If you’re anything like us, a muddy dog walk is something that is both brilliant fun (as it means you’re out in the great outdoors), but it can also be a little bit frustrating. Let’s face it – it’s not much fun to return home with a muddy dog and all of the chaos that follows. Never fear – you’re looking for tips to make muddy dog walking more bearable, then you’re in the right place! In this article, I list my tricks to make dog walking in muddy and wet weather slightly more bearable!
I’ve listed this tips based on my experience over the years of walking our cockapoo Ziggy through rain, shine, mud and snow! Of course, once you read through these please leave a comment if you’ve got anything additional to add – the more tips for muddy dog walks, the merrier!
So without further ado – here are my top 7 ways to survive a muddy dog walk! (If you’re looking for fun things to do on your dog walk – we have an article for that too.)
1. Set up an entryway cleaning station
Personally, I think this is one of the best things we’ve ever done to help us survive muddy dog walks!
One of the main things that makes dog walking challenging during wet and muddy months, is the fact that when we return home there is always the risk of mud getting into the hallway and then trodding it into the carpets. Not to mention the challenge of trying to to clean up your dog whilst taking your own shoes and coats off (particularly if you have a few children in tow!)
An easy solution that works really well for us is how we’ve set up an entryway cleaning station!
Now this sounds a little more fancy than the reality. All that means is that in our hallway we have have the following within easy reach:
- Two towels (one to drape over the floor and one to actually clean our dog)
- This pet teezer detangling brush, so we can do a quick brush down as a quick preventative measure for knots forming on our cockapoo.
- This muddy boot tray for storing muddy boots while they dry off
- A steam mop to quickly wipe-away any muddy footprints
Now, having these things in easy reach as soon as we get through the front door proves an absolute god-send. It doesn’t mean that we don’t then have to bath our dog after a muddy walk, but it makes coming home a lot less stressful.
If you have a carpeted hallway, or this system just isn’t practical – it could easily be replicated in a garage or a back porch (depending, of course, on your home’s layout!)
2. Car seat protectors and boot bags
They are super inexpensive, easy to clean, and save a small fortune in car cleaning costs over the years!
Basically, you can set them up to either cover your car boot (trunk if you’re from the States) or back seat.
Another thing to add to your car check-list is a muddy boot bag – it can be as simple as a plastic carrier bag, but something to store your muddy boots while driving back home is a must-have to minimise the amount of cleaning you have to do.
3. Microfiber towels
These are another go to item in a household, as we mentioned in our article on how to bathe a cockapoo.
Microfiber towels are not only super absorbent and easy to clean, but they also pack up extremely small so don’t take up a lot of cupboard space.
Personally, we always keep a couple of these handy both in the hallway and in our car.
We also keep on hand smaller microfiber towels that are really useful if you just need to do a quick wipe up of your dog’s paws (maybe this is overkill, but hey – preparation is key!)
4. Scotchgard your furniture
I’ll keep this one quick and simple because it’s super straightforward.
Once a year, we spray down our fabric furniture (sofa, dining chairs, curtains etc.) with water repellant, stain protector.
What this helps to do is it provides a peace of mind when after a muddy dog walk, your pooch decides to escape the towelling down and does a flying leap onto your favourite arm-chair.
I’m not saying that the protector completely repels mud, but it makes it much, much easier to wipe down and clean.
5. Pre plan your dog walking routes
To survive a muddy dog walk (or make it less stressful) one of the best things that we do do is pre-plan or dog walking routes.
What this means in practice is not just knowing how we’re going to get from A to B, but we consider what the route actually looks like in terms of muddy and cleaner areas.
Put simply, on our dog walking routes we always and plan in some time before we get back to the car to walk on less muddy paths and roads.
This could be a country lane, or a gravel hiking trail, but either way it’s always on lead. Ideally, if there’s water around, we’ll get our dog to go for a quick dip just before this point.
By ending a walk in this way, it allows time for our pooch to dry out, and some of the loose mud and dirt just falls off by itself.
It’s a simple “hack” but we find it really effective at reducing the amount of towelling down when we get back to the car and house.
6. Get the right doggy coat
Now, not all dog coats are made equal and there are a few things the we learned (through trial and error) that you need to keep in mind when selecting the right dog coat for you
Personally, we use this awesome dog coat for our Cockapoo.
First, it has a big wrap-under section that runs between the neck and chest – this is sometimes missing on some type of dog coats. This helps massively at reducing the amount of dog-fur that gets exposed to mud!
Over the years we found that while it may be tempting to go for a cute fabric based dog coat, water resistancy is also key.
Not only does it help to prevent your dog from getting wet during the walk, but it also proves very useful when you just want to brush off the coat (rather than wash it constantly). Less mud and dirt, ultimately means less chance of knots and mats developing.
Having reflector strips on the coat as well is an enormous plus and gives us plenty of peace of mind that we won’t be missed by car drivers during long dark nights.
7. Keep a go bag handy
As you might have already guessed from the first item on this list of surviving muddy dog walks, preparation is key!
Having a winter dog walking bag packed and within easy reach has proved a lifesaver for us over the years
We tend to keep our go bag in the car, so it’s always on hand when setting out on particularly long walks
Now, you might be asking what’s in our go bag, and this is perhaps painfully straightforward. In our bag, we have:
- Poop bags
- Microfiber towel
- Water bottle and water bowl – these two in-one types.
- A spare collar (just in case)
- Boot and paw scraper – this may seem “gimmicky” but we got it as a gift and find we use it constantly!
- Doggy treats (obviously)
- A spare dog-jacket. Yes, maybe this is overkill, but you never know!
We also have this vet-app installed on our phones, which can give you 24/7 access to a vet for a really reasonable price. It’s free to install and helps provide that extra peace of mind if you’re out-and-about.
If you’re looking for extra inspiration – check our product picks for our Cockapoo.
Summary: how to survive a muddy dog walk
Hopefully, at least some of the tips above will be ones that come in useful for you and your dog on your next muddy dog walk! If you enjoyed what you read – you might find my article about how to look after your dog during winter useful (particularly if you have a cockapoo, or other poodle-like dog!)