Efficient Solutions to Repair Pet Scratches

Pet ownership, while filled with moments of joy and companionship, often comes with its fair share of challenges. These furry friends have left their mark on hardwood furniture, creating a common predicament many pet owners face. Unwanted scratches and dents, though minor, become part of the pet parenting journey, particularly if our four-legged companions resist regular grooming. 

Yet, this shared challenge among pet owners is not without remedy, as numerous solutions exist to address and rectify these minor damages. In the following paragraphs, we’ll delve into various strategies to restore your scratched floorboards and furniture, sprinkled with tips to ensure the repairs are performed correctly.

Table of Contents

Guide to Restoring Dog-Inflicted Scratches on Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture and floors are undeniably aesthetic, but they are not immune to scratches—whether from your shoes, daily use, or your pet’s claws. Here’s a step-by-step guide to recovering the beauty of your hardwood furniture without resorting to expensive refinishing.

For superficial scratches:

Materials required:

– Clean cloth

– Hardwood cleaning solution

– Stain-infused wood marker or similar pigmented wood polish

– Shellac or polyurethane (for a glossy finish)

– Brush for shellac or polyurethane application

  1. Purify the area:Pour a modest quantity of hardwood cleaner on your cloth and clean the area around the scratch. It’s crucial to eliminate all grime and dust to ensure a smooth surface for the stain to stick to.
  1. Stain application:Apply a stain-infused wood marker or any pigmented wood polish (matching the color of the wood you’re fixing) to the scratch. Ensure you follow the product’s instructions regarding application and drying time. Generally, one coat of stain suffices minor scratches. However, let the paint dry completely before deciding if a second coat is required, as the color may slightly change while drying. It’s always preferable to start with a lighter layer and add more if needed.
  1. Final touch:If your furnitureor floors have a glossy finish, apply a layer of shellac or polyurethane over the stain to match the existing finish.

For deep scratches:

Materials required:

– Clean cloth

– Hardwood cleaner

– Wood filler

– Putty knife

– Sandpaper

– Wood stain and another cloth

– Shellac or polyurethane (for a glossy finish)

– Brush for shellac or polyurethane application

  1. Clean the area:Just like for superficial scratches, prepare a clean surface for repair by cleaning the site with your cloth and hardwood cleaner.
  1. Filling the scratch:Fill the scratch with wood filler using a putty knife. Allow the filler to cure as per the recommended time on the product label.
  1. Sanding: Once the wood filler has been set, gently sand the area to remove any excess filler around the scratch.
  1. Apply wood stain: Use another clean cloth to apply wood stain to the filled scratch in color, matching your floor or furniture. Let it dry.
  1. Final touch:If required, apply a layer of shellac or polyurethane.

Innovative DIY Solutions for Scratches on Wood

If you prefer a more natural approach, several unique methods exist to address your pet’s scratches on wooden furniture or floors.

Olive oil and vinegar

Combine ¾ cup of olive oil with ¼ cup of vinegar to create a natural filler for scratches. Apply the mixture to scratches with a clean cloth for a quick solution.

Lemon juice and oil

Mix equal parts of fresh lemon juice and oil (canola, vegetable, or olive oil). Apply to the scratch using a microfiber cloth, making sure to wipe along the wood grain.


It may sound eccentric, but unshelled walnuts, pecans, almonds, and Brazil nuts have been recommended as efficient DIY scratch repair solutions. Rub the nut over the scratch, letting the natural oils fill the indentation. Walnuts, due to their texture, are often the top choice.

Black tea

Brew three tablespoons of water with a bag of black tea for two to three minutes, or until the water acquires a rich color. Use a cotton swab to apply the tea to the scratch, wiping away excess with a cloth or paper towel. Allow it to dry. Apply more layers to darken the color until you reach the desired shade.

How to Rectify Dog Scratches on Leather Furniture

So far, we’ve focused on wood, but leather furniture is equally susceptible to dog scratches. You’ll likely encounter some scratches if you have a leather chair or couch that your four-legged companion enjoys lounging on. Here’s how to handle it.

Materials required:

– Clean cloth

– Leather-recoloring balm

– Microfiber cloth

– Leather oil

  1. Apply recoloring balm:Use your clean cloth to apply a thin layer of leather-recoloring balm that closely matches your furniture’s shade.
  1. Wipe away excess balm:Use a microfiber cloth (a chamois cloth can also be used) to wipe away any excess balm.
  1. Apply leather oil:Condition the repaired area by applying leather oil. It can be bought in a spray bottle, or you can use it with a clean cloth.

So, that’s it! If you opt for chemical-based cleaners and/or stains when repairing scratches in wood or leather, keeping your pet entirely away from the product until it’s dry is essential. Also, keep the windows open to disperse any chemical odors. It is an ideal time to engage in a game of fetch in the backyard (or visit the groomer for that overdue nail trim).

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