The ultimate guide to pet-friendly wood flooring options

Flooring & Interior Cladding Sales Advisor

We frequently receive inquiries about the compatibility of our wooden floors with pets. As many of us have furry friends ourselves, we're happy to share our advice for animal owners considering pet-friendly wood flooring for their projects. In this blog, our Flooring and Interior Cladding Sales Advisor, Molly Welsh, will share tips on how to choose the paw-fect floor for your home.

Black labrador on Russwood pet-friendly wood flooring.
European Oak Flooring | Pearl | Grande Parquet | Staran Architects | David Barbour Photography

Pet-friendly wood flooring species: hardwood flooring vs softwood

The term “softwood” is slightly misleading when it comes to flooring, as it does not necessarily mean the wood is soft, or that it will dent easily. In fact, it simply relates to whether the species is a coniferous tree (softwood) or a deciduous tree (hardwood). For example, our European Mountain Larch, a softwood, is grown slowly in cold climates, resulting in a tight grain that creates a denser board, making it naturally more hard wearing.

European Oak, the densest species we offer, is well known for its durability properties, making it one of the most sought-after hardwoods for flooring. This durability makes it less susceptible to scratches or marks from pets running around.

We offer European Oak in both engineered and solid boards. Both are constructed from the same high-quality material, the only difference being that engineered boards have a thinner oak wear layer on top of a backing, whilst the solid boards are 100% oak. Even in the worst-case scenario of a large scratch left by your pet, you can still take restorative action (like sanding) on an engineered board several times over its life.

Flora the pup on our pet-friendly wood flooring
Flora the pup on our European Oak Flooring in Pearl
A dog pictured on European Oak flooring laid in a grande parquet style
European Oak Flooring | Pearl | Grande Parquet | Staran Architects | David Barbour Photography

Which finish should I go for to ensure my wood floor is pet-friendly?

Manufacturing techniques can also improve the hard-wearing nature of your floor. Our Larch, Douglas Fir, and European Oak can all be wire-brushed. This process removes the softer early-wood, exposing the harder latewood, which provides the tree with its strength while growing. This not only highlights the attractive figuring of the timber flooring but also creates a durable surface that is more forgiving to scuffs and scrapes. The brushed surface can also provide more texture, offering extra grip for pets when walking or having zoomies around the place!

All our flooring is prefinished with Osmo Hardwax Oil, which provides protection from the inside out. The oiled finish makes it easy to carry out spot repairs. For example, if there is any staining or drips around food or water bowls, you would only need to work on the affected boards, rather than re-oiling the entire floor. Additionally, Osmo – a German brand – complies with the most stringent German standards, ensuring it is safe for use around animals. It is even saliva-resistant, which is helpful if you have a slobbery dog!


Precautions to protect your wooden floor from pets

Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to preventing scratches and staining from pets. Some general advice includes:

  • Ensuring nails are trimmed to avoid light scratching
  • Keeping mats at entrances to prevent dirt from being carried further into the house
  • Wiping up spills from water bowls or accidents as soon as possible to prevent damage
Sonny the dog on our European Oak wooden flooring in Dusk
Sonny on our European Oak Flooring in Dusk
2 black larbadors on Russwood European Oak flooring in Oat
European Oak Flooring | Oat | HLM Architects | AGB Scotland Ltd

Maintaining your wooden flooring so it lasts the test of time

Regular maintenance of your timber floor is crucial to ensure it lasts a lifetime, even without any four-legged friends. If you have a pet that sheds a lot, the Osmo Dust Mop attachment with the Telescopic Handle has been specially designed to remove pet hair from your floor. This can be used as needed to keep your floor looking spick and span. For day-to-day cleaning, we recommend the Osmo Wash and Care. If there are any small scuffs, superficial scratches from paws, or any stubborn marks from pet food, we advise using the Liquid Wax Cleaner. This can be buffed into the marks with a lint-free cloth to remove them. For more information, check out our blog on how to maintain your Russwood floor.

As flooring sales advisors, we are no strangers to queries from customers about pets having ‘accidents’ on their flooring. This can often leave black spots in the floor due to tannins, which is most prominent in oak. In this case, we recommend using the Tannin Spot Remover, which can be applied directly to the stain and wiped away after 30-45 minutes. This can be repeated if needed. After this, we recommend reapplying a light coat of Osmo Polyx in the affected area to ensure your floor remains protected from wear.


If you require any assistance selecting the perfect pet-friendly wood flooring for your home, or if you already have a Russwood floor and require advice on maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Flooring and Interior Cladding Team. We are always happy to help out with any questions you may have.

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