Muddy dogs can be a problem! Ways to manage the mud to keep your sanity, stop you and your dog turning amphibian when out on walks, and how to keep your house cleaner than a Hobbit Hole. Wave bye bye to soggy feet and dirt-splattered hallways with the new Mud Management strategy for your mutt!
What is that saying about there being no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing? Well – it is true. Everyone walking their dogs knows this!
And what happens when your Westie transforms into Chewbacca?
Choose appropriate clothing
I sometimes feel like I am off on an expedition and there is this time limit between getting myself and the dogs all togged up and getting out of the door before we all faint with overheating! Same when you come back in!
Look at the clothing they use in outdoor sports. I am a fan of walking and hiking gear especially for boots. I love Hunter Wellies. Expensive, but durable. Mine are 14 years old I think. ‘Huntress’ style fit ladies like me – short, wider calves *blush*. Hose the boots down after a muddy walk – voila! I hanker after a really good pair of riding boots, but the ones I want are about £300. I think that is beyond even Santa’s budget.
Walking boots don’t cope so well with the mud and can be a little ‘short’ so water and snow can get in at the top. If you do what I did and walk over a plowed field (I know the farmer!) you may leave your boot behind. Nevertheless on a drier day these work fine.
I tend to look for the more extreme weather sports such as Skiing, and yes, Rowing.
Skiing – they know how to manage the cold and yet still remain mobile. Skiers have to deal with inactive times such as ski lift rides, in extreme cold and then very active times coming downhill. Including, if you are me, interludes of falling over. Mobility and ‘wicking away’ of body moisture, as well as needing good visibility and protecting your face and hands from the cold whilst still retaining functionality.
So – a great pair of ski mitts that have good grip. I prefer mitts to gloves, my fingers stay warmer and mitts are easy to pull on and off. Skiers have great socks. Get a pair of lightweight ski trousers or even salopettes that have braces. A decent jacket need not cost much but DO get ripstop material. Underlayers are also amazing from ski places, lightweight thermals that don’t make you look like you borrowed Grandpa’s longjohns. You can go to Tesco for ski clothes! or buy them on ebay.
Rowing – These guys really know about water. They also know about bending over (!) as anyone who has rowed will testify. Waterproof clothing that is lightweight and warm, with long sleeves that don’t ride up, and long backs to the clothing that don’t expose your backside when you bend forward to pick up after your dog. Rock The Boat are my favourite, because Di who owns it is also a dog owner and she knows what we need. Very helpful and can judge sizes in an eyeblink! Fleeces with long sleeves and thumb holes, waterproof bonded layer, high neck and long back. They also do gorgeous trousers made of softshell which is really comfy, stretchy, warm and cut really stylishly. I gave permission for Di to put my recommendation onto her site because I really think these are a cut above the rest. She calls me her tame dog behaviourist!
When coming in
Well, you’ve got home and you are wobbling about on the doorstep trying to take off your wellies. If you have a well-trained but dirty dog, teach it to sit by the door while you do so – there is nothing to be gained by collapsing into the rose bush whilst filthy Fido dashes past you into the warmth of your home. It’s a good idea to practice this when it isn’t a crucial balancing act moment. Make it part of your daily routine. Although some dog trainers listening might disagree, I can’t see anything wrong with sending your dog into the house first. It’s safer for the dog, and I assure you, will not cause your pet to feel superior to you in any way…
Some quick tips
- Towels or as my Twitter friend Emma says, a flannelette sheet which covers a large area
- Turtle mat ‘dirtstopper’ that I buy in the sales
- Crate at door lined with towels
- Puppy pen to divert dogs into the area you want them to stay
- Dog Bag to zip dog up into in the car although they often try to walk in them and fall over so be sure to supervise!
- Paw Plunger? An item looking rather like a large mug, that you dip the dogs feet into to wash them
- Paw wash – use a shallow tray filled with warm soapy water so they can walk thru as they enter
- Have an ‘airlock’ – a space between outside and inside, such as a hallway or barrier to give you a chance to clean your dog first.
What about bathtime?
My bathroom usually resembles the closing scenes of the film ‘Titanic’ – so line the room with old towels. Don’t panic your dog by placing it into a shiny slippery bath. Non-slip bath matting or even a towel in the bottom of the bath can help.
– Karen Wild