What’s the Best Flooring for Dogs?
Published: July 20, 2018 | Updated: January 21, 2022
Pet lovers know that dogs and cats (and probably fish and gerbils too) are an important part of the family. Still, you don’t want them ruining your chic new floor, which begs the question: What is the best flooring for dogs? Your list of the top 5 pet-friendly flooring options awaits!
Let me tell you a little story.
A friend of mine has beautiful, impeccable taste. I mean, his house looks like it came straight from an issue of Freshome. He redid his floors a few years ago. Before the wood-look craze was in full force.
This friend chose beautiful, elegant solid hardwood flooring. And, don’t get me wrong, it looks fantastic – it’s even installed at an angle, making it super dreamy! But somewhere along the line, he ended up living with 4 dogs. This friend who was not a dog person. I still don’t understand how that happened.
Anyway, as I was choosing my flooring for my own remodel, he said to me, “If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have chosen hardwood.” While wood is timeless and beautiful, there are so many great options on the market right now that won’t be scratched or damaged by your four-legged family members.
Before we chat about finding the best flooring for dogs, let’s first discuss what not to do.
Pet Flooring No-Nos
First of all, there are no hard and fast rules on the best flooring for dogs.
We have some suggestions, but if you are committed to having, for example, both hardwood and dogs, you can. You just may end up leading a much more pedantic lifestyle when it comes to home maintenance.
You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?
It’s no secret carpet is not among the best flooring for pets. Of course, your pups will think it’s heaven. Because carpet is soft, cushy and warm, they will lay there all day long.
Meanwhile, all their fur gets forever trapped within the carpet fibers, along with pounds of dust and dirt. I love a soft floor, but let me tell you, when we pulled up the carpet in our bedroom, you could have filled an entire trash can with the dog hair trapped inside!
Cons of Carpet Flooring for Dogs:
- Traps fur, dust and dirt
- Can store fleas, ticks and other pests your dog may bring in
So we already kinda talked about this. Solid hardwood is like your favorite $200 dress that is dry clean only, needs to be freshly pressed, and will melt like the Wicked Witch of the West with too much water. It’s high maintenance.
That’s okay. You probably have lots of people and things in your life that are high maintenance. Your girlfriend? Uncle? Mullet?
The point is, if you’re going to pay top dollar for solid wood flooring, you want it to last. And you don’t want to waste your time and energy stressing about scratches, dents and puppy pee.
If you’re still dying to have real wood, check out engineered wood flooring. If you’re set on wood, engineered wood flooring is the best hardwood flooring for dogs. It’s a little less fussy than solid hardwood and will still give you that gorgeous, classic look of real wood.
Cons of Hardwood Flooring for Dogs:
- Dogs may have trouble getting their footing
- Susceptible to scratches
- Easier to see pet hair
- Spills from water bowls or accidents can cause long-term damage if not cleaned promptly
The Best Pet-Friendly Floors
Okay, now that we got the less-than-stellar options out of the way, let’s get to the goods — what’s the best flooring for dogs? We’ve compiled our top choices.
Hello, wood’s long lost doppelganger! Well, maybe not long lost. Laminate has been a hot flooring choice for some time now, and the real wood resemblance only continues to improve. Hard, durable and stain resistant, laminate flooring should be the clear-cut winner when it comes to finding the best flooring for dogs, right?
While laminate is great for pet owners, it can also be very slippery for furry paws. The best laminate flooring for dogs, especially if you have dogs that are active or older, is a scraped/textured laminate. Really, they’re the prettiest anyway (IMO), and the texture will add some traction. This will help keep your best friend running around playing for years to come.
If you’re looking at bamboo vs laminate, bamboo will hold up longer if you have a large pup that loves to play fetch in the house. Yet, the nice thing about laminate is that scratches or marks aren’t as noticeable.
Pros of Laminate Flooring for Dogs:
- Stain resistant
- Easy to clean
- Scratches are less noticeable (though not a scratch resistant flooring)
Cons of Laminate Flooring for Dogs:
- Can be slippery for paws
- Not as durable as hardwood flooring
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My personal favorite. I have two dogs at home, and I chose this tile. Long-lasting, durable and timeless, tile will never go out of style. Because tile floors typically have enough texture, when combined with the grout they provide plenty of traction for your pets.
Tile is famously easy to clean and maintain, making it one of the best flooring for pets. Pup has an accident? Just wipe it up. Have a golden retriever? Quickly sweep or vacuum up the extra hair.
The only drawback to tile flooring for dogs is that tile is hard and cold. You may want to get them a little dog bed to lounge on. Or, you know, they could just live on your lap like mine do. Laps are soft and warm.
Pros of Tile Flooring for Dogs:
- Scratch resistant flooring
- Easy to clean
Cons of Tile Flooring for Dogs:
- Cold and hard surface
- Can be slippery for paws
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Dun, duh duh dunnn! Finally, we have a winner! Vinyl flooring is the best floor for dogs. It’s an inexpensive, waterproof, scratch and stain resistant flooring that is also comfortable underfoot. Vinyl flooring will keep both you and your dogs happy.
