Managing Muddy Mutts

We are still 4 weeks away from the longest day.

Can you believe that, I’m mean how much shorter can the days get. Even I seem to be missing out on daylight.

November is such a dark and dreary month and after all that rain from last week there is mud everywhere.

And if you live at my end of town then you have the added mud caused by the Haverhill Lagoon (just by Boyton Place) and the Anglian water works just before Kedington.

In fact you can’t get away from it and believe me I’ve tried. Mud is everywhere.

I don’t  know if I’ve ever told you, but I’m not really the outdoorsy type. I hate mud. I hate being dirty. Add to that the ruddy cheeks and the windswept birds nest on my head. Yep, gorgeous. Not.

I can’t manage the weather but I can and have managed the mud.

Let’s go through some basics first. There are different types of mud. There are probably scientific terms for them all but let me just tell you about the 3 types I know about. Mud, muddier and mucky mud.

Mucky mud is the worst. That’s the one that sticks to everything. It’s the one that clogs up your boots fast and makes you feel like you are carrying an extra stone or two of weight on your feet.

If you have naturally mucky mud in your garden the only way to deal with it, in my humble opinion is artificial grass. Mucky mud leads you into a false sense of security and just when you think it’s drying out, then wham bam it’s muckier than ever.

And let’s face it no dog is ever going to carefully tread round it.

Some dogs like to roll in it (not mentioning any names) and this is why you need to get your dog a coat if they are guilty of this behaviour. Even if they don’t need a coat because they don’t feel the cold, get them a lightweight coat.I take a portable shower out with me. This is the one I’ve used previously and this is the one I’m using this year.

Whilst talking about coats you can also get drying coats for dogs. 

Basically these work by popping your dog in them and they then dry off. Won’t help with the mud but does help with damp dogs especially if you have to shower them down.

Take out a flask of warm water and you can rinse them down before your dog gets in the car. Pop on a drying coat and you have got the equivalent of bathing your child at whoever’s house you are at and popping them into their pyjamas before you head home. Cute.

You can get boot liners and seat covers for your car. They aren’t that expensive and they do save the upholstery. I also have some vet bed in my car as this helps with wet and muddy paws.

When faced with a muddy dog you do need to work out if they need to be showered off and just given a good rub down with a towel.

Let me tell you that I rarely use my portable shower. Muddy dogs usually look worse than they are if they have been walking in mud or muddier mud. Usually the mud in these two cases is mainly water based. If your dog is covered in muckier mud then it’s shower time. Let’s not also forget that sometimes it’s just as easy to let the mud dry and then brush it out of your dog.  Although I don’t recommend this option if your dog is really muddy. Or hates to be brushed.

The best towels that I’ve used are just old towels. I find these very absorbent and way better than new towels or the micro fibre type ones. The great thing about old towels is that if you ask friends or family they nearly always will have a couple they can pass them on to you.

If you are using coats, dryings coat and towels then you need to be able to wash them quickly. I’ve talked about this washing bag before. It’s a big life changer.

It traps all the dog hair without it staying in your washing machine drum and then infiltrating your next load of washing.

Pick lightweight coats that can dry quickly on a radiator. For myself I do like my towels soft and fluffy but your dog will be happy with a towel dried on the radiator.

Don’t forget to use non bio washing products though, you don’t want to irritate your dogs skin.

There isn’t a lot you can do about wet dog smell, but you can use candles to mask it.

Check out this candle that has been specifically made for that purpose.

We all know that continually bathing your dog’s strips essential oils from their skin and hair. 

So once they are dry using some doggy perfume. This is my favourite, but there are plenty to choose from out there.

I like to deal with muddy dogs before they get in the house but that doesn’t help if your dog has got wet and mucky in the garden. I use these mats. They are washable and non slip.

You can get them in a variety of sizes including a runner. Train your dog to sit on these when they come in from the garden and then work your mud cleaning magic on them.

I love a fabric collar for Frank, but they are not practical for wet and muddy weather. These collars and leads, from local company Bella Bows, are fantastic. Hi-vis, easy to wipe clean, antibacterial and just bloody perfect for mud!

Mud doesn’t have to be your enemy. It can be managed. I know of people who have installed a mixer tap outside so they can hose their dogs down with warm water.

If you have some other ideas on managing mud, please tell me in the comments below.

Love, Sally xx

Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!  

After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.

Sally not only runs her business, she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. You can also find Sally chatting as a guest  on dog related podcasts.

Sally Cousins

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