The rainy season has arrived in Vancouver.
Settle in, folks. I’m going to whine and moan about being cold and wet for about the next six months. As much as a BC summer fills my heart with joy, a BC winter makes me want to weep. It’s not just me who hates it, both my dogs hate the rain as well.
It is really hard to have a clean, fresh smelling dog friendly home during wet dog season.
Seriously! They’re always wet! How do you eliminate that damp, vaguely earthly, yeast-driven smell when it seems like your dogs just never get dry!? You aren’t supposed to bath your dog daily, as it can dry out their skin, make them itchy and create a problem with hot spots. Blow drying them (while necessary sometimes) isn’t ideal either. It dries out my scalp, it definitely dries out my dogs. So how do you keep wet dog smell and mud at bay?
Help eliminate winter mud and wet dog smell with DIY Paw & Grooming Wipes.
They’re like baby wipes, only natural and totally dog safe, so even if your dog licks their paws after you use them, it’s not going to expose them to scary chemicals or make them sick. They’re also super simple to make using just a few ingredients.
- 1 1/2 cups of distilled water
I ain’t foolin’, folks. If you use tap water for this purpose, you open yourself up to the batch being spoiled by bacteria before you get to use them all.
- 1/2 tbsp. your fav, natural dog shampoo
I’m using the Coconut shampoo from Lucy’s because all natural, made in the USA and it smells like happiness.
- 1 tbsp. Hydrogen Peroxide (3% first aid grade)
This may not seem like a lot, but hydrogen peroxide packs a big punch. It’s both an anti-fungal and an anti-bacterial, which are huge culprits for causing dog smell. Its pretty diluted in this recipe, but over use can dry out the skin, which is why we’re adding coconut oil to replenish moisture.
- 1 tbsp. liquid coconut oil
In addition to adding moisture back to your dog’s paws and skin at a time of year when dry skin is a real problem, it also works as a great barrier, coating the fur to reduce moisture penetration.
- Thin, disposable kitchen cleaning cloths
So I know a TON of people create their own paw wipes using paper towel and that is awesome. For me, I like to be able to make up a fairly good sized batch and then use them over a couple weeks. The trouble is, every single time I’ve done that with paper towel, the paper towel fell apart before I could use all the wipes. I also find that paper towel was breaking down while I was wiping paws and little balls of paper were getting stuck between Felix’s toes. The kitchen towels are thin enough that they work like paper towel, but hold up so much better. (Think the tecture of a Lysol wipe but without the bleachy chemicals.)
- Air Tight Storage Container
When it comes to how to store your wipes, you’ve got OPTIONS. You can absolutely order a pop up wipes dispenser like this one from OXO if that is something that speaks to you, but this can also be done in a simple plasticcontainer from the dollar store (we ain’t fancy) or a decorative cookie jar with a seal (in case you ARE fancy). I will say that I absolutely adore the travel wipes containers from OXO because it’s easy to keep just a few wipes tucked in my bag for mud emergencies.
How to make your own dog paw wipes:
In a bowl or jar, gently mix together distilled water, shampoo, hydrogen peroxide and liquid coconut oil. Open cloths and cut into individual wipes in a size that works for your dog’s paws. Place cloths in your storage container and pour liquid over. Shake gently to disperse liquid, then wait 30 minutes for liquid to be fully absorbed.
Store in an airtight container (otherwise they’ll dry out), checking periodically to ensure they haven’t been contaminated and spoiled. Use as needed to wipe muddy paws and wet, yucky fur.
Not the DIY type? No prob. Why wreck it yourself, when you can buy it?
How do you combat wet dog smell and muddy paws? Share your tips in the comments.