Have you ever wished a specific day existed to celebrate your puppy? You’re in luck. Launched in 2006 as an American celebration, International Puppy Day came about in 2012. Almost a dozen countries will celebrate today (March 23rd) and focus on the unconditional love puppies give their families. Having a puppy isn’t always going to be perfect. Sometimes your cherished pooch will mess up your floors and furniture. Discover a few of the following tips to protect your floor and your pet.
Care for the Floor
Puppies will make a mess, but you can protect your floors from potential puppy accidents in a few ways, even if you don’t have durable flooring. Think about crating your dog, or block off certain areas of the house if you’re not at home. If you are working on house-training your puppy, you may want to restrict your pet to tiled or waterproofed areas of the house. Pet stores sell waterproof training pads that you can place on the floor, and these pads act like a diaper and absorb liquid.
To protect your floors from your puppy’s nails, you can put booties on your pooch when you go outside and socks on when they’re inside. To curtail your pet from chewing on your furniture, make sure your pet has something else to chew on, such as a toy or bone.
How do you protect certain types of flooring? Should you purchase certain items to place over the floors to help prevent messes from occurring or setting in?
A temporary way to care for a carpeted floor involves placing heavy plastic over it. Although unsightly, the plastic protects the space, and you can always opt for clear plastic instead of white. If you can put down carpet yourself or replace it, make sure you have a moisture-proof pad placed under the carpet to absorb messes and odors. You could also use a spray for the carpet, which acts like a barrier between the carpet and messes. You may need to apply this spray every month.
To cover a large area temporarily, place vinyl tablecloths over the floor. These types of tablecloths have a flannel backing that prevents them from sliding. Another option is to place runners on the hardwood. Not only do these runners protect the floor, but they also give your puppy traction when running. You could also add newspapers or towels on top to help with absorption. Although you can use a water-based coating over the hardwood for a more permanent option, it is still best to immediately clean up any messes.
To protect laminate floors, you need to put something on them that you can continually replace. The polyurethane coating found on these types of floors does not provide much protection, and you cannot add any other type of sealant or coating either.
You can apply a sealant to act like a barrier, just as you do with spray on the carpet. If you choose to put on a sealant, seal the tile and the grout.
Protect the Puppy
When cleaning up messes made by your puppy, you need to remember to protect your pet and avoid using toxic cleaners. Cleaners with bleach, ammonia, chlorine, or formaldehyde can put your pooch’s health at risk. Some floor cleaners also leave a vapor that lingers and can be toxic for your dog to breathe. Many pet stores sell nontoxic and pet-safe lines of cleaners.
How to Clean Up Pet Messes
With carpet or area rugs, you want to find a cleaner that works well into the fibers. You may need to shampoo or vacuum the area, depending on how much of a mess your puppy made.
For true hardwood floors, do not use vinegar since the liquid will eat away at the finish. Enzymatic cleaners work best on hardwood. For urine messes, make sure you clean up these types of spills immediately. Urine is acidic and contains insoluble salt crystals, both of which can lead to stains. The salt crystals bind to the floor’s surface, and even if you clean the stain, the odor still exists. If you let the stain linger, you may have to replace the hardwood because the alkaline in the urine corrodes the wood.
You can use almost any type of cleaner on laminate. However, you want to make sure that you clean up urine quickly on laminate.
On tile, use a non-acidic PH-balanced cleaner. You could also opt for steam to clean a large area.
How To Repair Pet Scratches, Scuffs, and Snags
Mend Hardwood Floor Scratches
If your pooch happens to scratch your hardwood floor, it’s highly unlikely the scratches will do permanent damage. Many hardwood floors have a clear finish on top, so most scratches don’t go past that layer. You can easily apply another top coat of polyurethane to fix those scratches. Even if the nail marks go through the top finish and into the wood, you can sand the hardwood to remove the marks. The downside to this sanding is that the process costs quite a bit of time and money.
Fix Furniture Feet
Puppies teethe just like babies, and sometimes your puppy may start gnawing on your chair or table leg. If your puppy bites on your furniture too much, your furniture can appear chewed up. Luckily, you can easily remedy this problem by adding an auto-body filler to the area. Afterward, sand the area and then paint it with an acrylic paint. Spray an acrylic clear lacquer over the area to make sure the paint doesn’t run. Discourage your puppy from chewing on furniture with a pet-safe bitter apple spray that tastes unpleasant to dogs.
Correct Carpet Snags
If you’ve forgotten or haven’t had time to get your puppy’s nails clipped, your pet may get a nail stuck in the carpet, causing the carpet to snag. Maybe your puppy experiences separation anxiety and tries to dig a hole into your carpet. Either way, you can fix carpet snags by replacing sections with remnants. If you have shag carpet, you can snip the fuzzy snag edges with a pair of scissors.
The best type of flooring for your pooch is durable. Even if you don’t have an easy-to-clean, high-maintenance floor, you can find products to help you clean up after your beloved canine so that you can celebrate your puppy ever day, not just on International Puppy Day.