Skip to content

How to Fix Scratches in Hardwood Floors from a Dog

Hardwood floors are a fantastic flooring option. They are classic, clean, and beautiful – but they do require a bit of upkeep, especially if you have a beloved furry friend. If you have hardwood floors, then you likely know the sound of your dog’s nails across the wood all too well. Dog scratches on hardwood floors are, at the most, a bit of a nuisance and a little unsightly. However, those scratches are entirely fixable! 

Anyone who has hardwood floors knows that every scratch that you notice tends to give you a little sting, kind of like when you buy a brand-new car, and you find the find ding or dent. Hardwood floors are no different, and when it comes to getting rid of those annoying dog scratches on hardwood floors, we are here to help! We know that you want to keep your floors as pristine as possible, which is why we are here to teach you how to keep your hardwood floors looking like new! 


Pay Attention To Prevention

Do you know what is cheaper than fixing your hardwood floors? Preventing the damage in the first place. Basic, minimal care and keeping your floors clean are the initial steps to keeping scratches and scuffs to a minimum, even if Fido seems to be tap dancing along with your hardwood all day long. 

By keeping your floors clean and well-kept, you will be removing dirt and grime. Because you are spending more time and paying more attention to your floors, you will likely notice any potential scratches or problem areas before the surface gets any worse. Natural hardwood floors are at a higher risk of surface damage and deterioration, so proper prevention is critical in keeping them looking perfect! 


The Easy Fix 

Fixing small and shallow hardwood floor scratches, and minor blemishes are relatively easy with a few DIY repair techniques. One of the easiest ways to improve a small spot, like dog scratches on hardwood, is to use a color matching marker. These markers are usually fine tip, permanent markers that are specifically designed to cover hardwood floor scratches with a wood stain pen and blending sticks. They are relatively inexpensive and are incredibly easy to use. 

This is an excellent option if you aren’t too savvy with home repair, but you notice a few tiny scratches here and there. You don’t need to know any particular technique, and you can keep the marker on hand for quick and easy future repairs. The most essential factor to using these markers is finding one that matches your floor well. If you are unsure of how well the marker will match your stain or finish, try the marker in a very small area that is tucked away in a corner where no one else will see. 


Hardwood Floor Scratch Removing 

Most of the time, hardwood floor scratches are easy to repair – all you need is some stain, sandpaper, and a bit of elbow grease. This method is a bit more labor-intensive and requires you to work more carefully than you would if using a pen. Those who have dog scratches on their hardwood floor that are a bit deeper may opt for this approach. 

With a small can of stain, fine-grit sandpaper, and a cloth, you can easily get started. Using the fine-grit sandpaper, gently sand in the direction of the floor’s grain. Then apply a thin amount of stain, and let it sit for a few minutes. After it has had time to rest and absorb into the floor, use a clean cloth to buff out the stain. If you are nervous about using a hardwood floor stain and you have dark floors, try a walnut. Walnuts have an oily brown dye that can effectively repair scratches on your hardwood floors and even enhance the look of areas that are a bit more worn. 

There are many other products that minimize the appearance of scratches and that only require the use of a cloth. These products fill in the scratches on lighter floors, much like walnut stains are used for darker tones. The great thing about repair stains is that they make it nearly impossible for anyone to see the original scratches! If you are a bit nervous to try it out yourself, give your nearest flooring professional a quick call, and they can likely help. 


Fixing Deep Scratches

If your dog has done some serious damage, and you need to fix a deeper scratch, then it may require you to have some prior knowledge or skill related to repairing hardwood floors. For deeper scratches or gouges, you’ll need to try a pre-colored latex wood filler. This is a good option for small but deep cuts that can be filled, stained, and finished with relative ease. Larger areas will likely require the guidance or services of a hardwood flooring professional. To protect the look and integrity of your floors, use your best judgment when making this decision. 


Taking Care of Your Hardwood Floors in the Long Term 

It is easy to forget that hardwood floors are pretty durable and may last throughout many generations. However, just like any other surface, they are prone to a bit of wear and tear, which is why proper cleaning and maintenance routines can keep your floors in tip top shape. 

Those with dogs likely notice a bit more damage and scratches to their hardwood floors, but that doesn’t mean you are stuck with unsightly floors. There are many different ways to keep your hardwood looking nice without having to keep your dog locked up or far away. Simply stick to your cleaning and maintenance upkeep and use anyone of the techniques above that suits your problem the best. When all else fails, or you feel you may need more guidance to give a flooring professional a call, and they will have your floors looking good as new in no time. 


Get a Free Quote