I know, I know, vinyl flooring has gotten a bad rap for a long time, but you can read all about the developments in vinyl flooring and how it compares to floors like laminate and linoleum.
Pros of Vinyl Flooring for Dogs:
- Stain and scratch resistant flooring
- Easy to clean
- Quiet underfoot
- Waterproof options available
- Realistic wood and stone looks
Cons of Vinyl Flooring for Dogs:
- Dulls easily
- Less eco-friendly
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Other Pet-Friendly Flooring Ideas
We’ve talked about traditional in-home flooring, but you have a few options that are made specifically for pets. You probably won’t floor your entire home with these (or maybe you will? you do you), but they’re great if you have a particular area your pet likes to play, or if you want to protect your less dog-friendly flooring.
Rubber dog kennel flooring is traditionally used in doggy daycares and training facilities. However, if you’re training a dog at home, or leaving your dog out without a doggy door, then rubber pet flooring is an excellent solution!
Pros of Rubber Flooring for Dogs:
- Easy maintenance
Cons of Rubber Flooring for Dogs:
- Can have a strong smell
- Not exactly a design trend that you want taking up much space in your home, but great for the garage or outdoor space
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For dogs who love to play outdoors, you can’t do any better than pet-friendly turf. No, this is not the 80s style astroturf – this stuff looks and feels like real grass. The pups love running and rolling around all it. Additionally, you won’t have any problems with digging (I have a dachshund, I know all about digging) like you would with traditional grass.
Pros of Artificial Turf for dogs:
- Easy maintenance
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Great playground for pups
- Great potty area if your dog has to be left for a long period of time
Cons of Artificial Turf for Dogs:
- Will get warmer than natural grass in direct sunlight
- Not ideal for large spaces in home
- Can be pricey to cover a large outdoor area
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Pet-Friendly Flooring FAQ
How can I get rid of a carpet stain where my dog had an accident?
A little white vinegar and baking soda will do the trick. After wiping up what you can, pour the vinegar over the stain to saturate the floor. Then, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the soaked stain. Let the combination sit for a while as it magically lifts the stain and odor from the fibers of your carpet.
What is the best way to clean my dog’s accidents on hardwood flooring?
Wipe up the mess immediately, then clean your floor as normal with a gentle soap-and-water solution. You can also purchase cleaning products made specifically for pet accidents that will help alleviate the smell. Your best bet? Choose a 100% waterproof floor that doesn’t absorb any of the liquid.
What kind of dog flooring is best for his kennel?
Rubber dog kennel mats are perfect for your pup’s little home. Durable rubber mats provide an excellent anti-slip floor surface and will not harbor or grow any bacteria.
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What if my dog tracks mud on the floors?
If you go with a waterproof floor, you can easily clean up mud tracks with a gentle soap-and-water cleaning solution.
My dog is a shedder! What flooring will be easiest to maintain pet hair?
Because they’re so easy to clean and maintain, floors with a hard surface are best for dogs who shed. Carpet will be your worst nightmare because fur gets trapped within the fibers. If you do have carpet, be sure to vacuum frequently.
What type of flooring is best for an older dog?
Veer away from hardwood and laminate floors – older dogs who are slowing down may have trouble getting their footing. Plus, if your older dog has accidents more often it could cause long-term damage to your floor. Waterproof vinyl or tile is the best bet for dogs who have frequent accidents.
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5 Maintenance Tips for Long-Lasting, Pet Friendly Floors
With sharp nails, muddy paws and puppy accidents, man’s best friend can quickly become man’s worst nightmare if he’s ruining man’s floors. Keep your floors shiny as new (and your relationship with your dog a loving one) with these maintenance tips:
- Trim your dog’s nails regularly to keep them from making marks on your nice floors.
- Place a mat down at each entrance to catch the dirt your dog brings in. You may also want to keep a towel near the door to wipe his paws before he comes in the house.
- Rawhide bones can leave greasy stains on your floor. If your dog loves these, let him enjoy them outside. Stick to rubber toys like a Kong for indoors.
- Brush and bathe your dog often to help catch all that hair before it ends up on your floor. Perform routine sweeping and vacuuming to clean up his accumulating hair.
- When all else fails, choose a flooring color that matches your pet’s fur.
Ready to support your style and pup with one of the best floors for dogs? Order free samples of some of our pet friendly flooring today!
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About Ari Ziskin
Ari Ziskin is our resident expert in all things fitness, dance and flooring trends. After five years of blogging at Ari’s Menu, where she was featured on sites like The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, Ari decided to pursue writing full-time. Nothing makes her happier than sharing her knowledge to help people create their gyms and begin their fitness journey.
View all posts by Ari Ziskin
I had bamboo installed 5 yrs. Ago and in less than a month, my floors where scratched. NOW THEY R JUST WCRATCHED SO BAD I HAD TO BUY LARGE RUgs TO COVER THEM UP. I would never advice people with pets to use this product. I have a bichpoo and just recently a 2 yr. Old boxer. I have never been so unhappy with my floors. I can not afford to replace them so I am just stuck.