BEAUFORT, S.C., Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dogs love lying on cold floors and homeowners love the look of hardwood and tile, but according to Dr. Julie Buzby, veterinarian and animal acupuncturist, dogs weren't designed to live on hard-surface flooring.
"Dogs engage their toenails to gain traction," Buzby explains. "When slipping or sliding, a dog will flex his toes and dig in his nails. This is the perfect design for acquiring traction on earthen terrain; on hard-surface flooring, however, this only makes the slipping and struggling worse."
Slipping is hard on dogs' joints and increases the risk of injury. Many veterinarians emphasize that it can be an emotionally traumatic experience as well.
"Fear is real for many senior or disabled dogs who live on hard-surface floors," Buzby says. "Owners of struggling dogs recognize this fear, but until now there hasn't been an effective solution for dogs slipping on hardwood and tile."Buzby developed Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips for Dogs, which she describes as "a biomechanical solution to a biomechanical problem." ToeGrips are natural rubber rings that slide on to dogs' nails, adhere by friction, and provide traction and confidence for senior, disabled, and rehabilitating dogs. Dr. Lee Gregory, an emergency/critical care veterinarian who is also certified in acupuncture and rehabilitation, uses ToeGrips on Winnie, her own 13-year-old Shar Pei mix. Winnie experienced two neurologic episodes that left her with balance deficits. In addition, her vision was worsening. This combination caused Winnie to become fearful. "Fear affects her mobility," Gregory explains, "and also translates to every part of her life. Veterinary professionals have come to recognize how fear can ruin a dog's life." The enhanced mobility Winnie has with ToeGrips made her emotional state better too. Gregory noted, "She is still affected by her loss of vision, but I can say that she is a better dog with her restored balance. I would say that if you want to teach an old dog new tricks, help it to engage in movement. ToeGrips do this. ToeGrips are truly a breakthrough for canine geriatric medicine."