Pet Care Tips to Improve Pet Health and Quality of Life

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Earth Clinic (USA)


Stairs without carpeting can be especially dangerous too. Canines with hip weakness can and do slip down stairs, causing moderate to severe injury. You might consider buying a strip of thin carpeting, cutting the carpet into pieces, applying a do-it-yourself edging kit, and simply stapling each piece of carpet onto your hardwood stairs. We suggest you also have a stable piece of carpeting at the bottom of a staircase since dogs can just as easily slip at the bottom as the top.

You might also keep this in mind when you are about to move into a new apartment or home. Does the building have steep stairs that the dog will enter and exit from? If so, think of your strategy before you move in. It might not be an issue when your canine friend is young, but it certainly will be as they age.

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Heather (Visalia, CA)

I have a pug that is now 13 years old, and has been having trouble with our hardwood floors. We went and purchased baby socks and put rubber cement on the bottom of them. We then placed a strip of velcro around the top of them to make sure they wouldn't fall off. They bothered him at first but has gradually gotten used to them, and doesn't have any trouble anymore. So hopefully this can help others :)

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Lynn (Chicago, IL )

re: Hardwood Floors for older dogs. You can also use SoftClaws - they are rubber tips that work great. They attach using surgical glue and stay on until the dog's nails grow out. they help grip the floor. An even better product (but does not have sizes for really small dogs) are grip tex by ruffwear. These boots are amazing - they have a breathable fabric and the best rubber soul i have ever encountered. I know 3 senior dogs that wear them for gripping the floor at home.

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Rob (Dothan, Alabama)

Our 3 year old Rott mix was scared of going down the stairs in our townhouse. We purchased a $10 baby gate and placed the gate on the bottom three stairs, so that he would not be able to go further up the stairs, but would need to go back down. We hid in the upper stairs calling him to come up the stairs, once he came up the stairs and reached the baby gate, he was forced back down. We then placed the gate up a few more stairs and continued repeating the process until he came to the top of the stairs and made it back all the way down. After removing the gate completly he would walk up and down the stairs with us. Not shortly after long, he was doing this on his own.

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by DG (Portland, OR)

re: Stairs without Carpeting and Dogs (pet section)-- When my german shephard turned 12, he started to have a tough time going up and down stairs. Unfortunately I moved into a second floor apartment without an elevator, not thinking about how difficult this would be for him. He ended up slipping and falling down the stairs a few times. I tried to solve the problem by putting a towel under his belly to steady him as we both went down the stairs, but he was too heavy and I sometimes lost my grasp. It was a terrible situation and I feel guilty to this day.

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Monadz (Wnc) on 06/22/2010

I live in a converted barn with stairs to living room and all hardwood floors; my St Bernard sometimes slips or needs help going down them as she is also blind. I painted the stair runners and part of landing at top and bottom with a fine white powder used to put in paint or stain that reduces slippery surfaces. It is not noticeable and has helped her alot. I got it at a hardware store in the paint section. Hopes this helps.

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta, Ga) on 06/22/2010

I got my beloved dog Max, who recently passed away at age 16, a mobility harness to help him go up and down stairs during the final months of his life. I had to hunt around online for a medium but saw it in several pet stores in large. Was a very helpful item. I only found out about it after bumping into a man in the parking lot at the grocery store whose 15 year old lab (90 pounds) was wearing one. After I inquired about what she was wearing, he told me it was a lifesaver because she couldn't get up on her own.

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Kay (Knoxville, Tn) on 07/08/2010

I want to second the advice to make sure there is a stable piece of carpet at the bottom of the stairs for old dogs. I have a carpeted stairway in the small house I am renting, but it ends in the entryway which is hardwood. My older dogs can make it up and down the stairs, but in coming downstairs, they seem to rely a lot on gravity and momentum. When there was no carpet on the floor in front of the stairway, their front paws would slip out from under them and their bottom halves/hip would hit the ground hard (I only saw this happen once and then I put an anti-slip entryway carpet down at the bottom of the stairs; I think they had fallen before at times when I just didn't see it happen). Apparently when they were younger dogs, they were more elastic and could twist around quickly and compensate for slipping front paws. As they got older, they couldn't do this anymore. So please do watch your aging pets as they negotiate stairs and do what you can to make sure they don't fall. That last step was a big problem for mine until I saw what was actually happening - even after falling, my dog got right up with his tail wagging and tried to look like it didn't hurt (even though he was limping afterward).

Walks, Food, Learning From Your Pets
Posted by Earth Clinic (USA)

Cesar Milan (aka the Dog Whisperer) has made a number of amazing contributions to the general public's awareness level regarding the needs of dogs. We feel very strongly that one of his most important contributions is drilling people to take their dogs on walks every day! Dogs need to get out and move forward on a regular basis --it's imperative for their well being! Have you ever seen a dog that didn't glow after returning from a walk?!

Someday we hope it will be illegal to keep a dog cooped up in a backyard or inside without taking him or her for a walk at least once a day. In the meantime, California is ever progressive. A few years ago they made it illegal for dogs to be tied up for more than 3 hours at a time [The Tie Out law]. It's a great start!

Walks, Food, Learning From Your Pets
Posted by Swhit (Los Angeles, Ca) on 06/04/2012

Yes, walks everyday are the best if you can do it but, I am a rather dissapointed by this comment of making it illegal. I wonder if you have thought that through.

Dogs are a great source of companionship/healers to the handicapped, mentally disabled, children with life threatening diseases and seniors. Many rescue dogs are taken in by these people. They (for the most part) find it hard to take a dog for a "walk" let alone once a day.

A rescue dog if in a kill shelter is doomed unless someone takes them in. Because they do not get walks every day does not make someone an abuser. There are many professions which require 24hr shifts ie. , doctor, nurse, fireman so there is no way the dog can get a walk every day.

Not all dogs need a walk especially if they have a yard. Small dogs can get enough exercise just playing and people/dogs visiting for socialization. Talking of Cesear - he recommends a treadmill. Then we have people at home sick for the day, flu, food poisoning etc., do they get fined/jailed/animal taken away?

I have a Border Collie, who is high maintence she gets water play, obstacle course and friends coming to play. She would rather play (jumping for the water), ball or new commands/tricks sometimes than go get her leash because BC's need mental stimualtion as well as physcial. She gets 3 days of walks during the week (work schedule) and a full day on Sunday going to the mountains an all day hike, visiting with our family, sheep herding and any other activity that is geared around her. It is her day.

Lastly, ever heard of the Constitution? Think, Educate and not penalize please!

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