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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I moved into a rental home about 3 months ago. I have two small dogs, a beagle mix and a sheltie mix, both about 30 lbs. The house has brand new wood floors, and the owner is a bit paranoid about them (which makes me wonder why he rented it to someone with dogs...).

Anyway, the entire downstairs is wood and to help protect my security deposit, I've been using Soft Paws on the dogs. They are little plastic caps you glue onto the dogs nails. While I'd like to say this solves the problem, I've found it to be less than ideal...

They work great to protect the floor while they are on. Unfortunately, sometimes they fall off, sometimes the dogs chew them off, and sometimes the bottoms wear down and the nail starts to poke through. My dogs are pretty calm, they sleep most of the time, but they do tend to scamper around when it's food time or walk time. I've found several scratches in the finish of the flooring from this so far. In addition, frequently the caps will wear through before they fall off, and let me tell you clipping nails is a picnic compared to trying to pry a superglued cover off a dog's nails. They HATE it and it's traumatic for all of us to do.

So, I'm starting to wonder if this is just a waste of money and time. I'm considering just skipping them and keeping the dogs nails cut short. I guess my concern is, can you actually cut a dog's nails short enough that they won't damage the floor? Part of the problem with the soft paws is that since they stay on for over a month, you can't keep the nails short, so when they fall off, the nail is long enough to scratch the floor. I know I can't just lop the entire nail off in one go, but if I weekly trim taking a little bit at a time, will the quick actually recede far enough that the nails won't hit the floor? Even when they scamper around trying to get traction? I can't find anything online that says how short you can actually make the nail if you take your time and go slow...

I guess what I'm wondering is, should I stick with the soft paws, which require daily inspections and often prying off of caps for replacement, making it a royal pain? Or could I get as much protection just by clipping short and filing?
 

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I could never get nails short enough when clipping, nor file the edges to a nice, rounded edge . . .until I bought a dremel, and began using that to do the dogs' nails.

The nice thing about the dremel is that you can file every 3 days to shorten the nail. The dog will need to be desensitized, but it's so much easier on them than using a clipper, and you will not damage the nail, like clippers can and so often do. My dogs sleep through the process. Do not bother with the PediPaws or the PediCure, they're both useless junk, IMO. Get a MiniMite cordless.
 

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Have you thought of putting down a bunch of cheap carpets. Last poster said to desensitize, how do you do that. I have wooden floors and it not a big deal only have to straighten some out if they run on them. It has kept the floors finish looking like new.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have you thought of putting down a bunch of cheap carpets. Last poster said to desensitize, how do you do that. I have wooden floors and it not a big deal only have to straighten some out if they run on them. It has kept the floors finish looking like new.
I have been accumulating rugs. I just hate putting them down everywhere, 800 square feet of wood with a bunch of rugs looks a bit tacky :) Although I guess it's better than the alternative, I'd need two more long runner's to really cover all of the high traffic areas where I'm noticing damage.

I'm also thinking perhaps it would be best to dremel the nails and then put the caps on. That way, if the caps fall off at least the nail would be smooth and not do as much damage.
 

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You can go to a carpet store and get large room size rmnants, that you can have them bind the edges cheaply. Put them in the rooms leaving an open border on the outside. You can take them with if you move.
 

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Yup! I have hardwood floors throughout the entire house and my dogs have a run of the house. I Dremel their nails down nice and short and round the edges. You will have to get them shortened up over a period of time. Have your vet show you how to use the Dremel. You don't want to hold it on the nail because it gets very hot very quickly. I actually touch up their nails at least every other week. Saturday morning is just our regular grooming time. It only takes a few minutes once they are used to it. Saves the floors. Now if only I could get rid of the cat pan. Litter sprinkles tend to travel and scratch like crazy. Ugh!
 

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We own a rental home that has hardwood floors throughout. We don't allow children but have had great success with tenants who are responsible dog owners. First of all, a lot depends on the type of wood and the finish as to how any scratches will show. Also, this isn't laminate is it? The floors we have in the rental home and our own home are oak. We had a small room that had fir flooring and it was terrible - very soft.

From our experience I think we have caused the most noticeable marks/scratches, not any of the dogs. The floor is not going to look new forever if anyone is living in the home. Your landlord has to expect normal wear and tear on the quality and finishing of the floor he has provided for you to be able to live on. If he used cheap material it can't be lived on without destroying it. He's not renting out a show home that's not going to be lived in.

