Monday, October 29, 2012

Review of Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips for Dogs

When I heard about Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips, which just debuted a couple of months ago, I was so excited to see if they'd work for my German Shorthaired Pointer, Fuji.  He had knee surgery last year, lost a lot of muscle, and never really returned to the way he was.  He also has very bad arthritis in that knee and in his opposite hip.

He is 10 years old, almost 11, and a big boy at around 80lbs.  We had carpet squares on the tile in the house to keep him from slipping. Our younger Jack Russell terrier loves to drag him around by the collar to play with him.  He would slip and slide on the tile from her doing this, and he'd try to run to the carpet to get his footing.  He laid around a lot because getting up was difficult, and he didn't want to risk being dragged down by the JRT.

Before my whole neck thing, I used to be a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP), obviously now that is no bueno for my neck.  I worked with a lot of dogs who had trouble with traction on slippery floors.  The owners and I were always so sad to see them slip and fall.

Shoes were very troublesome since they'd slip off or twist around.  There are some shoes that look like heavy duty balloons, they work, but you can't leave those on all the time or they will make the skin slough off, and you don't want your dog to eat them.  They also don't feel natural to your dog.  From my observations of many of these dogs, they feel some shame and a sense indignation wearing these and other shoes.

No rubber booties

I heard about Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips from the CCRP group.  I went to the website, checked it out, and decided to order some for Fuji.  There's a video on how to get the size for your dog.  It's not based on weight or breed, but on the circumference of the toenails.  Fuji was 23mm, which was in between a large and extra large.  I emailed Dr. Buzby to ask which size we should get.  She told me that she would send a free pair of Large with my order of X-Large so that I could try them out.  Nice!

I got them in the mail, and went to try them on Fuji.  He hates to get his toenails clipped.  Recently we discovered that he doesn't care what we do to him as long as he is eating peanut butter.  You may remember that he is the peanut butter eating champion of San Antonio.

peanut butter licking dog
Peanut Butter Eating Contest Grand Champion Winner in Action
So, I set up Fuji with a plate smeared all over with peanut butter, (the kong got worn out).  I had a little difficulty slipping them on.  The green ones (Large) seemed too tight, so I went with the purple ones (X-Large).  I put some of the lubricant (included) on the grips, then went to putting them on him.  Some went on easier than others.  Some of his toenails are flat vertically, so they were more of a challenge.

After 3 plates (~3 T) of peanut butter, they were all on.  He was hesitant at first on the tile floor.  But after a couple of days, he realized it was ok.  We removed the carpet squares.  He is soooo much happier!  I figured they may help with the slipping, but I didn't realize how much his lack of confidence was affecting him emotionally.

happy dog
Happy Fuji

He smiles a lot more now :).  He gets up when the other dogs get up and run around now.  He's no longer hesitant on the tile.  He even gets up better on the carpeted floors.  He actually plays with the other dogs now, sometimes.  He's still an old man, but he is just all around happier.  I think his muscle tone will improve greatly now that he is actually getting up and down more often and running around.  

He did lose a couple of the purple ones.  I got the green ones to fit.  I think I had just had more practice after doing all the purple ones on how to get them to fit.  So you can see he has multicolored toes.  Fuji really didn't mind having more peanut butter.  Good thing he's not as smart as the JRT, or I think he would lose them on purpose.

Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips
Missing one which I will replace with a green toe grip
He stepped in poop one day, so I had to remove them and clean off his foot, but it was easy to get them off and back on since I now know what I'm doing.

The toe grips don't bother him, and he doesn't try to eat them or take them off.  Granted he's an old and good boy.  On a puppy, not sure.  But they seem to be natural to him which is why I think he doesn't notice them.

He's been wearing the toe grips for about a week now.  If you want to see for yourself how they really work, here's a video of Fuji playing with and being dragged around by our JRT.  No hesitation or loss of traction!  He does slip a little on the front left paw once, but that is also the paw where the grip fell off.  He would NEVER have done this without Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips.

The only minor complaint I would have about them is they are colored by size.  Fuji is a boy, and he is wearing purple toe grips.  Not so much a boy color.  But he doesn't seem to mind.  All the sizes but XL are gender neutral colors.

Dr. Buzby gives free samples to vet clinics, so you can see for yourself how wonderful they are.  Had they been available when I was working, I would have kept many sizes of them in stock.  I probably had at least 5-10 patients on any given day who could have used them.

Dr. Buzby did not pay me to say they were good, or to say the other shoes were bad.  It's all my own opinion.

