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How to Stop Your Dog From Tracking in Dirt & Mud: 8 Methods

Misty Layne Profile Picture

By Misty Layne

dirty dog on carpet

As much as we adore our canine companions (and we do a lot), we adore the messes they make less. And when it comes to dogs tracking dirt and mud into your home, it can seem like a never-ending battle; every time you clean your floors, they just get dirty again! It seems impossible at times to keep floors looking nice and clean with dogs in the home because your dogs have to go outside several times a day for potty breaks. There’s just no way around that.

But what if you could stop your dog from tracking in dirt and mud in the first place? That would certainly make life easier, and we’re here to give you eight proven methods that will do just that. Continue reading to learn how to keep floors clean, even with dogs in your house!

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The 8 Methods for Stopping a Dog From Tracking in Dirt & Mud in the House

1. Invest in an absorbent welcome mat.

Doormats are one of the simpler ways to keep your pup from tracking in mud and dirt. You just need to find one that’s absorbent and dog-friendly (designed to trap dirt and soil) and place it inside the door your dog uses most. Microfiber doormats are probably the best at trapping mud and dirt, though there are doormats made from other materials if you’d prefer.

Making sure any doormat you get is machine washable is essential, too, since you’ll need to clean it fairly often. Doormats like these won’t get all the dirt and mud off your pet’s feet, but they will trap enough of it for there to be a significant difference in how much is brought into your home.

microfiber doormat
Image Credit: MIA Studio, Shutterstock

2. Block access to the messiest parts of the yard.

Is there a part of your yard that’s always muddy? Or perhaps there’s an area where there’s not much grass, but there’s plenty of dirt. In that case, block off access to these areas so your pup can’t get to them. If there’s a muddy area, you can cover it up with plywood (or if it’s consistently muddy, you can put a fence around it to keep your pet out).

Or just block the dirty spot off with cones, ropes, etc., and teach your dog not to go past whatever you used to block it. Limiting your pet’s access to the dirtiest parts of your yard can help immensely when it comes to dirt and mud.


3. Keep entryways carpet-free.

This might seem like a counterproductive move because doesn’t having carpet inside the door your dog uses help wipe off its feet on its way to the rest of your home? Not really. Carpet can pick up a bit of dirt and mud, but whatever it picks up is going to end up getting tracked into the rest of your home by every other person and animal that walks through there. It’s also more difficult to rid the carpet of mud and dirt stains!

If you have carpet inside the door your dog uses most, consider removing it and replacing it with linoleum or another hard flooring. Not only will you cut down the amount of dirt building up in that spot, but hard flooring is much simpler to clean! Can’t replace the carpet in that area? Throw down a small rug or plastic runner that will catch mud and dirt instead.

pug dog sleeping on the floor
Image Credit: Natali Kuzina, Shutterstock

4. Clean your pup’s paws at the door.

Probably the simplest way to keep your canine pal from tracking in dirt and mud? Cleaning doggie’s paws at the doorway! It takes effort on your part, but stopping your pet the second it enters the home and cleaning its paws (and legs if your pup is incredibly dirty) will certainly reduce the amount of dirt and mud coming in. Just keep a spray bottle full of water, towels, and doggie wipes by the entrance your pet uses, and wipe your pup down before letting it further into your home!


5. Give your dog a haircut.

Fluffy dogs are adorable, we know. But all that fluff can pick up mud and dirt like nobody’s business, which means more cleaning for you. But if you give your furry friend a haircut and keep their fur regularly trimmed, it means less debris getting picked up, which translates to less uncleanliness in your home! And as a bonus, it should help reduce the amount of hair being shed. Just be sure to keep the fur on the puppy’s pads since that helps protect them from the elements while outdoors.

groomer giving a fox face pomeranian dog a haircut
Image Credit: aonip, Shutterstock

6. Have your pet wear dog booties.

Dog booties aren’t just a fun fashion statement for your pet; they also protect your dog’s feet from the elements while outdoors! And part of that protection means keeping your dog’s feet clean of mud and dirt. Putting dog booties on your pup before it goes outdoors, then removing those booties at the door guarantees a lack of mud and dirt being tracked into your home. Of course, dog booties won’t work for all pups, as some canines are very much against having things on their feet. But if your dog is chill enough, dog booties can save you tons of time on cleaning.


7. Wax puppy’s paws.

If you’re unfamiliar with paw wax, it’s a balm you put on your dog’s paws that keeps the pads hydrated and soothed by sealing in moisture (much like lotion for us). And this wax also protects the puppy’s feet from being burned in summer and cracking after walking on hard surfaces for long periods. It can even help your dog improve its grip on slippery surfaces, so there’s less chance of it falling. Best of all, putting paw wax on your pup’s paws means there’s an extra layer of protection from mud, and that means your dog will track in less mess.

owner applying moisturizer on dog's paw
Image Credit: Te9l, Shutterstock

8. Teach your dog to wipe its paws.

Finally, you can try teaching your four-legged friend to “wipe its paws”. Now, you won’t actually be teaching it to wipe its paws like we would our feet. Instead, you’ll be teaching your pup to dig for a treat at the door; the actions for this mimic wiping feet, so will help wipe mud and dirt from your pet’s feet.

You’ll need a doormat or towel in place inside the entrance your pet uses most. Once that’s in place, hide a treat beneath it, and tell your pup to find it. Most canines will use their paws to get at the treat, which results in those feet getting clean! Do this a few times, and your pup should begin scratching at the mat or towel without a treat hidden underneath. When your pet wipes its paws on its own, go ahead and just hand them a treat as a reward!

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Conclusion

There is hope in the constant battle to keep your floors clean from the dirt and mud your pup tracks in. With the methods above, you should greatly reduce how much of the outdoors is being brought inside. You can even combine methods if a single one isn’t working for greater effectiveness. It won’t be long before your floors look cleaner than ever!

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Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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