Making Hardwood Floors Work For You (And Your Elderly Dog)

Installing hardwood flooring is a popular upgrade for many families. Hardwood provides a durable surface that becomes even more beautiful as it ages. As it is considered an upgrade and often highly sought after, prospective home buyers frequently place hardwood flooring near the top of the list of features they would like to find in their search for their next home. 

But the smooth, shiny surface of high-quality hardwood may not be as popular with your four-legged members of the family as they are with you, especially when your dogs are older. If you would like to install hardwood flooring in your home but have concerns about your elderly dog's safety and comfort, here are some tips for making hardwood work perfectly for both you and your pet. 

Provide some temporary footing until your dog acclimates

An older dog who feels as if their feet are slipping out from underneath them on a new surface that seems slippery may freeze up and refuse to take another step. Once these dogs have some time, they may be able to adjust to the new surface.

A good way to help your new dog develop enough confidence to master the new surface is to provide them with a temporary footing surface. Inexpensive canvas, painter's cloth, or sailcloth can be a good choice for this because they are readily available and can be easily positioned to form paths throughout areas that have newly installed hardwood flooring. Because these fabrics are dense and heavy, they will lie smoothly and offer sure footing. 

Provide your dog with footwear

Another option for protecting your hardwood flooring without upsetting your older pet is to consider having your pet wear protective socks or booties. These specially designed dog accessories are often made from leather or another sturdy material that provides a more stable walking experience on hard or slippery surfaces. 

Along with helping prevent slips and falls, protective footwear for canines can also help to discourage your pet from chewing on their pads or feet. 

Provide several sleeping areas

Gleaming hardwood floors can also present additional problems for older animals who may be arthritic and need a cushioned surface for sleeping and lounging. Providing several cushions or plush rugs throughout the areas wherever hardwood is installed is a good way to ensure that both you and your elderly dog can be happy with your new floors. 

To learn more about using hardwood flooring in a home with elderly or disabled dogs, take time to discuss your situation and needs with a hardwood flooring dealer in your area, such as All Brite Floors, Inc.