Are Hardwood Floors Bad for Dogs? + Dangers & Fixes

If you have hardwood flooring or slick floors or are considering having them, you should know whether they are bad for your dog. We have seen footage of dogs sliding on polished floors, but what are slick surfaces’ immediate and long-term effects on dogs? As the owner of two huskies, I can attest to the fact that hardwood floors can be dangerous for your furry friends.

Dogs should avoid slick surfaces, especially laminate hardwood and tile floors. For puppies and senior dogs, this is especially true. Dogs are more likely to suffer injuries from falls and developmental problems like swimmer’s syndrome in puppies and hip dysplasia in senior dogs. Prevent this by changing the floor or the dogs’ paws.

In general, dogs shouldn’t walk on slick flooring. One of the most frequent injuries seen by veterinarians is a fall. Most falls are caused by dogs slipping and losing their balance. Luckily, you can keep your dog safe with a few tips.

A Dog on a Carpeted Floor

Will my dog slip on a hardwood floor?

Don’t get alarmed if you see your puppy sliding around on your polished interior floors. Most puppies will slide on polished linoleum, laminate, tile, hardwood floors, or hard indoor flooring, whether heated or not.

This is a typical canine reaction to surfaces that weren’t intended for their paws. They can’t grip a hard surface the same way they can on soil, grass, or carpet.

Even though the floor typically causes your pet’s Bambi-on-ice performance, there are other possible causes for your dog to struggle, including dry paw pads, underlying problems, or joint and ligament pain.

If your older dog has trouble navigating the house, take them to the vet. They are more prone to underlying issues that interfere with their stability than slippery floors.

What makes a floor slippery?

The most common cause of a slippery floor is improper or infrequent cleaning. Other factors that contribute to slippery flooring and their remedies include:

Causes of slippery floorsFixes 
Inappropriate or subpar chemicals
Oily or excessively-treated mop
Soiled cleaning equipment
Animal and plant damage
Furniture defects
Not using anti-slip spray
Wearing the wrong shoes or socks
Too much sunlight
Repair the paw cracks on your dog
Give your dog a non-slip manicure
Reduce hair on the dog’s feet
Use dog socks or booties
Use dog-safe carpets and mats
Use dog fences
Install fresh flooring
Use anti-slip spray on the floor

1. Inappropriate or subpar chemicals

The floor coating should always say “slip resistant.” Use goods of higher quality as well. They could be more expensive, but they eventually pay for themselves.

Maybe the finish was applied with too many or too few coatings, making the floor slippery. Test the floor’s slide resistance after applying 3 or 4 coats of finish.

2. An oily or excessively-treated dust mop

A dust mop that is oily or overly treated makes the floor slippery when it’s used to clean a hardwood floor. Rinse or scrub the floor with a machine before using a non-oil dust mop treatment. Then, apply dust mop treatments as directed on the label. Knowing how to mop wood flooring is important in preventing common accidents, even to humans as well.

3. Soiled cleaning equipment

It’s essential to properly clean buckets and mops before refinishing a floor. For floor refinishing, cleaning specialists frequently utilize brand-new mops, which is a wise decision. Cover the bucket with a new liner to ensure it is clean.

4. Animal and plant damage

Along with having furniture and appliances around the house, having pets and plants can make your floors slick. Sharp-nailed animals can scratch your floors. Put a shield under the pet dishes while feeding them to avoid scratches and moisture.

Too much water in a plant’s pot might cause it to overflow and spill, ruining your floors and making them slippery. Check for leaks from potted plants and, if possible, transplant them to non-leaking containers. 

5. Furniture defects

Laminate flooring is frequently scratched by heavy furniture and appliances, making them slippery. You can prevent this by adding pads under the feet of your furniture. Rubber furniture foot pads work very well for this purpose.

6. Not using anti-slip spray

Anti-slip spray used in a thin layer can occasionally solve your issue. Since I sometimes miss out on the regular floor cleaning and refinishing, I use an anti-slip spray to keep the floors in good shape for my huskies.

7. Wearing the wrong shoes

To avoid smooth laminate floors, you can also experiment with wearing different shoes in your house. But, naturally, wearing socks won’t make it any easier for you to navigate slick terrain.

