You love your dog. Your pooch is a joy and a member of your family.
However – dog ownership and home ownership can sometimes come into conflict. You want to install some nice laminate, but don’t know how it will hold up to your doggo’s claws, and you’re worried about his traction and comfort.
Your kids will eventually grow to a point where they don’t spend as much time on the floor, but your beloved dog will always be down there on the ground. We recommend, therefore, that when it comes time to choose new flooring, you match the floor to the dog.
We want you and your dog to both be happy and healthy, and enjoy the home you live in. There are quite a few things to keep in mind that are particular for a home that will include a dog (or dogs). Keep reading for the rundown on the best flooring for dog owners!
Scratch resistance is a significant concern for dog owners. Your dog has claws, and even if she receives regular manicures, those claws are going to potentially scratch your floors. You want flooring that will resist that constant claw application.
Happily, laminate is among the very best pet flooring choices for scratch resistance. Not all brands or models of flooring are the same in this area, however. When shopping for laminate, you should specifically look at the specifications on the products abrasion classification (AC).
AC ratings for laminate go from A1-A5. A1 and A2 floors will be too low for your dog-friendly household. You will want a floor with at least an A3 rating to withstand daily claw action.
A4 and A5 are for commercial use, and while they are even more scratch resistant, you will generally not find as many styles to choose from. A3 is a good choice.
Not all laminate is equally water-resistant, which is an important element because laminate is easily damaged by standing or puddled water.
There are a few brands that boast more water resistance, including Aqua-Step and Dumaplast Dumafloor, both Belgian brands. Pergo’s Outlast+ line also offers additional water resistance, but not total water-proofing.
It is worth paying attention to the level of water resistance and any extra protection that the laminates you are choosing from will offer you.
One issue that all home owners may experience with laminate flooring is how loud the flooring can be when people walk on it. This will be doubly true if the member of the family walking on the floor is four-legged with claws (who occasionally barks).
Especially if you have downstairs neighbors, or noise-sensitive family members, you’ll want to consider the sound absorption capabilities of laminate as you shop, and perhaps invest in acoustic laminate underlay.
Just as there are ratings of scratch resistance, you should be able to research the Impact Insulation Class of the flooring you are considering. Most laminate falls into the IIC 60. You will want an IIC of 60 or more for second floor installation or in apartments with downstairs neighbors.
If you want to ensure that the floor is quiet enough, however, there are a range of underlayments that you can purchase, from cork to textile, that will help absorb the sound from the clickety-clack of claws.
The last element to consider is traction. While the previous items are things that are important to homeowners and neighbors, this last will be most important to your dog.
Dogs don’t have the same relationship with the floor that humans do. Dog paws simply weren’t built to walk on hard, slippery surfaces; they were built for grass and dirt and rock. Dogs use their claws to grip as they walk, and they can’t grip a slippery hard surface like laminate very easily.
Especially as dogs age, they become more stiff in their legs and less able to handle slipping. All of this means that it is much easier for dogs to slip and fall if they lose traction. Especially an old dog can be hurt, injuring backs, hips or other joints if they fall on slippery flooring. We don’t want that to happen to any member of your fur family.
When choosing laminate, you can take several steps to ensure you’re making the best and most comfortable choice for your dog, including buying them fun booties and socks for traction.
There are also things you can do to make the floor more safe. Firstly, you can use throw rugs and runners in areas where your dog is likely to walk or likes to lie down. These will help your pup move easily and help older dogs get up.
You can also look for textured laminate floor. Some brands produce laminate that mirrors the texture of natural wood. This can be a good choice to give your dog more traction. Pergo’s XP line and the Trafficmaster brand, for example, both sell textured flooring that mimics natural wood.
The websites of big home improvement stores such as Home Depot let you select “textured” as a search limiter in your online search of their laminate. That can be a good place to start to see your choices.
Laminate has both pros and cons for families with dogs. Many brands offer the kind of scratch-resistant, moisture resistant and sound absorbing features that will work well for the particular wear and tear that a dog-owning home will encounter.
Laminate can be dangerous for some dogs, however – especially older dogs who have more trouble getting up from a laying down position. If you want to take advantage of the good things that laminate can offer, we recommend that you seriously consider the additional use of throw rugs and runners in your pet’s most frequented areas, or the purchase of some specifically textured laminate that will allow your dog to get a better grip.