It might not seem like it, but your pet’s claws might actually be harder than your wood flooring. That means that long pet claws can scratch your hardwood floor. If you have a large dog, she could actually create large gouges in the wood floor. There are certain ways to prevent that from happening. The simplest way to prevent that from happening is by choosing a very hard wood for your flooring. An exotic wood high on the janka hardness scale likely won’t scratch or dent when your pet walks on it. However, if you don’t have that option, you’ll need to keep your polyurethane finish in good shape to protect your floor. Finally, if the floor is scratched anyway, you still have options.
Sand and Refinish
If you want to actually repair the scratches, you’ll likely need to sand and refinish the floor in spots. Sand away the polyurethane and then sand down to the wood. Use a medium grit sandpaper to get through the polyurethane. Use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood. Clean up the sawdust with a damp cloth. Allow it to dry. Then, you’ll be able to apply polyurethane to fix the part you sanded.
If your flooring is stained, you’ll need to stain the sanded portion to match the other parts. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to match the color of the rest of the floor.
In some cases, you might be able to use wood putty to repair the scratches. If the gouges are very deep, you’ll need to sand away teh polyurethane and then apply a wood filler. Sand it again. Then you can stain and refinish hardwood floors.