How Dogs Damage Leather Couches And What To Do About It

How Dogs Damage Leather Couches And What To Do About It

If you’re here, you probably want to know if dogs can damage leather couches.

Well, my mother has black leather couches that have had many different dogs on them, many times, for over two decades. Based on personal experience and research I can tell you that…

Dogs rarely damage a couch made from high-quality genuine leather, but there’s a small chance they might bite the leather or scratch the surface with their claws. The good news is that daily wear and tear is not usually obvious and can often be repaired, if necessary.

Knowing exactly what to look for in a leather couch and how to repair damage can make sharing a house with a dog much easier on everyone.

In this article, you’ll find out:

  • What a dog might do to a leather couch
  • Why leather is an excellent choice, even if you have dogs
  • Which leather to choose
  • How to prevent damage to a leather couch
  • How to mend dog scratches on a leather couch

What dogs do to leather couches

If you let your dog sit or lie on a leather couch, you may end up with:

  • Scratches or small tears in the leather, where the dog’s claws make contact with the material
  • Bite marks or torn leather if your dog likes to eat strange things or if you have a teething puppy that tries to soothe its gums on the leather
  • Dog hair on the couch, especially if your dog is molting or needs a haircut

There’s always a chance that dogs might damage a leather couch, but they usually don’t. The good news is that damage is the exception rather than the norm.

Why leather is a great option for a couch

Labrador puppy sitting on a leather couch

Leather is a very popular choice for a couch for dog owners because:

  • It’s strong, thick, and very resistant to scratches and punctures by dog claws. This is because leather is made from animal skin which, much like your skin, stretches and gives way under pressure rather than breaking or tearing.
  • It’s easy to clean.
  • It doesn’t attract and hold onto pet fur like other couch materials might.
  • Real leather is porous and lets air through it, which means it changes temperature depending on who’s sitting on it. A leather couch adjusts to become cooler or warmer for the human (or dog) sitting on it, which makes leather a comfortable seating option.

The best leathers for dog-friendly couches

The best leathers to choose for a couch that your dog will use are:

  • Full-grain or top-grain leather: Although more expensive, these are good choices for a couch in the long run. These leathers are robust, durable, and more likely to withstand the test of time. High-quality leather can last for up to 25 years, even with a lot of wear and tear. (source)
  • Distressed leather: This is leather that’s been artificially damaged and scraped, giving it an aged look. The finished product is very strong and hard-wearing, and because it’s been “distressed”, no one will notice superficial dog scratches on the couch.
Close-up photo of distressed leather couch as a good option for dog owners
See how the leather on this couch looks aged? That’s because this is distressed leather, which hides scratches and damage very well.

If you’re looking for a good distressed leather couch, here’s a popular one on Amazon.

My advice is to avoid recycled and bonded leather couches. These are more likely to show wear and tear from your pet scratching and playing on them, and they’re harder to repair than real leather.

How to prevent dog damage to a leather couch

Below are the best methods and products from Amazon to help you stop your dog from damaging a leather couch:

  • To prevent a dog from chewing or biting a leather couch, spray the couch with a bitter spray like this one. Whichever one you choose, make sure it’s non-toxic. If you’re trying a new product, spray it on a small patch of the leather that’s hidden and leave it for 24 hours. This will tell you if the product marks or damages the leather before you spray it all over the couch.
  • Some dogs that are put on a diet chew on leather because it feels like real meat in their mouth. If you have restricted your dog’s calories or put your dog on a bland diet, consider adding some real meat, good chew toys, or even offering a keto diet because your dog might be trying to tell you what it is lacking in its food.
  • You can try couch covers for leather furniture, to protect your couches from scratches and bites. These come in many colors and fabrics, even as leather slipcovers for a reupholstered look.
  • Groom your dog regularly, with brushing, nail trims and haircuts. This decreases the chance of the dog leaving fur on the couch or scratching the furniture as they jump up and down.
  • If your dog has destroyed furniture in the past, think about investing in professional training to teach your dog not to get onto the couch. A destructive dog is often a bored or anxious dog, and there’s a good chance the dog needs more attention, more walks, and/or more toys to play with or another dog to play with. A professional will be able to help you with all of this.

