Spring means longer days and warming temperatures. As we thaw out from the winter chill, melting snow and spring showers mean mud—something that dog owners aren’t exactly thrilled about. Check out our five tips for walking your pup while mitigating as much of the dirt as possible.
- Check the forecast before walking your dog: Dreary, gray skies can hide oncoming thunderclouds ready to unleash lightning and buckets of rain during your pup’s daily walk. Before heading outdoors, check the forecast, and choose a walk time with the lowest chance of rain, when no lightning is expected, to help ensure your safety.
- Deck out your dog in rain gear: If your dog is already accustomed to wearing booties to protect her feet from ice and snow, use them for another season to battle springtime mud accumulations in furry paws. A raincoat will round out your pup’s springtime gear, ensuring she stays warm and dry.
- Walk your dog in a wooded area to avoid downpours: If your dog is desperate for fresh air and a long hike, despite daily spring showers, pick a route that provides some shelter, such as a wooded trail, or a city block lined with awnings. Although trees can provide some respite from a heavy downpour, check your forecast before heading outdoors to avoid thunderstorms with high winds and lightning.
- Stay off busy streets when walking your dog: Stick to less-crowded streets when walking your dog, to stay safe from puddles, and reduced visibility and traction. If you walk too close to a busy street, cars whizzing past can splash muddy water on you and your pet. Or, as you hurry to head back indoors, with your head hunkered down against the rain, you may not see an approaching vehicle. Heavy rain can decrease visibility for you and drivers, and create hazardous, slick road conditions.
- Create a doggy mud-clean-up station: Create a doggy clean-up station by your door to avoid a mud-tracking sprint to the bathroom when you come back indoors. Stock your station with a bucket filled with water that is mixed with a small amount of dog shampoo, towels, and a thick mat to trap water. You may need to dunk your dog’s feet in the bucket and wipe off her belly, to remove large areas of splattered mud.