How To Stop Your Dog From Slipping On The Floor
Though it is a little funny when your pup falls paw-side-up, slipping on the floor can be quite dangerous. Your dog could suffer from head injuries, joint dislocation, or broken nails from one hard slip.
So how do you stop your dog slipping on the floor?
You’re in the right place.
In this blog post, we're going to dig into some simple ways to prevent your pup from turning your floor into an ice rink.
Let’s dive in.
Why Is Your Dog Slipping On Floors?
Why does my dog keep slipping over? – let’s address that first.
Here are the most common reasons why your dog may be slipping on your floor.
Of course, this is the most obvious reason.
Hardwood, tile, and laminate floors can be pretty slippery for dogs, especially those with less traction like short-haired breeds.
Contrast these with materials with more grip, like cork, rubber, or textured vinyl.
So if you’re renovating your home soon, you might consider switching some floor materials in key places.
If your dog is slipping on your floors more often than they used to, it could be a sign that you need to trim their nails.
“If your dog is sliding on the floor, his nails are probably causing a lot of instability. This usually happens when the nails are extremely overgrown, and his paw is not touching the ground for him to grip.” - Tierra Price, DVM (1)
We’ll talk about paw care tips to prevent slipping in the next section.
Running too fast
Though dog zoomies are fun and exciting, they are hazardous when it comes to slipping.
Some dogs are more prone to injury when they slip than others (see FAQs).
One wrong slip can cause:
There are techniques you can use that can help your dog slow down.
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why your pup is slipping, let’s talk solutions.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Slipping On The Floor
Below are some simple solutions to help your dog from slipping without investing in new flooring.
Train your dog to slow down
Did you know you can train your dog to stop slipping in your home?
Well, kind of. Picture this:
Your dog comes bounding in from outside at great speed and slips on the hardwood floor as they do.
It’s usually always the same spot too. So what if we could invite some decorum to the space? That is, get your dog to slow down and walk around sensibly.
Teaching commands like "wait" or "slow down" when entering a slippery area can help them approach with caution.
These commands take a lot of practice to instill.
The most effective method I’ve found is the fast-slow method. (2)
Walk your dog on a leash and speed up your walking. Use the command “fast” as you do so and praise your dog for maintaining pace with you.
After a couple of minutes, slow right down and use the command “slow”. Again, reward your dog with treats for slowing down their pace.
Now you have two commands to help your pup control their speed in any situation.
You can also make sure your dog is sufficiently exercised and entertained at home. This will help prevent your dog from having mad half-hours indoors.
Granted, this isn’t an infallible plan. Sometimes the excitement is just too much and they should be allowed to be excited.
For example, imagine if you have been on holiday for a couple of weeks and your dog is welcoming you home.
Commanding “slow down” as they eagerly greet you feels cruel.
That’s why I’ve covered the training technique first.
Because while it’s effective, training is better combined with the other methods below.
So read on for more tips.
Create an obstacle course
Let’s say that there’s a specific area where your dog slips the most.
Is it a wide-open area? If so, you can add some furniture to the path that will encourage your pup to slow down.
For example, you could add a footstool, coffee table, or plant.
Your dog now has to navigate the area with more caution in order not to bump into obstacles.
Try yoga mats in strategic places
For all my fellow yogis out there, you know how sticky yoga mats are.
They are made to provide traction so why not use them for your dog?
There are a couple of ways you can do this.
First, you could leave your yoga mat out in a strategic place that is both helpful for you and your pooch.But I understand if your yoga mat is precious and you don’t want your dog’s scratch marks on it.
Another method is to cut a cheap yoga mat into smaller pieces and place them strategically where your dog often slips.
This is a simple, budget-friendly solution that keeps your dog firmly on the ground no matter how fast they are running.
Add rugs and runners
Perhaps a more aesthetic way of adding traction to your slippery flooring is to invest in rugs and runners.
This is a stylish solution that still prioritises your dog’s safety.
Focus most on high-traffic areas like hallways and near entrances.
That said, even awkward areas, e.g. the corner of sofas, can be protected with extra wide living room rugs or round corner rugs.
There are even rugs that are perfect for kitchen and bathroom spaces too.
Just make sure the rugs have a rubber or non-slip backing to keep them securely in place. You can invest in grips if they don’t come with them.
Get creative with your interior design – style and function can and should coexist.
Clip your dog’s nails
Regular paw maintenance can play a crucial role in preventing slips.
As we saw, unkempt nails can be the reason your pup is slipping.
Related: The Best Dog Nail Grinders.
One of the signs that your dog’s nails are too long is that your pup appears to be walking on their tip toes.
So keep your pup's nails trimmed.
Not sure how to do that? Here are our articles to get you up to speed:
Moisturise your pup’s paws
Is this peak helicopter paw parent behaviour?
To some maybe. But paw pad moisturisers are fantastic for soothing dry or cracked paw pads.
Importantly for our purposes today, moisturisers help keep your dog’s pads healthy and supple.
This ensures better traction on your slippery surfaces.
Invest in dog footwear
Now this is peak helicopter paw parent behaviour. But I will admit it is effective!
Dog booties have a lot of uses. They protect your dog’s paws in harsh conditions so they are helpful for camping and hiking.
If you live in extreme weather regions like the outback, they are worth investing in.
So how do they help indoors?
Dog booties provide extra traction on slippery surfaces.
Non-slip socks work too, if your dog is a bit resistant to wearing full booties. Just make sure the socks fit snugly but not too tight.
This is particularly helpful for senior dogs or those with certain medical conditions that might affect their stability. If your dog has hip dysplasia or severe arthritis, these are worth considering.
Just remember, it might take a little time for your dog to get used to their socks or booties.
They might walk around like a baby giraffe for a while. But once adjusted, they’ll be useful!
Final Thoughts: Stop Your Dog From Slipping
So that’s how to stop your dog from slipping on the floor!
As you can see, it only takes a few simple changes to help your dog conquer slippery floors with confidence.
Whether you go for stylish rugs, behaviour training, or doggie booties, the goal is to ensure that your pup's paws are happy and slip-free.
Though most dogs have the capacity to slip, some dogs are more prone to serious injury when slipping. This is because of a genetic disposition to hip dysplasia. These dogs include Great Danes, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, and Mastiffs. (3) If you have one of these breeds, be extra careful to prevent their falls.
- Price, T. July 27, 2023. “7 Ways to Tell Your Dog’s Nails Are Too Long”. Great Pet Care. Retrieved August 20, 2023. https://www.greatpetcare.com/wellness/7-ways-to-tell-your-dogs-nails-are-too-long/
- Barra, J. November 1, 2017. “How to Train Your Dog to Walk Slowly”. Wag Walking. Retrieved August 20, 2023. https://wagwalking.com/training/walk-slowly
- Elfenbein, H. May 18, 2023. “10 Dog Breeds Prone to Hip Dysplasia”. Great Pet Care. Retrieved August 20, 2023. https://www.greatpetcare.com/dog-health/10-dog-breeds-prone-to-hip-dysplasia/