How to fix dog scratches on a leather couch

If a dog has scratched a leather couch, here’s how to fix it:

  1. Wipe the scratches with a leather scratch repair balm, like this healing balm from Amazon.
  2. Smooth the remainder of the balm with a chamois cloth, wiping in a clockwise motion.
  3. Apply leather moisturizer to the area, or even the entire couch. To make your own moisturizer, mix one part white vinegar with two parts linseed oil.
  4. Wipe off excess oil with a clean chamois cloth.

Your couch should look good as new!

2 Ways Dogs Damage Hardwood Floors And What To Do About It

2 Ways Dogs Damage Hardwood Floors And What To Do About It

If you’ve landed here, you’re wondering whether dogs damage hardwood floors…

Dogs can damage hardwood floors if they pee on the same spot many times and the urine is left to soak into the wood, or if the dog’s nails are long and jagged and the dog runs along the same path many times. This damage is easily prevented by cleaning up messes quickly and keeping your dog’s nails clipped.

The truth is that dogs and hardwood floors can pretty much live in harmony. But sometimes there are issues, so let me share my tips and tricks after living with two busy dogs racing around my house.

By the end of this post, you’ll know:

  • The signs that a dog is damaging hardwood floors
  • What hardwood floors to choose if you have dogs
  • How to stop dogs from damaging hardwood floors
  • How to fix hardwood floors that have been damaged by dogs

Signs of dog damage to hardwood floors

  1. Signs a dog is peeing on a hardwood floor

If a dog pees regularly on a section of hardwood floor, and the urine isn’t cleaned up but left to soak into the wood, the floorboards are likely to show some or all of the following signs:

  • A bad smell. The more urine builds up, the worse the floors will smell
  • The area could swell and rise higher than the rest of the floor, especially along the lines of the floorboards where urine soaks in
  • Stains start showing on the wood, where the urine turns the wood a different color
  • The area could turn black as urine builds up and mold starts growing        
  • The flooring could start rotting from the inside, where it stays wet with urine

2. Signs a dog’s claws are too long and scratching a hardwood floor

If a dog has long claws and runs along the same path on hardwood floors each day, you might notice the following damage to your hardwood floor:

  • The surface becoming dull as any protective finishing gets worn down with wear and tear
  • Scratches, which could be shallow on the surface and get deeper over time

The longer or more jagged the dog’s nails, and the more times the dog is allowed to run the same path, the deeper and more noticeable the scratches will become.

The best hardwood floors if you have dogs

If you are only doing research at this stage and still have a chance to choose the flooring, opt for harder woods such as hickory or white oak. Harder woods can withstand more wear and tear than softer woods.

Lighter woods don’t show scratches and dirt as much as darker woods, so I recommend choosing a lighter color for your hardwood floors.

How to stop dogs from damaging hardwood floors

Here are the best ways I’ve found to prevent my dogs from damaging my hardwood floors:

1.    Potty train your dog

Dog’s that pee on hardwood floors can cause a lot of damage, which is one of the many reasons why it’s important to potty train your dog.

Here’s how I taught my own dogs to pee outside:

  • Take your dog outside and let them sniff around. Taking them to a spot they peed in before, or where another dog has peed, can help them understand what you want them to do.
  • Now sit down and wait. You’ll need to wait as long as it takes for your dog to pee.
  • Once your dog pees, make a big fuss of him/her and praise them for the good job and for being a good dog.
  • Now take them inside and give them a cuddle, so they know they did a good thing.
  • After a few hours, depending on the age of your dog, take your dog out again and repeat the process.

Puppies need to pee every 1 to 3 hours and an adult dog, without health issues, needs to up to 5 times a day, so make it every 5 hours.

I slowly started standing inside the house and watching through the window, letting my dog back in when he had urinated.

I also have a key phrase that I say before I let them out – “Go make a wee wee.”

When they hear that phrase, they know they need to go out and pee, and that they aren’t coming back inside until they’ve done that.

