Training

14 Tricks To Stop Your Dog Slipping And Sliding On Hard Floors (Wood, Tiles Etc.)

Last Updated: October 9, 2023 | 11 min read | 24 Comments

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Pug tht slipped and fell on slippery floor tiles

Is your pup stumbling around your floor like he’s on a slip n’ slide? or maybe your old dog can’t stand up once he sits down?

Chances are your flooring is one of the following:

  • Hardwood
  • Tiles
  • Laminate
  • Vinyl
  • Polished cement

Right?

Sure, these floors may look great and be easy to clean. But to your dog, he might as well be walking on ice – he can’t get a grip.

Your dog may look adorably cute as he clumsily stumbles around your floor, or glides around like an ice skater. But these tumbles are seriously dangerous to his health.

A young, healthy pup risks pulled muscles or torn ligaments…

But if you have an elderly or special needs dog, it’s even worse. Those aggressive staggering movements can cause irreparable damage to older dogs with arthritis, spinal, joint or hip problems.

These medical conditions can cause your dog’s legs to twist and his feet to slide out from under him when walking over slippery surfaces – you might even notice your dog’s hind legs doing the splits while he eats.

Elderly bulldog doing the splits as his hind legs slip on tiles as he eats from dog bowl

A stumble or fall could mean an expensive trip to the Vet. For the sake of your dog, you need to come up with a solution.

But slippery floors are more than just a fall hazard.

Once some dogs lay down on a slippery floor, they can’t get up again. If your dog lays belly-down on the floor and looks like a starfish with his legs extended, he may be having difficulty getting a grip.

Concerned for the safety of your pup?

Don’t worry, we have you covered. Check out these 14 anti-slip solutions to give your dog extra traction on slippery floors.

1. Fix those cracks (in your pup’s paws)

Brown retriever Dog with dry paw pads resting on slippery floor tiles

Your dog already has built-in traction control. I’m talking about his paw pads.

However, these paw pads can also be the cause for your dog’s legs sliding out from underneath him…

You know the tires on your car? As they wear down or get damaged, they don’t grip the road properly.

Well, your pups paw pads work in the same way. If they are dry, cracked or worn down, they can’t grip your floor.

A quick spot check will determine whether your dog’s paw pads are the cause.

Dermoscent Bio Balm Skin Repairing Dog Balm For Paw Pads

Bio Balm: Dog Skin Repair Care Fixes dry and cracked paw pads

A natural paw balm that is quickly aborbed.

One of the most popular ways to fix damaged paw pads is paw balm. Think of it as moisturizer designed for your pup’s paw pads.

Application couldn’t be more straightforward. Rub the paw balm over the paw pads, massaging it in with your fingers.

If you have a dog who hates you touching his paws, a lick mat can work wonders. By smearing a dollop of peanut butter over the mat, your dog will be distracted while you massage his paws – Lickmats work great for dogs who hate grooming and baths too!

It is worth mentioning that cracked paw pads can be caused by allergies, nutritional problems and other medical conditions. When in doubt, consult your vet.[1]

2. Give your pup an anti-slip manicure

Labradoor showing of his nails that are too long for a slippery floor

Your anti-slip solution could be as simple as giving your dog’s nails a trim.

When it comes to slippery floors like wood or tiles, long nails reduce your dog’s ability to grip the floor.

You see, if your dog’s nails are too long, your dog will place weight on the nails when walking, instead of his toe pads. [2]

Hard nails can’t grip hard flooring. And without proper traction, your pup will slide with each step he takes. So, you need to give these slippery suckers a trim.

Safari Professional Stainless Steel Nail Trimmer Standard Size

Safari Professional Nail Trimmer: Cut those long nails

An easy to grip nail trimmer that cuts through even the toughest dog nails

With your dog’s nails trimmed, he can now rely on his toe pads to grip the floor.

3. Give your pup’s feet a trim for better grip

Shiba Inu dog with long fur poking out between paw pads on foot

A quick haircut could be all that is needed for improved traction on hard floors.

