Every dog cares about going outside, but they rarely care what happens to your floors when they come back in. Dirty dog paws can sully any flooring, from hardwood to carpet, so you have to keep your pup's mitts clean and tidy after every outdoor excursion.
Dress your dog in booties. Dog booties not only protect your dog's feet from elemental dangers like salted sidewalks, but they also protect your floors when he comes back inside. Most dogs need a little time and practice to get used to wearing boots in inclement weather, but your floors will thank you for the effort.
Wipe your dog's feet before he comes inside. No matter the weather outside, his paws can trap dirt and grime, so give them a quick scrub before coming back in. This may be as simple as dusting them off with a dry towel, but just in case he steps in something unsavory, keep a shallow dish of warm water outside the door. That way you can clean and dry his paws quickly before going inside.
Trim your dog's nails. How often you need to do this depends on the dog, so keep an eye on him. When he starts to nibble at his nails, it's time to take him to a groomer or vet to trim them. Trimming his nails yourself can be dangerous, as you can easily injure your pet by cutting the quick, which is a bundle of blood vessels and nerves. Keeping his nails short prevents scratching damage to the floor, as well as minimizes the risk of dirt and grime getting trapped in his paws.
- Clean your floors immediately when your dog's paws leave a mark. Cleaning up spots like dirt and mud early helps prevent stains from forming.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.