Hardwood and tile floors can be a dog’s worst enemy. Since they are slippery, the smooth pads of a dog’s feet may cause them to slide around, making it difficult for them to walk easily. Older dogs or dogs with hip pain or arthritis can have difficulty getting up from lying down, especially on hardwood or tile floors.
If you notice your dog slipping more or having trouble getting up, you should take them to the vet to ensure there’s no underlying health issue. Sometimes, it can be from old age, but other times, there may be an injury or a medical condition that needs to be attended to. What can you do to make it easier for dogs to walk on smooth surfaces?
There are many products that can help your dog walk easier, from mats you can place around your house to sprays that you can apply to your pet’s feet. We have a list of the 10 best ways to stop your dog from slipping to help you create a comfortable, safe home environment for your furry friend. All dogs are different, and they may prefer one solution over another, so feel free to try out several that your dog might like!
The 10 Ways to Prevent Your Dog from Slipping on Floors
1. Adhesive Paw Pads
These adhesive paw pads stick to the pads of your dog’s paws and work as grips to help them walk without sliding around. They come in different sizes, so you can find one that fits your dog’s paws perfectly. There are added benefits to using the pad protectors, like protecting your dog from hot asphalt during the summer or keeping them free from dirt.
They are a great solution for dogs that do not like having shoes that wrap completely around their feet, and the pads are breathable, so they do not feel uncomfortable. Make sure to purchase paw pads that are easy to remove so you do not damage your pet’s paws or cause them pain when taking them off. One downside is that they have to be replaced after every walk, so they are not sustainable.
2. Dog Boots and Socks
Dog boots or socks can be a great option because they protect your dog’s whole foot. They are waterproof, so you can protect your dog’s feet from mud and rain as well. Dog boots usually have Velcro, drawstrings, or straps, so they stay securely on your dog’s feet. Even though they are typically adjustable, you can still choose different sizes depending on your dog’s foot size.
Don’t get ones that are too big, as they will slide off or cause more slipping, but don’t get them too small either, as they will be uncomfortable for your dog or could cut off the circulation in their feet. Boots can be difficult for a dog to get used to; they will probably not like the feeling of having something on their feet. It may take time for dogs to accept them, or they may be completely opposed to wearing them.
3. Toe Grips
Toe grips are an interesting solution because they are attached to your dog’s toenails. When your dog walks or stands up, the grips provide traction without having an entire apparatus confining their feet. You don’t have to worry about the foot size with toe grips: One size fits all.
The downside is that the surface area is so tiny it may be difficult for them to provide a firm grip to support your dog. They may not be the best solution for older or disabled dogs who have difficulty standing up and walking on slippery surfaces, but they can be suitable for young, able dogs who slip around when walking on the hardwood in your house.
4. Non-slip Tread for Stairs
If you do not think that pads, boots, or toe grips will work for your dog, you can modify the areas of your house where your dog slips around. One resource is a non-slip tread for stairs.
Hardwood stairs can be dangerous for your dog, even if they don’t have trouble walking or standing up. They can sustain injuries from slipping while going up or down. This adhesive tread can be installed on each stair for traction.
5. Non-slip Tread Mats
Similar to the non-slip tread for stairs, the non-slip tread mats can be another viable solution to help your dog remain stable on slippery floors. Placing mats in areas where your dog has trouble can give them the extra traction they need. The mats are often sold in sets so that you can place them all over your house.
6. Paw Wax
Paw wax is a quick, simple solution. Your dog’s paw pads can get rough and dry over time, which can reduce their natural gripping ability. All you have to do is apply the wax onto their paws occasionally to keep them conditioned and restore them to their former glory.
Paw wax is usually cost-effective, and you don’t need to use much at one time. It’s also easier for dogs that don’t like having socks or adhesive paw pads on their feet all day.
7. Keeping Their Nails Trimmed
Another simple solution that will help your dog from slipping is to keep their nails trimmed to the proper length. If they grow out too long, the nails could slip, creating instability.
8. Trimming the Hair on Their Paws
Going along with nail trimming, maintaining the length of your dog’s fur on their paws can stop slipping as well. If their hair grows too long, it can fold over their paw pads, which reduces their gripping ability.
You can use a shaver to maintain the length but to get between your dog’s toes, you’ll need to use grooming scissors for precise trimming. A groomer can also trim your dog’s paws when they trim their nails; you can get both done in one visit!
9. Anti-slip Spray
Anti-slip spray, like paw wax, can be applied directly to your dog’s paws to boost their natural gripping ability. Owners often use it on their show dogs during a competition to help them avoid slipping on the glossy floors during their run.
The main difference between anti-slip spray and paw wax is that paw wax conditions the skin on their paws, which is better for their overall health and comfortability; anti-slip spray is more of a temporary solution.
Did you know there is a training technique to teach your dog how to walk with confidence? Sometimes, the proper training is all your dog needs. Anxiety from walking on slippery surfaces can make your dog afraid to approach them after a while, and when they’re forced to walk on slippery surfaces, they walk awkwardly, which only exacerbates the problem.
There are videos available online to guide you through the process, or you can seek guidance from a professional dog trainer.
If you hate seeing your dog struggle to walk on your hardwood floors, these simple solutions should help you make it easier. Puppies have problems navigating in a new environment and will likely get used to the slick floors with more practice. However, the products and methods we discussed can help dogs of all ages walk on slick floors. You can use one solution or use several in conjunction with one another! The right solution is whichever ends up working for your dog.