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When Dogs Hate Hardwood – Paw Wax, Anyone?

Dogs walking on tile floor in show ring

One of our dogs has decided that slippery floors — tile, laminate, hardwood, anything but carpet— are freaky and he’s walking over them like Bambi on ice! You know, all stiff-legged and trembling. And walking like that, the poor dog’s paws seem to slip all the more easily.

My dog-trainer friend Carol suggested using something called Paw Wax which softens and protects the pads and helps to give the dog better grip on slippery surfaces.

I think it’s worth a try — the only other anti-slip pet product I’ve had recommended is an aerosol spray called Show Foot that’s mostly used by people with show dogs, to keep the dogs from slipping on the smooth floor in a competition ring. But I’m not crazy about spraying products into the air — expecially around my greyhounds, who tend to be sensitive to chemicals — so Paw Wax it will be.

Carol says you just have to be careful use enough wax on the paws or they can become even more slippery, but the Paw Wax from Musher’s Secret is good for use all year-round and helps to protect the dog’s feet from everything from hot pavement in summer to ice and road-salt in winter — bonus!

Update: I’ve got another tip on a”lightweight” kind of solution for helping your dog (especially an old dog) walk on slippery floors like linoleum and ceramic tile: SortKwik Fingertip Moistener. You’ll find it listed with office supplies, not pet products, because it’s made for people who have to sort documents or money for a living, an anti-bacterial good that makes their fingertips just a little bit sticky.

Now, it won’t do much to protect against cold and salt on the roads (nothing beats dog boots for that) but a little bit on the dog’s pads — together with being sure to keep the nails well trimmed to improve the dog’s traction on smooth surfaces — can often provide just enough grip to help the dog do better walking on those slippery floors!

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2 comments… add one

  • amanda 2012/10/08, 2:35 pm

    So how was your experience with the paw wax? I have a greyhound who is also afraid of “the shiny”.

  • Domestik Goddess 2012/10/11, 9:13 pm

    Paw wax did the trick for one greyhound, Amanda, but not so much for the other one. For the super-scaredy-dog, what I did was start with a trail of rubber-backed mats as well as the paw wax, then gradually “faded” the mats – increased the space between them, over time, until they went away completely – combined with lots of good things happening when the paws were on the shiny floor. Paw wax was pretty helpful then, once we got to that stage. As I say, with the slightly-less-alarmed greyhound (she didn’t tense up as much, just was very cautious about the floors), paw wax alone worked fine. One thing that might interest you – I found the angle of sunlight through the window seemed to play a role. Late afternoon light shining in on the floors made them more alarming for the nervous dog. So, that’s something else you might look at – does your greyhound do better on shiny floors when it’s just artificial light, or in bright daylight, or what? Then give him lots of good experiences on the shiny floor in those conditions when he’s less put off by it all. Good luck!

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