You see, your dog has hairy feet. Not just on top, but underneath too. If you lift your dog’s paw, you’ll see fur between his paw pads. As this hair grows longer, it can cover the paw pads.

When your pup takes a step, he is stepping on this long fur, causing him to slip and tumble. It’s like trying to run in a pair of furry slippers. Not recommended by the way.

That long paw pad hair has to go. It’s time to groom your dog’s furry feet.

A shaver will deal with the long hair that falls over the top of the toenails. But to trim the fur that grows between the paw pads, many owners find it more precise to use a pair of pet grooming scissors…

Pet Magasin Dog Grooming Scissors For Foot Hair

Pet Magasin Grooming Scissors: Safely cut foot fur

Easy to grip scissors with a rounded point to safely trim hair between paw pads

Don’t feel comfortable trimming your dog’s foot hair? Reach out to your local dog groomer – they will have your pup groomed in no time!

With your pup’s long hair gone, there is nothing to come between his paw pads and the floor.

4. Pull your socks up for extra grip

Dog wearing rubber gripped socks on gray hardwood floor

Have you ever put on a fresh pair of socks only to go sliding across the floor like Tom Cruise in that scene from Risky Business?

No judgment if you have. But it might surprise you that a good pair of socks could actually stop your dog from slipping on hard floors.

But just not any pair of socks. Dog socks.

You see, dog socks are a little different – they feature non-slip grips on the underside! These grips help your pup gain traction on a slick floor.

RC Pet Products dog socks with anti-slip grip

RC Anti-Slip Dog Socks: Fashionable socks that grip

Now your dog can wear socks too! Choose from a wide range of styles for a non-slip solution that looks great too!

For best results, choose the right size for your pup’s paw.

If you want to completely destroy your dog’s street cred, choose a style similar to the socks you wear. Matching sock buddies!

5. Wear shoes inside

French Bulldog wearing dog boots confidently walking on slippery floor tiles

Not feeling socks? Why not try a pair of dog boots instead.

Dog boots are designed to help your dog gain traction when hiking across all types of terrain, including loose rocks and boulders. In comparison, gripping your slippery floor isn’t even a challenge for a good pair of dog boots.

Okay, so boots might be overkill for hard flooring, but there is no denying that they a great way to slip-proof your pup.

My Busy Dog Anti-Slip rubber soled dog boots

Busy Dog Boots: Boots that stay on

Comfortable rubber bottomed boots with serious grip

Plus, boots have a significant advantage over socks. They have Velcro straps to keep them attached to your dog’s feet all day long.

Dog boots come in a wide range of sizes, from tiny Pomeranians to hulking Labradors, there is a boot to fit your pup.

Make sure you measure your dog’s paws before buying. Loose-fitting boots could cause your trip while running around your home.

6. Toe nail grips

Dog with toe treads sitting on slippery hardwood floor

Your dog naturally uses his toenails for gripping. Outside, this built-in traction control works incredibly well. This is why your dog can effortlessly chase a squirrel up even the steepest of hills.

But inside is different. Your dog’s toenails can’t get a grip on smooth surfaces.

That is, without some help from dog toe grips.

A dog toe grip is essentially a piece of rubber that slides over each of your dog’s toenails – they are like toenail boots.

Dog to treads to grip slippery floors

Dog Toe Treads: Discreet floor gripping

Allows your dog to grip slippery floors using his toenails

Our favorites are these toe treads, developed by Veterinarian Samantha Mchenry with help from her father – they can help even the most elderly of dogs properly grip slippery floors.

How do they work? The answer is friction. Rubber is capable of gripping slick surfaces like hardwood or laminate. They might not look like much, but these small toe treads are more than enough to provide your dog with extra traction.

One major advantage of toenail grips are much less likely to be rejected by dogs than boots or socks.

Many owners prefer toenail grips because it’s less noticeable as a mobility aid – unless they look closely, most people won’t even notice your dog is wearing them!

