Categories : Expert advice, Decking

Composite decking is quickly becoming the new go-to material for outdoor patios, banisters, railings and more. Otherwise known as imitation or engineered decking, it’s the ideal choice for creating a long-lasting and low-maintenance outdoor oasis. But is it safe for our furry four-legged family members?

Indeed, wood-composite material was once considered a harmful material for dog paws, but we’re happy to say that we’ve come a long way!

Is composite too hot for dogs?

dog-friendly composite decking by newtechwood canada

While a dog’s paw pads are thick and designed to protect them against rough surfaces, it doesn’t mean they’re resistant to extreme temperatures. As much as their paws are prone to frostbite in frigid temperatures, they are also prone to burns when they come into contact with hot surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, or sand.

When composite decking was first making an appearance in household renovation projects, a common complaint was that the material would get too hot. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. As NewTechWood is happy to share, composite now “requires a much higher temperature than wood” before it starts to burn our feet and our dog’s paws. And just for added security, since it’s not real wood, there’s no risk of splinters under your feet or your dog’s paws.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to provide shade for your dog if they like spending time outdoors during the summer. While your dog may enjoy laying beside you in the sun on your new composite deck, make sure they always have access to shaded areas and fresh water. And keep in mind that, if your dog needs to cool down, the grass will always be the most comfortable option for them.

Does dark composite decking get hot?

Do you get hotter outside when you’re wearing black versus white? For most of us, the answer is… yes! The same is true for composite decking – the darker the colour, the hotter it will get. But this is where it gets a little tricky with a dog: a white composite deck is more prone to muddy stains when your dog plays outside. Some important points to consider when deciding on colour are:

· Where will it go?
· Who will use it?
· Is it shaded?
· What seasons is it for?

If your deck will be exposed to sunlight for most of the day, a lighter colour like Roman Antique or Red Cedar are the safest options for both your feet and your dog’s paws. But if you’re worried about potential staining, Egyptian Stone Grey or a more classical wood colour like Peruvian Teak or IPE might be ideal for your situation. On the other hand, if the space for your composite deck will have some shading, then maybe something bold like Hawaiian Charcoal will be right up your alley.

How to cool a hot deck?

What if you’ve fallen in love with a darker colour and your deck will be exposed to the sun for most of the day? Not to worry! There are ways you can cool your deck to keep it safe for your four-legged friend:

1. Add a pergola, umbrella, or awning to create shade
2. Privacy walls, screens or partitions are also great options
3. Place a blanket or rug on your patio for your dog
4. Spray the deck down with hose water before letting your dog out
5. Add plants and trees to not only create shade but also add to the decor of your outdoor oasis

Now that we’ve looked at a few tips to protect your dog from your deck, let’s look at tips to protect your deck from your dog!

How to protect the deck from dog nails?

safe composite patios for dogs with newtechwood canada

Let’s be honest. We love our fur-babies to no end, but when we see a fresh scratch in our new piece of furniture of newly installed flooring, our hearts sink just a little. What’s the best option, then? Well, if your pet is very active and you had chosen furniture according to this, maybe our luxury composite terraces are not your best option.

Various grades of composite exist. Some are more scratch-resistant than others and stand a greater chance against your fur-baby’s nails, but your animal’s personality is what to consider first. For added protection, a fail-safe tip is to have your dog play in the grass rather than on your deck as much as possible.

How to get the smell of dog pee and poop off wood composite?

Is your puppy still in the potty-training phase? While wooden decks can be more easily stained from puppy accidents and hold onto smells, number ones and twos are easy enough to clean up from composite decking.

NewTechWood’s UltraShield technology uses “a co-extrusion process” where “the shield is heat pressed into the core creating an impermeable protective barrier against moisture… and bacteria.” In other words, any potential accidents, or smells, will not absorb into your composite decking. Simply hose any puppy pees, pick up any number twos, and disinfect the area as you would if your puppy had an accident in the house.

How to stop a dog from chewing the deck?

Have you ever met a puppy in their teething phase? Nothing is off-limits. If it’s in their path, it’s up for grabs. The best way to make sure your puppy doesn’t try chewing up corners of your deck, or railings, is to be as attentive as possible.

Try these following tips:

1. Be outside with your puppy so you can interrupt them if they start chewing the deck
2. Divert their attention to a toy for them to play with instead
3. Praise your puppy when they chew on the toy instead of the deck
4. Be patient and repeat the process as often as necessary

Also, keep in mind that a bored puppy makes for a destructive puppy; the more you physically and mentally exercise your dog, the less destructive they will be. If the above steps just don’t seem to be working, you can always try hiding treats throughout your yard, and while you sit back and enjoy the sun, watch your puppy slowly but surely sniffs them out!

Last little tips and advice

safe composite deck installations for dogs - newtechwood canada

Did you know that NewTechWood’s UltraShield technology is manufactured without any harmful chemicals and adhesives? This means that your composite decking is not only better for the environment, but it’s also pet-friendly! Does your dog enjoy laying in the sun beside you? Snatching up those “accidentally dropped” pieces of fruit or ice cream? You can rest assured that your fur-baby won’t be unintentionally ingesting harsh or harmful chemicals while enjoying the outdoors with you.

Another useful tip: Are you thinking of bringing home a puppy and worry that it may jump into the swimming pool Does your yard have access to the road? Or do you already have a dog with an adventurous spirit? Well, good news! NewTechWood doesn’t just specialize in patio and decking décor. We also offer a wide range of fencing and wall sliding options. If your dog likes spending time outside, a fence or wall option may be worth considering to keep your fur-baby safe from harm.

For more answers to your questions, visit our Frequently Asked Questions, or to shop dog-friendly decking, visit our Where to buy page.