Dogs need time to be dogs. This means, time off lead to explore, time to sniff “pee-mail”, socialise, rest, recuperate, eat, sleep and play and that often means mud!
Rescue dogs may need additional support with some of these activities, especially off lead and socialising and may take a lot longer than you think to adjust. My two get time off lead when it is safe to do so and when I have checked and tested recall, and let them both know I have special treats to share. Make time for your rescue dogs specific needs and watch their confidence grow little by little.
Dirty dog feet, some people find this difficult to live with and bath their dogs to keep them clean.
Our furry friends actually self-clean (within reason) due to the natural oils in their coat, when the mud and dirt dries it kinda just brushes off (hence all the grit on the floor when living with dogs) and not having dirty dog feet pad through the house.
So next time you catch yourself running to put your pooch in the bath, reach for a towel instead and rub them down to remove excess water and leave the rest up to nature. If you must not have dirty dog feet, wash their feet in a little bowl and then rough dry them off with a towel – please avoid soaps and shampoos though as they strip the natural oils from their paws.
My rescue dogs HATE being bathed, I’ve only done it to remove fox poo and they love being rubbed down with a towel after a walk, a little massage and pamper time and now after a wet and rainy walk both come to be towelled off.
Now not all the dogs are the same, yours may love the bath. Our first family dog adored the bath, try keeping her out of it, it is super important to tailor how we do things to meet our dogs needs, especially our rescue dogs.
So if you really want to know how to handle dirty dog feet, leave it up to nature, let the feet dry off and the dirt will come off on its own when it is dry (dogs coats are amazing at self-cleaning) if a little grubby spot remains a lovely brush usually sorts the matter out (with the exception of grass stains which take a little longer to wokr their way off their coat).
There will of course be times when you need to check your dirty dog feet for splinters, sores, grass seeds or ticks and a little splash in a bowl of water is absolutely fine. It only starts to cause issues to them when we add products to strip out the natural oils.
Some dogs have allergies and this can show up as itchniess between the toes, this can be due to a bacterial infection such as thrush and is actually more likely to be caused by a processed or high grain based diet, or from chemicals in the home than something they are walking on or have picked up.
How you can tell is if it affects all the toes or just a couple of them. If it is an allergy it is more likely to affect all of the toes than just a couple. For the most of the time dirty dog feet is just down to walking through muddy puddles, doing what doggies love to do exploring the outdoors.
I’d love to know how you deal with your dirty dog feet, do leave a comment in the box below.