Why Do Dogs Slip on Hardwood Floors?

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A beautiful, shiny hardwood floor is something you may take great pride in showing off to your guests, but poor Scruffy may not be too fond of that slippery surface. Rest assured, he is not alone; many canines dislike the uncertainty of footing on slippery floors and some may avoid it like the plague. Fortunately, with some tips you can create a meeting ground between keeping Scruffy happy and keeping your floors In top shape.


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Paw Design

If Scruffy slips and slides on your hardwood floor it's most likely not his fault. Your dog's toenails were designed specifically for walking on earthen terrain. Deprived of the ability to grip effectively on smooth, flat surfaces, such as hardwood floors, linoleum and tiles, it's quite normal for your pooch to have some difficulty walking. As much as it may be comical to watch your pooch run and slide, this issue must be addressed because slips and falls can cause serious injuries to your dog.

Special Products


If you are adding special products to your hardwood floor for the purpose of enhancing its shiny surface, chances are you are contributing to your dog's slipping problem. In this case, you may want to avoid adding that final coat of wax or glossy varnish. If you think your floor still is slippery, you may want to pay a visit to your hardware store and ask for non-skid treatments designed specifically for hardwood floors.

Unnoticed Spills

Another cause for slipping on hardwood floors are spills. If your dog is slipping on the floor and your floor normally is not slippery, you may want to go to the area and touch the surface. An unnoticed spill from a drink or perhaps some doggie drool can easily transform your hardwood floor into a skating ring. Obviously, your dog may not be the only one skating around the house, so wipe up spills and clean up messes as soon as they happen to keep everybody safe.


Lack of Grooming

To add traction, make sure your dog's feet are groomed properly. If you own a hairy dog, that extra hair that grows in between the toes may get in the way and increase the chances for slipping. Those long toenails that click as your dog walks may contribute also to the problem. If your dog is scared of walking on the floor, he may tense up and extend those nails in hopes of gaining more traction but this often make matters worse. Trimming those nails may make things easier for him.

Health Issues


If Scruffy is slipping quite often and you cannot find a reasonable explanation, it's a good practice to see your vet. Some health conditions may affect how your dog balances himself and may contribute to more frequent falls. Pain may cause your dog to tense up and walk stiffly on the floor, which decreases traction. For dogs suffering from arthritis, paw wax may help them get up and around, and reduce the chances of slipping on smooth floors according to Vet Info.

By Adrienne Farricelli



Vet-n-Pet Direct: How to Help Your Dog Cope with Slippery Flooring
Toe Grips: How ToeGrips Prevent Your Dog from Sliding on Floors
National Floor Direct: How to Take Care of Slippery Hardwood Flooring
Vet Info: Paw Wax for Dogs
Veterinary Partner: Kitchen Floors and Other Smooth Walking Surfaces

About the Author
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.