I am ECSTATIC about Dr. Buzby's Toe Grips.  I give them 5 buttons up!

5 buttons up


Most of the purple/XL ones have fallen off.  I think they were too big.  The green/L ones seem to be staying on.  


  • If your dog is in between a size, use the smaller size.
  • Do NOT cut the toenails before putting on the toe grips.  The point on the nail makes it much easier to slide the toe grip on.  Then you can cut the nails.
  • Use rubbing alcohol instead of included lubricant - they stay on much longer that way.
  • Fuji recommends giving your dog lots of peanut butter during application.

Update 2:

Dr. Buzby wants me to try out superglue to hold the toe grips on.  I told her that I think Fuji's fall off because he's doing so much better and is much more active.  I think the superglue will work, though.  I'll keep you posted!


Fuji has passed away (see blog post).  I let Dr. Buzby know since she was always eager to know how the toe grips were helping Fuji.


Thanks so much for thinking to let me know.  I am so very sorry.  I often reflect on your testimonial with joy because you said that with ToeGrips Fuji "smiled" more.  I know it to be true.  I've seen it myself.  But it blessed me to read the way you expressed it.

Also, there was a discussion a few months back on the boards and someone tried to "bash" ToeGrips.  Another person in the post said that they'd searched the internet and found your testimonial and you had previously done the therapy for their dog and they trusted your opinion implicitly.  I wanted to cheer!

So I owe you and Fuji much for what you did for ToeGrips early on in our company history.  I hope it will bring you some cheer to know that ToeGrips are now being talked about by speakers at major vet conferences, recommended by several vet schools, and were recently written up in Clinician's Brief veterinary journal.  

Please accept my deepest sympathies in your tragic loss.  Fuji will always be a part of our story.



DawgBlogger said...

Interesting, never heard of these before.

Never felt booties were the best idea and was skeptical about the adhesive pads.

Anonymous said...

I recently learned of Toe Grips from my vet. My almost 15-year-old Chow mix needs something like this, so I am going to try them.

Thanks very much for the post and I'm so very sorry for your loss. Fuji was a lucky boy to have you as his family.


Anonymous said...

I too am in Canine Rehabilitation. I have seen a couple dogs come in with them on. I guess I just don't "get it". The toe grips slip OVER the end of the nail, and the ends of the nail are still exposed, so the slippery part is still touching the floor. I know that one of my patients had them placed on her dog at another facility. The owner didn't see the difference and when so many of them fell off, she made the decision not to replace them.
I would LOVE to believe in this product; but I just do not see how it keeps a dog from slipping with the uncovered part of the nail is what still touches the floor.

MuttNut said...

The toe grips may have not been on properly. They don't slide all the way to the paw pad, they're sort of in the middle between the toe nail tip and the paw pad. They work by adding more traction when walking. So it's like instead of the paw's grip ending at the pad, it goes further to grip at the nail as well (not the tip)to prevent sliding, like little brakes. Dr. Buzby's website has a lot of videos to explain it. But they work phenomenally well. She will also stress that they must be used on dogs that are not that active, such as injured or senior dogs. They do fall off, but the time they are on there is absolutely worth the effort.

Miss Pat said...

Loved the story of Fuji, Happy to hear ur story helped. I felt as of i knew Fuji, when i read he had passed i cried. Ur family was lucky to have such a good boy. God bless u!!

MuttNut said...

Miss Pat, Fuji was such a good, sweet boy. We miss him every day. He was such a positive energy in our lives.

Rob & Marco said...

I purchased these toe grips for my 13 year old Golden Retriever, who is a Companion Animal and comes with me to 10-15 nursing homes every month. I do a sing-along and he goes from person-to-person to put a smile on their faces. Before Toe Grips he had a terrible time with elevators and slippery floors, and after he's much better. I too have had issues with them falling off, but I'm ordering them again.......and maybe I'll try to superglue this time! Anything that can make Marcus happier and smile more is worth it in my book!

MuttNut said...

I'm so glad they're making Marcus happier :). They really do work. Yes, they fall off, but putting them back on is worth the 180 emotional change they get from regaining their confidence. Go Marcus!

Anonymous said...

They are great for my 10 yr old Weimeraner, but yes it's great to see his confidence return but at what expense. He constantly looses them, I have tried XL & XXL, the XXL are best but he only had them on 4 hours & lost 9 in the garden. Do I seriously have to take them off every time he goes out for a pee. they cost £30 a pack so at that price I can not afford to replace them again. I was told to try super gluing them on but his nails get cut every 5 weeks as they grow so fast so then I will still have to replace them every nail clipping week . Can't someone come up with a cheaper solution for our dogs well being...

