Muddy paws can be the bane of a dog owner’s existence, especially on a rainy day when keeping the floor clean feels like an exercise in futility. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent little paws from coming into contact with mud in the first place, and they don’t involve forcing Fido to wear doggie booties.
Look After the Lawn
Prevent muddy spots from forming in your lawn in the first place by practicing good lawn maintenance. Keep the lawn lush with regular watering, and fill in bare areas with grass seed, sod or ground covering plants. Check with a local landscaping nursery or with an agricultural university extension to determine the best type of grass and plants for your area, as well as which varieties grow best in either sunny or shady conditions.
Lay Down Hardscaping
Another way to tackle muddy spots in your yard is to cover them with hardscaping. Gravel and decorative stone are both easy, affordable and attractive options. You can also use brick, paving stones or cement to build pathways and patios. For pet-friendly landscaping, Sunset.com recommends laying down pathways along fences and other parts of the yard that your dog likes to patrol and explore.
Mulch the Mud
For flower beds, raised gardens and other areas where neither grass nor hardscaping is practical, cover the dirt with a layer of mulch to prevent your dog’s paws from coming into contact with mud. Cedar chips are a pet-friendly type of mulch that won’t hurt paws or get tangled in fur.
Throw Down a Rug
Chances are, no amount of prevention will completely keep the mud off of your dog’s paws. You can still help to clean your dog’s feet and keep the majority of the mud and dirt outside by laying an outdoor rug or a strip of AstroTurf outside the back door. Place it in a position where your dog can’t avoid walking across it to enter the house, and it should trap the worst of the mud before your pooch’s paws come into contact with your clean floor.
Jean Marie Bauhaus has been writing about a wide range of topics since 2000. Her articles have appeared on a number of popular websites, and she is also the author of two urban fantasy novels. She has a Bachelor of Science in social science from Rogers State University.