Your dog may be your best friend but if Fido is prone to the occasional “accident” he certainly isn’t your hardwood floor’s best friend, as dog urine is one of the things that can do serious and often pretty expensive damage to a hardwood floor.

If you do a quick Internet search you will find all kinds of “home remedies” for removing dog urine stains from hardwood floors – which usually get very dark very quickly, especially on a softer wood like cedar – but unfortunately unless your pet’s accident is addressed within a few minutes of it occurring they are all pretty useless.

If the staining is minor and you have addressed the root of the problem – usually by banning your dog from the room your hardwood floors are located in – then a simple sanding and refinishing job may remove the stain, visually at least. You can rent a floor sander fairly easily these days but if you have not used one before you may want to think twice about doing so.

The problem is not that rental sanders are that hard to use, they are not, but the average floor sander that a consumer can rent has nowhere near the power that a floor sander a tradesman uses. A rental sander can stall easily as you work your way across the floor and if you apply uneven pressure as you work often the result is a trail of unsightly “chatter” marks, stripes and waves that go against the grain of the wood and really show up once new stain has been applied.

If sanding and refinishing does not solve your dog urine stain issue then you really will need to call in a tradesman as the chances are good that you will need to consider having individual boards replaced. How easy that will be will depend on a number of different factors – the hardwood type, whether or not the boards were finished on site or not, the type of hardwood in questions – that really are best addressed by a professional. Even then perfect results may be hard to obtain, especially with an older hardwood floor, and in order to get perfection the whole floor may have to be replaced.

The obvious answer to this kind of problem is to make the rooms in your home that have hardwood floors no go areas for an occasionally incontinent pet. Some people try to solve the problem with rugs, figuring that if the rug is rubied its better than the hardwood floor being damaged. Unfortunately however most of the time the urine seeps through the rug, onto the floor, where it will remain unnoticed until the board is ruined. It may seem harsh, banning the dog from the living room, but your hardwood floors will thank you for it (as will your wallet.)