What in the world would we do without dogs? These amiable animals are always excited to greet you after a hard day’s work, and like clockwork, every morning you’ll wake up to a yearning look that will guilt you into walking them no matter how bad the weather is. Dogs will forever be the loyal companions of people, although it’s definitely a given that they will constantly be creating chaos around the home! Therefore, it’s important to choose the best flooring for dogs that pee and flooring that will stand up to consistent dog traffic.
Dogs can wreak havoc on your home’s flooring. That’s a given. Of course, you already knew what you signed up for when you decided to adopt the furry bundle of joy (amongst other things). So how do you keep a balance between loving your dog and maintaining a presentable floor? It’s inevitable that your dog will leave some type of mark on the floor eventually.
Whether it’s mud, a water spill, a claw scratch, or worst of all, a pee or doo-doo accident, your floor has to prepare itself for some serious doggy use. As much of a brain overload it is to pick the best flooring for dogs that pee, you can only do the best for your wallet and sanity. Decisions, decisions!
The Best Kind of Flooring For Your Dog
Thankfully, laminate flooring is coming to the rescue. Laminate by nature blocks out dust, dirt, and just about anything that it encounters with heavy traffic, whether by people or dogs. Another bonus is that it is extremely durable. One tip you might want to consider is looking for a shade of flooring that matches your dog so that shedding stands out less (you still have to clean it, though). There are also types of laminate flooring that come with special scratch guarding surfaces which would be perfect for protecting against the claws of your little friend.
What makes laminate flooring so durable is a layer called melamine. It’s a core board that protects against scratches and makes the surface water-resistant (laminate isn’t waterproof, though; BIG difference). That explains why laminate flooring doesn’t work well with standing water. So, if you choose laminate be sure that it’s been treated or coated with waterproofing substances.
Other great flooring choices are tiles and vinyl. Let’s discuss tiles, first. Like laminate, tiles make cleanup easy and it’s durable. Here’s a tip: be sure to pick a tile floor type that’s the most water-repellent where dogs mostly urinate. There are two types of tiles: vitreous and impervious. Vitreous tiles absorb between 0.5% to 3% of water weight, while impervious ones absorb less than 0.5% of water weight.
Examples of impervious tiles are porcelain, ceramic, and glass. However, some ceramic tiles can be either vitreous or impervious. Always check the label of the ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles are more impervious than ceramic ones. What makes them that way are the higher temperatures they’re fired at and that they are glazed, unlike some of the ceramic tiles. What’s amazing is that porcelain is a type of ceramic!
Like laminate and tile flooring, vinyl is also durable and easy to care for. It’s the kind of flooring that’s either completely or almost completely waterproof. Another point for vinyl is that it’s affordable. In fact, luxury vinyl can make a good choice for dogs and cats as far as scratching and other messes go. A helpful tip, though: pick a vinyl flooring with a thick layer (between 20 mil to 40 mil). There are already four layers to vinyl: back, color, design, and a protective top. Add a no-wax vinyl coating and a urethane finish, and you’ve got yourself a sure-fire durable and stain-resistant flooring. Thickness counts for a lot!
One excellent perk of laminate flooring is that it is quite easy to clean in comparison to other floor types. Make sure to invest in a high-quality cotton mop or synthetic floor mop (such as the Champion Super Yellow Mop) with non-woven fabric. This will make cleaning up accidents and spills a breeze. Now, let’s talk cleaners and how to go about cleaning your laminate floors. Keep in mind that you can only monitor so much of your dog’s activities as you can…and miss certain things. One of them would be the exact time a dog accidentally relieves him/herself onto the floor…and you might accidentally step in it and not know.
Once you see it, act immediately, yet calmly. Quickly absorb the urine on laminate (or vinyl) floors, then treat the stain, and finally focus on odor removal. You can either use paper towels or an old rag to absorb the liquid mess. The reason being is that it’s better to blot than run with something disposable in order to eliminate the scent.
