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Protecting Your Deck From a Dog

Jenn Tolson
June 19, 2020

You just had an amazing deck installed in your backyard, but unfortunately, your dog has to cross it to get to the yard. If your dog tends to dig in with their nails or scratch the wood surface, many wood materials like cedarwood, redwood, or even composite wood tend to show scuffs and scratches after some traffic.

To prevent your wood deck from getting ruined, there are a few things you can do.

Stains and Protection

The first thing you want to do is think about the stains for your wood deck. There are three different types typically, including waterproofing protection, but you want to go with a darker stain or solid coat. You can touch up if there are scratches, and it lasts a long time.

Choose Harder Wood

If you've already built a deck, this could be too much if you just want to get rid of a few scratches. However, if you haven't yet installed the deck, consider changing to a harder wood such as Ipe (pronounced "ee-pay), also called Brazilian walnut, which would be more difficult to scratch.

Is Your Dog Chewing on the Wood?

The best way to stop chewing in dogs is to make a loud noise during the inappropriate behavior and then offer them a toy. Once your dog starts chewing on the toy, simply praise and love on your pup, even offering treats. After doing this a few times, your dog should get the message that it's unwelcome to chew on wood, and it's pleasing to chew on a toy instead.

Sand Down and Re-Stain

Before staining or painting a deck, you should always sand down your deck to remove previous stains, scratches, and other imperfections. Once smooth and primed, your deck is ready for a new stain.

Deck Barrier and Railing

If you're learning how to protect your deck from a dog, you also want to think about safety hazards. In addition to protecting your wood deck, you may also want to install a humane animal barrier on the bottom of your deck to prevent dogs and other animals from getting underneath your outside sanctuary.

Railings and other barriers may be necessary for decks that are not close to the ground. Wood composite, aluminum, and vinyl railings offer sturdy protection without breaking the bank.