The UK is blessed with some delightfully wet weather, and while most dogs will happily go out come rain or shine, dog owners are not always quite as excited to find their dogs coat constantly damp, dirty and matted, or covered with leaves, bramles and twigs!
Some dogs are ‘lucky’ and have sleek almost oily coats, and when they get muddy or wet on a walk it’s fairly simple to brush over with a dry towel and a bit of rubbing action. However, your doggies with poodle esque hair (think popular breeds such as cockapoo’s, labradoodles, westipoo’s, etc), along with your high actions spaniels, suffer much more with the old messy bed hair.
As dog walkers, we want your pooch to have the best walk, and for most dogs that means off lead play with their other doggy pals. They also find great enjoyment in scurrying in hedges, plonking themselves on a sandy patch to “dry off” or wallow in mud like pigs … often attempting to swim in the most disgusting of puddles. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get them back on lead before this happens. Dogs are opportunistic and very quick when it suits them, often knowing where they are headed long before we spot the same. Therefore, in poor weather the only way your dog will come back clean is if they are kept on lead and walked along the pavement.
Our main priority is the safety of your dogs, so when we choose our walking locations we aim for enclosed paddocks, empty tracks with no vehicular use, disused farmers fields or the woods. We choose these over popular parks in Milton Keynes because we are less likely to run into other people, children or dogs (remember, not everyone loves dogs running about off lead). The flip side? These walking locations are also wet and muddy!
The reality is: the only way to guarantee your dog will come back nearly as clean as they set out is to keep them on lead and walk along the pavement, but this is honestly NO fun for your dog and we certainly don’t advise it as the best way of tiring them out physically or stimulating them mentally.
Our suggestions below may take a bit of investment in terms of time, installation and money; but you will reap the rewards for many years to come and probably find that you are enjoying your wet weather walks more too. And of course, you’ll be helping your dog walker out no end whilst allowing your dog to fully enjoy their walks.
- Install a tap outside your property. You can keep it as simple as a tap and hose, or as fancy as adding warm water, building a shelf to house their doggy shampoo, towels etc.
- Purchase a Dog Onesie. If your not able to have a tap installed, then the next best option is a dog onesie. These head to toe outfits may appear silly, but really do provide full body coverage, only leaving their feet to be cleaned at the end of the walk (and tail / head if they have serious mud rolling issues). MUCH more manageable and leaves you with a dry, clean dog at the end of most any walk. There are cheaper alternatives on ebay and other pet sites.
- Buy a Dog Drying Bag. This clever purchase would need to be left out on the counter so your dog walker can put your dog in it after the walk on the drive home. Made from quality, highly absorbent fabric, your pooch will be at least 50% drier/cleaner by the time they enter the house, leaving a smaller task for the dog walker and a cleaner home for you!
- Let us know where we should leave your Less Than Sparkly Clean Pooch. If your dog usually has free run of the house with access to carpets, beds, couches, etc then you might like to revisit this in wet weather. We advise keeping your dog contained in a utility room, kitchen or hallway area which has tiled or wooden floors. If you lay towels down and keep them within a hard floor area, then any dirt and mud will dry and fall off during the course of the day and when you get home it makes a light task of clearing up.
If you have any other tips to share do comment below. Happy Wet Walking!