Anonymous said...

After making contact regarding my problem above Dr Julie kindly sent me some different size nail grips. It seems I have been using the wrong size & that is why I was having problems with them staying on . Also use some alcohol dabbed on nails first & soak them in boiling water first to soften them a bit then they go on much better . I have been advised to use super glue too,i will let you know how I get on .

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip on this. I saw a flyer for ToeGrips at my vet's office, did a google search to get more information, and stumbled upon your review. I took a chance (not a big one, they were $30). My vet helped size them for us. We used the rubbing alcohol trick to get them on. They stayed on our 15 yo very well for about 3.5 weeks, when they started falling off due to stretching and wear (as they wear out, we just replace them). I was also skeptical because my dog does not like stuff around his feet, but once they were on, he paid ZERO attention to them. They have cut down his slipping on our hard wood floors by about 80%, so he is not only more confident going from area rug to area rug, but he is also much safer moving around the house. He does not like them going on, but it only takes 10 seconds per nail, and he gets paid with hugs, kisses, and peanut butter so he tolerates it. Thanks very much for the detailed review.

MuttNut said...

I'm so happy they're working out for you!

Rick said...

I have a 75 pound Pointer mix that is high energy, especially on our hardwood floors. Do these seem to help with scratching of the floor as well as stability for the dog? Also, what is everyone's experiences with dogs going in and out with them on? We live in the south and have wonderful red clay all around so I was wondering if there was much drag in with them?

Thanks in advance for any input!

MuttNut said...

As Dr. Buzby will tell you, these are not meant for active dogs. They are meant for old guys and those who can't get around too easily. They will fall off on an active dog, and you will lose them in the yard. They don't really help with scratching the floor either since they don't cover the whole nail, they just help to grip. But if your dog ever has any issues with stability on floors due to age or injury, these are your best bet!

Unknown said...

I have a dog de Bordeaux who has ivdd. He is very weak in the legs and slips on the wood floor. He also struggles to push himself up and slides about. I can't afford an operation but am trying to help him all I can. He's on meds. I think the toe grips might help him but I am concerned that if he loses one he will need a full new pack to replace it which I can't afford Any advice?

Unknown said...

This is a video of Reggie. Please share it to gain support for him. Thankyou.

MuttNut said...

Hi Analiese,
Reggie is sooooooo cute! I'm definitely a cheapskate, so I can relate to the expense of them. However, they made such a big difference in Fuji's life, they were worth every penny. They do come with a couple extra to a pack, and your dog doesn't have to wear them on all toes to get some benefit out of them. If I were you, I'd buy a pack (properly fitted size) and try them out. Definitely check out Dr. Buzby's site for tips on how to size and keep them on.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I am using these on my 16 yr old Golden Retriever and they are amazing. They gave her dignity back immediately and I am now ordering a second pair. She has had the first pair for about 3 months and while she has most of them, I think they are just worn. We have lost some of them but I think they are coming off because she is really working to get and stand up. Had she not been wearing these, there would certainly be more muscle atrophy but she is doing much of the work to stand on our wood floors. I had been helping her get up and doing most of the work but once I put the Toe Grips on her, she took over most of the work and I just give gentle support. I have tried pads on her feet but they just don't stay on. The Grips are such a simple but effective solution.

MuttNut said...

@Anonymous, I'm so happy to hear that your pup is getting her groove back! I know that was one thing about Fuji, he had gotten depressed and scared because he didn't trust his footing anymore. I sure do miss that boy. Enjoy your time with your girl!

Unknown said...

I see that many use the toe grips.on older dogs. I have a 1 yr old lab mix who has many issues with flooring. I wonder if this will help his confidence on such floors and maybe only used to get him over his fear... thoughts? Ideas?
Cindi and Teagen

MuttNut said...

@Cindi, Dr. Buzby herself will tell you that Toe Grips are not for puppies. And unless yours is unlike every other 1 yr old lab (mix) and full of energy, Toe Grips will fall off. They're meant to be used by slow movers like the elderly and injured. You could try them if your pup is very calm, but I'm pretty sure that they'll fall off. If I were you, I'd put down some area rugs and wait until he gets a little older. Also encourage him and make him feel happy when he braves the slippery floors. Fuji slip slided all over the place because he was awkward in his lanky body his first years.

Unknown said...

