Mardi Gras for Dogs = Muddi Gras! Tips For Dealing With Muddy Paws

You say toe-MAY-toe, I say toe-MA-toe.

I say Mardi Gras, my dog says Muddi Gras!…

Muddi Gras = muddy paws.


Following are some funny pictures of dogs celebrating Mardi Gras Muddi Gras by spending some quality time playing in the dirt and mud.

Plus the best tips for dealing with your dog’s muddy paws — because what dog doesn’t love to play in the mud… right?

Of our 3 dogs…

Destin likes to dig in it.

No dig!

Tenor likes to play in it.

Awe... not again!

And Jersey likes to roll in it!

You HAD to roll in it, huh?

…Happy Muddi Gras, to all our dog-loving friends!!!

Here’s a dirty dogs photogallery for you to enjoy.


Tips For Dealing With Muddy Paws

Wet, or muddy, or snowy dog paws are not something you want tracking through the house!

I used greet my dog at the door with a towel every time he came in after doing his business outside when it was raining or snowing. I had a small welcome mat in front of the door, but he never managed to keep his paws on it. (He’s a large, 100-pound dog Labrador Retriever.) Still, he would stand patiently — half on the rug / half off — while I wiped each paw dry (…or at least less wet). Then, I just had to wipe the paw prints off the floor area immediately surrounding the welcome mat.

Finally, I got smart and bought a large 9×12 foot carpet remnant (it’s a low-pile shag) and placed it right in front of the door that he always uses:

  • Now, I simply tell him to “Sit on the rug” for a few minutes after he comes inside. I give him a treat. And I test his respect of the “Stay” command. After a few minutes — when I think the paws have dried enough — I say OK and he knows that he can get up and go play.
  • If the bottom of his paws are extra wet or muddy, I signal him to walk in circles on the rug a few times before telling him to “sit on the rug”. That way the rug does some of the work for you by removing some of the debris and drying the bottom of the paws a bit.
  • If the top of his paws or in between his toe pads are super wet or muddy, then I sit on the rug with him and carefully wipe each paw until it’s dry.
  • If I know ahead of time that it’s super muddy outside, then I put dog boots on each of my dog’s paws. He actually doesn’t even mind it anymore.

That’s how I deal with muddy paws. Here are some tips from other dog owners:

  1. Teach your dog to wipe his own paws. Place a towel on the floor and, while your dog is watching, put some very smelly treats underneath. Most dogs will sniff the towel trying to find the treats and continue pawing at it until the treats are recovered. If your dog doesn’t do this, then tap the towel with your finger and ask him to “Find it!” If your dog is still not catching on, here’s how to teach your dog to “Find it.”
  2. Place rugs or mats along the area leading up to the door. Since your dog has to walk on these to get inside the door, a bit of the moisture and dirt will remain outside on those rugs (as long as they were dry to begin with). Here’s how to train your dog to walk on floor mats.
  3. Create a doggy mudroom area. By using only one main entrance for the dogs, and having everything you need within reach (a place to hang the dog leash, a place to keep clean towels or rags, a place to keep the dirty towels or rags, a box of dog wipes), you’re less likely to be inconvenienced and your dog is less likely to track mud through the house. Make sure you have a comfy place to sit yourself! Here are some awesome dog mudrooms!
  4. Groom your dog in ways that help alleviate the muddy mess. If you trim the hair on your dog’s feet and pasterns, you’ll lessen the amount of mud and dirt tracked into the house. Long hair on your dog’s feet and legs just give the dirt more to attach to. Here’s how to trim the fur on your dog’s paws and between his toes.
  5. Keep dog grooming wipes near the door. In fact, it makes sense to keep these handy dog wipes near the main entrances of your house and in the car for times when your dog has dirty feet, lots of drool, or just needs a fresh & clean wipe down. Here’s a huge collection of dog wipes to choose from.
  6. Use a dog paw cleaner. You keep this handy gadget near the door that your dog uses most. Then, when his paws are really dirty or muddy, you place each of your dog’s paws — one by one — into the ‘cup filled with water’. The dirty part is removed, but now you’ve got a really wet paw to dry off. There are a number of paw wash contraptions to choose from. Personally, if I were choosing this option for my 100-lb dog, I would probably use a larger water holder, like this spillproof dog water bowl. (It’s what we take with us on our Jeep rides.)