I want to talk about possible home hazards today, and things that we can do to make the recovery process smoother for our dogs. The first thing that I want to discuss is slippery floors. Our poor dogs trying to walk on slippery floors can have a real challenge. They are usually digging in those nails, slipping, and can cause a real injury. Commonly we see groin sprains, muscle tears, and even CCL tears from this. Even with a brace on, they could injure the other leg, so it is a really good idea to cover those slippery floors for our dogs who are injured. You can also separate the carpeted area from the slippery part with child gates or something to block them from walking on the slick floor. Then you can leash walk them very gently through that slick area.
Another thing to do is put carpet down, with runners on the bottom. This is usually the easiest, and gives your pup a pathway that they can go from room to room.
Also, there is a great product called Dr. Busby’s Toe grips. These actually go onto the dog’s toenails, and give them full traction for slick floors. This way they can go through the house without worry, and will keep them from slipping and sliding. You can try dog shoes or boots, but usually dog’s don’t like having something around the foot area. Toenails they usually don’t mind, but the foot pad is sensitive.
Another hazard we see is staircases. When your dog is going up the stairs, they are using those back legs to push off. It is really important, if you don’t have a brace yet, to use a sling to help your dog up the stairs. Going down the stairs is not as big of a deal, as they are using more of their front legs, but I would still like to have either a sling, or a leash, to make sure they are taking things slowly.
Lastly, let’s talk about dog doors. If your dog has free access to going outside with a dog door, please block this off during the recovery process. You can also fence off a small area in the grass, so they only have a small area to go to, but trying to go through the door with a brace on is not a good idea. I know they are convenient, especially when we are gone, but please don’t let a dog have access during the day with their brace on, or injury could result.
Again, please let us know if you have any questions, we are happy to help!