How to Cope With Your Dirty Dog

Despite the best efforts of groomers, dogs will never quite shake their reputation as the dirtiest of household pets. Unlike cats, who will spend hours licking their paws clean, dogs are wont to take great joy in trampling through mud – and in spreading it across your property.

In this article, we’ll examine which breeds of dog are that little bit dirtier than their cousins, we’ll ponder just why this might be the case, and we’ll see just what can be done to limit the impact of your beloved family pet on your almost-as-beloved property.

What makes a dog dirty?

All dogs are dirty, to some extent or another. But some dogs are dirtier than others. The reasons behind this might be down to the physiology of the breed – if your coat is long, oily and luxurious, it can be difficult to keep it clean. Moreover, if your jaw is so misshapen that it can’t keep the saliva inside your mouth, you’re almost certainly going to end up with a wet chin. On the other hand, these reasons might be behavioural: if you take great delight in ploughing your snout through the filthy undergrowth, then you’re likely to become exceedingly dirty in the process.

The great outdoors

Dogs are animals which benefit greatly from a walk in the woods. But there’s a practical problem here – the natural world is filled with dirt, and dogs are extremely fond of it. Certain breeds, like terriers, will be more prone to wallowing in filth than others. The purpose of such dogs, historically, was to root through the undergrowth in search of vermin, pests and game. An indifference toward dirt and grime is therefore etched into their DNA.

If you want to limit the amount of dirt that your dog brings into the house, you’ll need to discourage this behaviour. But it’s important to be realistic about it; if the idea of an animal that delights in dirt is unthinkable, then perhaps you should consider another, more sedentary breed – or perhaps another species of pet entirely.

Of course, you’ll want to wash your pet when it’s gotten dirty. You might even shampoo it – but be sure to use specially made dog shampoo, as other varieties can have a caustic effect on a dog’s skin, and leave it vulnerable to hygiene problems.

When you’re transporting your dog, the state of the boot of your car might be a concern. By investing in Hatchbag car boot mats and boot liners, you’ll be able to protect your car. Like the best of these products, they’re made to measure a given car; Ford, BMW and Mercedes boot liners are all available, along with a host of others.


Excess salivation is a noticeable problem, particularly when it comes to brachycephalic dog breeds, like the boxer, bulldog and pug, and those with large, floppy jowls, like mastiffs and St. Bernards.

dog drool

If you’re looking to cuddle up to such a dog, then you’ll occasionally get a slobbery surprise. Their owners are often resigned to this fact, and will either keep a box of tissues handy, or will resort to wiping their befouled hands on their trousers, or on the sofa.


Passing gas is another obvious problem – but it’s not one that’s caused by an obvious physical defect. Often, it’s a result of poor diet; with a little tweaking, it may be possible to mitigate the problem – or eliminate it entirely.

If your dog is breaking wind excessively, and the smell of it is something terrible, then it might indicate a greater underlying problem with the gastrointestinal tract. In such cases, it’s wise to seek the advice of a vet.

Toilet trouble

Of course, there are instances where a dog will need to go to the toilet – and even the world’s cleanest animal can’t help but be a little dirty in this situation. If a dog is properly trained, this should be done only in appropriate places. Naturally, if you’re out for a walk, you’ll need to clean up after your dog.

If your dog is in the habit of going to the toilet in the middle of your lounge, then this clearly indicates a serious problem. Unfortunately, it’s one with a myriad of possible causes. It might be the result of stress, perhaps brought about by a change in home life. It might be the result of many different physical problems – again, it’s not normal dog behaviour and should be addressed by a medical professional as soon as possible.


Related post:  5 Ideas for a Better Travel with a Pet

Images credit (under CCL) by order:  Stew StrykerDallas Floer

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