Monday, October 09, 2006

Uh, Oh, Its that Muddy Paws time of year!

The Guilty Parties and Their Ringleader - The One With All The Mud On His Nose!

One night while I was watching the weather on TV, a young newscaster made a comment that went right to my heart. She said, “Freezing temperatures will make the ground hard, and the good thing is my dog won’t be tracking any mud into the house.” Immediately, the whole dog owning cast chimed in and agreed with her. Yay! Someone understands our dilemma. Dog owners do not like mud nearly as much as their dogs do. Most dogs don’t even seem to notice it. They happily jump up on your clothes, furniture, doors and track the brown stuff across the floor. What is a dog owner to do?

There are a few things that can help. First, trim the hair on your dog’s feet and pasterns. Long hair on feet and legs just brings in more dirt. If you are uncomfortable doing this chore let your local groomer to do it. It only takes a few moments and your dog will be more comfortable. Second, teach your dog to sit. Yes, he should know this already but may not wait patiently when he comes in the door so you can towel off each foot. Put a non slip mat by door, large enough for your dog to sit on comfortably without getting any mud on the floor. Immediately, when your dog comes inside ask him to sit. You can do this by putting treats in your pocket. Hold the treat up over his head and move it backward. Pull up on the collar, push down slightly on the hips. Your dog will sit and get rewarded. You may want to use a leash for control. Practice these sits five times each session, two sessions a day. Soon your dog will be sitting in the right spot. Toweling off muddy paws makes a big difference in what will be tracked into the house.

A product that is sold in some of the equipment catalogs and at the discount pet stores is self-rinsing shampoo. This can be used in a spray bottle and toweled off for even cleaner paws. Now, what to do about the door? Actually I am getting ready to paint mine a nice shade of mud, er, brown.

All items including pictures and text on this blog are copyright (c) and are the sole property of Deborah Lynch, pictures and text may not be copied or reproduced in any format.


Anonymous said...

OK, I have three dogs. Along with wiping their paws at the door, what I do is keep two large beach towels by the door that they use. One stays on the floor and the other on the side. I also keep a handy box of dish towel size rags nearby and put my pinesol/water spray cleaner there too. They each go out one by one to do their business. I know which ones cannot hold it for very long and they just tend to clobber each other with mud if they all go out together making a bigger mess. In the AM and PM I put the towel and any rags in the small setting load in my wash so I always have a clean towel handy. The pine sol lemon and water cleans up any residue and my dogs have their own area in the playroom until this season passes and the ground freezes. They really don't mind being confined because we are always in that room working on the computer or the kids play back there. We are seriously thinking about putting an area down with gravel for easy cleanup in our future landscape plans which would be much better than dealing with muddy paws. There are dog booties, but those are a pain to put on and take off. I'm ready to buy an $8 bag of bedding cedar chips and scatter them in their do do area at this point. Those could be easily raked up in the spring and changed out as needed.

Anonymous said...

I had struggled for four years attempting to keep my white floor free of mud from my two pooches who love to run and chase each other in the yard. We have a dog door because of a 90 yr Mom who can't get up to open the door when we are not home. Needless to say, with six huge towels on the floor, they still found a way of getting mud all over especially on rainy spring days. So what did I finally do? I bought 80 bags of natural mulch and some flat stones and covered all muddy areas near fences and gates. It reduced my mud problem, which was making me crazy, by at least 80%. I then added a large plastic grass-like mat about 1" high and four feet wide just outside the dog door opening. The stiff grass mat has a thick rubber backing and stays in place. As they run to the door, the mat cleans off much of the mud before they get in the house.

We still use the towels, but it is much less of a hassle now.

Hopefully, someone will come out with a better solution for all of us one day soon.

By the way, it doesn't matter that I take my dogs for a long walk each day. They still love chasing each other and running the perimeter of our property line. That's what dogs tend to do, right?