Re-designing your home and considering the best flooring options for your family members, including those with 4 legs? Ever wondered if concrete is a good option for your pets? In this blog post, we will uncover the pro’s and con’s to concrete flooring when pets are involved.
It’s no secret that we love concrete and the use of concrete for flooring, both internally and externally. When installed correctly, concrete is in our opinion an eco-friendly choice based on its longevity alone. Concrete installed correctly is installed for the long term. It’s versatile, easy to maintain and keep clean, cost effective and looks great, suiting a wide range of designs.
But did you know; concrete flooring is also an excellent choice indoors and out, for homes with pets, especially dogs. Polished concrete is commonly used indoors, whereas exposed aggregate and honed concrete are both great choices for outdoor use.
To ensure welfare of dogs, flooring should be safe and comfortable for lying and walking, should be easy to clean; and should allow the dog to separate itself from its excrement. Using concrete in smart design ensures that all these criteria are met.
As with any flooring options; smart design is important as flooring which is difficult to walk on due to its slope and texture, may affect mobility in dogs over time. Concrete can be customised to any shape or slope, so again proves an excellent choice.
Why Concrete Is A Great Choice for Pets:
1. Easy To Keep Clean & Minimal Pet Odours and Hairs
Sealed concrete is an excellent material to keep clean and is incredibly low maintenance. From leaves and dirt to dust and pet hair; there’s nothing that can’t be easily swept or hosed off.
It’s almost impossible to avoid muddy paws and footprints through the wetter seasons; however with concrete these are as easy as a few sweeps with a broom or mop.
It’s important to consider high quality sealer to ensure your concrete is protected properly. “Dog smells” won’t penetrate the sealed concrete like other materials, so your area will always smell clean as well. Your dog deserves a clean space to enjoy, just as much as you deserve a clean home free of pet odours and hair.
Have you ever been into a home with carpets or floorboards that is full of hairballs and smells funky? Whether or not you have allergies to animal hair or not; it’s not a pleasant experience.
If your family has allergies or animals; using polished concrete is hands-down the best choice of internal flooring for your home.
2. Low Maintenance
If concrete is installed correctly (visit: https://www.premierconstructed.com.au/premierconcrete/why/ ), then it requires minimal maintenance and is in place for the long term. External concrete can be hosed and swept as required, and a deeper clean provided with a high pressure hose. Depending on its use, it can periodically be cleaned with a neutral cleaning product and re-sealed if required. When compared to the maintenance on decking or even grass; the maintenance on concrete is a dream and is one of the most common reasons for homeowners installing it on their home.
3. Hard to Damage & Easy to Repair
Dogs can make a mess and damage furniture and surfaces by being too excitable. Their claws can scrape and damage flooring such as decking and carpets, and they have been known to dig-up garden beds and grassed areas. This is another reason why concrete is such a great choice for dogs of all sizes – it’s indestructible.
The cost and headache of cleaning and repairing carpets, hardwood flooring and even decking and lawn is unnecessary and the concrete is virtually scratch resistant when installed and sealed properly.
Should your old concrete flooring be looking dated and in need of a refresh, there are so many options for bringing it back to life such as re-honing, professionally cleaning and resealing.
4. Pest Free
Animals have a lot of unwanted friends – and concrete flooring means that dander, fleas or mites won’t be trapped as they would with carpets and some other flooring. This makes it easier to clean and is better on allergies and controlling pests in general.
5. Non-Toxic & Sterile
Carpets and other flooring can release harmful chemicals which are not safe for pets (or humans). Concrete flooring is completely safe and non-toxic.
Once sealed, concrete flooring is sterile and easy to sanitize.
Concrete is such a fantastic innovative option for indoor and outdoor use, because it can be customised to suit any need or design. Whether its to create seating, benchtops, steps – or even a stylish water trough for our clients spoilt dogs in High Wycombe. This trough was set with a sensor to let out water when the dogs were nearby.
Concrete comes in such a wide range of colour and mix options, from different coloured concrete bases to different aggregate stones (colours and sizes). The finish of the concrete changes the aesthetic and feel of the concrete, meaning that they can suit almost any home design.
5 Possible Areas Of Concern:
- Heat: where the concrete is in direct sunlight, it can absorb heat and this should be monitored for pets. Although it should be noted that other materials can be just as hot to touch, including decking (composite or natural), and some artificial turf/lawns; we recommend choosing lighter colours and/or bases of concrete, to reduce the surface heat for little paws. As with any outdoor flooring; always ensure the dogs have a shady spot available to them at all times. Concrete can get cooler in the cold weather, so it’s important to have warm bedding available for the pups to sleep on. Indoors, concrete flooring can be warmed by installing underfoot heating before pouring the concrete.
- Chemicals: whilst some chemicals can be applied in the normal concrete process, these are no different to chemicals used during the process for other flooring such as timber, stonework, tiling, artificial grass and carpeting. After the concrete is cured, any chemicals contained within the concrete will not leak and stay contained within the concrete (unlike other surfaces, which can release toxins over time). Where you are using concrete in food areas (whether restaurants or in water troughs such as our custom concrete water trough on our High Wycombe project); it’s important to use non-toxic sealer to the concrete.
- Toileting: If not properly sealed, concrete can be penetrable by moisture. If sealed properly, this will not normally present any moisture related problems, however its important to provide the dogs somewhere to “go”, such as a specific made dog toilet, or a small grassed or sanded area. Using “sand” like materials such as Summerstone fines have been popular for dog-owners, as seen in our Cottesloe project, which provides a good space for dogs to do their business.
- Hard Surface: Concrete is very hard, so it wouldn’t be the nicest to sleep on. Give your pup somewhere comfy to rest such as a dog bed or kennel.
- Slip Resistance: Concrete can be slippery depending on how its finished. Slip resistance can be created during the honing/finishing process or sealing. Contact us for more information!
The verdict… is concrete a good option for my pet dog?
In summary, concrete is an excellent choice for flooring in all homes, but especially so for those with dogs. With almost unlimited design possibilities and durability; decorative concrete is the best low maintenance flooring option by far.
By Bianca Atkinson