How to Fix Dog Scratches on Hardwood Floors – 10 Methods

Dog Scratches on Hardwood Floors

If you own a dog, you definitely have some scratched spots all over your home, it’s inevitable. Dogs are known to have an innate desire to dig and scratch, and sometimes they may leave “little accidents” behind, all of which are detrimental to your cherished hardwood floors.

A hardwood floor that has been sealed properly with polyurethane is protected to an extent against urine stains and surface scuffs; it can’t fully protect the wood.

Fortunately, there are ways to remove dog scratches on hardwood floors and restore your floor’s beauty. You can remove dog scratches on hardwood floors using a wood stain, olive oil, natural oil and a few more method which we’re explained as you read on.

Read: How to repair scratches on luxury vinyl flooring

How to Fix Dog Scratches on Hardwood Floors

Before we proceed to the different methods of fixing the scratches, here are some things you should do first;

  • You need to start by examining the scratches caused by your dogs. This will enable you to figure out how much of a fix your floor needs. Are the scratches minimal? Minor scratches are easier and cheaper to fix, but if the scratches are broad and deep, you will need to exert more effort to fix them.
  • During this inspection process, you also need to check how widespread the scratches are. Are they only present in a small area, or do they cover your entire floor? If your entire floor is covered in scratches, even if they are small and not that noticeable,  it is recommended that you refinished your entire floor; this will remove all the scratches and give your floor a new look.
  • Once you have determined the extent of damage and how much work needs to be done, you need to clean your floors. It is very important that your floor is thoroughly clean before you attempt to fix any scratches. Cleaning your floor will eliminate any dirt and dust that has become embedded in the scratches.
  • Cleaning your floor will also help to illuminate any new scratches that are being covered in dirt and dust. To clean your floor, ensure to make use of a gentle cleaning solution; abrasive cleaning chemicals can worsen the scratches on your floor.

Once your floor has been examined and cleaned, it is ready to be fixed. Here are some ways to fix dog scratches on hardwood floors

Using Apple Cider and Olive Oil

If you only have a few small scratches on your floor, it can be removed with a DIY mixture of apple cider and olive oil. Combine the two ingredients thoroughly, and apply them to the scratches.

Using a clean cloth, buff the area and then let it dry before wiping off the oil residue. This is an easy and quick fix that can be done in under a couple of minutes, and it will greatly improve your floor’s appearance.

Read: Homemade hardwood floor cleaner with olive oil

Using a Wood Stain

This fix is also for when you only have a few small scratches; wood stain can be used to cover them. Opt for an oil or water-based stain, depending on the type of finish you have on your floor, or you can also use a combination stain.

Using the stain of choice, fill up the scratches and allow them dry, then use a soft clean cloth to remove any excess stain.

Using Natural Oils

For a more natural solution, you can make use of natural options like walnut or coconut oil to fix your floor. Walnuts have natural brown dies that can be used to conceal scratches.

To use a walnut to fix dog scratches on hardwood floors, gently rub the walnuts themselves over the scratches. You can also apply coconut oil on the floor to fix the scratches.

Sand and Stain

To make your floor look even better, sandpaper can be used to smoothen your floor before the wood stain is applied. As stated before, when choosing a wood stain, you need to take into account the current colour and finish your floor has.

To find out if the stain will be suitable for your floor, you can spot test the stain in a hidden area of the floor.

Using Steel Wool and Wax

Steel wool and wax can be used to make scratches on your hardwood floor less noticeable. First, using the steel wool, rub scratch along with the grain to help even it out and make it less noticeable.

Then, you can go ahead and fill the scratch using wax. After applying the wax, use a clean cloth to buff it out. You can make use of only a wax stick, but for an extra beautiful finish, you can also use a wax paste after applying and buffing in the wax stick.

Using a Floor Restorer

There are different amazing floor rejuvenator and restorer products that can be used to help clear scratches and restore the shine and beauty of your floor.

Use a Wood Marker

A wood marker can be used to cover up scratches on your floor. This method is best for minor and unnoticeable scratches.

Wood markers are available in different colours, so choose a colour that matches your floor so that the marker can blend into the floor very well, and nobody will be able to tell that you used a marker.

You can also make use of a wax stick as well as the wood marker to cover up the scratches before painting them over. To find out if the wood marker matches your floor color, it is recommended that you spot test the product before using it.

Using a Wood Filler

Using a wood filler is another great fix to fill up scratches on your hardwood floor. These wood fillers are very affordable and are sold for only a few bucks.

They are available in different colours and do not require glue or sandpaper; simply fill in the scratches with the best colour that matches your floor. If you can find your exact floor colour, you can combine two colours.

Use a tail scraper to smooth out the wood fillers. If you have widespread scratches, it is recommended that you make use of a wood filler instead of natural oils or a marker.

Read: Best trash can for dog poop

Sanding and Refinishing

When a large area of your floor is covered in scratches, such as near your dog’s sleeping spot, you will need to sand and refinish the scratched portion of your floor. You can also spot refinish, sanding and refinishing the little spots that are scratched will provide a better result.

To do this, you will need to know what kind of finish your floor has. Ensure to use the same type of finish on your floor already so that the newly refinished spots can match the rest of your floor.

Redo Your Entire Floor

If your floor is scratched up beyond repair, you will need to redo the entire floor. You will need first to remove the existing finish paint using a non-corrosive floor finish stripper.

Once the layers of wax and finish have been removed, you can sand and refinish your entire floor again. To ensure that you achieve the best results, you can always get professional assistance.

Read: How to keep cat from scratching carpet


Dogs are man’s best friend, but sometimes they can unintentionally ruin our floors.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to remove dog scratches on hardwood floors and restore the beauty of your hardwood floor. To protect your hardwood floors, it’s best to train your dog so they don’t scratch your floor.

Scroll to Top