Dealing With Messy Paws

Help Fido stop tracking dirt into your home.

If you're tired of muddy paw prints tracking up your entryway, let Wendy Nan Rees help you get better organized for dealing with messy paws.

Latest Tip: Dealing With Messy Paws

I have had a major problem with all the rain this year, and this has lead me to this week's tip for you in case you were having the same problem keeping your home clean.

Whether I take my dogs out the back or front door, I end up having so much mud, filthy towels, dirty leashes and just a huge mess at entry. So, realizing I couldn't do anything about the weather, I decided to do something about the mess. I've developed a plan for how to deal with the winter months in my home, and in doing that I think I have come up with a system that could help you.

The main problem I have is that I allowed everybody to enter the house through whichever door they wanted to come in on the rainy days. The first thing I needed to do was make an announcement to the entire household including my roommate, my helper and all my friends and family. During the winter months, we were now only going to use one door- the back door. This would allow me to create an area that is easy to keep clean, organize and move through.

I chose the back door because I could create a very nice space with all the tools I needed to wipe off my dogs' legs and paws and store those damp leashes. I would also have a place to hang the dogs' coats and sweaters. I wanted to make this area close to the laundry room for convenience. If you cannot make it close to your own laundry room, make sure you have a nice old basket that will hold dirty towels and rags so you can easily carry them to the washer for cleaning.

Create Your Own Bad Weather Entry Way

My first tip is that you probably do not need to buy anything. The first thing you should do is to look throughout the your house and garage to find the items on this list. If you need to buy anything, check out your local home improvement store for a variety of storage solutions.

  • A large basket for holding clean folded towels
  • A rack with hooks on it to hang the dogs' leashes, coats and sweaters
  • Another basket to hold the dirty towels
  • Place a bench or ottoman by the back door so you have a comfortable place to sit down when cleaning dogs or leashes.
  • A plastic box or milk crate to hold the following supplies:
    • Wipes
    • Brushes
    • A small water bucket for washing mud and salt from paws
    • Mild liquid soap and a spray bottle of good dog conditioner

Time to Assemble Your New Entry

First you want to clean out the entire area. If possible, it's best to have a bare floor in this area because it will be easy to mop. Once the area is clean and clear, you can arrange your entryway supplies in a way that doesn't obstruct the traffic flow through the area. This way you'll find it easier to work on the dogs when you come in, and if it's easier, you'll be more apt to follow through.I hope this idea will help you when dealing with messy paws over the winter months or anytime the weather turns inclement.

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Dealing With Messy Paws