As I’m sure every other pet owner can relate to, we have our share of little issues around here that ideally, there is an easy fix for. With two senior dogs now in the house attempting to walk on slippery floors, everyone’s annoying scooting dog bowl, and an out-of-the-ordinary number of car trips to the vet this year, those little issues started adding up. Fortunately, I came up with a cost-effective and easy solution to all of them.
The slippery floor dilemma
Unfortunately, for both Abby and Lacey, the hardwood and vinyl floors are posing more problems for them now that they are both getting up in years. Lacey has super hairy feet that she will only sometimes let me partially trim, which makes getting any sort of grip and maneuvering on the hardwood and vinyl flooring difficult for her. Abby, who has two large lipomas in her chest and armpit area, causing her to walk with her front right leg kicked out, also has trouble navigating those hard surfaces without slipping.
While I had a couple of spare rugs that I put down to try to make a bridge on the hardwood floor between the two carpeted rooms in the dogs’ more heavily traveled area and around a corner that was giving them trouble, there is just too much area to completely cover the floor.
Rugs are expensive and with six cats at that time who found anything new on the floor too enticing to be ignored, causing the dogs to avoid using them, I still needed a good solution.
One day it came to me that maybe that rubber shelf and drawer lining that keeps your silverware and dishes from sliding could be our answer. I looked online, but not knowing if it would work and the need to be extremely frugal in my spending, I decided to try to find some locally that might be cheaper and would give me a chance to see if my idea would even work.
While the selection of size and color was very limited, I was able to pick up some shelf and drawer liner to try at the local dollar store. Even though it’s much lighter weight than what you find elsewhere, it still worked like I had imagined it would, preventing slipping.
If you are interested in trying it for your own slippery floors, or other uses I share below, this is the shelf and drawer liner I was looking at if money had not been such an issue and I knew for sure it would work for my multiple needs. https://amzn.to/2oSvkHo
Note that they have two sizes, 12 inches and 20 inches. I recommend going with the 20-inch if you have a medium to large dog, as I find myself having to overlap the 12-inch liner I bought to make it wider so I have closer to a 24-inch wide area for them to walk on instead of a 12-inch.
The scooty bowl stopper
A few years ago, I replaced all of my dogs’ plastic feeding bowls with stainless steel feeding bowls with the rubber ring around the bottom that was supposed to prevent the bowls from sliding around. It wasn’t long before those rings broke off, leaving me with four stainless steel bowls that were no longer non-skid.
Not wanting to buy costly new rings that may or may not last longer than the original rubber ring, and the attempt I’d made at making the bowls non-skid failing, I had limited options. I’d resorted to holding the bowl in place for the dog, or putting the bowl up against an object that would brace it as the dog ate and licked the bowl clean.
From what I’ve read, rubber ring failure is a pretty common issue with those types of bowls. Unfortunately, buying new bowls is out of the question for us, so I decided to try my shelf and drawer liner idea with them.
I’m happy to report that it works great. I just sit the bowl on top of the liner and the bowl doesn’t move. I put bone broth in my dogs’ bowls with their food, so there is plenty of licking action used on these bowls and the liner holds them in place.
If you are interested in switching to stainless steel bowls, which are safer (no toxic leaching from plastic), here’s one I found that has good reviews and seems to work well at a reasonable price. It has a full rubber bottom which appears to hold up better than those cheap rubber rings that break, allowing the bowl to be scooted all over your kitchen. https://amzn.to/32twk2q
Dog transportation helper
During my many trips to the vet this year with both Abby and Lacey, I would cringe as they struggled over the door frame to get into the car. Inevitably, they would try to step up on the sill and slip off, leaving light scratches and scuffs in the paint and on the plastic trim.
Hoping to make getting into the car easier on them and my car, I even took the heavy wooden step we built for going up into the house from the garage along with me to vet visits to help them get in and out of the car easier. Too big to be lifted and with health issues and limited experience getting in and out of the car, they both continued to struggle.
Unfortunately, with the step not helping much and my car getting beaten up with every trip, I became worried my car would have permanent and severe paint damage if I didn’t find a solution. That dilemma became my #3 hack for the shelf and drawer liner.
