One thing that all dog owners know is that owning a dog can be messy, and if you want to keep your home clean and tidy, you will probably spend a significant amount of time cleaning up after your dog, and trying to keep their mess out of the house! Even if your dog is brushed and groomed regularly to limit hair shedding, and if they are bathed often enough that they do not smell funky, one of the main ways in which dogs bring mess and mud into the home is on their paws, when they come back in from a walk-and this can be particularly pronounced during the colder months of the year, when everything is muddy!
If you find yourself fighting a losing battle against mud and muck that your dog trails in with them every time they come inside, don’t despair-check out our list of eight easy ways to limit or stop the problem! Read on to learn more.
First of all, you will make your life a lot easier and be able to keep your home a lot cleaner if you make things easier for yourself by making the main entrance where your dog comes and goes a carpet-free zone, such as by using lino or hard flooring in place of rugs or carpets!
If you don’t want to take up the existing carpet in front of the door you currently use, do you have a back door or a door that opens into the garage that you can use instead when bringing your dog in and out? This might be easier!
If your dog has feathered legs (long fur on the lower half of their limbs) and lots of fur between their toes, keeping this trimmed down can help to reduce the amount of dirt and debris that your dog collects. Don’t fully remove feathering or fur from the pads of the paws, however, as this fur helps to provide some protection against the elements, particularly cold and snow.
Keeping a soft, absorbent towel on a hook by the door can be really handy to give your dog’s paws a quick wipe off with when they come back in from a walk-and this can save additional mess that can happen when running in to grab a towel while your mucky mutt tries to follow you!
Buying a cheap doormat for the main door that your dog uses can help to reduce the amount of mud that they track into the house, and the doormat that you use to best effect will depend on your local area and your dog. Doormats with a brush-like texture can help to remove very thick mud from the bottoms of your dog’s feet, while a more absorbent mat will help with wetter mud and other liquids.
Getting into the habit of washing your dog’s paws off every time they come in with a bowl of warm water will help to keep your home clean and tidy, and over time, your dog will learn to pause for a rinse off when they get back inside! Make sure that the water is comfortably warm and that you dry their paws afterwards, particularly if their fur is thick or long.
For dogs that tend to get less mucky and that tend to cause muddy paw prints rather than a large-scale spread of mud and water into the house, investing in a packet of paw wipes can help to keep your floors clean! Paw wipes and cleansing, nourishing disposable wipes a little like baby wipes, and can be used for quick clean-ups or to remove muck and water from the soles of their paws.
Smaller dogs and those that are a little delicate may benefit from a set of booties during the cold, muddy months of the year, to help to keep their feet clean and dry, and prevent them from getting too cold. Booties are designed to protect your dog’s paws from extremes of cold when walking on ice or snow, but they also help to keep your floors tidier, as you can simply remove them at the entrance!
Paw wax for dogs is designed to protect the pads of the paws from walking on gravel and hard surfaces, helping to prevent cracking and drying and hardening up the bottoms of the feet. It can also help to provide traction and grip on slippery surfaces, and is suitable to use all year round and in all conditions. Waxing the pads of your dog’s paws will also make them more repellent to mud and water, and limit the amount of mud that makes its way between your dog’s toes to be walked into the house!