Some dogs take longer to housetrain than others. My first dog pretty much had it in the first week. My second dog took a long time, and there were many cold nights when I was sitting outside in the middle of the night waiting for him to figure things out.

If your dog insists on going in the same spot, no matter what you do, block off the area with baby gates or close the door so your dog can’t get to it.

2. Coat your floors to protect them

Prevent scratches and scuffs, and keep your floors looking great, coat them with a tough finish to protect them.

You can use a wax or a stain, but many experts recommend something with a polyurethane finish because it’s tough, long lasting, and relatively cost-effective. This one is very popular and has high ratings on Amazon.

3. Keep your dog’s nails short

If your dog’s nails are short and smooth along the edge, there’s much less chance they’ll scratch the floors or anything else for that matter.

Take your dog to the vet or parlor for regular trims. If your dog’s like mine and won’t sit still for a nail clipper, use an electric nail file to gently file down the nails.

My little secret? I use a salon’s professional electric nail file for false nails on my old girl, and she doesn’t mind having her claws done these days.

4. Put down rugs, runners, and mats

Placing rugs and/or runners on the floor wherever your dog runs, jumps, or walks a lot is an excellent way to stop your dog from damaging the hardwood floors.

Door mats in entryways can also pick up dirt, mud, water, and anything else your dog might bring in that could stain or damage your hardwood floors.

How to fix dog damage to hardwood floors

If your dog has done something that could or has damaged a hardwood floor, here are the best methods and products from Amazon to fix it:

1. Clean dog pee immediately

It’s extremely important to clean up dog pee as quickly as possible. If left to sit, the urine soaks into the wood and slowly ruins the wood from the inside.

  • When you find a wet spot, soak it up immediately. Use something that’s absorbent, such as an old towel or cleaning cloth, and keep blotting the area until the cloth comes off the floor dry.
  • Now wipe the area with a clean cloth that’s damp with clean water, and dry it with another clean cloth.
  • If the urine has been sitting there for a few hours, wipe the area with a little diluted white to neutralize the smell of the dog pee.

I don’t recommend trying homemade concoctions or products that aren’t designed for wood on your hardwood floors, or you could end up with a discolored section. If you aren’t sure, always test the solution on a small patch of the hardwood floor that’s not in plain sight, to see if it damages the floor.

Things getting stinky? Try this Angry Orange to find urine hiding in your house with a UV light and get rid of the stench.

2. Hide or sand out scratches

Stain markers are great for hiding small shallow scratches in hardwood floors. Here’s one that comes in 8 colors, so you can find the perfect match for your own floors. Simply clean the area, then shake the marker and color in the scratches on the floor. Top it with a finish to keep it looking good.

If you have a large area that’s damaged or deeper scratches, you might have to sand them out and use wood filler. Here’s a great guide on how to do it yourself, or you can call in a professional to do the job.

3. Patch out affected wood

If the hardwood floor is severely damaged and sanding isn’t cutting it, your only option really is to patch the affected parts or replace the wood panel(s) entirely.

It’s better to hand this over to an expert, but if you want to do it yourself, here’s a complete guide on how to patch hardwood floors, from beginning to end.

Does Puppy Dandruff Go Away? Causes And Treatments For Puppy Dandruff

Does Puppy Dandruff Go Away? Causes And Treatments For Puppy Dandruff

You may have noticed a sprinkling of white flakes on your puppy’s coat, which is most likely puppy dandruff. But will the dandruff go away on its own?

Puppy dandruff goes away when a dog’s oil glands become fully developed. As a dog matures, the oil glands that keep its coat shiny and moisturized start working better, clearing up those dry flakes of dead skin.

Puppy dandruff is quite natural and is usually nothing to worry about. But knowing why dogs get it and how to stop it from becoming severe can keep your puppy’s dandruff under control and your puppy comfortable.

In this article, you’ll find out:

  • What puppy dandruff is
  • 5 things that cause puppy dandruff
  • How to treat puppy dandruff

What puppy dandruff is

Puppy dandruff is a skin condition caused by the over-shedding of skin cells on the dog’s back, rump, and neck. It usually happens because of an imbalance of oil on the skin, which shows up as a sprinkling of tiny white flakes in the animal’s fur.

