In Hong Kong’s hot and humid weather, we all enjoy nice smooth floors in our homes, easy to clean and easy to walk on! Unfortunately, most of these floorings prove to be very slippery for dogs. Some floors like marble can feel like trying to walk on an ice-skating rink every day, which can be a huge pain (literally) and quite frankly scary, not to mention difficult to stand up for many senior pets.
Dogs and humans have very different foot anatomy for walking. Humans walk with our heel on the ground, leaving a large and secure footprint. The dog, however, walks with its heel (or hock) off the ground- which is just like us walking on tippy-toes. The anatomy helps them to move faster but to do so they rely heavily on their good strong toenails to grip and ding into the ground and propel them forward. (Take a moment to watch your dog stand- they roll their toes forward and dig their nails into the surface…..unless of course there’s nothing to dig into!). Therefore, they can walk, trot and run perfectly on rough terrains such as rocky, grassy or sandy roads, but not so easily on smooth flooring. For young healthy dogs, it can be challenging but still manageable, as they learn to adapt to our smooth world. Often it proves to be too difficult for our senior, arthritic or special needs dogs.