Traction on hardwood floors is hard to come by.
Almost all of the flooring in our house is hardwood or tile. We have dogs, hard floors are easier to keep clean than carpeting. However, our dog family is getting older. Three of our dogs are past their first decade, and our oldest at 13.5 years is having an increasingly hard time getting traction on those hard floors.
I’d been investigating ways to help her gain some traction including booties (which Lily would despise), little sticky pieces of plastic you stick to the pads of their paws (again, Lily would despise that), and even something called toe grips. Knowing Lily and her persnickety ways, I knew I had to find a solution that did not involve putting anything on her, but rather I had to find something I could actually put on the floor.
Now before you start suggesting scatter rugs, know that (until very recently) we had a cat that just loved to pee on any rug or dog bed on the floor. Throw rugs or runners were absolutely out of the question. Plus, they’re just one more thing to vacuum. The reason we took the carpet out was so I could sweep all the dirt up and get it out of the house. Adding scatter rugs everywhere sort of defeats the purpose.
At about the same time I was running out of ideas, the folks from HandiRamp happened to reach out to me with their Puppy Treads (TM). I was intrigued when they told me these were applied directly to the floor — that meant I could leave Lily’s paws out of the equation, making both our lives a whole lot better. I gladly accepted their offer to try some of their Puppy Treads (TM).
Here’s our experience with Puppy Treads (TM).
I put them at the spots where Lily usually loses traction. When she hears my husband’s truck in the driveway, she beelines it to the door which involves making a sharp right turn on laminate flooring — it’s very much like an ice rink and she routinely spins out and falls right on her rump. I tried using the treads in two different ways: I used a full strip in one location. And in another location, I cut the strip into smaller, thinner pieces, like so:
Yes, I left the dirt and hair on the floor. If you have dogs, hopefully you’re used to seeing floors like this and you’re not grossed out by it. In any event, that’s what I did with the Puppy Treads. Those have been on the floor now for about a month and have seen some seriously heavy dog paw and human foot traffic. This is probably the most heavily trafficked area in our house and the treads held up quite well here — no curling up or anything. We’ve had rain, too, so there have been wet and muddy foot- and paw-traffic on them and still they’ve stayed stuck.
If the dogs take a different path to the door, where there aren’t any Puppy Treads, they’ll still slip and fall. I can’t Puppy Tread the entire family room floor, so I’ve tried to choose the most likely routes. I haven’t mopped the Puppy Treads a whole lot, so I can’t speak to how long they’d hold up if you mopped your floors every day. (Hahaha, mopping floors everyday; who does that?) Also, if you’re using the Puppy Treads on a high gloss real wood floor, I don’t know if the Puppy Treads would take any of the polyurethane off the floor when the Puppy Treads are removed. My guess is that they wouldn’t remove the poly (that’s pretty tough stuff), but because I didn’t try them on actual hardwood, I can’t speak to that flooring material.
About Puppy Treads
- Size: 6″ high by 24″ long. They are easy to cut down to any size with a pair of regular scissors.
- They’re fairly translucent, but it’s clear (haha) that they’re on the floor. The higher the gloss on the floor, the more readily apparent the treads will be.
- Durability: they’ve withstood 16 paws and four feet for the past month without any trouble at all. That includes rainy and muddy weather.
- Stick and unstick: these are easily removed whenever you want them to come up. If they’ve been down for awhile, I don’t think they’ll re-stick again with the same intensity as the first time around. Most important to me, though, wasn’t that I could move them from here to there, but that I could remove them without having to clean a lot of sticky residue afterward. I’ve since taken one of the treads completely off the floor and there wasn’t anything left behind.
- They’re made right here in the U.S. (Illinois)
- Made of vinyl and graded “high traction” by the National Floor Safety Institute.
These would be great on hardwood stairs — for people and dogs. We have only one set of stairs in our house (and they’re carpeted), so I didn’t have the opportunity to experiment with them on stairs, but I think that’s where they’d really shine.
