How to protect your decking from your dog

children on decking

Everyone loves to unwind on their decking – humans and canines alike! While humans tend to enjoy it most in the hotter and brighter summer months, dogs might be the only one venturing out onto it in the darker autumn and winter days. And as any dog owner knows, sometimes dogs left unsupervised can end up causing a little bit of havoc. We stock a wide range of replacement decking boards and composite decking here at Savoy Timber, but to avoid spending money on decking repair unnecessarily, it’s worth keeping an eye out for your dog doing any of the following…

Chewing on your decking boards

You don’t have to be a dog owner to know that canines tend to love gnawing on stuff. That’s why dog toys tend to be particularly durable little things, as they have to stand up to the kind of determined chewing that dogs love to spend their time doing. The thing is, if your dog is curious enough then his wandering jaws might well find their way towards your decking boards, and that’s far from an ideal scenario. Not only can it cause noticeable damage to yor decking, but it presents the risk of splinters which could potentially injure your dog.

Happily, there are sprays you can get to discourage this sort of thing, widely available in pet shops. Be careful not to be overly liberal with them – they’ll have specific instructions for use on the bottle. And while you’re at it, another effective strategy is to make sure that your dog also has a lot of toys to chew on in the meantime.

Scratching the surface of your decking

Your dog’s claws are another factor worth considering. The nails of different breeds grow at different rates, with some having nails that grow faster and thicker and longer than others. (Other contributing factors including the age of your dog, and how active they are.) If they start growing too long, you might find there’s a risk of scratches to your decking. One of the best ways to avoid this is thankfully pretty simple – you’ll just have to make sure that you’re keeping your dogs nails trimmed, a task that normally needs doing no more than once or twice a month.

If your dog is particularly excitable or prone to pawing at things, you might also want to consider the material for your decking. Hardwood and composite decking are both resistant to this sort of damage.

decking artificial grass

Emptying bladder or bowels

We had to say it. Right now, toilet breaks will account for the majority of the trips your dog takes to your back garden. So how can you make sure that he’s making his deposits where you want them to be (i.e. not on your lovely decking)? Well, when it comes to liquids then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to sort out, even if you’re not happy about it happening. If you’re treating your timber decking with oil on an infrequent but regular basis, then moisture ingress isn’t something to worry too much about, so any urine will easily wash away.

Solid waste is even more unpleasant to have to deal with, but often fairly simple in practice. You’ve got a couple of options – you can hoof it into the undergrowth with a garden implement if that’s your preference, or you can glove up and get the job done yourself. Alternatively, the garden hose is your best friend – just make sure that you’re not using too high a setting, or you can start damaging your deck that way.

As soon as you’ve dealt with the immediate issue of solid or liquid waste – either by the hose or through other means – then it’s worth giving your decking a quick clean to prevent any smells from remaining. The best way to do this is through a combination of warm water and liquid dish soap, and a bit of elbow grease. Just as with the hose though, there’s an art to doing it effectively but delicately – you don’t want to use bleach that’s too strong, or you can end up permanently staining your deck.

Protecting your dog from your decking

Generally canines don’t need too much protection from inanimate objects, but one thing to really watch out for on your decking is loose nails. They have the potential to hurt any member of your family, but especially dogs, who tend to spend a lot more time bounding about on the decking in all weathers than humans do. Keep an eye out for them when you’re doing your regular spot checks and maintenance of your decking, even in the summer.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many dog owners tend to go for composite decking. It’s resistant to the scratches of paws and teeth, not to mention the biohazard risk that your dog can sometimes pose to your decking. It’s also slip resistant, which is handy if your dog ventures during or immediately after rain. And of course, it does an excellent job of staying cool in particularly hot summers.

We have a huge range of composite decking and timber decking products here at Savoy Timber, making us your one-stop shop for decking. If you fancy browsing our products for yourself, feel free to pay a visit to our DIY stores in Blackpool, Preston or Wigan. We’re dedicated to helping you to shop safely during the ongoing Covid-19 situation, so don’t forget to check our latest Covid-19 service update before you visit!