Use an enzymatic cleaner for laminate floors (like the Champion Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner) to scrub at the stain. Enzymes are organisms that react with the urine to break down and chemically process the odor and stain. There are more natural alternatives to an enzymatic cleaner: either baking soda or vinegar mixed with water. Both of these methods are effective in eliminating and deodorizing the stain. When using baking soda, apply a small amount to the stain, let it sit for 2 hours, and then vacuum. For the more stubborn and difficult stains, the stained floor pieces can be professionally replaced. Good news, yes?
Eliminating odors is especially important for eliminating all traces of the dog’s markings. The fewer chances for more future accidents, the better! Of course, an even more effective way to keep accidents at bay is to train the dogs to do their business outside. That’s when you really need to know when the dog shows you signs of when they really have to go. Or just have a regular schedule of when you take them outside (morning, evening, or at both times).
As I’ve just mentioned before, tiles make cleanup easy. Ceramic tiles are much easier to clean up pee and other messes from dogs. All that’s needed is natural and commercial cleaning products to neutralize the scent and clean the urine. A good example of a commercial (and enzymatic) cleaner is, again, the Champion Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner which is especially effective for those difficult urine stains and odors. A natural alternative for removing stains is vinegar (a scent neutralizer). Try using a vinegar-soaked towel to place it on the stain for ten minutes. Afterward, wipe up the stain with the same towel.
As with cleaning laminate floors, absorption is the key to cleaning up fresh pee. You can use either paper towels or sponges to sop up, instead of rubbing the urine into the tile. Hydrogen peroxide can be used in the same process to disinfect the stain. Thorough cleaning will remove the scent and reduce further marking, just as with laminate floors. Again, monitor the dog’s behavior and follow the regular schedule of taking the dog outside to pee.
The way to clean vinyl floors is the same way to go about cleaning laminate and tile floors. You see a pattern here, don’t you? However, let’s recap. Use paper towel for absorption, then a cleaner (whether enzymatic like the Champion Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner or a natural homemade kind), rinse and dry the area, then deodorize with baking soda. Not too bad, right?
Water Resistance Is A Must
Try to also purchase laminate flooring that is specifically made to be water-resistant. Remember what I said about laminate flooring with waterproofing substances? That’s a BIG must! Dogs have a tendency to consistently knock over their water bowl, and after a rainy day’s walk, they’re sure to get your floors wet (and muddy). You don’t want the water to seep into your floor and create mildew or mold.
Act immediately when your dog urinates and use the correct cleaning products (and techniques). That way, you won’t have to worry (well, as much) about damage to laminate flooring. Don’t forget, laminate is mostly non-absorbent, yet not entirely impenetrable.
The same also goes for tiled floors. That’s why it’s imperative to use grout in between the tiles for sealing purposes. This ensures that water absorption is prevented. Oh, and marble tiles, though porous, aren’t suitable for dog accidents.
Dog owners know all too well that a durable floor is a must. Thankfully, with the best flooring for dogs that pee, you won’t have to worry about going above and beyond to keep your floor looking its best. That translates to less time stressing, and more time enjoying the precious company of your four-legged friend.
Materials That Won’t Work
Let me just put this out there: carpeting and dog urine is NOT an ideal combination. It’s just not! Let’s break down the cold, hard facts, shall we? Dog urine is hard to soak up from carpeting. Urine can leave lingering smells and stains. You think pee and defecating, stains, and odors alike, on hard floors, are bad? The very problems that sink into carpeting could be maximized by…well, a lot, I’m sure. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty (it’s gross, depressing, and borderline scary, but hey, it’s only fair I tell you anyway). Brace yourselves.
Dog urine that’s left untreated and unattended can leave unflattering consequences…literally. Urine can evaporate and release some disgusting urine (and its smell) into the air. That’s definitely not a whiff anyone would want to take in. When not taken care of, urine can cause a breeding ground for molds and bacteria to grow. When in contact with the carpet, urine has an acidic pH level of between 5 and 6. Then the urine begins oxidizing and reacting to the carpet in the form of discoloring. Quite the horror show, isn’t it? I haven’t begun to talk about the link to potential health issues, yet. I will, now.
