ToeGrips 101—the solution to dog slipping
How to Select, Apply and Remove ToeGrips
How to Maintain Your ToeGrips for Longer Performance
Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
Question About Ordering ToeGrips
Miscellaneous Questions About ToeGrips
How ToeGrips Prevent Your Dog from Sliding on Floors
Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips are natural rubber rings that slide onto a dog’s weight-bearing toenails, adhere by friction, and give instant traction to senior, arthritic, and special needs dogs. They contact the floor at the GripZone™, where the nonslip material of the ToeGrip grips the floor in a way that the dog’s hard nail cannot.
Dogs’ toenails were designed to dig into earthen terrain, like cleats. Their hard toenails can’t grip hardwood floors, tile, linoleum, etc. ToeGrips provide instant traction for dogs on these surfaces. Visit our How it Works page for more details.
YES! When used as directed, ToeGrips work very well, if not miraculously. However, ToeGrips are not the right product for every dog. If you order ToeGrips and find that they don’t help your dog as expected, our conscientious customer care team will work with you to solve the problem. We stand behind our product 100%! Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Immerse 16 ToeGrips in isopropyl alcohol. Apply wet, using the alcohol as a lubricant. Illustrated directions are printed inside each package. Please keep in mind that ToeGrips must create the GripZone to enable traction. Correct placement is critical for success.
ToeGrips will need to be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on the dogs size, environment, and gait. The more abnormal your dogs gait, the faster ToeGrips will wear.
ToeGrips are made of a specially engineered material which contains natural rubber latex.
Applying ToeGrips with isopropyl alcohol facilitates application, helping the snug-fitting ToeGrips slide onto your dog’s toenails. Also, isopropyl alcohol does not affect the ToeGrips, and quickly dries.
Yes. While an occasional ToeGrip may come off and need to be replaced, the grips stay on well in the dogs for whom they are intended. If they do not stay on well, they’re likely sized incorrectly. See sizing information starting with Question 12. ToeGrips are not intended for healthy, active dogs.
ToeGrips were designed for slipping dogs, specifically senior, rehabilitating, and special needs dogs who are less able to compensate on hard-surface flooring. They are not intended for healthy, active dogs.
No, ToeGrips are a bio-mechanical solution to a bio-mechanical problem. ToeGrips are safe to use with medications and supplements, and not meant to replace them. Never stop any medication without first consulting your veterinarian.
ToeGrips are not appropriate or necessary for young dogs due to their active lifestyles and inherent stability.
However, ToeGrips may be helpful for younger dogs on a case by case basis, such as during rehabilitation after surgery.
We currently wholesale exclusively through veterinary healthcare professionals.
How to Select, Apply and Remove ToeGrips
Measuring your dog’s nails is essential for correct sizing. We recommend that you trim your dog’s nails before measuring and/or applying ToeGrips to ensure that you select the correct size. View our Measuring Instructions here or click here to watch a video tutorial.
Properly sized for your dog’s nails, ToeGrips should fit snugly and rest in the GripZone. If your dog’s ToeGrips fall off within the first couple days or ride up the nail, they are most likely too big.
They simply adhere by friction, which means they magically stay in place thanks to the laws of physics. Typically no adhesive is used. This is why the grips must fit snugly, since they only attach by mechanical interference.
Dogs with proprioceptive deficits will likely pull off ToeGrips; however, ToeGrips may be beneficial for neurologic patients because they provide proprioceptive stimulus. ToeGrips may be affixed to the nails with super glue if necessary.
- If your dog is no longer slipping on your floors, the ToeGrips are most likely in the proper position.
- ToeGrips must contact the ground to provide traction.
- Each ToeGrip must rest in the GripZone, as illustrated here.
- Positioned incorrectly, the ToeGrip won’t create the GripZone.
- A ToeGrip should never sit high enough on the nail shaft to contact the nail bed—where the nail meets the skin—as this can cause harm.
- If your dog’s toenails are excessively long, the ToeGrip may be prevented from creating the GripZone, contacting the floor, and providing traction. Please see our Nail Trimming section starting with Question 43.
