dog on floor

Every pet owner loves their furry friends. However, we all dread cleaning up all the fur they’ve been shedding for month after month. Let's not even get started on the wetting incidents. This article will explain how to make the right floor choices that will keep both you and your dogs safe and comfortable.

Pet-Friendly Flooring Options

The most pet-friendly flooring will come from a selection of laminate flooring, vinyl flooring, or hybrid flooring. The criteria are explained later in the article, but let's jump straight into the recommended floors you can choose from. 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a design that consists of three layers.

  1. Top Protective Layer - Usually made of aluminium oxide, this robust surface layer protects the floor from wear and tear.
  2. Print Layer - Often infused with resin, the second layer displays various aesthetic designs. Through high-definition and texturing technology, manufacturers offer a multitude of colouring and textures.
  3. Core or Substrate Layer - Wood waste pressed with resin or wax provides the board with its sturdiness while keeping it affordable. This layer also avoids the issue of peeling or warping because of its humidity resistance.

Laminate floors are very suitable for dogs. It has a higher level of scratch resistance compared to traditional floors. This means your floor will maintain its fresh look for much longer. Unlike bamboo and timber, the surface of laminate floors are not made of natural fibres and is therefore not as soft. 

laminate floor

Hybrid Flooring

Hybrid flooring is a pet friendly flooring that is made of four layers:

  1. Top Layer - Similar to laminate flooring, the uppermost coating provides impact, stain, scratch, and UV resistance to the floor.
  2. Print Layer - this part of the floor gives the board its aesthetic design. Using high-definition and texturing technology, manufacturers can imitate the realistic look and feel of surfaces such as wood, tile, concrete, and marble.
  3. Core Board - Unlike laminate, the core board of hybrid flooring consists of a stone plastic composite (made of limestone, polyvinyl chloride and stabilisers) or wood plastic composite (recycled wood combined with polyvinyl chloride).
  4. Acoustic Underlay - This bottom layer is pre-attached. It provides a comfortable feel underfoot and decreases sound.

Hybrid is also a great flooring for pets and dogs because it can survive the test of time with our furry friends. They are 100% waterproof, making it easier to clean bathroom accidents. Also, the installation involves a click system of grooves on the edges of the boards, meaning that it is difficult for water (or pet accidents) to seep in between the floorboards.

hybrid flooring

Vinyl Flooring

One of the most pet-friendly flooring options is vinyl flooring, consisting entirely of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is a type of plastic.

Vinyl flooring essentially is a thin plastic board with a printed surface that can display any design. It provides the highest level of friction that can help your dogs to grip their paws on the ground when running around. Also, the material provides a helpful amount of cushioning that can genuinely protect your dogs from slips and falls. 

Vinyl flooring is also 100% waterproof because of its synthetic material. This makes it a great flooring for dogs because it is easy to clean. It will be convenient to effortlessly scrub off pet accident stains from the floor. Vinyl planks are affordable and easily replaceable. When they get old and worn, you can purchase and install a new and fresh set of vinyl flooring. However, because it doesn't emulate an authentic wood aesthetic, vinyl plank flooring is more popular in commercial facilities as opposed to interior home designs.

What is Pet-Friendly Flooring?

Pet owners want their animal companions to be as safe as can be. Dog-friendly flooring is one that takes into account both the active and passive interactions between our home and our pets. This means keeping floors safe for their playful behaviour and constant vulnerabilities to flooring chemicals. On the other hand, you’ll also want your floors to be safe from pets and dogs.

Slip and Falls

Making floors safe includes two main activities: (1) preventative measures that include increasing slip resistance to avoid falls and (2) protective measures that involve making surfaces soft to minimise harm in the event of a fall.

Preventive - Slip-Resistant Flooring

The way this is tested is by sliding a pendulum over a material, giving a rating between P1-P5, P1 being the most slippery.

P1 - Ordinary residential use in low traffic and safe areas.

