Have you ever watched an older dog struggle to get up from lying on a hardwood floor? If so, you have been given a glimpse of one of the greatest challenges I have faced as an integrative veterinarian who frequently treats geriatric, arthritic and “special needs” dogs. ToeGrips were developed with that in mind.
Using spinal manipulative therapies, acupuncture, supplements and conventional medicine, I was generally able to obtain improvements in activity levels and pain management for my patients. But I was continually frustrated by my inability to offer an effective solution for dogs who were sliding and struggling on the floors and stairs of their homes.
I knew, as did their families, that this slipping and falling was tough on their bodies, and often undid what I had accomplished through manual adjustments. Plus, walking on hardwood or tile floors soon became intimidating for these dogs. So now, in addition to losing their mobility, they had also lost their confidence. This was clearly impacting their quality of life.
My recommendation was throw rugs and runners placed strategically throughout the home. But inevitably, the dogs would still go and lie on hard floors, then later have to struggle to get up off those floors.
If dogs lived on earthen terrain, for which their bodies were designed, slipping wouldn’t be an issue. If you have ever seen a dog frozen in fear on the slick floor of a veterinary waiting room, “digging in” his nails in a hopeless attempt to gain traction, then you have a mental picture of a dog’s normal antislip mechanism. Dogs are hard-wired to flex their paws and use their nails like cleats. But hard nails can’t gain traction on hard floors, leaving the dog stranded and stressed.
I finally found that by sliding natural rubber rings onto a dog’s toenails, he would be able to gain traction by using his natural mechanism – engaging the nails. So I created ToeGrips to enable dogs to grip the floor in a way their hard toenails cannot. They provide instant traction and renewed confidence, reduce the risk of slip-and-fall injury, and improve mobility and stability.
ToeGrips were designed for senior and arthritic dogs, but have also been helpful for blind dogs, “tripawd” dogs, those who use wheelchairs or prosthetics, and those with hind end weakness or who are rehabilitating from surgery or injury (especially cruciate ligament damage).
The most common question I am asked is how well dogs tolerate ToeGrips. Because they rest on the nail and are not in contact with sensitive tissue, 98% of dogs do not seem to notice them, including those who are notorious for resenting things on their paws.
ToeGrips are simple and affordable, and available through many veterinarians worldwide. Ask your veterinarian about this solution to slipping, or learn more at ToeGrips.com.
Dr. Julie Buzby is the founder of Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips.