Is your pup stumbling around your floor like he’s on a slip n’ slide? or maybe your old dog can’t stand up once he sits down?
Chances are your flooring is one of the following:
- Polished cement
Sure, these floors may look great and be easy to clean. But to your dog, he might as well be walking on ice – he can’t get a grip.
Your dog may look adorably cute as he clumsily stumbles around your floor, or glides around like an ice skater. But these tumbles are seriously dangerous to his health.
A young, healthy pup risks pulled muscles or torn ligaments…
But if you have an elderly or special needs dog, it’s even worse. Those aggressive staggering movements can cause irreparable damage to older dogs with arthritis, spinal, joint or hip problems.
These medical conditions can cause your dog’s legs to twist and his feet to slide out from under him when walking over slippery surfaces – you might even notice your dog’s hind legs doing the splits while he eats.
A stumble or fall could mean an expensive trip to the Vet. For the sake of your dog, you need to come up with a solution.
But slippery floors are more than just a fall hazard.
Once some dogs lay down on a slippery floor, they can’t get up again. If your dog lays belly-down on the floor and looks like a starfish with his legs extended, he may be having difficulty getting a grip.
Concerned for the safety of your pup?
Don’t worry, we have you covered. Check out these 14 anti-slip solutions to give your dog extra traction on slippery floors.
1. Fix those cracks (in your pup’s paws)
Your dog already has built-in traction control. I’m talking about his paw pads.
However, these paw pads can also be the cause for your dog’s legs sliding out from underneath him…
You know the tires on your car? As they wear down or get damaged, they don’t grip the road properly.
Well, your pups paw pads work in the same way. If they are dry, cracked or worn down, they can’t grip your floor.
A quick spot check will determine whether your dog’s paw pads are the cause.
One of the most popular ways to fix damaged paw pads is paw balm. Think of it as moisturizer designed for your pup’s paw pads.
Application couldn’t be more straightforward. Rub the paw balm over the paw pads, massaging it in with your fingers.
It is worth mentioning that cracked paw pads can be caused by allergies, nutritional problems and other medical conditions. When in doubt, consult your vet.
2. Give your pup an anti-slip manicure
Your anti-slip solution could be as simple as giving your dog’s nails a trim.
When it comes to slippery floors like wood or tiles, long nails reduce your dog’s ability to grip the floor.
You see, if your dog’s nails are too long, your dog will place weight on the nails when walking, instead of his toe pads. 
Hard nails can’t grip hard flooring. And without proper traction, your pup will slide with each step he takes. So, you need to give these slippery suckers a trim.
With your dog’s nails trimmed, he can now rely on his toe pads to grip the floor.
3. Give your pup’s feet a trim for better grip
A quick haircut could be all that is needed for improved traction on hard floors.
You see, your dog has hairy feet. Not just on top, but underneath too. If you lift your dog’s paw, you’ll see fur between his paw pads. As this hair grows longer, it can cover the paw pads.
When your pup takes a step, he is stepping on this long fur, causing him to slip and tumble. It’s like trying to run in a pair of furry slippers. Not recommended by the way.
That long paw pad hair has to go. It’s time to groom your dog’s furry feet.
A shaver will deal with the long hair that falls over the top of the toenails. But to trim the fur that grows between the paw pads, many owners find it more precise to use a pair of pet grooming scissors…
Don’t feel comfortable trimming your dog’s foot hair? Reach out to your local dog groomer – they will have your pup groomed in no time!
With your pup’s long hair gone, there is nothing to come between his paw pads and the floor.
4. Pull your socks up for extra grip
Have you ever put on a fresh pair of socks only to go sliding across the floor like Tom Cruise in that scene from Risky Business?
No judgment if you have. But it might surprise you that a good pair of socks could actually stop your dog from slipping on hard floors.
But just not any pair of socks. Dog socks.
You see, dog socks are a little different – they feature non-slip grips on the underside! These grips help your pup gain traction on a slick floor.
For best results, choose the right size for your pup’s paw.
