October 28th is Muddy Dog Day! While this is technically a UK holiday, it’s probably safe to say that many American dogs would be more than happy to celebrate. Fido’s love of rolling in mud is both adorable and frustrating. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I offer some insight into this common doggy behavior below.
Why Do Dogs Love Mud?
Have you’ve ever seen a pooch pop up out of a mud puddle, covered in mud and sporting that goofy dog grin? It’s probably safe to assume that Fido just enjoys getting dirty. To be fair, some of our canine companions do seem to be just having fun. Think of it as the doggy equivalent of a kid stomping in puddles. However, there are a few other possibilities. If it’s hot out, your furry friend may be trying to cool off. Another possibility would be that Fido is trying to get rid of a scent he doesn’t like, such as that perfumed shampoo. For some pups, this may also just be a way to connect with their inner puppies … or perhaps, their inner wolves.
Dangers Of Mud Stomping
I wouldn’t put rolling in mud puddles at the top of the list of most dangerous doggy activities. However, there are a few concerns. Leptospirosis is the biggest hazard: this is a very dangerous disease that is passed on by bacteria that thrive in wet and muddy areas. (If you and Fido were in Africa, you’d need to be worried about hippos or crocs, but luckily those aren’t threats here in Iowa.) Plus, mud is pretty germy, and could contain parasites.
Cleaning Fido Off
Getting caked in mud may be the bright spot of Fido’s day, but it probably won’t be yours. If your yard tends to get muddy in rainy weather, keep pet wipes and/or a spray bottle of water and some cloths or towels near the door. You may also want to set out a bath mat: these are very absorbent, and can help clean your canine pal’s paws. You may even be able to teach your pooch to wipe his paws off. For easy indoor cleaning, a spray mop or steam mop is going to be your best bet. Of course, if your dog is completely caked, a bath is in order. (Sorry, buddy.)
Please contact me with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I’m here to help!