Birds chirping, warmer temps and disappearing snow can only mean one thing – spring is in the air! As much as the signs of winter being over are exciting, they also mean mud, guck and slush are more likely to get on your dog’s fur and paws, and tracked all over your house. Here are some tips to help keep your floors just a little bit cleaner over springtime.
1. Training. If you have a new puppy or a younger dog, start training them to be comfortable with their paws being touched. Handle and touch all four paws while they’re sitting, standing and lying down. Not only will this come in handy when you want them to be patient and calm so you can wipe their paws clean, but it will help when you need to trim their nails or examine their paws.
2. Change their routine. Practice sit/stay every time you come in from outside. It may be a good idea to make waiting at the door part of their routine so when they do have dirty feet, they don’t go running right into the house before you have a chance to wipe them down.
3. Keep towels and water handy. Place both a large and hand towel by the door, along with a bucket of clean water you can use to dip their feet in if the mud is particularly bad. Having this right at the door will help you avoid scrambling to find something to wipe them down while also trying to keep them at the door.
4. Try dog boots. It can take your dog some time to get used to wearing boots so be patient. Start by having them wear two boots for a few minutes at a time inside the house and use plenty of positive reinforcement so they know they’re a good boy or girl for tolerating the boots. The more they wear them, the easier it will get for both of you.
5. Grooming. Shedding dogs will start to shed more this time of year, so make sure you’re brushing regularly to help remove the excess fur. If you have a dog whose hair needs to be cut, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a grooming around late winter or early spring. Consider asking the groomer to go a little shorter so there’s less fur for you to keep clean.
6. Stock up on cleaning products. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to clean up a mess when you don’t have the proper tools or cleaners. If your dog does track mud and guck into the house, it’ll be easier to clean up if you have a few simple cleaning supplies. Consider a floor spray mop for quick floor clean-ups and have plenty of rags on hand. Remember, it’s easier to deal with the mess when it’s still wet than letting it dry and get spread throughout the house.
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