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.
Tip #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 pup's paws time to dust off before they reach your door.
Tip #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.
Tip #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.
Tip #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.
Tip #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.
Tip #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.
By Sandra Ketcham
About the Author
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."