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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Open floor plan with laminate wood and ceramic floors - How to handle slippery floors
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22 July 2011 - 10:01 am
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I have a question about floor traction for our dog Capone. The first level of our home is all laminate and ceramic flooring.  There is no way we could cover all of the floors with a non slip surface. Currently, I have an area in our living room sectioned off that is covered with a large area rug to prevent him from slipping.  Also have a carpet mat in place so he can get out the front door without slipping on the laminate floor.  Here is my dilemma... even if I put runners out to areas he needs to wonder.  Prior to surgery he would always seek out an area that is not covered in carpet to lie on the cooler laminate or ceramic floor.  Any other suggestions for getting around this as we can't keep him sectioned off in the LR forever.  I've seen some boots/shoes that have traction -- anyone have experience using these?  Would it be okay to keep them on during the day for indoor use? I've seem a video of Tazzie with something on but it was outside.  


Just looking for some feedback and ways to get him back to his old routine.  He does not like the restrictions. 


Also what about allowing dogs on the couch?  Options and feedback on this -- HE really wants to have couch freedom again 🙂

-Tiffany and Capone

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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22 July 2011 - 10:32 am
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Hey Tiffany,

It's great that he has a spot to hang out on until you figure out what to do, you're a great pawrent for asking this question!

I think you'll find that if you put runners in his favorite path around the house, he will adapt. What we've seen is that when a dog discovers how secure a runner is versus the slippery floors, the dog will almost always prefer to have traction . There will be occasions when they forget and wander off the traction area, but they'll always go back to it once they slide around. Dog's hate that!

Here are some traction ideas for you

Best Traction for Tripawds

No-Slip Floor Ideas for Your Tripawd

Traction on smooth surfaces for the remaining paws

As for the couch....if he doesn't need to jump high up or down it would probably be OK to let him up there. It's the jumping that isn't good for them. A ramp/stairs is always preferable to letting them go it alone. (see: Steps Help Prevent Tripawd Injuries)

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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22 July 2011 - 11:00 am
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I have a set of boots in the Angel Exchange.  You can check to see if they would fit him.  We opted for carpet runners down the major walkways in the house.  Down the hall, to the back door in the kitchen, down the main traffic path through the living/dining, and out the entranceway.  Trouble liked to lay on the tile, too, but she stayed close enough to the runner so that she could scooch over to use it for traction if she needed to.

PM me your address if the boots will fit and you want to give them a try.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Plainfield, Illinois
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14 May 2011
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22 July 2011 - 1:23 pm
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Chili Dawg also seeks out the cold floor on hot days, but he always lays close to wear the rug is in case he needs help up- our main floor is all laminate or ceramic tile.  We have kept Chili's paw fur shaved close so that his pads are always clear- he was embarrassed at first, but now I think he sees there is a benefit in keeping traction .  For the first month we used these foam pads that we put down when our kids were learning how to sit up on their own and walk to protect them from the floors.  Chili was fine with those for the first month, but then he started to avoid them so we picked them up and have gone with runners for his main travel pattern (to the door, to the steps)- we couldn't cover everything- he just goes much slower on the areas that don't have runners and keeping his paws shaved has definitely helped as he rarely ever slips.  The day he climbed up on the couch by himself, was the day I knew he was feeling better.  He climbs on and off the couch himself now.  He did the bed once, but needed help getting off and hasn't been up there since (partly, I think, because it's summer time and he prefers to sleep in front of the box fan on the floor).  We plan on getting him a ramp to the bed come fall time, because he always sleeps by my side on the bed in the fall and winter.

Diagnosed with OSA: 5/2/2011 Ampuversary: 5/11/2011 OSA returned in hip: 8/26/2011
Chili Dawg crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/30/2011 & is now pain free. He was my heart dog, and I miss him every day.

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11 June 2011
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24 July 2011 - 10:17 am
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Our dog has an injury on his paw (thus, the amputation later this week), so I bought the Ruff Wear Grip Trex boot to protect his paw when we are out and about.  I highly recommend them.  If you do purchase them, I would suggest buying the sock liners to go along with them — both the boots and the liners are washable, but the liners seem to hold the boot on better.  We also have the Skyliner model, but I like the Grip Trex better.  Just an opinion.

