The rain in spring means muddy paws, but a little prevention can keep your dog from tracking dirt inside the house. First, trim the hair around your pup’s paws regularly — mud won’t clump to his feet when the hair is kept short. On days that you can’t avoid a little mud, keep a bucket of warm water and a towel near the door. Before you come inside, remove dirt by dipping each paw in the water and gently wiping it with the towel.
Over-bathing your dog can cause dry skin, which results in itching and flaking. Avoid these issues—but keep your pup smelling fresh—by giving him a quick dry bath. Brush out his coat first to loosen dead hair, dirt, and debris. Wipe him down with a towel spritzed with a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half water. Follow up by sprinkling baking soda on him and rubbing it in, which will neutralize the smell of the vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two, then brush it off. Tip: Give your dog his dry bath outdoors, or another place where a little mess won’t matter!
Wash dog toys to keep them germ-free and in good shape for years of enjoyment. For soft toys, pop them in the washing machine, ideally in a garment bag. (Be sure to use dog-safe detergent.) Line dry or put them in the dryer inside a pillowcase. Hard toys can be cleaned in the sink with a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar and a brush or sponge. An easy alternative: Put your pal’s
toys in the dishwasher with her bowls.
Even if you can’t smell traces of urine, your dog can. It’s important to clean and neutralize these odors, because as long as he can smell it, he’ll continue to use that area as his personal potty. For new stains, soak up as much as you can by layering newspaper on top of paper towels and standing on the padding. Repeat this step until the area is no longer damp. The Humane Society suggests taking urine-soaked paper towels outside in order to positively reinforce to your dog where it is suitable for him to do his business. Follow up by rinsing the soiled area with water. Once the area is clean, use an enzyme-based pet odor neutralizer like Dog Whisperer Natural Stain and Odor Remover