Old urine stains that aren’t cleaned properly can do the following potentially bothersome things to a person’s health: irritate the airways, might cause watery eyes, cause allergies, and sinusitis. Pee (whether from dogs or cats) can also cause a strong smell of ammonia in carpets, which can have a damaging effect on those with asthma, COPD, or emphysema. It’s worse for the little ones. If babies are exposed to ammonia or microorganisms left from the urine, it can lead to some serious health issues for them.
Do I still have your attention? Has what I said made you think or given you a refreshing course? If the answer to both questions is “yes”, good! You probably understand better why it’s very important to act immediately (or do your best to be prompt) when accidents happen, especially on carpeting. If you’d like to try fixing the problem yourself, you could try a urine stain removal spray and do what you can from there. In case that doesn’t work (or you choose not to try that), there’s always 1.) power washing, or 2.) a thorough, yet professional cleaning.
Do you know what else doesn’t go well with dog pee? Concrete and hardwood flooring. Hardwoods and pee are another bad combination. Here’s why: staining is inevitable if an accident happens. Not even the surface treatments done to hardwoods will keep the pee from being absorbed by the wood. Plus, both concrete and hardwood are porous enough for urine (or any liquids, for that matter) to soak through. Eliminating stains from these flooring types will make an extreme challenge. Between caring for an animal and the floors, it all seems like more than a handful, doesn’t it?
Now as far as concrete, good luck even thinking about trying to take out those stains. If it’s on the concrete floor of your basement, then it’s a part of the flooring indefinitely. Oh, and don’t forget about the putrid smells. Therefore, do NOT let your pet make its accidental mark on that cold, hard, and porous concrete floor. Again, train your furry friend to do its business outside. If you’ve seen your dog make its mark anywhere on the concrete outdoors, it’s likely you’ve seen some stains. You’re better off letting the rain have at it as far as cleansing. If your furry friend is a cat, train it to do its business in the kitty litter box.
Rugs are another no-no. Yes, I know dogs and cats can’t help themselves. Accidents happen. I’ve covered that many times already. However, if a dog or cat urinates on rugs, they could be washed or dry-cleaned. I could ask the possibly judgmental-sounding question of “Why would anyone bother wasting that much time?”, but it doesn’t seem fair. People want rugs for décor or other reasons. The best I can say is, take good care of your rugs and your furry loved ones.
And Now For A Bonus Tip: Repellent Sprays!
There is something that can guarantee the best flooring for dogs that pee (adn cats): repellent sprays. They can be used on floors, carpets (yes, I said it), rugs, and pieces of furniture…just to name a few. Now, keep in mind that not all repellent sprays will be successful for ALL dogs and cats. That’s why it’s necessary to research and experiment. Of course, you’ve got the commercial repellents. Then there’s the homemade kind.
The following remedies used for homemade repellent sprays are cayenne pepper, baking soda, lemon juice, essential oils, etc. You’d be amazed at the number of different recipes for homemade repellent sprays! I mean, there’s a cayenne repellent spray, a spray using essential oils, homemade repellent for multi-surfaces, and the kind using vinegar and lime juice. Remember I mentioned vinegar being a deodorizing item? Imagine the job it can do to keep the dog away from your furniture or carpet.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about repellents for the cats. Again, there’s the commercial repellents and the natural homemade ones. The type of homemade repellent sprays can include ingredients such as strong fragrances, pheromones, and sound. Pheromones mimic the natural and calming chemicals produced by cats. Pheromones are perfect for cats exhibiting signs of stress and happen to leave their markings where they’re not supposed to. The smell is a very big deal! Cats have a sensitive sense of smell and can get turned away by certain scents, especially the natural ones.
The following natural scents that can turn the cat away, but draw in humans are lavender, thyme, rosemary, and eucalyptus. Take note, though: cats have different reactions to different scents. Be careful not to judge all scents and reactions the same. Don’t be afraid to experiment since it’s another way of learning about your pet. Trial and error!