Due to the dirt, dust, and hair, they track in; dirty shoes can worsen the situation. You can also use rubber-soled shoes or grip socks to wear down the floors temporarily. Additionally, you might choose to wear specified shoes within your home.

If you have shoes or socks for your dogs, they increase their chances of slipping and falling on hardwood floors. Go for rubber shoes for the dogs as they’ll prevent skipping.

8. Too much sunlight

Finally, exposure to too much sunlight can fade your floors and wear them down. You can install blinds or curtains in places that typically receive direct sunlight to prevent.

How to reduce hardwood floor slipperiness

If your hardwood floors are too slippery and pose a danger to people and pets, reduce the slipperiness with the following methods:

1. Repair the paw cracks on your dog

Your dog already has traction control in place. Of course, I’m referring to the pads on his paws. These paw pads, however, can also be to blame for your dog’s legs coming out from under him.

They cannot grasp your floor if they are dry, cracked, or worn down during the winter or if they have medical conditions. Therefore, you can quickly check the affected area to see if your dog’s paw pads are to blame.

If so, clean the cracked paws with warm water, apply a healing balm that’s safe for pets, and then cover the paws with a bootie or socks.

2. Give your dog a non-slip manicure

Giving your dog’s nails a cut can be your anti-slip remedy. Long nails make it difficult for your dog to grip slick surfaces like wood or tiles. Also, if your dog’s nails are too long, he will walk with weight on them rather than his toe pads.

Hard nails cannot grip hard flooring. And if there is inadequate traction, your dog will slide with each step.

3. Reduce hair on the feet

The only thing that might be required for better traction on hard floors for dogs is a little haircut. If your dog has hairy feet, give them a haircut for a better grip. Not just above but also below. 

You can see fur between your dog’s paw pads if you lift one of his paws. This hair can eventually cover the paw pads as it becomes longer. When your dog steps, he steps on this lengthy fur, which causes him to trip and fall.

You can use an electric shaver meant for pets for this task. Be careful not to harm them while trimming their hair.

4. Use dog socks

Dog socks are a little different since the bottoms include non-slip grips! These grips assist your dog in gaining stability on a slippery surface.

5. Use dog carpets or mats

Installing mats and area rugs all over the house, particularly on slick or non-carpeted staircases, is one of the simplest ways to assist your dog in navigating smooth surfaces. Before allowing your dog to run on these mats and rugs, ensure they are attached with non-slip backings.

To assist my dogs in getting up and maintaining stability on wooden floors, I put a non-slip rug in their preferred sleeping area and close to their feeding bowls. For this, yoga mats are excellent.

6. Use dog fences

Use a dog gate to prevent your dog from entering the slippery areas. This is an excellent alternative for pet owners if you have mixed flooring throughout your home and the room to confine your dog. 

But if your dog prefers the coolness of a tile floor, think about spending money on an elevated hammock bed to keep them cozy. This is a particularly helpful solution for dog owners who have older pets because they are more likely to hurt themselves on slippery flooring.

7. Fresh flooring

If everything else fails and you have the resources to do so, it could be time to install some soft carpeting in place of your slick flooring. This is not the most time- or money-saving option, so it’s only worth considering if numerous pets slip and slide on your slick floors.

Some of these problems also occur for concrete floors if not taken care of properly.


Slippery surfaces, including laminated hardwood floors, are bad for dogs and growing puppies. So, if you want a dog but have hardwood floors, you will have to accept that there will be some extra wear and strain on them.

You must also be mindful of hardwood floors and slick surfaces’ risks to canines. Usually, it isn’t practical to replace all your floors with carpeting.

However, runner carpets and anti-slip coatings can be used to significant effect in protecting your dog. In addition, controlling the environment by preventing access to problem locations can also significantly reduce the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are hardwood floors OK with dogs?

Dogs’ paws aren’t meant to walk on smooth and slippery floors like hardwood, laminate, and tiles. Dogs can slip and fall, causing themselves harm in the process.

Why can’t dogs walk on hardwood floors?

A dog’s paws are meant to dig into and grip natural terrain such as soil and grass. Smooth floors such as hardwood and tiles aren’t easy to grip, increasing the likelihood of the dog slipping.

Is carpet or hardwood better for dogs?

Hardwood floors are pet-friendly, durable, easy to clean, and thus good for dogs. However, carpets are good since they’re not slippery. However, they might need to have mites and other pests.

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