After a long day at work, you come home and feed your hungry pup its dinner and then start your own meal. When you turn back around once your dog is finished, you see its bowl halfway across the floor, remnants of the meal scattered all around, water has dripped everywhere and its face and fur are covered in a mess of food. Now you have to take some time to clean it all up when at least one of you thinks the time would be better spent playing fetch.
Dogs get dirty, and they don’t care one bit about tracking that dirt through your house. It seems as if dog paws are designed to trap as much dirt, mud and grass as possible — even a quick romp in the yard can lead to a big mess in your house. If your dog’s dirty paws are dulling your floors, take control of the situation and put an end to the parade of paw prints.
If you lay down a few ground rules, sharing your home with an animal needn’t mean too much extra work. Don’t worry that you might not be able to train your animal well enough to follow house rules — the rules are for you, not your pet!
1.Designate one door for your dog to use when he comes inside your house. This enables you to focus your efforts in one location. Ideally, you should choose the cleanest entry point. Avoid doors that lead into dirt or grass. Instead, choose an entry point surrounded by deck or concrete to give your puppy’s paws time to dust off before they reach your door.
2.Place a mat outside and inside the door your dog uses. Some mats are better for dislodging dirt than others, and this partially depends on the size of your dog’s paws. Look for a mat made of rubber or another washable material.
3.Place a shallow bin of water inside your door and dip your pet’s muddy paws into the water before allowing him loose in your house. This is also beneficial for removing debris or snow from between his toes after an outing. Have him step on a towel to dry off some of the water.
4.Consider dog booties after heavy rains or in snow. This will not only save your floors, but it will protect your pet from salted sidewalks and other winter hazards. Not all dogs take to booties right away; keep trying if your dog resists, and encourage him with lots of treats.
5.Be consistent. Keeping your house clean of paw prints will be a lot easier if your dog knows what to expect and cooperates because of it. Use the same door and clean his paws every time he comes back inside, using treats for distraction and positive reinforcement.
6.Clean up dirt, grass and mud immediately. If you leave dirt on your floor, your dog will keep walking through it and track it into every corner of your house. Keep a broom and dustpan handy at all times.
And here are must-haves for the messy four-legged eater in your household — guaranteed to make everyone happy.
Minimize the distance between your dog’s food and its mouth with the Our Pet’s High Rise Diner Elevated Dog Feeder in the hopes of keeping the food off the floor. Made specifically for large dogs, this elevated feeder minimizes stress on bones and joints, is easy to clean and has a spill ridge to keep the food in the bowl and not all over the kitchen.
If your pup is extra eager and noses its bowl all over the place, keep it in one place with the rubber Bella Spill-Proof Dog Mat that’s slip resistant and has anti-skid feet. This bone-shaped place mat for dogs is nontoxic and BPA-free and made for both indoor and outdoor use. If food does start flying out of the bowl, at least it’ll be contained and ready for easy cleanup.
Sometimes the mess comes from an over-eager eater that wolfs everything down in two seconds flat. Slow your dog down while making mealtime fun with The Company of Animals’ Green Dog Slow Feeder. Like a maze for the mouth to navigate, getting the kibble becomes a game — one that makes it impossible to gobble everything in just a few messy bites.
A snood is a mealtime must-have in my house to keep long, furry ears tied up and out of the way. This goes double if your pup eats a raw diet that tends to be messier than kibble. Our fave is the handmade Beach Living Dog Snood from DayDogDesigns. It just slips over the dog’s head and is held in place with elastic until the very last bite. Too cute!
Messy eaters can have messy teeth, so keep your pup in tip-top shape with the new Milk-Bone Brushing Chews. When fed daily, these chews have been clinically proven to clean teeth as well as twice-weekly brushing. Low-calorie and affordable, these oral health must-haves don’t involve you having to wrestle your dog’s mouth open.
Crusty, smelly dried food in your dog’s fur? Eww, no thanks! To combat that nastiness, wipe your dog’s face and fur after an award-worthy chow down with the PawGanics Natural Grooming Wipes For Dogs. The alcohol and lanolin-free formula is safe for even the most sensitive furry friends out there and are gentle enough for daily mealtime cleanup.
Flimsy plastic bowls are not what your messy eater needs. Instead, treat it to Loving Pets’ Robusto Bowls, the sturdiest and most-solid bowls you’ll ever buy that come in a variety of fun colors. The heavy gauge aluminum construction was put to the test and survived being run over by a 6500-pound Hummer. So it’s safe to say nothing your dog can do will faze this wonder bowl that will stay put ’til meal’s end.