Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Stop Your Dog from Tracking Dirt & Mud into Your House

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

sick australian shepherd dog lying on grass

Every dog enjoys spending time outside and if you’re like most dog owners, you enjoy the peace and quiet outdoor time provides. But cleaning the dirt and mud up that your pooch tracks inside can be time-consuming, inconvenient, and downright irritating. Even a quick walk around the block can result in a muddy foyer or living room floor when all is said and done. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your dog from tracking that unwanted dirt and mud into your home. Here are a few foolproof methods to try out for yourself:

Divider 2

Top 5 Ways to Stop Your Dog From Tracking Mud:

1. Consider a Trim or Cut

dog getting hair cut
Image Credit: gowithstock, Shutterstock

If your dog has a medium or long length coat, it could be tracking a lot more dirt and mud inside than you realize. Even if you don’t see dirt on your dog’s coat when you walk through the front door, you could end up finding dust, dirt, and mud tracked all over your house within just a few minutes of your pooch getting comfortable in its favorite spot.

You can reduce the amount of dirt and mud that gets tracked inside by having your dog’s coat trimmed or cut. Taking just an inch off the coat can make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your home after a long walk with your dog outdoors.

2. Teach Your Dog a New Trick

Another way to keep dirt and mud from getting tracked into your home is to teach your dog how to wipe their paws before going through the front door. You’ll actually be teaching your dog how to dig for a treat, but the actions you teach it will just so happen to get its paws cleaned up before it heads inside for the evening.

Start by letting your dog see you hide a treat under your front door mat or a towel. Once hidden, tell your dog to find the treat. The pooch will likely use its paws to find the treat, which will naturally wipe those paws off so that they don’t track a bunch of gunk into your cozy house. Giving your dog a treat to get them to wipe its pays is a fun ritual that will excite your dog and make them excited to get back home again.

After a while, your dog should start scratching his paws on the provided towel or mat without waiting for you to hide a treat for it. You can reward your pooch with a nice treat after they wipe their paws. The process should only take seconds once the training has been established.

dog learning trick
Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

3. Block the Messiest Areas Off

If there is an area in your yard that is particularly muddy, you can always block it off so your dog can’t access it. This will ensure a lot less mess when it comes time to bring your pooch inside. You can block a muddy spot in the yard off by simply placing a piece of plywood over it or putting cones around it and teaching your pooch not to pass the cones. If the muddy area tends to stick around throughout the year, you can always install a basic field fence around it and keep your dog away entirely.

If you know that there is a muddy or dirty area where you walk in your neighborhood, at the park, or anywhere else you might travel with your pooch, avoid that area and opt for a cleaner place to spend time instead. Your hardwoods and carpeting will maintain a cleaner appearance thanks to your efforts.

White Dirty Dog

4. Invest in a New Specialty Mat

You can find several dog-friendly welcome mats that are designed to trap water, mud, dirt, and grime in general, any time feet or paws walk over them. These mats won’t ensure that all the dirt gets off your dog’s feet, but it will significantly cut down the amount of gunk that is trafficked into your home.

Choose a mat that is made with microfiber material that will collect and trap dirt, so it won’t get tracked, blown, or pushed inside. And make sure your mat is machine washable to ensure that it never gets too dirty to do its job as time goes on.

dirty dog on carpet
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

5. Get Rid of Or Cover the Carpet

If your front door opens to carpeting, it’s time to consider covering that carpeting or getting rid of it altogether. It might seem like carpeting will keep dirt and grime from getting tracked all over your home, but the truth is that it will only pick up some of the dirt as your dog walks on it. And the dirt that is picked up by the carpet will continue to get tracked through your home as people and animals walk over it.

Getting rid of the carpet will cut down on dirt buildup and the possibility that grime will continue getting tracked throughout your home between outdoor excursions. If you can’t get rid of the carpet, consider covering it up with plastic runners or a throw carpet that can be put into your washing machine a couple times a month.

Divider 2


These ideas should help you keep your home cleaner throughout the year, no matter how much time your dog tends to spend outside. If you have a tip or trick that will help keep dogs from tracking dirt inside, share with us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

Featured Image Credit: EvitaS, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database