7. Dog Gate (for mixed floors, carpet, hardwood)

German shepherd blocked from reaching slippery wood floor in kitchen by a pet gate

If you have mixed flooring, such as carpet and tiles, then you have a unique solution available…

Let’s say that your kitchen is the problem and your dog keeps falling on the slippery tiles. The solution is to keep your dog off the tiles altogether.

Regalo easy step walk-thru gate for segrgating dogs from slippery floors

Regalo Easy Step Gate: Block off your slippery floor

An extra-wide gate to close off your doorways

When it comes to blocking off individual rooms, a pet gate works wonders. Think of it as a baby gate, but for your dog.

Set the gate up in the doorway, and your dog will no longer be able to get through.

8. Mats

Two collies sitting on shaggy rug that is covering slippery hardwood floor

If you are all about aesthetics, then you probably won’t like this solution – it involves covering up your stunning oak hardwood floor.

For the health and safety of your dog, it’s worth it.

But you can’t just cover your floor with blankets or towels – these move around underfoot and can even make slipping worse.

I spoke to one dog owner whose dog wouldn’t stop skidding as he ran down the hall. As he tried to stop, he would slip headfirst into the wall.

The solution? She placed a runner rug over the wooden flooring in her hall. Now her dog could easily change direction and dash off into the adjoining doorway without slipping.

nuLOOM rug to cover hardwood floors

NuLOOM Rug: Comfortable traction

A grippy rug that is available in a wide range of sizes and styles

Now, rugs can get expensive. Another dog owner suggested using yoga mats instead.

By placing each mat end to end you can create a non-slip walkway for your dog – allowing your pup to navigate even the slipperiest of floors without setting foot on it.

If you decide on a rug, make sure it doesn’t slip when your dog walks on it. A slippery mat can almost be as dangerous as a smooth floor!

Does your rug slide around? Use a Gripper Pad. This will hold your rug in place even if a large dog runs over it.

9. Paw Wax

Woman's hand applying paw wax to the underside of brown hairy dog foot

Paw wax is often used to protect paws from ice, snow and even hot pavements.

But it has another advantage that few people talk about – it can provide extra grip on slippery surfaces.

Application takes seconds. Spread a small amount of wax over each paw. The wax forms a barrier that provide your dog with extra traction.

Out of all the paw waxes available, none is more popular than Musher’s secret. What I like most about it is that it’s non-staining. I have mixed flooring in my home. The wax stops my dog slipping on the tiled floor, but also won’t mark my carpet.

Now, you do have to regularly apply this non-slip wax to the bottom of your dog’s paws. I was able to get about a day out of each application, although I would need to reapply if my dog went outside.

As you might have guessed, paw wax works best as a temporary solution to offer your dog extra grip. Especially if your dog doesn’t like having his paws touch.

When choosing a paw wax, make sure it contains bees wax – this is what gives the wax it’s non-slip properties.

Check the ingredients to make sure as some paw waxes only contain paraffin wax, which will actually make slipping worse.

10. Foot spray

Husky at dog show getting ready to be judged

Have you ever wondered how show dogs strut their stuff with such confidence? Even across those glossy floors?

In competitions, the stakes are high. A slip or tumble could cost your dog the gold medal. Not leaving anything to chance, owners coat their dog’s paws in an anti-slip spray.

The good news is that this product works just as well at home as it does at the dog show.

Bio-Groom show foot professional anti-slip spray

Spray-on grip

An easy to apply anti-slip spray that fits in your handbag

Aim the can at your dog’s paw pads and give a good spray. Once dry, it’s almost unnoticeable and doesn’t leave a sticky residue – no one will guess that your dog is having traction issues.

The spray lasts about a day. Since you will need to reapply regularly, this is best used as a temporary anti-skid solution.

I spoke to some service dog owners who keep a can of this spray in their handbag, and coat their dog’s paws if they come across a slippery surface away from home, such as epoxy floors.

