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Slip sliding away – how to stop your dog from slipping on slick floors

My yellow lab tore his ACL five years ago and needed to have surgery. An old football injury? Skiing accident? No, it was because he had been slipping on our hardwood and Pergo floors and his leg finally couldn’t take it. He had the surgery and now, seven years later, he knows enough to walk delicately on the floors, but I still feel sorry for the old guy, as sometimes his legs will start to get away from him.

I was talking to some friends recently who shared some clever ideas for saving your dog from slick floors:

Non-skid baby/toddler socks! Someone told me they put the kids socks with rubber on the bottom that give small children traction on their dog and it works. I don’t think most older dogs would be up for this, but if you start anything at the puppy stage, most dogs will tolerate it. They also have these socks made specifically for dogs, but the kids socks work just as well and are more readily available.

Dog boots. You can purchase boots for your dog’s paws online or at your local pet store that both prevent skidding and provide stability for older dogs.

Soft paws. “Soft paws” – temporary rubber nail caps for your dog – are sold at They stop dogs from both scratching the floor and from slipping. They last 4-6 weeks, then fall off, at which point you trim their nails and put new ones on.

Paw maintenance. Be sure to keep your dog’s nails short and the fur on their paws trimmed which will help cut down on slipping.

Paw wax. There are a variety of paw waxes widely available at pet stores and online that you can apply to your pooch’s paws which can provide some traction.

Plastic runner or throw rug(s). Consider laying out a plastic or non-stick runner or throw rugs (with rubber backing!) in the rooms with slick flooring to keep him from slipping.

2 Responses to “Slip sliding away – how to stop your dog from slipping on slick floors”

  1. Brenda says:

    I too had lab that had issues walking on the hard wood floors. I felt so bad as this wad his home also and he had the right to walk his home and feel safe doing it. So I went to homedepot, went to the carpet section where they have the runners on a roll they can be cut to the lengths u need and as many as you need. I put those so he can walk and it worked out great it was not also of money and Dakota was happy. After all your dog would give his life to protect yours so what’s a few runners?
    lot cheaper then surgery for u and far less painful for him. Best way to go. Good luck.

  2. A dog’s natural mechanism for gaining traction in by engaging the nails and digging in to the ground. On earthen terrain, for which they were designed, this works perfectly! The nails act like soccer cleats. But hard nails can’t dig into hardwood or tile flooring. Not only does this take a physical toll on the dog’s body, but it is very stressful for a dog to lack confident mobility.

    The solution: Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips for Dogs! I am a veterinarian certified in animal chiropractic and acupuncture and I’ve developed these for my senior and disabled patients as an alternative to unnatural booties and socks, etc.

    ToeGrips are natural rubber rings which slide onto dogs’ toenails to enable traction and confidence on hard-surface floors.

    Learn more at or

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