If you want to completely destroy your dog’s street cred, choose a style similar to the socks you wear. Matching sock buddies!
5. Wear shoes inside
Not feeling socks? Why not try a pair of dog boots instead.
Dog boots are designed to help your dog gain traction when hiking across all types of terrain, including loose rocks and boulders. In comparison, gripping your slippery floor isn’t even a challenge for a good pair of dog boots.
Okay, so boots might be overkill for hard flooring, but there is no denying that they a great way to slip-proof your pup.
Plus, boots have a significant advantage over socks. They have Velcro straps to keep them attached to your dog’s feet all day long.
Dog boots come in a wide range of sizes, from tiny Pomeranians to hulking Labradors, there is a boot to fit your pup.
Make sure you measure your dog’s paws before buying. Loose-fitting boots could cause your trip while running around your home.
6. Toe nail grips
Your dog naturally uses his toenails for gripping. Outside, this built-in traction control works incredibly well. This is why your dog can effortlessly chase a squirrel up even the steepest of hills.
But inside is different. Your dog’s toenails can’t get a grip on smooth surfaces.
That is, without some help from dog toe grips.
A dog toe grip is essentially a piece of rubber that slides over each of your dog’s toenails – they are like toenail boots.
Our favorites are these toe treads, developed by Veterinarian Samantha Mchenry with help from her father – they can help even the most elderly of dogs properly grip slippery floors.
How do they work? The answer is friction. Rubber is capable of gripping slick surfaces like hardwood or laminate. They might not look like much, but these small toe treads are more than enough to provide your dog with extra traction.
One major advantage of toenail grips are much less likely to be rejected by dogs than boots or socks.
Many owners prefer toenail grips because it’s less noticeable as a mobility aid – unless they look closely, most people won’t even notice your dog is wearing them!
7. Dog Gate (for mixed floors, carpet, hardwood)
If you have mixed flooring, such as carpet and tiles, then you have a unique solution available…
Let’s say that your kitchen is the problem and your dog keeps falling on the slippery tiles. The solution is to keep your dog off the tiles altogether.
And the easiest way to do that is a gate.
When it comes to blocking off individual rooms, a pet gate works wonders. Think of it as a baby gate, but for your dog.
Set the gate up in the doorway, and your dog will no longer be able to get through.
If you are all about aesthetics, then you probably won’t like this solution – it involves covering up your stunning oak hardwood floor.
For the health and safety of your dog, it’s worth it.
But you can’t just cover your floor with blankets or towels – these move around underfoot and can even make slipping worse.
I spoke to one dog owner whose dog wouldn’t stop skidding as he ran down the hall. As he tried to stop, he would slip headfirst into the wall.
The solution? She placed a runner rug over the wooden flooring in her hall. Now her dog could easily change direction and dash off into the adjoining doorway without slipping.
Now, rugs can get expensive. Another dog owner suggested using yoga mats instead.
By placing each mat end to end you can create a non-slip walkway for your dog – allowing your pup to navigate even the slipperiest of floors without setting foot on it.
If you decide on a rug, make sure it doesn’t slip when your dog walks on it. A slippery mat can almost be as dangerous as a smooth floor!
Does your rug slide around? Use a Gripper Pad. This will hold your rug in place even if a large dog runs over it.
9. Paw Wax
Paw wax is often used to protect paws from ice, snow and even hot pavements.
But it has another advantage that few people talk about – it can provide extra grip on slippery surfaces.
Application takes seconds. Spread a small amount of wax over each paw. The wax forms a barrier that provides traction on slippery surfaces.
Out of all the paw waxes available, none is more prevalent than Musher’s secret. What I like most about it is that it’s non-staining. I have mixed flooring in my home. The wax stops my dog slipping on the hardwood floor, but also won’t mark my carpet.
Now, you do have to regularly apply this non-slip wax to the bottom of your dog’s paws. I was able to get about a day out of each application, although I would need to reapply if my dog went outside.
