How many times have you come home from a walk with your dog and ended up cleaning mud or dirt from your floor or carpets? Unless you regularly clean your dog’s feet after every walk, then this is a familiar situation for you. Here are some tips on how to keep your dog in shape and your house clean at the same time.
1. Use Wet Wipes
Have a pack of doggie wet wipes with you when you take him on a walk to clean his paws if you notice that he has something on them. Pick non-toxic grooming wipes. It's probably best to use them just before your dog enters the house if he only has a bit of dirt, mud or debris on his paws so you don’t have to wash his feet.
2. Use a Doormat
A doormat is a simple solution that can help you deal with your dog’s dirty paws. Although it won’t always get everything off, it can certainly help, especially if your dog gets in and out at will so you don’t have the opportunity to clean his paws every time. There's plenty of good doggy doormats, but make sure to get a super-absorbent one.
Try to encourage and train your dog to walk on the mat for a while before he enters the house. Use treats and positive reinforcement to teach him how to use a doormat. Even if you can’t train your pooch to use the door mat, it will still be very helpful in your fight against dirt.
3. Trim His Nails
You might not think that a lot of dirt and mud can get on your dog’s nails, but it can. That is why it is important to keep his nails trimmed. It will also help your dog walk better since long nails can cause discomfort or even pain to your pooch.
4. Don’t Put Carpets in Your Hallway
It will make your life much easier and your house cleaner if there are carpets in your hallway. Hard flooring is the best option for households with pets, unless your pup has some specific health issues. Even if your dog gets in the house with muddy or dirty paws, you will clean hard flooring easier than you would clean a carpet.
5. Trim Long Hair
Some dogs have a lot of fur on their legs, especially on the lower half of their limbs and between their toes. This is the recipe for disaster when it comes to mud, dirt and debris.
Keep your dog’s legs and paws neatly trimmed to prevent things from sticking to him. However, don’t remove feathering or fur from his pads completely because the fur protects your dog against the elements, especially snow and cold.
6. Use Doggie Boots
Get a set of good quality dog shoes (or booties) for your pooch to keep his feet clean during the walk. Dog boots are also great protection against the elements and sharp objects, and particularly useful in cold winter months. Plus, your dog will look cute in them as well.
7. Wax His Paws
While paw wax for dogs is used mainly to protect the dog's paw pads from hard surfaces and elements, and to prevent his paws from drying up and hardening, it can also be a good way to make his paws more repellent to mud and dirt. Dog paw wax is particularly useful in cold winter months not just for mud and debris but also due to ice, snow, and low temperatures.
8. Wash Your Dog’s Feet
Sometimes, all of the above will inevitably fail. Dogs are just very competent at getting dirty and when that happens, all you have left is to wash your dog’s paws if you want to have a clean house. Use warm water and dry his paws thoroughly afterward. To make things easier you can also use a doggy paw wash, which makes the whole process more pleasant for the dog and simple for you.
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