We also have all-wood floors, so I'm going out today and looking for inexpensive rugs for the transition time.  Thank goodness it's back-to-school time — the discount stores have rugs for dorm rooms at very low costs.  Check those out too.  Not pretty, but do-able in the meantime.

Good luck!

Erica (and Buddy)

Member Since:
12 June 2011
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24 July 2011 - 2:01 pm
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our dog's doing pretty good on our hardwood but gets excited & decides to twirl & dance & jump on her rear leg, like she use to do on 2. She's gone sprawling a few times – might bother me more than it does her 'cause I'm nervous about injuring her remaining rear leg. Anyway, I just ordered the boots & liners – had to get the skyliner model 'cause her feet are too small for the other boot, plus I got sock liners. Here's hoping she'll get use to them easily. I'm guessing she'll immediately try chewing them off…

On The Road

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24 September 2009
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24 July 2011 - 2:33 pm
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mom2gracie said:

I'm guessing she'll immediately try chewing them off…

Thank you for Tripawds Gear Shop your order! Try one boot at a time, or just the liners at first. Make putting htem on fun, with lots of treats and positive reinforcement. Then leave the boots on for short periods before leaving Gracie unattended with them on. Ruff Wear's warranty does not cover chewing! big-blink

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Palm Desert, California
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8 February 2010
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24 July 2011 - 10:20 pm
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Our house is 2,900 sq ft of polished porcelain tile.  We had a few area rugs in some of the rooms, but most were bare tile.  We decided to purchase indoor/outdoor carpet from Home Depot; it comes in 6ft widths, many surfaces & colors and was less than $1 a sq ft.  We installed it in our main hallways, master bath, and portions of the great room/kitchen; our anticipation was with Rusty's prognosis of 1 to 3 years we would just roll it up after it was no longer needed.  I left several open areas where he likes to lay on the tile so that he still has his cool spots.  Another benefit is the ease of cleanup; with all of the Chemo treatments, Rusty's stomach is very sensitive and he has vomited several times.   He usually tries to get to the tile but does not always make it; the indoor/outdoor cleans up without any remaining stain.

Now that Jan is used to walking on the carpet and our friends say that it looks great, we are thinking of keeping it down after Rusty is gone.  He really appreciates the carpet as he and the cat chase each other throughout the house; he still occasionally slips on the carpet but nothing like he would on the tile.  We also have a pool and the deck is completely tiled; I put down the plastic garage floor tiles (open mesh) and he runs around the pool with very few slips.  Again, less than $1 per sq ft and it is much cooler for us to walk on during our torrid summer heat.

Good Luck!  It's impossible to convince them that they need to slow down.


Chuck & Rusty

Rusty is a Labradoodle who was diagnosed with level 3 Fibrosarcoma on January 16th, 2010 and had his left hind leg amputated on January 25th, 2010 five days before his 18 month birthday. Please see Rusty's blog  He is putting up one heck of a fight against this terrible disease.

25 July 2011 - 1:24 pm
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I ordered some Power Paws dog socks over the weekend.  They were shipped today.  I'm hoping we get them very soon.  Capone has walked around a bit on the laminate and ceramic floors over the weekend and done fairy well.  However, I'm not really giving him a chance to lie down on these surfaces yet.  We shall see how things go with the socks and if they don't work I will order the Ruff wear boots and liners.  Plus, getting some runners will more than likely happen iif we don't have any luck with the socks I've ordered.


Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Enjoy your week. 🙂


25 July 2011 - 4:11 pm
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Power Paws worked really well for Isabelle. She runs around fine now on pretty much any surface. Occasionally, I'll still put one on her remaining back foot when she strains a muscle in that leg or is really tired. I I don't know where you live, but I used them outside during the winter on really cold days, because it's difficult for her to lift a frozen paw & balance on two for very long…I sprayed them with a waterproofer, but you have to scuff them up after or they are too slippery.

If you have any problems with the fit, be sure to call, they are excellent about replacing them.

I also, (even prior to her amputation) always keep the bottoms of her feet & between her pads shaved & think it does provide a less slippery surface.

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