The white flakes of shed skin are called “dander”. Dander tends to be much more noticeable on darker coats than lighter ones.

Regular puppy dandruff doesn’t bother the dog and causes no physical harm. But severe cases can result in temporary fur loss wherever the dog keeps on scratching itself because the dry skin becomes itchy.

Photo of a husky puppy scratching itself behind the ear
This puppy might just be itchy or it might have puppy dandruff.

5 causes of puppy dandruff

There are five things that give puppies dandruff:

The oil glands are not yet fully developed

Dogs have oil glands in their skin, especially on the back of their neck, on their rump, under their chin, and at the base of their tail. These glands release healthy oils that moisturize the dog’s skin and hair, helping to keep them healthy and clean.

Illustration of a dog's skin showing the hair, hair follicle and sebaceous gland with sebum
Glands under the skin, like the sebaceous gland in the picture above, release oil called sebum onto the skin. Sebum keeps the skin and fur soft, moisturized, and clean.

Most puppy dandruff happens because these oil glands are not yet fully developed, so the skin dries out and starts flaking.

Washing the puppy too often or incorrectly

Washing a puppy, especially with harsh shampoo or too often, removes oil from the dog’s skin and causes puppy dandruff.

Even older puppies who have fairly well-developed oil glands will struggle to maintain a healthy skin if they are washed too often or incorrectly.

A puppy should only be bathed once a month with puppy shampoo until they’re 6 months old, not more than that.

Click here to find out why and when a puppy should be washed, and the signs that you’re washing your puppy too often.

The air is too dry

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. Low humidity (or little air moisture) is usually caused by:

  • A sudden drop in temperature
  • Air conditioners, heaters, or dehumidifiers in a house
  • The climate in your area (e.g. desert areas)

In areas or at times when there’s very little humidity, the air becomes dry. This dry air can dry out a young dog’s skin because the puppy doesn’t have enough natural oils to keep its skin and fur oiled, even if everything was fine when there was high humidity.

To stop your puppy from getting puppy dandruff in low humidity conditions, do one or more of the following:

  • Use a vaporizer humidifier (like this popular one from Amazon) in your home
  • Boil water on the stove to add moisture to the air
  • Keep a bowl of water in a room where an air conditioner or heater is running
  • Get houseplants, such as snake plants, jade plants, or aloe vera that all do well in low-humidity spaces

The puppy has allergies

Something that causes an allergic reaction is called an antigen. Some common antigens for puppies are grass, pollen, and flea saliva, and a dog’s allergies often flare up when the seasons change.

A puppy that’s allergic to something and gets exposed to the antigen could get dandruff as a reaction, so it’s important to find out what antigen is causing the problem.

A diet that lacks moisture

If a puppy’s diet doesn’t contain enough protein and healthy fats and oils, the dog’s skin could dry out and flake.

It’s important to put your puppy on a good-quality puppy food and keep a young dog on puppy food for as long as necessary (click here to find out how long a puppy should stay on puppy food).

Many cheaper food brands on the market lack the right ingredients for a healthy dog. Ask your veterinarian what to feed your pup – I personally feed all my dogs Royal Canin pellets from puppyhood to adulthood.

If you’re buying a good brand of dog food but your puppy still has dandruff, try:

Puppy dandruff treatment

To treat puppy dandruff, make sure the air is humid enough; feed your pup a high-quality balanced diet that’s rich in proteins and healthy fats and oils; and keep the dog away from antigens.

Here are some anti-dandruff tips to remember during bath time:

  • Don’t ever use human shampoo on a puppy
  • Don’t use hot water to wash a puppy – keep the bath lukewarm     
  • Brush your puppy weekly to stimulate the oil glands and keep the skin healthy

Start bathing your puppy between 8 and 12 weeks of age, with one bath per month being more than enough. Too many baths wash away the oils that your dog’s coat needs to stay healthy; and too few baths could result in dirt blocking the oil ducts beneath the skin, causing matted fur and/or dandruff.