As you might have guessed, paw wax works best as a temporary solution to overcoming slippery surfaces. For example, if you wanted to bring your dog over to your friend’s house and they have slick floors.
10. Foot spray
Have you ever wondered how show dogs strut their stuff with such confidence? Even across those glossy floors?
In competitions, the stakes are high. A slip or tumble could cost your dog the gold medal. Not leaving anything to chance, owners coat their dog’s paws in an anti-slip spray.
The good news is that this product works just as well at home as it does at the dog show.
Aim the can at your dog’s paw pads and give a good spray. Once dry, it’s almost unnoticeable and doesn’t leave a sticky residue – no one will guess that your dog is having traction issues.
The spray lasts about a day. Since you will need to reapply regularly, this is best used as a temporary anti-skid solution.
I spoke to some service dog owners who keep a can of this spray in their handbag, and coat their dog’s paws if they come across a slippery surface away from home, such as epoxy floors.
11. Adhesive Paw Grip
Paw grips are stickers that go on the bottom of your dog’s feet. They go on like a band-aid. peel back the protector and stick it directly to your pup’s paw pad.
Each paw grip features a non-slip pattern that holds strong when pressed against hardwood or vinyl flooring.
Paw grips typically come in a packet of 24, which should last up to a month before they run out. You can extend this time by only applying the grippers to the back two paws rather than all four feet.
I’ll be honest, this was perhaps my least favorite non-slip solution.
First, you have to make sure you buy the right size for your dog. I have used these on three different dogs now and not once did the sizing match the dog’s paw – I had to cut each paw gripper to size.
Next, you have to clean each paw pad before applying the gripper. By doing this, you will ensure the pads stick for as long as possible…
But even if you do that, you’ll only get 2-5 days of wear before the adhesive loses stickiness, and the grips fall off. After that, you need to repeat the whole process.
While they may not be my cup of tea, many other dog owners report success when using paw grips. Me? I’ll be sticking with the other options on this list.
12 Replace your flooring
Carpet, foam or rubber are just a few materials dogs can effortlessly grip.
If you want to replace your flooring on the cheap, consider interlocking floor tiles. Made from rubber, these are often used when setting up a gym or exercise area in the home.
Best of all, dog’s will have no problem gripping the rubber surface as they walk over it.
I love interlocking floor tiles because they can be placed over your existing flooring. When they are no longer needed, they can be removed without damaging your oak hardwood floor underneath.
Building a new home or renovating?
When planning, why not consider a non-slip flooring option for your dog? It doesn’t need to be the whole house, only in rooms or areas your dog spends most of his time.
Carpet in particular provides excellent traction for dogs.
Some dogs are outright afraid of walking on a slippery floor.
This can lead them to be extra cautious as they walk across a slippery floor. Unfortunately, awkwardly walking across the floor can only make the problem worse.
Or your dog might be so terrified of your tiles that he will avoid walking on them altogether. Waiting at the doorway, anxiously looking at you – he wants to come in, but can’t overcome his fear.
Often, the only way to overcome this fear of walking on slippery surfaces is to train the behavior out of your dog.
Check out this video on how to do precisely that!
Not too difficult, right?
14. Visit your vet
Is your dog slipping and falling on your hardwood floor? The problem may not be your floor. It might be your dog.
Some medical issues make it difficult to walk across slippery flooring:
- Physical injuries (Torn ACL, Broken leg, sprain etc.)
- Hip and hind leg problems
- Joint issues
- Damaged nerves
- Spine or disk problems
- Vestibular disease (Affects balance)
These symptoms may be invisible when walking on easy-to-grip surfaces. However, once your dog steps onto slippery flooring, they can be easily spotted.
It’s at this stage that you may miss the medical issue and blame the flooring instead.
If you suspect that the problem is medical, you should take your dog to the Vet for a check-up.
Don’t delay in seeing a vet. If caught in the early stages, many of these medical issues are treatable or manageable – your pup will have a better life for it!
How do you stop your dog from sliding around on slippery flooring? Got a tip to add? Let me know in the comments below!