Many people think a hardwood floor would be the best choice for pets, especially dogs. But when you think of choosing the best floor for your pet, you need to take the animals welfare and comfort into account, as well as your budget and the maintenance likely to be needed over the lifetime of the pet. Here are some thoughts on the best flooring for pets.


Many dog types love a soft floor to lay on, especially those without much fur on their tummy region. Their choice of floor covering is usually carpet, though often their owners disagree. It is true that carpet can be damaged by pets, especially if they have an accident on it. However, fond pet owners to whom their little doggie friend means everything may not care.

If you want carpet and pets, you can put down mats at doorways to minimise dirt getting tracked inside. Choose carpet with a cut pile that will not get caught in claws. This would be uncomfortable for your pet and is likely to ruin the carpet as one pull will undo a whole row of stitching. Vacuuming the carpet frequently will help minimise pet hair and dander. Scheduling regular visits from a professional carpet cleaning company should keep your carpet looking brand new.


It is true that a hardwood floor may be able to resist the scratches from a dog or cat, especially if it has several layers of protective lacquer over it. But such a floor will be like walking on ice for your pet, because it will be too smooth for them to gain traction. So they will slip and slide all over it, especially when they gain a bit of speed. Then they will be likely to crash into something. An older pet can do themselves an injury, or cause an accident if they skid into your legs when you are not looking.

In addition, when a hardwood floor is not sealed or if the seal degrades, urine and other nasty accidents can seep into the timber and the joins and be almost impossible to remove, especially when it comes to the odour. When your pet smells that odour, it will make them want to keep using that spot as their loo.


Vinyl is a good choice for both pets and owners. It is softer underfoot than polished hardwood and offers traction for the pet. It is extremely scratch resistant, especially when you keep your pet’s claws clipped. However, it is essential to use the top quality vinyl, not the cheap and nasty ones that are thin and prone to cracking and peeling.

Vinyl is easy to maintain; it can be washed easily, dries quickly and it is easy to sweep and vacuum. Pet accidents will not soak in and there are few joins for urine to penetrate. It is also warmer than hardwood or tiles.


Tiles may seem like the ultimate flooring for the pet owner, but in fact they are very hard and cold and most dogs will not be comfortable on them. Cats won’t mind so much as they tend to curl up on chairs or beds anyway. Plus, they have a lot thicker fur than many dogs.

Carpet tiles and cork tiles are both softer. Carpet tiles may be good for both pet and owner because a damaged tile is easier and cheaper to replace. Cork tiles are easily scratched, but if a light colour is chosen, the damage is not as visible.