Per Puppy Tread: $7.99
4 Puppy Treads: $29.95
10 Puppy Treads: $69.95
If your dogs (or you!) are having traction problems on your floors, take a look at Puppy Treads. They fit the bill for us and have helped give Lily some added stability.
Isaiah McPeak says
Hmmm…. try http://toegrips.com
Would you like some free ones to try?
Laurie Luck says
Hi Isaiah, thanks for the suggestion of Toe Grips. Our girl, Lily, finds anything tactile wickedly aversive. One of the reasons she was released from service dog training was that she hated wearing her vest. Having anything touch her feet drives her up a wall! No booties, socks, or toe grips for this girl! She’s a barefooted dog through and through!
Toe grips didn’t work well for our tripod bull mastiff. I’ve tried the little rubber pads you stick on the pads, they lasted seconds. Traction boots don’t come in his size and pretty sure he would not like them anyway, plus you can’t keep them on all the time. I did find a spray called “show foot” which you spray on the pads and gives him grip. He doesn’t particularly care for it as I’m spraying, but of course he gets lots of treats during the spray, it’s quick, and works. But, of course you have to reapply frequently. I’m going to try the bandaid strips as one of the previous readers uses and see how that goes. Love Smart Dog University!!
Sara Ann Roltgen says
How do I get free ones???
We’ve been having the same problem with our old girl. These might do the trick. Thanks for the review.
jana rade says
Traction on hard wood (or other surfaces) certainly can be a problem; for older dogs, dogs with mobility issues, even normal healthy dogs. I believe the best solution are Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips.
Laurie Luck says
Hi Jana, thanks for stopping in! We can’t use toe grips on our girl, Lily, because she finds anything tactile — especially on her feet (eek!) — highly aversive. She wouldn’t move if she had toe grips on her nails. She’d be completely miserable. 🙁
My old and ailing Sheltie, Buddy, used to slip terribly on our laminate floor. Not any more. I tried (in desperation) cutting the adhesive strips off some Band Aid band Sheer Strips and surreptitiously sticking them to each of Buddy’s large paw pads. The results are amazing! Buddy now can pop right up and walk confidently on what was once a very slippery surface for him! He doesn’t even notice that the strips are there. And the strips are lasting for many days. I wish I’d tried this sooner. Effective, cheap and easy.
Going to try this. Thanks for the suggestion.
Kelly Hartwig says
Which ones exactly
The Band-Aids worked a bit, but only one kind that was very hard to find, I think the sport strips. Buddy has since passed, sadly, and I WISH I had thought to try rosin or Stickum spray for his feet. There’s a tennis “rosin grip” which only eliminates moisture, so that doesn’t work, but I’ve read that Stickum is very effective. If I still had the need, I would try that next/first. Best of luck! https://www.amazon.com/Mueller-Stickum-Spray-Aerosol-Adhesive/dp/B0012RFP00
We also put rubber-backed rug runners and rubber-back rugs in various places throughout the house for our tripod bull mastiff. Doesn’t look the best, but it’s not about looks, it’s all about what’s best for him. 🙂
Laurie Luck says
Tell me about it, Vic! Our kitchen is plastered in throw-rugs and runners. Not the prettiest, but our old girl can get some grip. So it works for us.
I’m going to bump the discussion, since I’m already here answering a question. It occured to me that gymnasts and athletes use rosin and other products like Stickum, (which I’ve heard is very effective https://www.amazon.com/Mueller-Stickum-Spray-Aerosol-Adhesive/dp/B0012RFP00) to improve their grip, and I WISH I’d thought to try that for my dog before he passed. If anyone tries it, maybe they can share their results here, whether successful or not.
Laurie Luck says
That’s an interesting thought, Kristopher — I’ll have to investigate that. My old girl has degenerative myelopathy and we can watch the symptoms progress. For now, we’re keeping her nails trimmed short, have throw rugs all over the kitchen (where the trouble seems to be the worst), and helping her get up when she needs it. Once she’s up and moving, she’s *usually* pretty good, although some mornings are tougher than others for her.