As you probably know, your favourite walking spot can quickly be transformed into a muddy swamp after even a little rain. While you might reach for the wellies, your dog’s happy to splash around in the mud to their heart’s content.
If the rain continues, then you could be faced with a very muddy dog twice a day, and this can certainly drain the enjoyment from your usual walking schedule.
So how can you can clean your dog quickly and effectively, all the while keeping the mud off your carpet?
In this article, we’ll show you how to wash a dog after a muddy walk and what steps you might want to take to stop your pup getting so dirty.
How to wash a dog after a muddy walk
Before you leave:
- Stock up - Make sure you have enough clean towels and suitable dog shampoo on standby to be able to clean your dog as quickly and efficiently as possible. If it rains all week you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you’re prepared. For this reason, it’s good to plan a washing schedule around your dog walks or you might come home one day and find that there’s nothing to wash your muddy pup with!
- Trim your dog's hair - One easy step you can take before you even leave the house is trimming your dog’s hair. If your dog has long hair around their underside or their legs you can shorten this hair so your dog won’t get so muddy during a wet walk. The best way to achieve this is by going to a professional groomer. They will have performed similar procedures many times before. If you cut your dog’s hair yourself, ensure that you invest in a good pair of scissors and make sure your dog is calm when you are cutting. If your dog is moves suddenly (as can be the case with particularly excitable dogs) you could injure your pet while trimming the hair.
- Plan your walk route based on the weather - There will be certain routes that become very muddy when it rains. Unfortunately, if you haven’t planned alternative routes beforehand it is quite likely that you’ll just end up taking the same route during rainy conditions (even though a different route may have been drier). A dry day is the perfect time to discover new routes that will help your dog stay clean during the wet weather.
- Consider buying your dog some winter clothes - There are lots of other owners who’ve realised that dogs get muddy. As a result, there are specially designed dog clothes to protect your dog during the muddy walks. Before ordering, it is advisable to measure your pet to get an idea of size. Your dog should be comfortable and their movement should not be restricted by the garment. If you want to avoid washing your dog so thoroughly at the end of every walk, then this could be a good option.
- Zip-up dog bag - If you’re travelling in the car to your walk, you may also want to buy a zip-up dog bag. Zip-up dog bags are made of very absorbent material and cover the entirety of your muddy pup so you can be sure that your car will remain clean. You can also use a zip-up dog bag in the home after you get back from the walk. This way, a lot of the mud and moisture will be absorbed before you begin cleaning your dog.
- The dog shower - If you don’t want to let your dog in the house when they are muddy (we don’t blame you!) then you’ll need to hose your dog down before you let them inside. While hosing your dog down on a hot day might be a refreshing treat, in the middle of winter this experience will be very unpleasant for your dog. For this reason, it’s best to leave a bucket of warm water outside the door so you can wash your dog before you go inside.
Alternatively, you can ask a plumber to fit an outside tap with which you can wash your dog (instead of the bucket). You might also want to use a sponge to help you clean the mud off more easily. If indoors, try to clean your dog on a floor that can be easily mopped (i.e. not carpet). You can lay down newspaper (or similar) inside the door to get rid of some of the mud, and have shampoo and towels prepared in the bathroom for a more thorough clean.
- Use wipes - Disposable wipes can be a great way to get mud off your dog. Consider stocking up on dog-friendly disposable wipes and leave some in the car. An added benefit is that it will help remove the typical ‘wet dog smell’.
- Clean your dog's paws - If you don’t want dirty paw prints all over your sofa then it’s a good idea to clean your dog’s paws thoroughly as soon as they walk through the floor. You’ll want your dog to sit and offer up their paws on command. Ideally, you’ll need to teach your dog to do this when they are young. Wipe their paws with a wet towel and check thoroughly between their toes to ensure no mud is trapped there.
After your walk:
You should now know how to wash a dog! By following the process above, you should be able to make walks on rainy, muddy days more enjoyable. While you’re still likely to have to wash your dog, by planning everything beforehand, you will be able to clean them as easily as possible. So, get out the wellies and bring on the mud!