Taking your dog out for a walk can be fun and relaxing. However, when your dog leaves behind a long trail of really muddy prints, it can be quite annoying. Dirt and mud aren’t easy to clean, particularly when they get into your carpet and tiles.
So, how do you deal with muddy paw prints?
The most convenient way is to prevent dirt and mud from getting in contact with your floor in the first place. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid the constant need to clean your carpet and the rest of the house after a walk in the park.
Before we get to the remedies, you should first know why dogs can’t seem to avoid mud when outdoors.
Dogs, in general, don’t like to defecate unless there’s grass around. And obviously, grass requires dirt to thrive. When it rains or snows, the dirt turns to mud and it sticks to every part of your dog’s paws.
Additionally, it’s your dog’s instinct to cover his scent after peeing or pooping. So, after doing his business, expect some scratching, digging, and kicking after. That translates to a lot of mud and dirt.
How to Combat Muddy Dog Paws
Restrict your dog’s access to muddy areas
If you are in an area where snow showers and rain is frequent, you can install a concrete pad. Use that area as a mud-free spot for your dog to go potty.
You can also consider fencing areas that typically get muddy, like your flower beds.
Place a series of rugs along the sidewalk
Take a few outdoor rugs and line them along the sidewalk of your house leading to your door. They can absorb moisture and take away every inch of mud and dirt on your dog’s paws before he gets inside the house. In choosing a good rug, stick with those with dense and stiff fabric.
Those rugs, however, will only be effective if your dog will be using them. So, try to teach your dog to walk along the rugs.
To start, you can train him by putting a leash and collar and assisting him in walking along the mat. And once he is in front of your door, ask him to sit and give him a treat before opening the door. You can repeat the practice each time he goes out to potty. That way, he’ll learn to walk along the rugs and not bot straight through the door.
Place another rug in the entryway
As soon as your dog is inside the house, let him stand on your indoor floor mat. This will help remove the excess mud and moisture that the outdoor rugs failed to remove and absorb.
Use baby wipes
Baby wipes offer a quick way of cleaning your dog’s paws. You should consider taking a pack with you each time you and your dog go out for a walk outside.
Using the wipes, clean your dog’s feet and remove any stubborn dirt there. To make it easy for you, you can make him sit on a rug and carefully wipe the bottom and top of each foot. Remember to spread your dog’s toes to clean the spaces between her pads.
Wash your dog’s paws
If wiping isn’t enough, then go ahead and wash your dog’s paws. You can use a gentle soap to clean his feet. You can dedicate a spot in your yard as your dog’s wash area.
Apply a natural dog wax on your dog’s paws
Before you and your dog go out for a walk, apply a natural dog wax product on his paws. This wax will serve as a barrier that will prevent dirt and mud from getting too deep in his paw pads.
Buy a paw cleaning mitt
It should be large enough to clean your dog’s paws. It should also be made with a highly absorbent material to make sure that it can effectively remove mud and water from your dog’s paws. You can either teach your dog to sit still and get his paws cleaned before going inside or you can just quickly grab his paws and clean them after walking outdoors. A cleaning mitt provides an easy and quick way for you to make sure that no mud or dirt can stain your floor or carpet inside.
Buy a pair of dog booties
In case your dog can’t really poo without dirt and mud nearby, then consider getting dog booties. It may take a while for your dog to get used to wearing them but once he becomes adjusted, he wouldn’t mind wearing them when outside.
Cover your furniture
While waiting for your dog to get used to using the rugs, consider protecting your furniture. Put a cover on your sofa and other pieces of furniture with something you can easily wash.
How to Clean Muddy Paw Prints
Now, if your furniture or floor is already stained with dirty paw prints, here are some of the things you can do:
- Before you mop any hard surface, sweep it first.
- Mop with warm water as it works well for most paw prints.
- If you’ll be using a cleaning solution on your floor, remember to go over it with plain water before drying. Also, avoid using any harsh cleaning solution that can harm your dog.
- If the paw prints are on your carpet, allow them to dry first to make removal a lot easier. Vacuum the dry mud carefully and take your time in covering all areas of your carpet.
- Don’t rub your carpet to avoid disturbing the fibres. Instead, blot carefully.
- For tiles, linoleum or hardwood, start by picking up or sweeping loose pieces. For tough stains, spray some cleaner on the spots and prepare your mop. After letting the solution sit on the stains for a couple of minutes, use the mop back and forth to clean and absorb the dirt. Remember to dry the area after cleaning.
If you love dogs and mud, then we found a great race for you at https://muddydog.battersea.org.uk/ which a few of my friends are doing soon. It looks amazing.