I have two dogs on James; Charlie, a six year old springer spaniel and Daisy, a three year old cocker spaniel. Spaniels are very active dogs. They love a good run, and they love to nose around on the canal or marina bank. Consequently they often have muddy paws after a walk.
James is moored on a wooden pier. I am lucky in that respect. They aren’t jumping on and off the boat next to a muddy towpath. They are often quite mucky though when they jump onto the front deck. We keep a towel outside the front door just for the dogs paws so they get a thorough paw cleaning before they’re allowed into the boat.
The flooring on James is far from perfect for dogs (or for any other purpose to be honest). It’s one of the items on my must-be-improved list. There is beige carpet throughout the boat. It’s not the easiest flooring in the world to clean if the dogs track any mud into the boat or, very occasionally, they make a mess overnight.
In an ideal world, I would have the flooring that I’ve seen in a few boats now. It’s a tiled effect but is much softer to the touch than tiles so I wouldn’t have the irritation of the dogs’ nails clicking on the flooring as they walk up and down the boat. This would drive me mad, particularly with Charlie who likes to pace up and down the boat all day long. This type of flooring is also insulated so it’s practical for both dogs and heat retention.
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If you have dogs a piece of Flotex kitchen carpet in the boat entrance is effective as it wipes the mud off their paws and the mud can be hoovered off when dry. Flotex was very popular in the eighties when to carpet your kitchen was considered a good idea (ugh) and looks like a cross between suede and Action Man’s hair!
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