If you own a dog, you’re all too familiar with the extra maintenance required to keep your house clean and presentable. Now that Northern California has gone from extended drought to more-than-enough-rain-thanks, you’re contending with muddy paws. Repeatedly. Perhaps you’d actually forgotten what a mess your pup’s feet can make every time she goes outside.
It’s that ragged lawn. Or what’s left of it after years of tremendous stress. Bare spots, holes, and dead patches all fluff up dust when it’s dry and turn to mud when it’s wet outside. A little mud on her paws may not matter to your pet – after all, she’s a dog. But it certainly matters to you.
Nobody wants to spend time cleaning. Besides, the less time you have to devote to cleaning up after your pooch, the more time you’ll have to play with her. You’ll both like that! So here are 5 tips you can try to streamline your muddy paws routine:
- You could get one of those doggie doormats to set just inside the door. They supposedly remove all the dirt or mud as your pup walks across. That sounds a little too good to be true, but it could be worth a try, especially if you have a dog door that allows your pup to enter directly into the house.
- You might be tempted to give your dog a bath every day to keep her mud-free. (Then again, maybe not, if your girl is bath-averse like so many dogs.) Your vet will tell you this is not a good idea, even if you could pull it off without a struggle. (Now you can hear your dog yelping with glee in the background, can’t you?)
Over-frequent bathing dries out your pooch’s skin, making her itchy and uncomfortable. Who wants that? Instead, you can try using packaged wipes to clean paws or wipe down your entire dog, head to tail. You’ll find them online or at your local pet supply store.
Mind, these products are really designed for modest amounts of dirt, not copious globs of mud. Still . . . they can be a quick-response option for your dog’s less intense outdoor excursions.
- Keep nails trimmed as short as possible, and trim the fur around and between your dog’s pads. These things are amazing mud-collectors, especially if your pooch’s fur is long or thick.
And speaking of pet-icures, supple paws are comfortable paws. If all that goopy mud and subsequent paw cleaning are making your pup’s pads dry and rough or cracked, you can use specially formulated moisturizer. Musher’s Secret is a popular brand, though there are several. Or you can easily make your own.
Or, even easier, massage a little olive oil into your dog’s pads. Just give it a minute to be absorbed before letting your girl skitter around on slippery flooring or the carpet, or you’ll have a different kind of mess to clean up.
- Invest in one of the newer lightweight “quickie” mop products that are on the market now. Keep it handy for touch-ups when your dog and her soggy or muddy paws slip past you coming in the door.
- There is one way to virtually eliminate muddy paws caused by your defective lawn. And it’s a permanent fix. Replace it with artificial grass. Your neighbor down the street did that, didn’t she? And now, and not only is her landscaping lush and lovely, she never has to fight the muddy paws war. No reason to be jealous – sometimes it’s smart to copy the neighbors.