Do Dog Nails Scratch Wood Floors?

Yes. If a dog’s nails are too long it can scratch wood floors. Dogs’ nail scratches on engineered hardwood floors can damage the floor permanently. You need to cut down their nails to a length where they are short enough not to reach the ground.

In This article, we will discuss how a dog’s nails can scratch wooden floors and what to do to prevent it?

Do Dog Nails Scratch Wood Floors?

Can dog nails scratch wooden floors?

Oh yes. Dogs’ long nails are pointy and sharp from the edges. They can’t only scratch but also leave permanent marks on a wooden floor. Dog toenails can turn dangerous if left untrimmed that is why you must cut them occasionally. (Read long dog nail neglect).

Not only they can ruin wooden floors but also damage other things like sofa, cushions, and pillows, etc. If you have small kids at home, dog-long nails are a threat that must be eliminated.

What makes dogs Scratch on wooden floors?

Following are the reasons why your dogs scratch on the wooden floor.

Habitual practice

Dogs can develop messy habits. They can eat doormats, shoelaces and leave scratches on wooden floors. Some dogs are even in a habit of treasure hunt where they take anything and keep it “safe” in their kennel. (Read my dog ate shoelaces and why my dog scratches carpet in the middle of the night).

Long nails

If your dog has long nails, it will leave scratch marks on the floor even while walking on it. You must cut your dog’s nails regularly. A dog’s nail length should not exceed their paw length or they will start curving and will touch the ground.

You can also use a sandpaper wooden board to keep dog nails trimmed from the edges. (Read What grit sandpaper for dog nails). You can introduce this as a fun activity and a substitute for the habit of scratching nails on the floor.

See if your dog is in pain

Sometimes when dogs are in pain, they don’t know how to express themselves. In restlessness, they can scratch wooden floors. If your dog is constantly scratching wooden floors and growling, he is in extreme pain. (Also Read diabetic dog restless at night).

Check for parasites

When dogs have worms,  they scratch the ground. This is the same as human babies grinding their teeth when they have worms in their bodies. If your dog is scratching wooden floors,  and you can’t spot out the obvious reason,  this could be due to worms. A fecal examination is done to ensure if there are worms. Dewormer is given to treat parasites in dogs. (Read parvo or worms and zimectrin gold for dogs).

See if dog nails are bent sideways

Sometimes a dog’s nails are bent sideways. When a dog walks,  those bent nails can damage the wooden floor. (Also Read dog nails bent sideways). You can cut,  trim and take your dog to a vet to treat this condition.

How to prevent and remove dog nail scratches from hardwood floors?

Finding the right reason why your dog is scratching the wooden floor,  will help you eliminate the cause. However, there are a few steps that you can take to keep your wooden floors safe from dog scratches.

Wax your wooden floor

Wooden floors are slippery.  When you have a dog at home,  you know he will get excited every time even when a doorbell rings. A dog tries hard to grip on a slippery floor and as a result, your wooden floors can get a lot of scratches.

A question might arise here that “are hardwood floors bad for dogs?”. Well,  they are not! but by applying wax on the floor,  you can improve the grip of your dog while walking. This will also keep your floors shiny and safe from extra marks.

Can polyurethane prevents dog scratches?

Polyurethane is used on wooden floors for safety purposes and to give them a furnished look. Polyurethane may protect the wooden floor itself but scratches on polyurethane will be visible. So the idea of protecting the wooden floor with polyurethane doesn’t mean the scratches will be hidden in any way.

Channel your dog’s energy effectively

When you have a restless dog at home, it is hard to keep the wooden floor safe from their scratches. Most dog breeds kept in indoor homes have high energy levels. Use their energy in productive ways like taking your dog on long walks and giving them plenty of activities. A tired dog is less likely to move around the house.

Protect the spaces where dog loves to reside

Every dog has a favorite place somewhere. Some love to cuddle on the sofa and others may prefer sitting around doormats. (Also read do huskies like to cuddle).

We suggest preventing the wooden floor from dog scratches by putting the rugs and carpets on places where your dog loves to spend time.

Another good idea to keep your wooden floors safe is by crate training your dog. Your dog can spend his extra time in his comfortable space rather than roaming around in the house.

(Also read what size crate for a golden retriever puppy)

Dog booties

Nowadays every other pet website sells useful dogs accessories. Buying a dog shoe is the best thing that you can do about a dog’s nail scratching hardwood floors. You can buy dog booties to protect both your dog’s paws and the wooden floor. A win-win situation.

Cut the nails

To keep the wooden floor safe,  it is important to de-weaponize your dog. Cut and file those pointy killer edges that are responsible for scratch marks.

Give your dog an effective “time pass”

Dogs don’t only scratch wooden floors when they walk,  they can also do it when they are utterly free and have nothing to do. You can’t indulge your dog in strenuous activities 24/7. So you have to give him something where he can focus his energies,  time, and interest.

Give him toys, puzzles, and cow hooves. (Also read dog swallowed cow hooves). Keeping your dog busy during his lazy times also saves a lot of trouble.

Dog nails on hardwood floor noise

Scratches are obvious but when dog nails are long they also produce clicking sounds while walking on the wooden floor. This sound can be pretty annoying and a warning that your dog needs a proper nail session.

If left untreated,  it will not only damage your wooden floor but will also trigger many health conditions in dogs. (Read long dog nails clicking on the floor).


A dog can scratch the wooden floor when they have long nails or if they are in pain and distress. However, you can prevent your floor from scratch marks by taking safety measures.

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