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You don't have to choose between your beloved pet and beautiful hardwood floors. Actually, hardwood floors are a great choice for homes with pets. Unlike carpeting, wood floors don't harbor animal dander, fleas, ticks, mites or other allergens. Plus, many pets prefer to nap on wood floors, which are natural insulators that keep rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The following tips will keep your floors in great shape. First, consider three coats of an oil-based urethane finish in a satin sheen to provide the best protection, and make sure the finish is well-maintained. Also consider the following:

  • Clip your pet's nails regularly.
  • Sweep, vacuum or dust mop at least weekly to remove dirt, grit and fur.
  • Clean up spills and other liquids immediately. Standing water and other liquids can damage floors so wipe up urine or spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  • Choose water bowls designed to avoid spills. Pet stores sell bowls with stable bases that deter tipping. Some bowls even come in stands. A throw rug could help absorb the stray drop or two, but any mat should be removed immediately if it gets too wet.
  • If you have brought home a new puppy, consider crate-training for its security and your peace of mind. Most dogs readily adapt to a crate; it appeals to their instinct to seek out a den and they are less anxious when you are away from home.

Article courtesy of the American Hardwood Information Center.