We have a 17 year old American Eskimo pup he likes to follow me everywhere lol he thinks he us getting food . because his dad used to feed him all the time his back legs give out a great deal tried to messes not having much luck . any idea what size he might be .

MuttNut said...

@Ranada Janos, Dr. Buzby has a video on her website somewhere about how to choose which size for your dog. If it's in between sizes, go with the smaller size.

Anonymous said...

My friend in Dallas uses the toe grips for her little dog who's older & having trouble gripping on the wood floors. Tomorrow we take our 8&1/2 y/o girl for total knee replacement so I wanted to check out how her dog is doing with them. As I'm about to look at the site to order I noticed your blog & I'm already sold! Bella is a GSP, 68 lbs, we also have a 5 y/o 75lb GSP, & a 10 month GSP, it's a busy house, to top it off...we're in San Antonio too! Looking forward to helping Bella feel confident right from the get go! Thank you for your post.
So sorry you lost your Fuji, but so glad you found the toe grips for your fur baby to be happy!

MuttNut said...

A house full of GSPs must be a house full of love! I sure do miss our boy! I didn't know they did total knee replacements. Is she getting a TPLO maybe? Where are you getting the surgery done? Just curious. Checkout my other post about homemade pill pockets to help with after surgery pills.

Anonymous said...

I just left my dog's massage therapist and we purchased the XL toe grips and they put them on my GSD at the clinic. I stopped on the way home to pick up some super glue to glue them in place, but I am already seeing my guy slipping way less and it's been an hour! I am very hopeful. He is only 5yrs old, has arthritis and has to wear an orthotic, so his slipping back legs just weren't helping and making his hips quite tight. I am still looking to get a carpet runner to cover part of my tile floor for him, but if these can help I will be beyond happy! Fingers crossed.
I will need help getting the super glue under the grips, so calling a friend later.

Unknown said...

Thank you for you honest opinion Becky. I'm going to the vet and have some put on Toby tomorrow. He's a golden doodle is as sweet as can be. He's only 7 yrs old and it makes me so sad to see him struggle and slip on the floor. Thank you to Dr. Buzby for this chance for hope to help Toby live a better life.

Pam - Ohio

MuttNut said...

Aww! I know Toby will feel much better when he can feel more confident about his step. Fuji sure did!

Denise Fountain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Fountain said...

Denise FountainAugust 28, 2016 at 10:46 AM
I just came across the reviews for Toegrips, and they sound like they will be helpful for our sweet 12 year old lab. She's having trouble getting up from the hardwood floors, and has arthritis. We still walk (a 40 minute mile, but that's okay) a bit. Will the grips stay on for short walks outside? They sound ideal. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Love the comments regarding large dogs. I have a Yorkie weighing in at 8 lbs. Has anyone tried these on a small dog? Thanks

Hibeamiz said...

I just heard about these yesterday when my veterinary daycare put some on my lil 14 year old Siberian Husky and they are working wonderfully!
I loved your short video but am so sorry about your story's ending. It's never easy to lose our fur babies but it sounds like he had a full and happy life with such a wonderful caring family. Hugs

jamie said...

thank you for this blog .. i have 2 rescue dogs.marley 8 yr terrier mix recently is going downhill with his battle of seizures. our other girl isa is an active hound mix and slips and slides all over the laminate flooring. we come to believe that our marley is getting frightened of all the noise that isa makes when she runs around the house. she has already attacked marley 3 times when he has seizure. we don't want to separate them or carpet the whole house .. so i am looking for any solutions to make her paws a little quieter or help her from sliding and slipping around in excitement. reading your review, i definitely am going to order these to try out. marley is also having a hard time walking around as he is losing his balance a lot easier so i want to try them on him as well. anything is worth the try. thank you so much for taking the time to share and i am so sorry to hear about your loss which was a while ago .. but i'm sure that you he had a wonderful life with such caring owners... our fur babies are such important family members too that need our love. thank you!

sassybuna said...

We have a 12 yo Golden Mix who was recently diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. I've been trying all sorts of supplements and different diets thinking it was arthritis without much success. He slowed down a lot, seemed depressed at times and often splayed out on our laminate floor and couldn't get up. I tried some non-slip hospital socks on him and he immediately perked up and could easily walk. But he's outdoors all days so didn't think he'd tolerate "shoes" well. I stumbled across Dr Buzby's Toe Grips and tried them. They've been on a couple weeks and I have a kid again! He also "smiles" more and seems unphased by getting up and frolicking with the cats. He also is on a NSAID med which may also be helping but really think the grips have made his senior years much easier on him. Two dew claws UP!