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Muddy dogs part II

A few days ago we looked at some tips on how to deal with the mud.   Here are a few more things to think about:


Exercise alternatives:

Dogs need exercise, but there are a few times when we can do alternate activities for a few days to help tire the dogs out
Training, whether at home or at a class or workshop, can be a great alternative to exercise.   When it is muddy out, and walks at the  metro-park aren't enough,  a few training sessions can tire my senior dog.   He would be happy to frolic in the mud, but even a quick game of fetch on a slippery surface could be very dangerous for a very young, old, or previously injured dog. 
Walks in town or at a paved bike trail can also be a low-mud exercise strategy.  Visit a new location, and the different sights, smells, and sounds will help tire your dog out just as much as the exercise.

Check out the metropark page to see what parks are nearest you and which have paved pet trails.

Wipe your paws:

Some dogs are great about this, and some are not.   It can be fairly easy to train this, but practice at times when your dog is clean and dry!   Pick up your dog's food.  Feed him a super special (and tiny, think kibble-sized) piece of treat.   Repeat with another foot. And another. And another.      Repeat this for several training sessions.  When your dog is happy, proceed to the next step.  If at any point your dog is struggling, make the exercise easier, maybe touch his leg instead of picking it up, or just barely lift it off the ground.

The next session, do a quick touch with a dry cloth. Feed a treat.  Repeat on all feet, and multiple times.   Each session, do a little more foot-wiping. 

Use caution and be sure to move your dog's legs froward or back, and not out to the side.  The range of motion your dog has should be respected, do not try to pull further to get him into a position that is more comfortable for you. 

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