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 laying 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 make sure there’s not an 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.
In any case, 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 directly to your pet’s feet. We have put together 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!
1. Adhesive Paw Pads
These adhesive paw pads stick directly onto 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 these pad protectors, like protecting your dog from hot asphalt during the summer or keeping them free from dirt. These are a great solution for dogs who 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 these are only good for one-time use, so they are not a sustainable option.
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2. Dog Boots and Socks
Dog boots or socks can be a great option because they protect your dog’s whole foot. There are certain boots that are water proof, 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 them to come around to the idea of wearing them, or they may just be completely opposed.
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3. Toe Grips
Toe grips are an interesting solution because they are rubber grips that are placed on each of your dog’s toe nails. 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 foot size with toe grips: One size fits all.
The downside of toe grips is that the surface area is so small, it may be difficult for them to provide a strong grip that will support your dog. They may not be the best solution for older or disabled dogs who have a hard time standing up and walking on slippery surfaces, but they can be good for young, able dogs who just slip around when walking on the hard wood 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, there are always resources you can apply to the areas of your house that your dog has trouble with. One resource is non-slip tread for stairs. Hardwood stairs can be dangerous for your dog in general, 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 placed directly onto each stair to give some traction.
- Virtually invisible
- Helps prevent slips and falls for people and pets
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 extra traction they need it. These mats are often sold in sets, so 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 who don’t like having socks or adhesive paw pads on their feet all day.
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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 cause slipping, as they create instability. You can do this at home using nail clippers designed for dogs or even a filing device that shaves the nail down. Otherwise, a groomer can take care of maintaining your dog’s nails.
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8. Trimming the Hair on Their Paws
Going along with nail trimming, maintaining the length of your dog’s fur on their paws can help stop slipping as well. If their hair grows too long, it can fold over their paw pads, taking away their gripping ability. You can use a shaver to maintain the length, but in order 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!
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9. Anti-slip Spray
Anti-slip spray, like paw wax, can be applied directly to your dog’s paws as a way to boost their natural gripping ability. Owners will often use this 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 actually conditions the skin on their paws, which is better for their overall health and comfortability; anti-slip spray is more of a temporary solution.
- Bio-Groom Show Foot is a professional anti-slip aerosol spray.
- This natural rosin formula provides excellent "tack" and prevents slipping during indoor shows.
Did you know there is specific training to teach your dog how to walk with confidence? Sometimes, the right 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 face slippery surfaces, they end up walking awkwardly, which only exacerbates the problem. There are videos available online to guide you through the process on your own, or you can seek guidance from a professional dog trainer.
If you hate to see your dog struggle to walk on your hardwood floors, these simple solutions should be able to help you make it easier for them. Use one solution, or use several in conjunction with one another! The right solution is whatever ends up working for your dog.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.