Click here for all the details on when and how to safely bathe your pup.

Puppy dandruff almost always goes away on its own – it’s just a matter of waiting for the oil glands beneath the skin to fully develop. But if the dandruff is stubborn or makes your pup uncomfortable, it’s time to visit the veterinarian for advice.

Do dogs damage artificial grass? How to protect your synthetic turf

Do dogs damage artificial grass? How to protect your synthetic turf

Are you thinking about getting artificial grass but you have dogs? Then you’re probably wondering if your dogs will damage the fake grass. It turns out that…

Dogs don’t damage artificial grass, if the grass is good quality and installed properly. Most artificial grass brands advertise their product as 100% or nearly 100% dog-proof. This means that no dog, big or small, can tear, dig up, rip up, or destroy the artificial turf.

Before investing in artificial grass, it’s important to know what type is dog resistant and why (including their waste), and how to protect your grass from all dogs.

In this article, you’ll find out:

  • Why dogs can’t really damage artificial grass
  • Why dogs aren’t driven to dig up artificial grass
  • How to stop a dog that wants to dig up artificial grass
  • What dog pee and poop does to artificial grass
  • Humane ways to keep animals off artificial grass

3 reasons why dogs can’t damage artificial grass

Photo of a dog standing on a park activity tube covered in artificial grass
This dog is in a yard or park where artificial grass has been installed. There is very little to no chance that the dog can damage the grass, even if it tries.

Dogs find it very difficult to damage artificial grass because of the durable materials the grass is made from: polyethylene plastic, rubber, and sand.

A good quality artificial grass should last for about 10 years and look good throughout those years, whether dogs use the area or not.

One of the reasons why artificial grass is much more durable to wear and tear than regular grass is because the blades and artificial “thatch layer” under the blades are made of polyethylene.

Polyethylene is a very common plastic that’s in shopping bags, bottles, and many other things. This plastic is so popular because it can absorb a high amount of energy or force without breaking.

Polymers also last a long time, resisting decomposition.

But polyethylene isn’t the only thing that makes artificial grass so tough…

The turf’s base, or cushion, is made from a mix of rubber and plastic. Both of which are strong materials.

And between the grass blades lies what’s called a synthetic infill of sand and rubber. This infill helps the blades to “spring back” after they are stepped on.

The combination of these materials makes artificial grass virtually dog-proof.

Why dogs don’t dig up artificial grass

Many dogs love to dig, especially breeds like jack russells and Siberian huskies. If a dog digs, there’s usually a reason for it – the dog might be lonely, trying to escape, hunting an animal underground, or trying to make a safe space to lie in.

Most dogs won’t even try to dig up artificial grass. Real grass has a lot of smells on it from other animals, insects, and humans, which drives dogs to sniff and explore. But artificial grass is mainly made from plastic and smells like plastic, so it doesn’t trigger a dog’s natural instinct to dig.

And because there’s usually no dirt directly under the artificial turf, dogs don’t dig to get to an animal or anything buried under the artificial grass either.

[The Humane Society has a wonderful article on all the reasons why your dog might be digging and how to help your dog. Click here to open that article in a new tab.]

How to stop a dog from ripping up artificial grass

Artificial grass is held down by its own weight, which usually keeps it in place. If the turf is installed properly or professionally, dogs shouldn’t be able to lift the grass or dig up the edges.

Though most dogs don’t dig in artificial grass, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some dogs enjoy trying to dig through the base of fake grass or they might try to lift the borders, around the edges of the grass.

Here are some things you can do to stop a dog from digging up artificial grass:

  • If there is soil or ground under the fake grass: Pin the grass to the ground underneath with galvanized landscape staples or nails [Amazon links]. These are covered in zinc, to prevent rust. Hammer the nails or pins deep into the artificial grass along the edges, so your dog can’t see them or get to them. This is the cheapest option.
  • If the grass ends along a fence or border: Attach the grass boundaries to a border in your yard, such as a wooden fence or decorative timber pieces. It’s best to use galvanized nails for this, so the nails don’t rust.
  • If there’s concrete or paving under the grass: Stick the artificial grass to the concrete or paved ground below it using this grass tape or this adhesive for a longer lasting option. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and keep your dog out of the area until the adhesive has dried and your dog can’t get to it.

