[caption id="attachment_5757" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Dog."][/caption]Have a dog? Cats? Birds? The more than 83 million households in America that have a pet as part of the family. Having an animal in the home means there are some household items that can be in jeopardy from your critter's normal activity. Dogs chew. Cats will naturally scratch. They shed fur that gets everywhere. Sometimes they don't make it outside or to the litter box. Birds and rodents don't recognize safe spots to go to the bathroom.
If you are wanting to have a hardwood floor, look for genuine, solid, hardwood planks. They are resistant to scratches and dents so this will prevent kitty from scratching up the floor. However, hardwood is not resistant to moisture so keep a mat under the food and water bowl. For the litter box or pet cage, have a mat under that as well or keep them in a separate room without hardwood flooring. You will need to be diligent about accidents and quickly clean up. For shedding, only a quick sweep is needed to pick up the fur. Hardwood floors can dent from high impacts but this comes more from human footwear, namely high heels. But if you have a big dog that likes to tear around the house at top speed, a hardwood floor could start to see some wear after awhile.
[caption id="attachment_5760" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Cat. A cat on a floor. The cat looks serene, peaceful, just on the verge of sleep. It matches the floor, this cat does. Both are orange-ish."] [/caption]
Laminate floors are great against pet habits. They are durable, scratch resistant, and can repel water. It can also match the look and texture of stone and wood and are easy to clean.
Vinyl is the most resistant to moisture with some brands being 100% waterproof. Dust and dander does not settle on vinyl making cleaning simple. Vinyl is a soft material and it does scratch.
Ceramic or porcelain tile is another great option. There will not be any worry from claws damaging the finish. Strong, water resistant, and easy to clean, tile flooring can hold up to any pet mess.
Avoid carpeting if you can. The fibers hold on to hair and dander, a big “No” for people with allergies, and can be difficult to clean up after messes. Smaller animals such as guinea pigs and mice can get their nails caught in it as well. Though most pets will gladly welcome a rug to lay on.
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