Today, I was reading through a few articles on cleanliness with dogliness. Aside from the dirty paws that need to, seemingly constantly, be cleaned every time they come in from the outside, what things do dogs bring in with them? Do they bring dangerous things in from outside? Is it safe to let my dog sleep in bed with me?
This article from Popular Science “Dirty Dog: Do Pets Track Bacteria In Your Home” was a great eye opener about what kinds of dirt and bacteria our four legged friends bring with them. Another article: “Sleeping With The Enemy: What You Get From Your Pet“, this one from Wired.com, tells of the danger of the bacteria your dogs spreads when they sleep with you, and lick your delicious face and feet.
While the article above stopped short of saying “don’t let your dog sleep with you”, they did lay out some precautions, and warned against letting dogs lick you.
What kinds of things can I do to prevent dogs bringing these into my home? Sadly, due to the very nature of bacteria and viruses, it is impossible to sterilize your dog each time they come in, but you can limit the amount of bacteria from entering your home by taking some simple steps; wash your dogs feet, and wipe their coat after a trip outside.
Not only will cleaning them help keep them safe and looking pretty, but it reduces the amount of matter on them for them to leave through the house.
- Keep a roll of paper towels close to the most frequently used dog entrances. I prefer Bounty Select-A-Size as it reduces the amount we consume each month. Usually one section will do for each trip.
- Wipe your doggy with a cleansing wipe. These disposable wipes have a cleanser in them, like a baby wipe, to help remove dirt and soil but are formulated to keep pads healthy and coats shiny. I keep these Earth Bound Grooming Wipes next to the back door. They come in a resealable container, and 100 to a package so they are always handy.
- Partially fill a small plastic container with warm water and wash dirty paws just outside the door. Dry with a cloth or paper towel. Like a mini-spa treatment, this is the most effective way as it completely removes dirt from between toes and tight-knit fur.
Along the lines of #3 above, there are a few more elegant solutions than a container. Products such as The Paw Wash For Dogs, The Paw Plunger, and the Paw Boss are less messy, and have soft filaments inside the help gently remove dirt.
|The Paw Wash For Dogs||The Paw Plunger||The Paw Boss|
Kickstarter is a great place to find emerging inventions, and this clever mat (with a concealed treat) encourages your pup to “dig” the treat out, at the same time cleaning their paws. Check out the link to their page below:
While vastly more expensive, those with the resources and space are building a dedicated dog washing sink inside a laundry area, or outside as part of landscaping. Check out the images below for some inspiration.