Tuesday, September 1, 2009


When you own and live with dogs, you don’t live like most other people. When real dog lovers make purchases for their homes they do so with their animals in mind. They are looking for durability and functionality without sacrificing too much of the products aesthetic appeal.

Having good flooring in your home when you live with dogs is a must. There are many types of flooring available to the consumer. But are all these types of flooring ideal when you own dogs? When the type of dog you own is a German Shepherd, then this presents new considerations that needs to be addressed. The German Shepherd is a large dog and most of the time is a very active dog. He loves to play and run and retrieve his toys or lay on the floor chewing a big bone. Besides the size of the animal, there is the hair that this breed is notorious for shedding.

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of flooring that is available. You could buy a carpet, linoleum, wood floors, laminated floors, or ceramic tile floors. Probably the majority of homes have some type of carpeting in their houses. Carpeting and German Shepherds is not the ideal choice unless you want to be vacuuming seven days a week! Because this breed sheds so much, the hair will get in the fibers of the carpet and you’ll find yourself doing more housework than you intended. Also carpets hold smells longer than other flooring. If a puppy has an accident, it seeps in to the fibers and even though you may use a sanitizing spray on it, the urine can get down to the padding of the carpet. Commercial carpets are better because of the tighter weave, but still not the ideal type of flooring to use with this breed.

Many homes have a linoleum kitchen floor. These are easy to clean up when an accident occurs and is easy to vacuum. If this is a heavy trafficked area in the house, the linoleum may start to show wear and tear sooner than a tiled floor and it can show scratches from the dog’s paws. Overall, it is a good floor when you have dogs because of the ease of cleaning it. However, you might find yourself having to replace this flooring more often than others.

Then there are the wood floors. Who doesn’t like the beauty of having wood floors in their home? How durable is the wood floor? To maintain the beauty of the wood floor, lots of polyurethane needs to be applied and even more so when you own dogs. Even still, these floors will get scratched and a buffing of the floor will in most cases restore it to it’s’ shine. However, who wants to have to buff this floor all the time? If you have more than one dog, this is not an easy floor to maintain.

How about the laminated floors? Here is a floor that can look beautiful like a wood floor but is usually easy to care for. It is very important when buying a laminated floor that you buy one that can withstand the size and activity of a German Shepherd. All laminated floors are not the same! There are two different types of laminated flooring. One is the high pressure (HPL) and the other is the direct pressure (DPL). They both contain the same layers (i.e. core layer; backing layer; wear layer; decorative layer); the layers in HPL are fused directly to the core layer under higher heat and pressure. This will result in a stronger, more durable surface. The best laminated floors will have an Abrasion class rating: AC3, AC4, and AC5. These are designed for heavy traffic areas like you would expect to find in a shopping mall. One must note that even this type of flooring can scratch, so keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Also clean any spills right away so it doesn’t cause the flooring to swell or warp.

The ceramic tile floor comes in a large variety of styles and colors to enhance your décor. It is expensive, but so easy to maintain. I had this in my kitchen and I loved it. The only drawback with a ceramic tile floor is that it can be hard on the back. It’s not made for comfort, but rather for its beauty and durability. I raised litters on it in my mud room off of the kitchen. It was so easy to mop up any spills.

The prices of flooring can be very expensive especially when you are considering wood floors, lamented floors or a ceramic tile floor. One must consider how long the flooring will last and the work it will take to keep it looking good. Linoleum is probably the least expensive flooring you could buy. Linoleum and rugs are something that would have to be replaced over time depending on the amount of traffic in those areas where you use it.

So what type of flooring are you using with your dogs?

My rating is not on the beauty of the product, but on the durability and value when living with dogs: carpet: (2), linoleum: (4), wood: (2), laminated: (3), ceramic tile: (4)


  1. laminate, laminate, laminate all the way! Pulled up the nasty ol carpet in my house, put down beautiful laminate and it was the best thing I ever did. I have lots of nice area rugs to warm it up.....just a note: Murphy's law #242; if a dog has to vomit, he will always hit the area rug and not the 2000 sq. ft. of laminate!

  2. I had carpet throughout my entire home; no longer! I now have hardwood floors (I have an older home and the old beautiful hardwood floors were underneath all the carpet) in my bedrooms, living room and hallways, everything else is ceramic tile except for my screened in porch which has porcelain tile(was told it stands up better to "weather" than ceramic...I LOVE my floors now...one word of caution, when you select the ceramic/porcelain tiles, make sure that you select one that is NOT smooth or you will have a slippery skating rink, I selected tile that was not totally smooth and I thought it would be okay...not...I had to have it treated to cut down on the slippery surface...now all is well..

  3. When I had ceramic tiles, it was not the smooth type. It was not slippery because of this.

  4. @Cynthia - I researched this and found out why my dog always runs for my rug to vomit instead of messing on the easier-to-clean tile. Though domesticated, their instict tells them to cover up their scents. They see the rug as more absorbent, and think it will mask the smell better. If they are outside, they will vomit in the grass versus the dirt.

  5. Interesting take on this subject. Makes a lot of sense! Thanks for sharing!