I wouldn't worry about the dogs nails if you plan on using a Dremel. You should be enjoying your home and you sound very responsible and considerate which equals an excellent tenant. Good luck.

Edit: Forgot to mention rugs/runners. FYI They are great but, any light coming into the rooms with rugs/runners left in the same spot over time will affect the color of the wood and be noticeable when removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We own a rental home that has hardwood floors throughout. We don't allow children but have had great success with tenants who are responsible dog owners. First of all, a lot depends on the type of wood and the finish as to how any scratches will show. Also, this isn't laminate is it? The floors we have in the rental home and our own home are oak. We had a small room that had fir flooring and it was terrible - very soft.

From our experience I think we have caused the most noticeable marks/scratches, not any of the dogs. The floor is not going to look new forever if anyone is living in the home. Your landlord has to expect normal wear and tear on the quality and finishing of the floor he has provided for you to be able to live on. If he used cheap material it can't be lived on without destroying it. He's not renting out a show home that's not going to be lived in.

I wouldn't worry about the dogs nails if you plan on using a Dremel. You should be enjoying your home and you sound very responsible and considerate which equals an excellent tenant. Good luck.
I would agree, I do more noticable damage than the dogs do. The wood is teak which is reasonably hard, but obviously the hardness of the wood doesn't have much to do with finish scratches. I know it's prefinished, solid 3/4" wood. I know worst case scenario, when I move out it may need a scrub and recoat which is relatively inexpensive. And really the scratches are just in the finish, and since it's light wood with a satin finish they are not very noticeable.

But I do like to be considerate. Honestly I'm more careful with the floors here than I was in my own house (which I'm renting to someone now). I guess for me the big thing is I don't know what he'll consider normal wear and tear and what he'll want to charge damages for. He seems like a reasonable guy but when you're talking about $5,000 worth of flooring, well, people can get upset... But you'd have to consider that in a rental home, you wouldn't put wood in there knowing it's probably the easiest to damage type of flooring around unless you were prepared to accept some damage.

Anyway, so the verdict is that a dremel and some time will probably be just as good for the floors as using soft paws? I mean, I'm looking at spending hundreds of dollars a year for those soft paws, and my dogs hate having them pried off more than anything. Switching to dremeling would save me a lot of money and I can imagine it'd be less hassle for them. I'm just worried about being able to keep them short enough. But on the plus side, I know the areas they tend to scamper around (kitchen, runner on order for there) and by the front door for walk time. So I can just put rugs there, keep the nails dremeled short and hope for the best.
 

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Yes - get rid of those soft paws. That's what got me to respond to your post. I thought "what a pain in the ass - you have to live". You said it yourself - you're more worried about this guys floors than your own. And again, the scratches are in the finish - not the floor - the finish is doing its job of protecting the actual wood. Stop worrying, you are doing way more than is reasonably expected. Do you think your tenants should be this freaked out? Take a nice long stress free break.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well yeah, it is a pain, and ends up costing me about $25 a month too. And yes I have had the though of how I'm afraid to live on the floors, too stressful. I mean if they were my floors it'd be no big deal, but when it's someone else's property I tend to be more careful...

I ordered me a dremel mini mite so we'll give this a go. I think I'll pick up some booties I can put on them while I'm getting the nails shorter since I imagine it will take many weeks. On the plus side, the nail caps have gotten my previously impossible to clip dog much more used to it. I can clip him with no problems now since he's had his paws handled so much to remove and apply caps, so hopefully he'll take to the dremel. I'll do a slow introduction and just get them used to the sound and having it near their paws first and hopefully in short time they'll let me use it :)
 

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I have all wood floors. I would dremel the dogs' nails while you live there. And then before you tell him you're moving out, rent a floor buffer and buff the floors. That way if he comes over the day after you've given notice, the floors will look nice. The buffer will take out most surface scratches and make lots of stuff less noticeable.
 

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Are they actually wood or laminate ? Lam is pretty darn tough and cant see how nails would wreck the floors of they are indeed laminate .
 

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Are they actually wood or laminate ? Lam is pretty darn tough and cant see how nails would wreck the floors of they are indeed laminate .
The wood is teak which is reasonably hard, but obviously the hardness of the wood doesn't have much to do with finish scratches. I know it's prefinished, solid 3/4" wood.

I've seen some laminate that didn't mark after having a nail scratched across it. Everything comes down to quality.
 
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