11. Adhesive Paw Grip

Akita Inu showing the adhesive paw grips stuck to the bottom of his feet while laying on hardwood floor

Paw grips are stickers that go on the bottom of your dog’s feet. They go on like a band-aid. peel back the protector and stick it directly to your pup’s paw pad.

Each paw grip features a non-slip pattern that holds strong when pressed against hardwood or vinyl flooring.

Paw grips typically come in a packet of 24, which should last up to a month before they run out. You can extend this time by only applying the grippers to the back two paws rather than all four feet

Adhesive dog paw traction pad

Loobani Pad Grips: Adhesive paw grips

Peel and apply to your dog’s foot for extra grip on slippery floors

I’ll be honest, this was perhaps my least favorite non-slip solution.

First, you have to make sure you buy the right size for your dog. I have used these on three different dogs now and not once did the sizing match the dog’s paw – I had to cut each paw gripper to size.

Next, you have to clean each paw pad before applying the gripper. By doing this, you will ensure the pads stick for as long as possible…

But even if you do that, you’ll only get 2-5 days of wear before the adhesive loses stickiness, and the grips fall off. After that, you need to repeat the whole process.

While they may not be my cup of tea, many other dog owners report success when using paw grips. Me? I’ll be sticking with the other options on this list.

12 Replace your flooring

Man installing new flooring as he rolls out carpet to cover up slippery hardwood floor

Carpet, foam or rubber are just a few materials dogs can effortlessly grip.

If you want to replace your flooring on the cheap, consider interlocking floor tiles. Made from rubber, these are often used when setting up a gym or exercise area in the home.

Best of all, dog’s will have no problem gripping the rubber surface as they walk over it.

I love interlocking floor tiles because they can be placed over your existing flooring. When they are no longer needed, they can be removed without damaging your oak hardwood floor underneath.

Building a new home or renovating?

When planning, why not consider a non-slip flooring option for your dog? It doesn’t need to be the whole house, only in rooms or areas your dog spends most of his time.

Carpet in particular provides excellent traction for dogs.

13. Training

Fox terrier being trained to walk on slippery hardwood floor

Some dogs are outright afraid of walking on a slippery floor.

This can lead them to be extra cautious as they walk across a slippery floor. Unfortunately, awkwardly walking across the floor can only make the problem worse.

Or your dog might be so terrified of your tiles that he will avoid walking on them altogether. Waiting at the doorway, anxiously looking at you – he wants to come in, but can’t overcome his fear.

Often, the only way to overcome this fear of walking on slippery surfaces is to train the behavior out of your dog. We recommend working with a behaviorist or a positive-reinforcement trainer who can help your dog overcome their fears. Doggy Dan is an excellent resource for at-home training methods that can help dogs on a variety of issues including anxiety in certain situations like walking on hardwood floors.

14. Visit your vet

Husky at vet being told why he keeps slipping and falling on floors

Is your dog slipping and falling on your hardwood floor? The problem may not be your floor. It might be your dog.

Some medical issues make it difficult to walk across slippery flooring:

  • Physical injuries (Torn ACL, Broken leg, sprain etc.)
  • Arthritis
  • Hip and hind leg problems
  • Joint issues
  • Damaged nerves
  • Spine or disk problems
  • Vestibular disease (Affects balance)

These symptoms may be invisible when walking on easy-to-grip surfaces. However, once your dog steps onto slippery flooring, they can be easily spotted.

It’s at this stage that you may miss the medical issue and blame the flooring instead.

Do you suspect that the cause of your dog slipping is medical? Take your dog to the Vet for a check-up.

Don’t delay in seeing a vet. If caught in the early stages, many of these medical issues are treatable or manageable – your pup will have a better life for it!

Unfortunately, the anti-slip solutions featured on this list are unlikely to be effective if your dog is slipping due to a medical condition.

If you have tried a variety of different products and none seem to work, then it may be a clue that your dog has a health issue.

But for healthy pups, the non-slip solutions featured above will make your dog as sure-footed as a mountain goat.

How do you stop your dog from sliding around on slippery flooring? Got a tip to add? Let me know in the comments below!

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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