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Creating a dog washing station to keep your home mud-free

After a long, dry summer, many of us are looking forward to a drop in temperature, including our furry friends. But while dogs might enjoy autumnal drizzles and downpours, their owners certainly aren’t looking forward to the muddy pawprints this weather brings. Of course you’ll want your pet to have fun in the great outdoors, but it can be frustrating to say the least when they leave mud all over the house.

The best way to sort this mess out is to prevent it altogether, and this is much easier to do with the help of a dog washing station. This will provide you with a place to clean your dog so you can keep the rest of the house mud-free. To help you craft the ideal cleaning area for your dog, the pet care experts Webbox are here to share their tips for creating a budget-friendly dog washing station, as well as some additional tips for keeping the house mud-free.

Tips for creating a pet cleaning station

When it comes to crafting a washing area for your pet, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be costly. If you already have a utility room, there are a number of simple additions to make it an ideal space for washing your pet. And even if you don’t already have one installed, there are still a few solutions for you.

Use the space you already have

If you already have a utility room, this is the perfect place to start. But if you don’t, this doesn’t mean that you can’t set up a pet cleaning station in your home. It’s best to set it up as close as possible to a water supply, so you don’t have to worry about transporting water through the house.

One of the best areas to designate a pet cleaning station in is the garage. Not only can most garages easily be accessed from outdoors so your pet won’t trail mud through the house, but they’re usually spacious enough and come with easy to clean floors. A spacious ground-floor bathroom is also a great place to wash your pet. If you have a shower in here, you can even designate it as the washing area for your pet! And if you have access to warm running water outside, you can easily set a station up in your garden without having to worry about getting the inside of your home dirty.

Make the area splash-proof

If there’s one universal rule which all dogs follow, it’s doing a big shake as soon as they’re finished being cleaned, as well as several times throughout the washing process too. So rather than trying to prevent the inevitable, make sure the surrounding can withstand their vigorous shaking.

If you have a big dog with a lot of fur, you may find that they’ve managed to shake dirty water on walls even on the other side of the room. It’s best to have your dog cleaning station in an area with tiled walls so that they’re easier to clean. But if this isn’t possible, you can choose a washable paint so that stains can be lifted quickly and easily. If you have any decorations in the room, make sure these can easily be wiped over and cleaned as well.

Create a soothing space

After a long walk, your pet still may be excitable. And any dog owner knows that during and after being cleaned, they can become particularly hyped up. So to keep your pet as calm as possible, it’s a good idea to make it a soothing space for them to enjoy.

You can help your dog stay calm by introducing relaxing scents to the room. There are a number of calming plug-ins available with scents made especially to keep pets calm. You can even play music to help them relax. There are a variety of dog-friendly playlists around which are made especially to help your pet stay calm, with music from genres like reggae and soft rock, both of which have been associated with relaxed behaviours in dogs (Science Direct). And don’t forget to store a few of your canine companion’s favourite toys in the room, to keep them occupied while you’re preparing to clean them up.

Top tips for a mud-free home

While having a dog cleaning station is sure to help prevent muddy pawprints in your home, there are even more ways to prevent them before your pet steps inside the house.

Have towels at the ready

Before you set off for your walk, it’s a good idea to leave a couple of towels somewhere outside the house so you can start the cleaning process before you step inside. While towelling them won’t get all the mud off, you can give their feet a good wipe over to prevent muddy pawprints and make sure there’s no mud dripping off their fur for them to shake off. Just make sure to use old towels that you don’t need to use for anything else.

Keep their fur trimmed

Any long-haired dog owner knows just how much their pets’ fur can pick up from the outdoors, and this includes mud and dirt from walks at this time of year. By keeping their fur trimmed, not only can you prevent a muddy home but you can avoid some of the knots caused by matted hair. Your pet will get most of the mud on their paws, so the most important place to trim is around their feet and between the paw pads. However, you may also want to trim the bottom of their legs if they pick up a lot of dirt here. If you’re worried about trimming their coat in the wrong way, pay a visit to a groomer and have it done professionally.

Practise commands

Having to deal with a muddy dog can be a challenge in itself, let alone one who doesn’t know the training basics. Teaching your dog to understand commands is sure to help you not just when you’re trying to keep the house mud-free, but in everyday life too. Basic commands like “sit” and “stay” are ideal for when you need just a few minutes to gather cleaning supplies together, or if you just want to help your dog calm down. And when it comes to cleaning them, teaching your pooch to raise their paws will make the process go more smoothly.

“In the soggy winter and autumn months, even a short run around the garden can end up leading to muddy pawprints throughout the house. By setting up a pet cleaning station in your home, you can keep your house tidy and still allow your dog the joy of a muddy walk. All you need is a station that is set up near an access of running water and has washable floors and walls which can withstand a few muddy shakes.

“Even with a dog washing station, it will still be helpful to teach your furry friend a few basic commands if they don’t know them already. This can help you stop them running around the home with muddy paws, and keep them calm before their bath or shower too. You can use small treats to reward them when they follow your commands, and slowly phase them out until they learn to be obedient without them.”

  • Michael Haigh, Senior Brand Manager at Webbox

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