Many years ago, I dated a gentleman with a sliding dog. As we, dog included, rode down in the elevator to the lobby of his apartment building, the dog started a whole body tremble. Why? The gargantuan lobby with its highly polished marble floor caused the dog to slide and slip on its way outside. In an attempt to counteract the forces of gravity, the dog would curl his toes under searching for traction, while scrabbling his legs as fast as possible, hoping to avoid the inevitable wipeout on the traction-less marble. With that scenario in mind, here are my suggestions for helping dogs who slip and slide while walking.
Make a mat path
If your dog slips on the wood or tile floors in your home, consider using yoga mats on the path he takes to his favorite resting place. You can purchase rolls containing 100 feet of mat, which you can cut with heavy scissors to fit your hall or kitchen floor. With 100 feet of mat, you can easily replace worn or soiled sections. These rolls come in a variety of colors to fit every décor.
Boots are another solution for the sliding dog. The simplest boots are balloon like, reusable and stretch to slip over your dog’s paws. They come in several sizes and colors. Other boots to consider are made from neoprene or breathable nylon. Some are lined and others rain and snow proof, but what is most important is a rubber sole to provide traction on slippery surfaces, with elastic or a Velcro strap to keep them safely on your dog’s paws. Your boot choice depends on whether your dog will wear the boots outside, inside or all the time.
Originally designed to protect sled dogs’ paw pads against snow and ice, musher’s wax can help add traction for the slipping dog. When applied to the pads, it is a bit sticky and helps prevent your pet’s legs from sliding out from under her. Musher’s wax is 100% natural and will not damage carpets. Musher’s wax also protects pads against sandburn and winter de-icing products.
The latest great thing for the sliding dog is toe grips. These natural rubber cylinders grip the floor when your dog walks and prevents her from slipping on the floor. You can easily apply toe grips yourself by first measuring to find the correct size and then slipping the little cylinders over each toenail using the lubricant provided with the grips. Over time, when the grips wear down, you just apply new ones. The grips do not affect the toenails which still require clipping on a routine basis. The AMC’s Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service prescribes toe grips. My patient Ruby, who has both arthritis and a bone tumor, is walking much better with her fashionable green toe grips, although physical therapy and control of the pain from her tumor have contributed to her improved ability to walk and rise from sitting.
Do you have a solution for a sliding dog? Post your creative ideas below or on AMC’s Facebook page. The best suggestion posted by September 6 wins an AMC canvas tote bag!