Best way to clean sticky mud from paws?
Below is a message I posted to the garden forums about a problem with sticky mud on my dogs' feet. I would like to add a question for the pets forum: What is the most efficient, non-toxic and non-irritating way to clean sticky, clay-like mud off a dog's feet? Is there anything better than just a spray attachment on the hose (which always ends up getting my shoes and pants as well as their feet)?
At this point it appears we will be doing this several times a day!
We've just moved into a temporary rental with our three medium to large dogs. We're blessed with a big backyard, but the yard is completely unplanted, and the soil here is claylike and very sticky. Every time the dogs come in, there's a layer of this muddy clay (it's raining these days) stuck to their feet which proceeds to come off on the kitchen floor. I noticed the same sticky mud problem with my shoes when I walked in the yard even in dry weather, before our rental began. Why did we rent it, then? In this area, when you have dogs, you jump on any available rental.
Keeping the dogs outside is not an option, but the constant mopping is already getting to me and is not even keeping on top of the problem. Is there any fast-growing grass or ground cover I could plant that might alleviate this problem? It's November and we only expect to be here through March, so it would have to be something that grows in the winter, and fast enough to offer some benefit. Our Zone 9 winters have little to no freeze and the backyard gets a lot of sun. We could go buy rolls of grass if they are available at this time of year, but I imagine that would be very expensive. The yard is probably 6000 square feet.
I feel so fortunate to have this rental, but dealing with the sticky mud is a serious challenge!