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Best Ways to Remove Mud From Your Dog

Note: Julia Thomson is a contributor to That Mutt. She maintains the blog Home on 129 Acres.

On our farm, we do not experience spring. We experience Mud. With a dog, keeping the mud outside is sometimes a challenge.

Until we get my dream mudroom complete with a doggie shower, we make do with what my husband calls the “dog wash.” It’s definitely not fancy. Just a low spot behind the barn where water pools.

Baxter's dog wash

Despite being in the middle of a field, it actually does a good job of cleaning off the mud. We wade through the dog wash at the end of our walk and then stay on the grassy path until we’re back to the house.

Now, I realize not everyone has access to a dog wash—or a doggie shower (and if you do, please share so I can live vicariously through you—is it as wondrous as I imagine?). So today, I thought I’d share my tale of woe tips for making it through the Season of Mud.

I’d love to hear yours too. Seriously, I’ll take all the help I can get!

Tips for surviving Mud Season—Ways to remove mud from your dog

Muddy paws - best ways to remove mud from your dog

Towels – Baxter gets his feet wiped every time he comes inside no matter the weather. But in Mud the towels are essential. Old bath towels work well enough for us, although there are fancier microfiber versions out there if you want to upgrade—or even specialty sponges. Baxter gets a full-body toweling—which he loves. Pay attention to bellies and legs and those mud-magnets, the toenails, as well as feet.

Squirt bottle – On days where the dog wash and the towel are not up to the task, I’ve found a squirt bottle filled with water is my savior. I use an old dish soap bottle.

Squirt bottle for removing mud from your dog

It allows me to direct a stream of water between the toes, under the toenails, around the pads, down the legs, wherever mud might be hiding. I do this outside, and then bring Bax indoors to towel off.

Brush – I am thankful that we have a short haired dog. Usually, a vigorous rubdown with a big towel is sufficient to remove most dirt. For short-haired or long-haired dogs alike, a brush can be really helpful, especially if the mud is dry.

Handheld shower head, gentle shampoo – Sometimes there’s no way around it. The only way to get rid of the mud is to bathe your dog. To make bath time go smoothly, I highly recommend a handheld shower head (the MIU PET that Lindsay reviewed last month also dispenses shampoo) and gentle shampoo. You don’t want to bathe your dog every day, but I’ve resigned myself that Baxter is going to get more baths in Mud than in any other season.

Household cleaners – Despite your best efforts, mud may get past you. An arsenal of mops, carpet or upholstery cleaner and laundry detergent can help to keep your house looking clean, even though you might be knee deep in Mud.

Muddy puppy paws

That’s my list. What’s yours?

Let us know in the comments!

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Claudia M. Bessley-Hayes

Sunday 13th of February 2022

My Bénie is *always* the muddiest dog at the dog park. Her schtick is to splash around in the water bucket and then run around in the pine mulch and red clay, sliding dramatically when she catches a thrown ball, and rolling on the ground when wrestling with a friends. She leaves caked with red mud and wood particles. All the other pup parents look at me and laugh in fits of schaudenfreude.

I use a MudBuster to clean her paws when we get home, towel her off to get the gross particular matter out, let her dry and then brush her off.

Then we do a BarkBath (the Bissel dog wash machine). It squirts water and shampoo and sucks it up at the same time. Usually I just use the rinse setting because I don’t want to dry her skin out with so much shampoo. I do subject her to a weekly bathtub bath, just to be sure I get her really clean down to the skin regularly.

Our robovac (Robbie) does a daily sweeping to keep up with the red clay dust on the floor and I use a nice feather duster on everything else. Once a week I wet mop the floor and vacuum the sofa and her bedding.

If you think that I’m devoting a good part of my life to dealing with mud, you’d be correct!


Wednesday 1st of June 2016

My dog is a Cockapoo and I use what a call a 'Poo Puddle to clean his muddy paws. Fill a builders platic bucket with some water and then pop in his front paws, take out and towel dry. Repeat with the back paws. Voila, clean paws


Monday 25th of April 2016

Our backyard is all dirt right now so if it ever rained it would be one giant mud pit. Luckily we haven't had to deal with that yet and hopefully our landscape/hardscape will be done before our next big storm. My #1 tip is to avoid the mud. Fortunately, where we live that's not too difficult to do.

Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Monday 25th of April 2016

Yipes. My fingers are crossed for you that your landscaping is done soon. I'm glad you have alternatives for walks and playtime.


Monday 25th of April 2016

Our terrier is 90% Velcro (scientific fact!) so when we spent a couple months in the Pacific Northwest I started to realize why some people there claimed to have seen Sasquatch; they'd merely encountered a terrier who had run through a damp field.

Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Monday 25th of April 2016

I may have just added Velcro and Sasquatch to my list of future dog names. :)

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 25th of April 2016