P2 - Hospital wards and aged care facilities.

P3 - Public bathrooms and toilets in shopping malls, hospitals & food courts.

P4 - External ramps including driveways and footpaths.

P5 - Commercial kitchens and swimming pool ramps.

Vinyl plank flooring is the most slip resistant. This is the best pet-friendly flooring for pet care facilities. The other two flooring for dogs, hybrid and laminate, tend to have a lower level of slip resistance. However, they are the best candidates for in-house interior designs for pet owners.

Protective - Floor Impact

Floors like hardwood flooring and tile flooring aren't the most pleasurable to fall on. Again, the best flooring for dogs would be vinyl flooring, as it provides a comparably higher level of softness that can make falls less painful on impact. Pet friendly floors may be protective, but in many household applications vinyl may not be the most stylistic option. Other flooring for dogs that offers similar properties can be laminate and bamboo flooring.

Chemical Irritants

When shopping for pet friendly floors you must consider the long term health of your furry friends. For example, many floors can harbor accumulation of various respiratory irritants like allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Safe flooring for dogs are those that minimise absorption of these molecules and do not emit a high level of VOCs. Unfortunately, the highest VOC emitting floors are both vinyl and carpet, the least being hardwood flooring and tile flooring.

Maintaining Floors

Even with the most suitable pet flooring, dirt and dust will still accumulate over time. Especially with pet accidents and periods of shedding, all flooring types will experience a  skyrocket of surface debris. However, this article will provide diy advice and recommended flooring products that can keep your floors clean.


Sweeping is the fastest way to get rid of any dry mess immediately. If you fail to keep countertops pet friendly, dogs can easily knock things over. With a broom and a dustpan, you can quickly swoop the fallen sugar or salt from the floors to restore cleanliness.

sweeping the floor


Sometimes, the situation can be too difficult for a simple sweep. For larger dry spills and during a period of shedding, vacuuming will be the easiest way to collect all the undesired debris off the floor. Many dog owners can benefit from investing in robotic vacuums that traverse the fur-filled floors on their own on a scheduled basis. This is very effective for dog owners that lack time to vacuum regularly.

vacuuming floor

Area restrictions

It is recommended to keep pets out of certain areas like kitchens and bathrooms to minimise the chance of our dogs causing more trouble. The best way to do this is by purchasing pet gates that can close off specific areas and always remembering to close doors when leaving the house. This can also concentrate all the dirt that comes from pets into specific areas that make it easier to clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is luxury vinyl or laminate better for dogs?

Luxury vinyl is much better for dogs. It has a high level of friction that can give dogs control when playing around and has a softness that can provide protection in the event of a fall. However, laminate floors tend to be slightly more durable and will retain their good looks for longer.

Are dogs OK on laminate floors?

Many dog owners purchase laminate flooring for the hardness of its surface that can prevent scratches. However, the hard surface can be unforgiving when pets take a tumble, especially around stairs. We recommend fencing off certain areas which may result in slips.

Can dogs scratch up vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring is very flexible, but also very durable. It is very hard to scratch vinyl flooring as it has a tough surface. Many dog owners confuse the softness of vinyl with its flexability, but in reality vinyl is suitable for commercial applications, and hence is resistant the scratches of our dog paws.

How do you clean a dog’s floor?

Dog’s are responsible for loads of fur on the ground and potential toilet and spillage accidents. For dry spills, sweeping and vacuuming can quickly eliminate the mess on the ground. For toilet stains, mopping can be done as long as flooding wooden floors is avoided. Water can seep through the gaps between floorboards and cause wood to swell. On carpets, pet cleaners can be purchased to remove the dirt and door from the ground.

What kind of flooring is best for pets?

For safety, vinyl is always the most suitable for pets. However, they are more applicable to industrial situations because of its plastic feel and look. An alternative for residential interior designs can be laminate flooring with an embossed surface that maintains a level of friction for the safety of our pets.

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