- If your dog has excessively furry paws, the hair may interfere with the ToeGrips’ ability to do their work, and should be addressed.
We recommend applying ToeGrips to all 16 weight-bearing nails, but some dogs can thrive with ToeGrips on only the eight back nails, such as a dogs’ recovering from cruciate ligament repair.
No, that is not necessary or appropriate.
This would be optimal. Dr. Buzby is a passionate advocate of trimming dog’s nails at least monthly. If the nails are too long, this may interfere with the ToeGrips ability to create the GripZone.
If you can work with your dog’s feet despite his/her objections, then you should be fine. If you can’t handle your dog’s paws, realistically you will not be able to apply ToeGrips by yourself.
If you know your dog is going to be difficult to work with, we recommend the following:
- Start with a tired dog – apply the grips after a long walk or play session.
- Enlist a competent assistant to help distract and restrain your dog.
- Be prepared for the job. Watch our instructional videos in advance.
- Approach the task with an assertive, calm attitude.
Work in your dog’s comfort zone, but keep in mind that it is often best to lie a dog down on his/her side to work with the nails. The assistant would then restrain and distract the dog and help stabilize each leg as you are working with that paw.
If you are unable or unwilling to work with your dog’s paws, you won’t be able to measure for, or apply, Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips. In this case, consider asking your veterinary office if their staff is willing to help. ToeGrips are sold by hundreds of veterinary hospitals worldwide.
It is unlikely, but possible. Even if your dogs nails do not touch the ground when standing, ToeGrips may still work, because the nails usually interface with the ground differently in stride than at rest. But, if your dog’s nails do not contact the ground when he/she is gaiting, then the ToeGrips on those short nails can’t provide traction. But don’t change a thing—short nails are optimal for healthy posture and gait!
ToeGrips are appropriate for the vast majority of dogs’ nails, even when trimmed as short as possible. See Question #36 for more information on the importance of short nails.
Our priority is that Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips adhere to the maxim, “Above all do no harm.” We have carefully selected and tested every dimension of Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips. The wall thickness was chosen to minimally interfere with the way the toenail naturally interfaces with the ground. And the ToeGrip lengths were designed to be long enough to remain in place on the nail, while short enough to avoid the nail bed—where the nail meets the skin. Therefore, the lengths are appropriate for most dogs. It would be very unusual for you to need to modify the length.
If your dog has very short nails (particularly the hind nails), you may feel that a ToeGrip is too long for the nail. If that is the case, most likely your dog’s nails are too short for ToeGrips. Keep in mind that if the ToeGrips don’t touch the ground, they cannot provide traction. See Question #20 for more information on using ToeGrips on short nails. Please contact us for more information: email@example.com.
Removal is a quick and easy process. Simply contact the grip with a fingernail/fingertip and pull downward while stabilizing the toe with the other hand. The grip will just pop off.
Please click here to watch the 1-minute video: “How to Remove Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips”.
Like any product used on an animal, ToeGrips should be used under supervision. Visually inspect the grips daily to make sure they’re in place and in good condition. This should only take a few seconds. Be certain each ToeGrip rests in the GripZone, just behind the bottom of the nail tip. Periodic adjustments to positioning may be needed. Rarely, if neglected, ToeGrips may shift into the nail bed or irritate and adjacent toe and cause harm. Monitor your dogs ToeGrips daily for safety and success.
No, ToeGrips are not affected by water. We do recommend removing and cleaning the grips immediately after your dog goes to the beach. Salt water may fade the grips, and sand could get between the grip and the nail, which would be abrasive.
ToeGrips are made from natural, biodegradable material that will wear over time.
By removing the ToeGrips, you can fully inspect your dog’s toenails, clean the grips, replace those that are badly worn, and reapply the grips that are less than 20% worn. See question #34 for cleaning instructions.
When reapplying the used ToeGrips that are still in good condition, you will have rotated them (like car tires), and this will extend their lifespan.
