With the exception of ToeGrips, the products on the market which address traction-related mobility issues for dogs have one claim to fame—adding friction to the dog’s paws or pads. Adding “paw friction” seems logical, right? In theory, it should reduce slipping. And to some extent, it does. But here’s the thing: for our dogs, paw friction is “Plan B” and not “Plan A.”
PLAN A: Engaging the toenails is inherent to the very design of the paw
As a veterinarian with a passion for dog feet, here’s what I know to be true: dogs are hard-wired to use their nails as their primary traction mechanism. Outdoors, toenails function like cleats, digging into the earth for grip. (When was the last time you saw a dog slipping while playing on dirt or grass? I rest my case.)
On their natural terrain, dogs have the right equipment and they know how to use it!
When feeling secure, dogs rely on default paw friction to walk. However, when dogs start to slip, their natural reflex is to engage their nails, as their “go to” mechanism for traction.
We even see this in dogs who are standing still. Have you ever seen a dog in a vet hospital reception area frozen in fear? One hallmark of that posture is the dog standing on his “tippy toes.” Why? Dogs are hard-wired to “dig” their nails into the ground for traction.
We also see dogs “engage their nails” and “dig in” when trying to rise from slick floors. This is another key place where ToeGrips play the role of hero!
The problem with products that seek to increase paw friction
Have you looked at online and catalog options for dog traction products? If so, you probably have found socks, boots, booties, pad stickies, pad balm, even glue-on rubber for the paw pads! These products try to increase paw friction with the ground. Sadly, they are trying to solve this very real problem as if dogs were humans in need of sneakers.
However, the problem isn’t with the dog, but rather, the environment.
While we humans love the look of smooth surfaces in our homes, we’ve actually made our dogs’ lives a little harder. Smooth floors, like the ones described below, are not natural surfaces for a dog to live on:
- Brazilian cherry, bamboo, and other hardwood floors
- Travertine tile and stone floors
- Painted concrete
Am I suggesting that we move our families into lean-tos in the woods? As much as my sons would love that, I’m not! What I am suggesting is that we understand the root issue and help dogs adapt in a way that supports their natural instincts and abilities.
Help dogs adapt in a way that supports their natural instincts
Until dogs evolve to possess grippy toes like tree frogs, I recommend ToeGrips. But my customers’ words are more powerful than my own. Please read the happy ending stories, emails, and letters that I receive each day from ToeGrips believers. Each success story touches my heart and makes me even more passionate about my mission to help dog owners help their dogs.
Hard nails can’t grip hard floors. But the nonslip, custom-engineered material that ToeGrips are made from restores the nails’ natural gripping power. By helping dogs function naturally, they get the traction they need!
See how Gibson’s life was transformed by ToeGrips. Watch this video:
Have you observed your dog trying to “dig in” or use the toenails when rising from a wood floor or walking on smooth surfaces?
We’d love hear. Please comment below.
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