By: Debbie Reynolds,DVM
Now that I have evolved from a clinic DVM to a house call DVM, I see at least once daily a pet that is struggling walking on wood or laminate flooring. I have seen them seriously injure themselves and become so fearful of the floor, they won't even step on it. This type of flooring has become so popular, that it has become a serious problem for our pets who are trying to ambulate around on soft, furry, slippery paws on a slippery surface. It's a recipe for disaster.
*Their toenails are designed somewhat like cleats, they are meant to walk on terrain and provide traction.
*If the nails aren't kept short, they make it even more difficult for a dog to walk on tile or hardwood. They elevate the paw pads and/or cause the claws to spread apart.
*When you add in to the equation the hair that grows in between the pads of their paws, it's a slip and fall waiting to happen.
This is a serious problem for aging pets. One slip can be disastrous. They can tear a cruciate knee ligament, cause serious hip pain, cause their discs to be inflamed and can even have a fracture or a break. They really cannot afford to have a single slip.
Many of my senior aged patients even start using the bathroom in the house because it is just too much to rise up from a laying or sitting position, walk across a dangerous surface, and often go up or down steps to use the bathroom. That is when we see pets that have never used the bathroom in their house have accidents. After a scary slip or fall, many dogs will not walk on the slippery surface anymore, at least not without great fear and anxiety.
Throughout my course as a house call veterinarian, we are able to put some traction control on their feet in a very simple way. We have tried many products, but Pawz is our favorite. They are versatile, affordable and easy to use. Pawz (click here to purchase) are very simple to fit to your dog with just a quick measurement on the bottom of the paw. Then you place them on your dog and that's it. Make sure to take them off at night so they are not on the entire time. They are weatherproof and wear well on all surfaces. They are thin enough that your dog can still feel what they are walking on as if they didn't have anything on.
We have placed these on many of our patients with immediate and drastic results. Most recently we went on a house call for a little dog that was using the bathroom indoors when he never did that in the past. The home had laminate flooring throughout and the patient was on the couch when we arrived. When we placed him on the floor and encouraged him to walk around he was reluctant to move. I recognized this as his fear of the floor because I have seen it many times. The owner couldn't understand why her baby suddenly was reluctant to move and was pottying indoors!
We grabbed a measuring tape, checked his paw pad measurement, placed a set of Pawz on him and within 2 minutes he was like a new dog. No medicine needed. No expensive lab tests. Just some traction and sure footing.
If your dog is older and must walk on slick surfaces, won't you consider trying these - $19.99 will buy a few sets and they last a very long time! Such a small investment to keep your pet from pain and fear!