I found that by folding a section of my 12-inch shelf and drawer liner in half, and offsetting it to make it wider, I could cover the entire sill and outer edge of my car, stopping the dogs’ slipping and subsequent nail marks to my car’s paint.
If the dogs stepped on the sill instead of over it, they would no longer slip off. Instead, they were able to use the sill to push off of to finish climbing into the backseat.
For those with dogs like Abby, who just like to go and will suddenly move faster than they’ve moved in the past 5 years to try to get into the car when they sense they are getting to go somewhere, being lightweight, the liner is easy to grab and put in place quickly.
As a bonus #4 hack, you can also put some of the liner on the car seat if you use a blanket to protect your seats, to help prevent the blanket from sliding around.
If you are one of those dog owners who take your dog for regular car rides, you may want something more permanent to protect your car’s paint. Here’s an option I found that might be better suited as a more permanent and long-term solution to protecting your car’s paint. https://amzn.to/33tjUZI
After looking into paw boots and balms and attempting to make the food bowls non-skid myself, I finally had the idea to try the shelf and drawer liner. I also quickly found that it worked well for keeping my car’s paint job scratch-free during all those vets we made.
Not only has using the shelf and drawer liner exceeded my expectations, best of all, it’s cheap. It’s also nice that unlike many nice rugs, it can easily be washed.
If you have any hacks you’ve found for shelf and drawer liner, please leave them in the comments below.
Want to see a listing of items I own and recommend or have researched and recommend? Here they are with notes included as to why I love them or how they’ve helped. https://www.amazon.com/shop/savingscatsanddogswhilesavingcash. I will be updating it as I get time and have recommendations.
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6 thoughts on “My hack for slippery floors, scooty food bowls, and dog transport”
I had always dreaded wood floors instead of carpet because of having dogs that got older and would slip. So I researched and found some tiles to put down on the floors that were not chemically terrible like the ones that they make for kids playrooms. I found https://softtiles.com and use them in our life. I usually order the knock offs (the ones that were not the right color or thickness, etc) and have never had a problem with them looking bad in our houses. They are easy to pull up if there is an accident (and we had those-poop and pee and vomit) and wash in the sink or tub. They are even durable with dogs playing and leaving scratch marks. I will never own cats so do no know if they would find those too enticing too.
Thanks for sharing your tip! I’ve actually looked into using rubber tiles in the garage to keep the dog beds up off the floor, but never went that route due to the cost. My last two senior dogs before my current two all had incontinence issues at the very end, so I dread that with my indoor dogs, but other than a textured concrete, I’m not sure that any type of flooring is perfect for pets. Luckily, they make dog diapers for if/when that time comes.
The shelf liner for the car door sill doesn’t slip off when a dog steps on it?
Excellent idea, by the way! So happy you discovered this.
Nope, it grabs the metal and the plastic trim and holds in place as the dog steps on it or pushes off of it. I actually wish I’d thought of it a few dogs ago! lol 🙂
I am curious as to why your senior dogs’ bowls are not elevated. My 14 year old cat has elevated water and food bowls as she has some arthritis ,and like their pet parent, it gets harder to bend and get up.
That’s a great question! Actually, my senior dogs’ bowls are elevated, I just didn’t photograph them because I wanted a ‘live action’ shot showing how the bowl sitting on the shelf and drawer liner didn’t move while it was being licked on a floor that would normally allow the bowl to slide.
I actually squat down next to their bowls and hand-feed my two older dogs since one has been finicky about eating since she had gallbladder issues and has really worn bottom teeth that make it hard for her to grab the pieces of meat that slide around. My other dog is a gulper and mess-maker when it comes to drinking the bone broth and liquid in her bowl. Once the meat is gone or nearly gone, I tilt their bowls for them to get the last of the liquid and meat out and into them and not on my walls. 🙂 Their bowls still sit on the shelf liner too though, just to keep the bowls in place whether they are sitting flat or I’m holding them up on edge.
That’s interesting about your cat and the elevated bowls. My cats prefer to squat when they eat, like they do when they eat a mouse or something they’ve caught outside, and because I feed them raw, most of them never have a need to drink water. If they do, there is water always available at various heights somewhere due to the number of animals around here.
Hopefully all of this clears up your concerns. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment!