rugs to balance out the issues.

Hardwood Flooring

How can I leave this hot favourite from this list! It's lovely, elegant, and depending on the type of hardwood floor you choose, it usually compliments everything in your home. But with pets, please do consider some accommodations. Go for a harder wood like Brazillain walnut or Hickory, place slip-resistant mats or rugs across the floor, and lastly opt for a matte finish rather than laminate/polished one. 

Tips to avoid floor slipping accidents 

Irrespective of whether you use the best pet friendly flooring or not, there are certain tips which you must use to avoid slippery accidents at home. Some of them are:

  • Use rugs & carpets across the floors
  • Invest in rubber mat at the entrance of your door
  • Trim your dog’s nail regularly
  • Implement a good joint care in consultation with Vet
  • Train your dog to walk slowly 
  • Trim the hair in paws
  • Use non skid socks
  • Comfortable floor dog beds
  • Toe grips for ageing or special needs dogs

Do pet safe flooring options really exist?

The answer is Yes & No. There are many factors that affect your pet’s health in the long run but as a pet owner careful consideration for flooring is an important decision. Smooth laminates and marble should be completely avoided. Textured laminates, textured granite, bamboo, and vinyl flooring are all wonderful choices. Bamboo flooring is one of the best pet friendly flooring options and eco-friendly too. Vinyl flooring is another  alternative. But again it does not offer excellent grip. 

So while installing your flooring, consider your dog’s various attributes like weight, height, playfulness, eating habits and health complications, if any. There is no one single pet safe flooring options but rather you need to decide which ones work best for you and your dog. 

Happy parenting! 

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