No. Vaseline®, olive oil, and soaps can react with the ToeGrip material and should not be used. While we recommend using isopropyl alcohol, you can use a water-based lubricant or just water.
Yes, trimming any long hair around your dog’s pads/toes is essential to success with ToeGrips. If the ToeGrips contact the hair before they contact the floor, the hair will act like a slipper preventing the ToeGrip from providing traction. It may be safest to have a groomer do this for you, so that you don’t accidentally cut your dog.
Is the dog too active to keep ToeGrips on? ToeGrips were designed for slipping senior, rehabilitating, and special needs dogs. They are not intended for active dogs.
Does the dog have proprioceptive deficits? Dogs who drag the paws will pull the ToeGrips off. ToeGrips can be affixed on the nails with super glue, but without glue, ToeGrips are quickly popped off by the dragging motion.
Is the dog a tripawd? As they compensate in posture and gait, three-legged dogs exert abnormal forces on their legs and paws. As a general rule, ToeGrips don’t stay on as well for tripawds, but super glue is the simple solution.
Does the dog have the correct size ToeGrips? Measuring is critical to success. Sized incorrectly—either too big or too small—ToeGrips won’t stay on.
Have you applied ToeGrips correctly? The tip of the toenail must protrude through the grip, consistent with this GripZone diagram:
Did you use too much lube in application? Our former packaging contained water-soluble lubricant to facilitate sliding the ToeGrips onto the nails. Applying with lubricant is still acceptable; however, if too much is used, the ToeGrips become slippery to work with and more likely to fall off.
Our current packaging recommends using isopropyl/rubbing alcohol as the lubricant. The alcohol does not make the ToeGrips slippery to handle, and quickly evaporates. And because the dried alcohol leaves no residue, ToeGrips stay in place longer and more consistently.
Is the dog losing ToeGrips on rugs/carpet or in the backyard? ToeGrips can be yanked off if a dog is active on rough-textured surfaces, such as sisal rugs, plush carpeting, or turf.
If the ToeGrips are new, this problem is because they are too large. Please measure or re-measure and consult the sizing chart.
If you’re having this problem and the ToeGrips are more than a few weeks old, it could be that they have worn out on the bottom and this has widened the internal diameter of the ToeGrips, making them loose. Remove the ToeGrips and inspect carefully. Replace as needed.
Finally, dirt or sand may accumulate between the nails and the grips, which can loosen their hold on the nail. Remove all the ToeGrips and clean the grips and the dog’s nails, then reapply. See Question #40 for cleaning suggestions.
Yes, sometimes a dog will lose a ToeGrip here or there. This is normal. We supply enough ToeGrips for four paws (16 toenails) plus four spare grips, so you can replace as needed.
If they begin to pop off within hours to days of application, they’re likely sized incorrectly.
But if they initially stayed on well and later are popping off, you have a different issue. Dirt or sand may accumulate between the nails and the grips, which can loosen their hold on the nail. Remove all the ToeGrips and clean the grips and your dog’s nails, then reapply. See Question #34 for cleaning suggestions.
We’ve observed that dogs will maintain adequate grip with as few as 2-3 grips per paw, but we advise that all 4 weight bearing toes have ToeGrips in place for best results.
How to Maintain Your ToeGrips for Longer Performance
Remove ToeGrips weekly for cleaning and reapplication. By removing and reapplying, like rotating your car’s tires, the grips will wear in a more even pattern and last much longer, up to three to four months.
ToeGrips can be cleaned with water or rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs. Do not use any type of detergent.
No, once a ToeGrip is worn more than 20% through the length of the grip, it loses its integrity. This means that it can stretch and red of the nail. Also, it is no longer providing the traction that your dog needs.
The ToeGrips pictured were worn for six weeks and never checked. This dog had significant neurologic and orthopedic issues, which decreases the grips lifespan based on the dog’s gait.
Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
Yes, ToeGrips are not a substitute for appropriate nail care. Proper nail care is one of the most important things you can do for your dog, and one of the most overlooked areas of pet preventative health maintenance.
