We received Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips to try with senior dogs in our circle that have exhibited mobility issues. Receipt of products and monetary compensation do not impact the content of our writeup. Our opinions are our own, and are an accurate representation of our experience.
Dogs communicate feelings of fear, trepidation, unease, and pain differently from humans. It’s up to us, as their caretakers to be willing and able to notice the signs of discomfort and to help in any way possible to ease their suffering. While both Bean and Yoda are still spry, we have recently spoken with the owners of senior dogs that have encountered some mobility hiccups for varying reasons, which have lead to visible stress and discomfort. It was for this reason that I was happy to have a chance to connect with Dr.Buzby while attending BlogPaws. Dr. Buzby is the developer of an innovative product that is literally changing the lives of dogs with mobility issues - ToeGrips.
The reasons why a dog’s mobility is impaired can vary from animal to animal. A variety of dog types, not just senior dogs, may have conditions that impact their ability to gain traction on hard surfaces, like tile and hardwood floors. In addition to elderly dogs, animals with neurological impairments, three-legged dogs and dogs that are in wheelchairs may benefit from a tool that can enhance their ability to regain traction.
I hope you’ve never witnessed the following scene. I, unfortunately, have. A dog you know, and love, who used to bound into a room with a flurry of fur and a ball that needs tossing, now gingerly crosses the threshold. You can see that they are uncomfortable and are unsure of their footing. Their owner states “Fluffy had a fall last week,” and now you realize why the previously carefree pup is so uneasy. In an effort to help the dog maneuver, throw rugs are acquired, and spread throughout the house. Even so, the dog seems uncomfortable and the owner admits that there were spills even after this precaution had been made.
This is the story with my sister-in-law’s senior Rhodesian Ridgeback named Masie. Masie and Bean have always been the best of friends! Romping in the backyard and chewing sticks, we affectionately refer to them as Scooby and Scrappy Doo (Bean is scrappy, of course)! Now, after a wonderful and long life, Masie has slowed down. She has also had two separate surgeries for torn hind ACL’s. The family moved to a new home with stairs, and lots of hardwood flooring. While Masie is still confident with her footing while spending time on grass, she slows and is visibly uncomfortable in the home.
After speaking with Dr.Buzby, we determined the correct size ToeGrips to try on Masie, and I set to apply them when we were together this past weekend. The ToeGrips come in a variety of color coded sizes. To measure the correct size, you can mark a piece of string, we used dental floss, and by wrapping it around the middle of a nail and marking where the two ends cross (see illustration). Measuring this distance (toenail circumference) is how you determine correct sizing.
Once you know the right size, simply place the ToeGrips in rubbing alcohol. It helps to slide the grips on to the nail. If your dog is comfortable with having their paws and toes touched for nail trimming, this process shouldn’t be difficult. Even so, I treated Masie with some high value treats and praised her along the way so she associated the process with a positive experience.
I noticed, immediately, that Masie’s nails were too long. In order for the ToeGrips to help dogs with traction, they need to make contact with the surface. If nails are too long, they will not connect with the floor, thus defeating the point of the grips. I trimmed her nails as I went along, and she seemed perfectly content.
As soon as the grips were applied, her dad called her into the kitchen for a treat. She took a couple steps, and seemed to realize that she had more “grip” and moved more confidently into the kitchen. She literally moved too quickly after that point for me to take a decent video! That, is truly amazing! For the rest of the afternoon, she played with Bean inside, and out and looked much more sure of her footing! Masie also went swimming that afternoon, and all of the ToeGrips stayed in place. If you’re curious, they typically last between one to three months!
The report since last weekend has been overwhelmingly positive. Masie is more energetic and has gone up and down the hardwood stairs without an issue. She plays more enthusiastically with their two young daughters. In short, the product has been life changing for her and her family!
If you have a dog who you feel would benefit from the use of Dr.Buzby’s ToeGrips, I recommend you visit her website to learn more about the product and to place an order. Because of the nature of the product, and the individual needs of each animal, Dr. Buzby feels strongly that education should be a part of the purchase process. As a result, you can purchase the ToeGrips directly from the Dr.Buzby ToeGrips website or from a veterinary wholesale partner, which can be found through this page of their site.
We are offering an opportunity for a reader to win a set of ToeGrips for their senior dog or dog with mobility issues. Please use the widget below to enter. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 24th.