By: Mel Adams, RVT
“Ask a Vet Tech” is an ongoing advice column written by our resident pet expert and registered vet technician, Mel Adams. You can find her online at: www.vettechmel.com.
My dog manages to find his way to every single mud puddle when we are out on walks. I am forever bathing him during the spring season and just can not keep up anymore. Is there anything I can do to help keep him clean this season?
I can answer this question because I’ve researched and spoken to many dog owners about their experiences with keeping their dogs and homes clean during the spring season. Everybody had a lot to say and recommend, but there were some definite recurring suggestions. Here are the top recommendations I’ve learned about.
The rainy season can be tough on the homes of dog owners, but a little prep work and training can help the season go over like a warm, fresh breeze.
Train your dog to sit – Having a well behaved dog can mean the difference between wiping the mud off the floor at your front door and cleaning the mud out of the carpets in your entire house. Train your dog to sit at the front door as soon as you come in from your walk together. This way you can clean up those wet and muddy feet before the mess gets out of control. It will also be important to make sure that you’ve trained your dog to be comfortable with you manipulating his/her feet in order to clean them up. Start training these behaviours before the season starts if you can, and don’t forget to reward good behaviour.
Spring haircut - If your dog has long fur and feathers on his/her feet and legs, get that fur trimmed shorter so that there will be less water soaked up into the fur and therefore less water and mud to clean up. If your dog’s belly is low to the ground and also has long fur there, it may be a wise decision to trim that hair as well.
Prepare your entry way - whichever door you use to come home from a walk together, have some towels and rinse free shampoo there for the whole season. That way, if the walk turned out to be muddier than usual, you have everything you need without having to run around the house to find these things and risk Fido running around with you.
Boots and coat - Another option is to train your dog to accept wearing little doggy rain boots. These are widely available now through most, if not all, pet product stores. Most dogs will learn to accept them with a little training, but make sure you do the training gradually in your house before taking on a full walk outdoors. A simple raincoat can also be a great investment for dog owners, especially if your dog has long fur.
The rainy season does not have to be a wet, muddy mess. With a little preparation and training you and your dog can still enjoy a little puddle jumping together and save your house from total destruction.
Thanks for the great question,