One of the good things about warmer weather is that the snow melts and sunshine ends the rainy season. However, while still in the middle of spring, those April shower can create some decidedly muddy roads, which seldom bode well for pet parents.  From November to May, many of us find ourselves mopping up the floor after going on a walk, and trying to get the muck of our dogs’ feet. Here are a few helpful tips to literally save for a rainy day.

Dealing With Muddy Puppy Paws

Train your dog to accept paw handling. Holding a dog’s toes, and rubbing/cleaning between them can be very uncomfortable for a dog.  Some trainers use toe-massaging to teach their dogs to get down when they jump, so we know this feeling is fairly unpleasant.  The best way to train your dog to accept paw handling is to start from an early age.  This will not only be crucial for cleaning up mud-caked feet, but also for nail clipping, hair trimming and any paw buffing you will need to do for the future.

Trim those fuzzy toes!  In the wet season and winter months, it seems counter-intuitive to trim down any fur that might help a pup’s paws stay insulated. However, this will save you lots of work if you stay on top of feet grooming. Keep the fur clippers nearby and snip down the hair between your dog’s toes. Dirt, pebbles, grass and mud will cling to the hair, causing it to get matted or to harden. This clean-shaven option will make it much easier to clean the pup’s paws.

Wet wipes. If you neither have a suitable water bucket or the space to set up a cleaning station, keep a box of wipes by the door. When return with newly muddied paws, a few damp wipes can be a good method of removal for soil.  This is particularly helpful if any dirty water or mud splashed up on the pet’s legs and underbelly, since you can wipe the fur down without having to get your dog completely doused with bath water.

The bucket method.  Perhaps the most efficient way to remove both wet and dried mud from canine feet is to use a warm bath.  Before you head out for your outing, fill a small bucket with very warm water, with a thick towel below it.  That way when you return from a walk you can dip your dog’s dirty feet into the bucket of pleasant warm/tepid water. Here you can work through the mud until the pup’s feet are clean and can be wiped with the towel before he has a chance to go running around the house.

When in doubt, try rain boots. If you and your pet are determined outdoor-adventurers, and the region where you live can always count on a daily rainfall, you might have to rethink your dog’s wardrobe. Investing in some decent doggy rain boots will eliminate the need for regular paw cleaning, and all you will have to do is wipe off the boots before tomorrow’s excursion.  If this seems like the most efficient option for you, suit up with boots!