Dog pee and poop don’t damage artificial grass

Artificial grass, especially the brands that are marketed as dog-friendly turf, is designed to withstand active dogs and what comes out of them.

Dog pee and poop don’t damage artificial grass in any way, especially if you take care of your turf by regularly picking up solids and washing down the area with water from a garden hose.

If the fake grass starts smelling bad, use a product like this one that’s designed to remove odors from synthetic grass.

Click here to read the full article on how to get rid of the smell of dog urine.

How to keep animals off artificial grass

If animals (not your pets) are coming onto your artificial grass uninvited, here are some humane things you can do and products from Amazon you can use to keep them off:

  • Get a motion-activated floodlight that’s pointed at your artificial grass and switches on if animals arrive. Most animals, especially those who like to roam at dusk and at night, stay away from very bright lights that hurt their eyes.
  • Get motion-activated sprinklers that spray animals with water if they come near your grass.
  • Get solar-powered red eye lights that turn on at night automatically. Animals think these eyes belong to predators and stay away from the area.
  • Don’t have any objects near to or against your fence, to stop animals from climbing onto these objects and jumping over the fence.
  • Trim tree branches that are near to your fence or that run over your fence, so animals can’t run along the branches and enter your yard.
  • Spray animal repellent on your artificial grass to deter wild animals and birds or domestic cats and dogs. These repellents have smells in them that the animals don’t like.
Do Dogs Damage Tennis Courts? Get The Facts

Do Dogs Damage Tennis Courts? Get The Facts

I wanted to take my dogs for a play in the local park’s tennis courts the other day, but the sign on the fence clearly stated they weren’t allowed in. It turns out there’s a heated debate between dog lovers and players about letting dogs on tennis courts, with the main concern being the damage dogs cause to the courts.

After a lot of research, I found out that…

Dogs can damage tennis courts in a few ways: Dogs can dig holes in grass courts, and their claws might scratch clay or hard courts. Young, untrained, or unattended dogs could chew on and damage tennis gear, such as nets and balls. And any dog might urinate or defecate on the court or its surroundings.

Whether you think dogs should be allowed on tennis courts or not, it’s good to know all the ways dogs damage tennis courts, how often this damage actually happens, how tennis courts can harm dogs (I didn’t know this!), and how dog and court owners can prevent damage to the courts.

By the end of this post, you’ll know:

  • The 6 ways dogs damage tennis courts
  • If it’s common for dogs to damage tennis courts
  • How to stop dogs from damaging tennis courts

6 ways dogs damage tennis courts

Dogs can damage tennis courts in the following ways:

Dogs dig holes in grass tennis courts

Dogs that are given access to a grass or synthetic tennis court and find a reason to dig might start digging a hole, which will damage the court’s surface. For example, a dog that’s left on its own on a court might start trying to dig its way out. Though dogs can cause a lot more damage to real grass than they ever can to artificial grass.

All dogs have the ability to dig, whether it is to dig things up, bury something, or get to a mole or pest they know is hiding underground.

Some dogs naturally have a stronger digging instinct, particularly terriers, dachshunds, beagles, and northern breeds, such as huskies. Other dogs only dig if they really have to. These are usually dogs that hunt using sight and smell, such as greyhounds and whippets.

But each dog is different, and it depends a lot on their individual personality and the circumstances whether they dig or not. This means that digging can be unpredictable and you never know which dog will dig a hole in a tennis court and when.

Dogs scratch tennis courts

If a dog with long nails is allowed on a hard or clay tennis court, the dog’s nails could scratch the court’s surface. Scratches make the court look shabby and, over time, add to general wear and tear and maintenance costs.

Dogs dirty tennis courts

Dogs can track mud and dirt onto a tennis court, no matter what type of court it is. If dogs are allowed on a tennis court, the court will most likely have to be cleaned more often than a court where dogs aren’t allowed.

