How to Clean a Dog After Daily Walk

Easy
5 - 20 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Coco is a feisty little terrier who lives in an apartment with her owners. She needs to be clean when she comes inside, as other tenants in the apartment block will not appreciate muddy paw prints or stinky wet dog smell in the corridors. Unfortunately, true to her terrier nature, Coco loves to dig and root on walksĀ and investigate everything disgusting along the way. When she returns from her daily walks she frequently has muddy paws and beard and is covered in sticks, grass and other debris, not to mention bacteria and germs from other dogs leavings and whatever dead critters she discovered along the way. Her owners need to clean her up before coming inside to keep their apartment clean and their neighbors happy.

Dog's Perspective

Your dog loves walks and loves sniffing all sorts of yucky things along the way--dead things, poop, plants, and bushes that have been urinated on by other dogs. While your dog doesn't seem bothered, you might be. Nobody wants to be nuzzled by their dog who they just saw sniffing poop! A bath every day may dry your dog's skin, so you may need to watch for skin irritation and find alternatives to clean your dog after his daily walk.

The Quick Clean Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Towel
Step
1
Be prepared for dirty feet
Have a rubber mat and towel by the door so that you can bring your dog inside after his daily walk and towel off excess moisture and mud in a warm dry location. A rubber mat will protect your floors and prevent you and your wet dog from slipping.
Step
2
Remove dirt and debris
Remove sticks and other large debris by hand, especially on the belly where debris gets tangled. Brush out your dog thoroughly to remove dirt.
Step
3
Use pet wipes
Use commercial pet wipes to wipe off dirt and debris. Start around his mouth and face where he may have picked up bacteria and germs sniffing and investigating, and work towards his back end. Wipe his back side to remove residual urine and feces and dispose of pet wipes.
Step
4
Spray and spot clean
If pet wipes are not enough, spray your dog with a mixture of water and vinegar, especially if your dog is wet, as vinegar will help remove funky wet dog smell. Wipe stained areas with a face cloth soaked in the mixture and towel off your dog.
Step
5
Dry clean
Use dry shampoo or cornstarch sprinkled over your dog and then brush off excess to get rid of dust and dirt.
Recommend grooming method?

The Bathe Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Clean off before going in house
In summer you can hose your dog off outside, but in winter you may need to take him inside to bathe. Wipe his paws so he does not track mud through the house or carry a small dog to the tub.
Step
2
Wipe off mud and wet
Have a rubber mat and towel by the door. Towel off excess moisture and mud. A rubber mat will protect your floors and prevent you and your wet dog from slipping. Ensure your dog can walk to the bath or be carried to the tub without getting you or the floors covered in mud.
Step
3
Remove debris and tangles
Remove obvious debris like sticks tangled in your dog's coat and work out tangles with your fingers prior to wetting your dog down, as entangled debris will become more difficult to remove when wet.
Step
4
Bathe
Wet, shampoo, and rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water.
Step
5
Dry
Dry with a towel and blow dry or put your dog in a warm, dry location to air dry.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Keep cleaning products out of your dog's eyes and mouth and avoid getting water and shampoo in your dog's ears.
  • Watch for dry skin or skin irritation from daily cleaning. Shampoos can contain harsh chemicals and even water can dry out skin if used too frequently.
  • Be careful when wiping paws not to squeeze too hard, toes can be tender.
  • Be careful not to let your dog get chilled. If it is cold and wet outside on your walk, bathe or clean with warm water and dry thoroughly.

Conclusion

Your dog loves his daily walks, but you may not love the mud and yuckiness he tracks back to your home. Often you can get away with cleaning and drying his paws and wiping your dog's face and bottom down to make him presentable once again. However, sometimes mud happens! If your dog is very dirty and muddy he may require a complete bath. Be prepared to give your dog a cursory clean at the door so he does not track mud and dirt through your house on the way to the tub. Dogs tend to get into bacteria and germy things on walks--you will want to wipe off his face to remove germs before cuddling up with your dog on the couch. The key is to be prepared for your dog to come back in need of some cleaning and decontamination!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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