Keeping Dogs from Tracking Mud Inside

I guess this is a pet/home improvement combo question. I have 7 rescue dogs that live inside but go outside to play and to use the bathroom. We have a very large fenced in yard. We also have a septic tank and well and so there is a hill in the back yard. When they go out they have to go through a very large mud pit (unless it hasn't rained in a week or two) to get to the rest of the yard to relieve themselves.

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When they come back in everything becomes a muddy mess. Honestly this has gotten to the point where it is driving me CRAZY! My boyfriend and I are both on very limited incomes. Does anyone have any ideas on anything we can do to help resolve our problem. Getting rid of our dogs IS NOT an option. Thank you so much

By Shannon from FL

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

Put doggie shoes or make your own to go over their paws when they go outside and take them off when they come back in. You could also have hand towels, buckets of warm water and cloth to wash/wipe off their paws each time they come back inside. It's work with that many paws to keep clean often, but a labor of love.

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with Lorelei in that wiping paws may help. What I do is limit their access to the house once they come in. From the yard, they enter through the kitchen. I have a big washable rug that catches much right inside the door. Then keeping them in the kitchen gives me time to wipe paws. Any dirt that gets on the kitchen floor is easy to wipe up and little comes in on the carpeted area. Thank you for your caring in spending time fostering dogs.:)

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with Lorelei. The best way to prevent it is to clean their feet when they come in. You may have to let them in one at a time to do it.

I taught my dog an "on the rug" command and he stands on the throw rug when he comes in. I keep an old towel in a bucket by the door, and lift his paws one at a time to clean them. Now he is so used to it, he lifts his paws on his own for me!

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Anonymous Flag
September 15, 20160 found this helpful

That's a nice idea but with 7 dogs, it's just not an option. Solution is to put down lots of rugs/blankets and wash them frequently.

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January 22, 20100 found this helpful

Drop a load of sand or pea gravel in the mud hole?

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Anonymous Flag
November 18, 20150 found this helpful

No, not sand. Sand is fine and find its way from dog to house even more than just soil! I know because I moved to a house w very sandy soil. It's Killin me!#

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January 23, 20100 found this helpful

Can you plant a ground cover for that part of the yard?

Considering how late it was in the season when we had the situation below, we opted for planting winter rye grass. This helped. Then the rain swished the seeds to one side of the yard, so we scattered some more seed.

We had a similar situation with a tree that had to be chopped down (before it fell in a high wind). The grass that used to grow under it was shade grass, so of course, the blazing sun light crisped it up and then that part of the yard became muddy.

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November 20, 20100 found this helpful

We've tried everything from attempting to wipe feet every time our (very large) dog came back in, to doggy-booties, to covering entry points with mats, old throw rugs or towels. All of these were time consuming, ineffective, were just as problematic to clean, or left the house looking just as bad as the muddy footprints (i.e. washing filthy mats/towels or having them all over the floor) We finally found a pretty good and inexpensive solution in covering the patio outside of the back entry the dog uses with very bristly outdoor matting. We covered enough space so that our dog has to cross four to five feet, or more of it, no matter which direction he comes across the yard from, and during "muddy season" we hose it down fairly regularly to keep it effective. It is not perfect, but it has cut the mud and debris coming into the house considerably and is easier to deal with than anything else we have tried!

I realize that this might not be as easy for those who don't happen to have a wide cement patio outside whatever door there dogs need to use, but perhaps a temporary base of scrap planking or used pallets could be used to attach the matting? Pallets, particularly would be heavy enough not to slide or shift, and can be obtained for free or minimal cost from shipping companies, warehouses, etc. Hopefully this suggestion will be somewhat helpful for at least a few, but we are still looking for the "perfect" solution ourselves, so keep posting!

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December 17, 20160 found this helpful

I understand your situation as I am in exactly the same boat and still haven't found a perfect solution. I do put down a LOT of mats, old towels, and recently started putting an xpen around the couch which all helps but there are still muddy paw prints EVERYwhere! I am beginning to think this just might be how our life goes in the winter with so many rescues & fosters. I'm also thinking rescuers with multi-dog households would benefit from more blogs for us where we can share ideas for keeping the peace and some sanity in our gloriously blessed but hopelessly dirty homes full of dogs. If your in, email me.

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