When your dog is slipping and sliding across the floor, it can be hard to watch. Maybe you hold your breath or rush over to offer your best buddy a hand, but, more often than not, your dog probably ends up splayed out on the floor like a starfish. Then comes the anguish of getting up. If thinking about this scenario, it’s likely time you find a solution to help your buddy regain his mobility.
If you’re looking for a solution to help your dog get a grip, toe treads are an excellent option. There’s no better feeling than seeing your dog’s mobility and courage restored. This is why we want to help you find the best dog toe treads to help your best buddy keep on his feet.
Dr. McHenry’s dog toe treads help dogs that slip on tile and hard surfaces to get a grip on the ground and walk without stressing their joints. They feature an open back to allow air to reach your dog’s nail and strong sidewalls for added strength. Over time, these treads will help your senior dog regain stability and strength. Because you only apply these to your dog’s center two nails, one pack will last a long time.
Best for: Senior dogs and dogs with arthritis
These dog toe treads offer your dog stability, mobility, and peace of mind. There’s a reason why so many vets recommend toe treads for their senior patients that struggle with walking across slick surfaces–they work.In fact, these were designed by a veterinarian and a mechanical engineer and are made from 100% medical-grade material. These treads last for up to two months and eliminate the need for anti-slip socks and boots.
Best for: Senior dogs and dogs suffering from mobility issues
These toe grips are designed to provide your pup with extra traction on slick surfaces. These grips utilize the area behind your dog’s nail rather than extending the nail, which makes them easy to apply. They provide long-lasting, effective support for dogs that ice skate across tile, hardwood, or other hard surfaces. Unlike most toe treads, these come in fun colors based on your dog’s paw size. They do need to be applied to every nail, so one pack doesn’t last quite as long as typical toe treads.
Best for: Dogs of all sizes struggling with slick surfaces
Everything You Need to Know About Dog Toe Treads
What Exactly Are Dog Toe Treads?
Dog toe treads are a product designed by veterinarians to help dogs gain traction on slippery floors and walk, stand, and get around the house more easily. Toe treads slip over your dog’s nails and are held in place with long-lasting adhesive. Most will last up to one month, some even longer. Dogs that are highly active may need their toe treads replaced more often, though.
Toe grips are similar to treads, except they dont’ require adhesive and they slip around the nail and provide added traction behind where the nail meets the floor.
How Do Toe Treads Work?
A dog’s feet are extremely complicated. They’re also extremely important in your dog’s joint, skeletal, and mental health.
When a dog stands and walks, their toe pads and claws play a vital role in providing traction and bearing weight. As a dog steps, his weight is transferred between paws, but the toes and nails are the first part of the foot to reach the ground and take on most of your dog’s weight. When the claws cannot gain traction due to slippery surfaces, the dog loses his balance, slipping, skidding, and often falling. Making the problem worse, often dogs have a natural instinct to extend their claws to try to gain traction. While this works on grass and in dirt, it spells disaster when it comes to tile and other hard surfaces.
Toe treads create friction and allow your dog to immediately gain traction on slippery floors, preventing slips and falls. They do this with an anti-slip material similar to rubber on the soles of your shoes.They alsos add surface area, and expand the traction zone of your dog’s toes.
In addition to helping improve mobility while walking, toe treads also make contact with the floor as your dog stands, providing better stability. Over time, improved mobility can help senior dogs and dogs with mobility issues rebuild strength and muscle tone, for long-term improvement.
Why Is Slipping on Slick Floors Dangerous for Dogs?
Slipping and the uncertainty of walking across slick surfaces can take a toll on your dog’s physical and mental health. Both short term effects like broken bones and sprains and long-term effects like slip-anxiety and joint deterioration have a profoundly negative effect on your dog’s quality of life.
The most apparent effect of slipping is strain on your dog’s legs, but what exactly happens when your dog’s legs slip out from under him? When a dog cannot gain traction, his legs will splay outward. This motion stretches your dog’s ligaments, tendons, and muscles in a direction they’re not built to go, resulting in strains and tears. Unbalance also causes your dog’s entire body to torque, which can cause longterm damage to the spine and surrounding tendons.
Each time your dog slips, he tears microfiber muscles and this can result in pain and deteriorate muscles. This leads to long-term mental anguish and worries about slipping.
As a dog begins to predict slipping, he will begin shifting his weight forward more often. You may notice this when your dog gets up from a lying position. He will pull himself up using his front legs rather than an even effort of front and back legs. You may also notice your dog’s upper body and front legs bearing more weight as your dog transverse a slick floor. This overloads the front muscle groups over time, causing strain on these muscles and reduction of muscle tone in the hind legs. If your dog’s hind legs quiver, this is likely a sign of muscle fatigue and lack of strength.
In addition to the physical effects, chronic pain and endless worry can reduce your dog’s quality of life. If your dog hesitates to walk on a surface or avoids walking in rooms with slick flooring, he likely worries a great deal about slipping.
Are Toe Treads and Grips Effective?
Slip injuries can be significantly reduced by reducing the speed a dog walks and increasing traction.
Studies show that toe grips and tow treads do help dogs gain traction, stand in a more healthy and upright position, and get around better. Toe grips benefit dogs by slowing down their gait, allowing dogs to stand upright more easily, and reducing the velocity of their stride. Which is to say–yes, they work!
How Do You Apply Toe Treads and Grips?
Both toe grips and toe treads, slip over your dog’s nails.
For toe grips, you will want to lubricate them in water or rubbing alcohol to help them more easily slip up and over your dog’s nails. Be sure the grip touches the floor behind the nail. Once the water or rubbing alcohol dries, they stay put on their own. The upside to toe grips is that you don’t have to grind or file your dog’s nails or fiddle with strong adhesives. The downside is that your dog may fuss over his toe grips and chew them off. Toe grips are applied to all four nails that touch the ground, which makes them less cost-effective.
Toe treads require you to file, trim, or grind your dog’s two center nails down to just above the quick. The nail should sit flat in relation to the ground for the toe tread to properly fit. After filing the nail, slide the toe tread over the nail, then apply a drop of glue into the hole on the top of the tread. This process is a bit more involved than toe grips, but they tend to stay put longer. Toe treads also tend to give your dog a larger traction area, which provides more stability than grips.
You can always skip the hassle of DIY application and ask your vet or groomer to apply the toe treads or grips.
How Do You Remove Dog Toe Treads?
Dog toe treads will naturally come off after a while. The problem is they do not always come off at the same time, similarly to how artificial nails tend to come loose at different times on people. When your dog loses a tread, you can replace one or the entire set. Replacing the set can save you time and the hassle of the process.
To remove the treads that are still in place, you will need a Dremel (or Dremel-like tool). Use the Dremel tool with a buffing pad to sand away the top part of the tread where the glue was applied. Once the tread is removed, continue to buff away any excess glue left on the nail. Trim the nails, and apply the next set of toe treads.
Note: Dog toe grips can be removed by lubricating the grip band and slipping it down.
Getting a Grip and Improving Your Dog’s Quality of Life
Toe treads and grips prevent your dog from skidding, slipping, sliding, and falling. When your dog spills across the floor or struggles to get around, it has serious longterm effects on his life. From constant anxiety about slipping to a reluctance to walk across a slippery floor to go out to use the bathroom, toe grips and treads restore your dog’s dignity. They also prevent muscle tears, broken bones, and pain. If you’re looking for a solution to slippery floors, treads and grips are both excellent choices.
These seem to just be a knock off of McHenry’s… They have good reviews, though?