Dog Dirt Afternoon -- Or, how to clean your dog's muddy paws before she gets mud all over your floor and carpet.
You just finished walking your dog or let her out to play in the yard. Her paws are covered in dirt, or worse, mud. You know if you let her back into your house, she will get dirt and mud (and road salt in the winter) all over your floor and carpet, which you just cleaned for the upteenth time. Wait! Before you let her back into the house, you need to train her to sit still while you clean her paws.
The solution is doggone simple. First, set aside a spot near the entrance where you can clean your dog. If you have already trained your dog, use a simple command such as Stand, Stay or Sit. Then proceed to clean off her paws. On the other hand, dogs love to be scratched and petted and massaged. Get into the habit of following every dog walk, or outdoor time, with a minute or two of petting your dog, including rubbing down her legs and paws with a towel or paper towel. She will look forward to the "rub-down" after being outside and won't run off into the house until you have first given your dog her "rub-down."
So next time she comes in from the rain, snow, or a muddy yard, she will immediately sit down in anticipation of her "rub-down." Clean her paws with wet or damp paper towels or cloths or doggie wipes. Paper towels dipped in warm water will get most dirt, salt, or mud off quickly. Then wipe the paws with a dry towel. It's that simple. If you want to be even more thorough, there are many soaps, cleaning wipes, even baby wipes, and other cleaning products that are dog-tested and dog-safe at your local pet store.
Check these sites for some simple ways to train and clean your dog's paws:
The Nest; Fastest and Easiest Way to Clean Dogs
Simply Good Stuff; An Easy Way to Clean Dirty Dog Paws
The Fun Times Guide; Muddy Dog Paws & Smelly Dogs
If you want, there are also many products on the market, such as the Paw Plunger to clean your dog's paws. It was voted Best Dog Product of 2012 by Blogpaws.com. Paw Plunger is sold on Amazon.