Dogs can rip the tennis net

Some dogs can’t stay away from a tennis net. They might bite the net, catch it with their paws, run into it because they don’t see it, or do a combination of these things.

While tennis nets are made to withstand 1 200 hours of harsh sunlight a year and being hit by fast balls, the nets aren’t strong enough to survive a dog’s teeth or claws, which can make holes in a net quite easily.

Dogs chase and chew tennis balls

Tennis balls on a tennis court may also be damaged by dogs, especially any of these 21 dog breeds that love playing fetch.

Dogs that were bred to hunt, retrieve, and herd often can’t help themselves when a ball is near, and they’ll gladly chase and chew on tennis balls. This makes it unrealistic to think that a dog will sit still while you enjoy hitting a ball from one side of a court to the other.

German Shepherd running with a tennis ball in its mouth around a tennis court
Most dogs love chasing and catching tennis balls.

Dogs might relieve themselves on a tennis court

  • When dogs have to go, they have to go…

Dogs usually do their business outside, on grass if they have access to it. So if a dog is on a tennis court, especially a grass or synthetic court, there’s a good chance the dog will urinate or even defecate (poop) on the court if nature calls.

  • But sometimes it’s a territorial thing…

If a dog is allowed on a tennis court and urinates there, then pretty much any dog that comes after that dog will urinate in the same spot to mark the area as their territory.

Whatever the reason for a dog urinating or defecating on a court, it is unhygienic, makes the court smell bad, and can damage the surface of the court over time.

Do dogs usually damage tennis courts?

Though it’s possible for dogs to damage a tennis court, it isn’t common and most dogs don’t do any damage at all. For example, scratches on a tennis court are much more likely to be from tennis racquets hitting the surface than from a dog’s nails.

Jessica Peula patting her dog on the tennis court
Even though dogs can cause damage to a tennis court, most don’t. This is Jessica Pegula giving her dog a cuddle on the tennis court after winning the Citi Open in 2019.

Dogs are not a leading cause of damage to tennis courts because:

  • Most tennis courts are off-limits to dogs, so dogs don’t have a chance to damage the courts.
  • Many dogs don’t want to step on the hot surface of a tennis court, especially a hard court where the asphalt surface is usually about 15 – 20 ℉ hotter than the air around it. This temperature difference can burn a dog’s paws, even on a cloudy day!
  • Dogs can only scratch a tennis court if their nails are long enough and they run around on the court or start digging. A dog with short nails probably won’t scratch the court at all, even if they run around.
  • Well-trained dogs and dogs on leashes can’t get close enough to chew on a tennis net or chase tennis balls.

In fact, some tennis courts can cause far more damage to dogs than what dogs can cause to the courts. For example, hard courts have high temperatures that burn paws, and their rough and hard surface means they often break a dog’s nails or damage a dog’s paws.

How to stop dogs from damaging a tennis court

There are a few things you can do to stop dogs from damaging a tennis court. Below are the best tips and products from Amazon that I could find:

  • Close off the tennis court with a fence or strong boundary net, to stop dogs from going into the area altogether. Put up a No Dogs Allowed sign, to make it clear that no dogs are allowed on the court. You can also use a padlock to lock the gate to the courts, so there will be no unauthorized entry.
  • Provide an alternative: offer a nearby fenced-off, dog-friendly area where dogs can run around and play while their owners play tennis.
  • If dogs are allowed on a tennis court, dog owners should make sure that their dogs’ nails are kept short. Dogs can wear paw protectors while on a court, to protect the court from scratches and the dog’s paws from getting burned or hurt.
  • Dog owners should be asked to watch their dog on a tennis court and the expectations should be made clear to them: If a dog relieves itself on the court, tracks mud or dirt onto the court, or chews and moves things around like tennis balls, the owner is responsible for cleaning up or replacing items. Fines can be imposed for not following these rules.
  • Put up two or three outdoor, wireless cameras to keep an eye on who uses the court with their dogs and what their dogs are doing. Doing this and putting up a sign that tells people they’re being watched is often enough to limit negative behaviors.