- Dogs in the wild have very short nails. They run, climb, and dig, and are constantly on uneven terrain. Our domesticated canine companions spend the majority of their lives on our flat, smooth floors, and on our couches and beds. Consequently, their nails grow very long.
- When a dog’s nails grow too long, they contact the ground at unnatural angles and place abnormal forces into the toes. This impacts the dog’s proprioception (the body’s awareness of where it is in space). This dog’s posture/stance will deteriorate and stride/gait will also change for the worse.
- If your dog is wearing ToeGrips but his/her toenails are excessively long, the ToeGrips may be prevented from creating the GripZone, contacting the floor, and providing traction.
Appropriate nail care will drastically improve your dog’s posture and gait and even improve slipping, to some degree. See our Dog Nail Care page for more information on the importance of proper nail.
It wouldn’t be our recommendation. Sometimes trimming the nail through the grip results in a hook at the bottom of the nail that prevents the ToeGrip from resting in the GripZone. Also, pulling the ToeGrips down into the GripZone after the nail trim is much more challenging than pushing them into proper position when applying. See Question #15 for more information on positioning.
Dog’s nails should be trimmed every 3-6 weeks, depending on how they grow and wear. See our Dog Nail Care page for specific guidance. Dremeling is an alternative to nail trimming and can be done even more frequently.
If your dog’s feet are full of mud, dirt or sand, we recommend bathing with dog shampoo and water. But for a quick polish of reasonably clean nails, simply wiping them down with a damp cloth should be sufficient.
Questions About Ordering ToeGrips
Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips are sold through this website and at hundreds of veterinary hospitals worldwide. Click HERE to find ToeGrips near you.
Buy with confidence! We want you to love your ToeGrips and we want them to fit your dog! Please see Question #12 to accurately size your dog prior to purchase. When purchasing Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips, you have access to expert product support, and receive a guaranteed product. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, you have 60 days from the date of purchase to contact our Customer Care Team for a return authorization. You will be instructed to return any remaining product in the original packaging for a complete refund of your product purchase (less S&H). Click here to contact us.
Yes! We have shipped ToeGrips around the world. All duty taxes are the responsibility of the receiver. For questions regarding shipping please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The material we use in manufacturing is processed to minimize the proteins that cause latex reactions. However, we advise avoiding the product if you are allergic to natural rubber latex.
Our packaging carries the warning: “Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips contain natural rubber latex, which may cause an allergic reaction in people.” Latex allergy is not a reported problem for our canine companions.
If you’ve purchased the product and you’re allergic to latex, contact us at email@example.com to return your unopened ToeGrips for a refund.
Miscellaneous Questions About ToeGrips
We want owners to be aware that if a ToeGrip is dropped or pops off their dog’s nail and they have small children, it could be a choke hazard.
Not at this time. We want to stress that ToeGrips are a therapeutic device and not a fashion accessory. We intentionally don’t sell ToeGrips in neutral shades, because we feel so strongly about owners monitoring this product on their dog’s toes. Our colors makes that easier to do and harder to overlook.
ToeGrips are non-toxic and theoretically small enough to pass through your dog’s gastrointestinal tract uneventfully. We’ve never received a complaint regarding harm to a dog caused by ingesting ToeGrips. However, please use ToeGrips responsibly and under supervision. If you have concerns about an ingestion incident, please contact your veterinarian.
Unlike nail beds, dog’s nail tips are not a common place for bacterial, fungal or yeast infections. We recommend that the ToeGrips be periodically removed, cleaned and the nails inspected, as a precaution. See Question #34. Properly applied and monitored, infection of the nail itself should not occur.
We have not yet tested ToeGrips on ice or snow. However, we have received testimonials that ToeGrips do help on ice and snow.
Because of the anatomy and design of cats’ claws, ToeGrips are not suitable for feline paws.
We have had one report of ToeGrips causing an obstruction in a four pound kitten that had eaten at least six Labrador-sized ToeGrips. While this this is a rare scenario, we recommend that you keep the ToeGrips out of reach of cats and other animals.