Canine pet parents often find themselves making sacrifices to keep their pets safe and comfortable. Maybe you give in and allow your snoring dog to share the couch, or cheerfully opt to forego a weekend trip because the preferred dog sitter is unavailable. However, denying yourself the pleasure of beautiful hardwood flooring is one sacrifice you shouldn't have to make, even if your canine housemate views them as a terrifying surface to be avoided at all costs. If you have been pining for the gleaming beauty of hardwood, but have not yet moved forward due to concerns about the happiness of the dog you love, these four tips will help you achieve your dream and keep Fido happy, too!
One: Acclimate Slowly
If your dog has never been exposed to a gleaming wood floor, it is natural for them to be a bit unnerved by a surface where the nails and pads of the their feet cannot gain the same type of traction they are accustomed to feeling on carpet, rugs or vinyl surfaces. The key to making your dog more comfortable on the slippery surface of hardwood is to make the introduction very slowly. Before you install new hardwood floors in your home:
- take your dog for a quiet visit to a friend or relative's home where hardwood flooring has been installed
- keep the dog leashed and practice walking slowly onto the surface of the wood a step or two at a time, using constant reassurance or treats as a reward
- once the dog is comfortable walking slowly back and forth on the surface, have them sit and stand a few times to increase their confidence level
Two: Install the Hardwood Flooring Room-by-Room
When preparing to have hardwood installed, installing it in one or two rooms at a time is a good way to ease your pet into accepting the change. Start with smaller rooms, or ones that are not used daily, such as a formal dining room or guest bedroom. Once you have converted one or two rooms in your home to hardwood, spend time with your dog in these rooms each day. Encourage them to walk around in these smaller spaces until they can move about easily without slipping or becoming fearful.
Three: Plan Ahead When Installing Hardwood in the Main Living Areas of the Home
When your dog is comfortable with hardwood flooring in a few areas of the home, it is time to arrange for installation in the main living areas of your home. Since these areas are also the ones where your dog usually spends the most time, planning ahead will further help with the acclimation process. Ask your hardwood flooring supplier to help you choose rugs or mats for the main walkways in larger rooms. These will not only protect the surface of the hardwood in high traffic areas, but they will also offer your dogs a reassuring surface to use until they are more accustomed to the new floor surface. If these items must be ordered, plan ahead to do so a few weeks before the hardwood installation will be done so that they can be installed at the same time.
Four: Factor in Your Pet's Special Needs
Canine pet parent's understand that a comfortable dog is a happy, healthy dog. As you plan for the installation of hardwood, remember that your dog spends much of the day sleeping or playing on the floor. If your dog is used to the soft padding of carpet, you will need to create comfortable lounging areas in each room of the home by adding a plush rug, a folded blanket or a pet bed to their favorite sleeping area. This is even more important if your pet is older or suffers from an illness or condition that makes laying on a hard surface uncomfortable.
These tips should make your transition to a hardwood floor easier for your dog. If you have more questions about hardwood flooring, you can see this website for more information.