It’s sunny, and yes it’s muddy! The Autumn dry days are great for romping through the leaves (I mean for our dogs, but you’re allowed too). However, the mud is starting to build up. Yesterday wasn’t even overly damp but my shortest dog came back totally filthy, so it’s probably time to talk ‘mud management’ for our dogs.
Especially during these damp Covid-safe days, fresh Autumn weather can be great as we take our dogs for some cold air away from stuffy indoor working. Wrap up warm and out we go! On the other hand, it can be a constant battle against teazels in their tails and grimy feet and bellies. Not only mud on our shoes, but on the dog’s paws, on his fur, and of course anything he chooses to roll in along the way. Incidentally, why is fox poo so attractive to dogs? On a wet day in forthcoming wintertime, even just letting the dog out for a quick wee can be a major mud trauma.
Add a coat for any dog that is very young (their coats haven’t really developed yet), one with a thin or fine coat, and of course any hairless dogs need additional layers. Older dogs will also benefit from a warm outer layer, but try and find one that means they can still move freely.
Here are some thoughts on how to cope. Although mats at the door are great for human visitors, they are far too small for most dogs who of course have to wipe all four of their feet. Invest in a dirt trapper mat. Not all mats are the same… the trademarked ones really do work but cost a fortune, so look out for cheaper brands with the same texture. You need one big enough, more of a runner than a mat, but they are a long-term investment and can usually be washed, even tumble dried.
A cheaper and much easier solution is to use old bath towel sheets. Lay them inside the door just before you leave, and you have plenty of space for your dog to trample them as you re-enter.
If your dog is too fast, or absolutely filthy, set yourself up for success before you leave. Find a dog crate and place towels inside, over the top and sides, and a handful of really tasty treats placed towards the back. Place it across the door so that as you enter, your dog can see where best to go. If you take time to build up his confidence, your dog will race straight in, drying himself off before you get that ‘shake off and drown’!