Are you tired of asking your housemates who let the dogs out? Dealing with muddy pawprints, piss, and poop is part of owning a dog but it doesn’t have to be another chore for you.
You can’t keep dogs from running around the house because they’re so in love with the outdoors and they need to run around for exercise. That also means it’s a waste of time and energy to chase your muddy dog around just to keep them from getting inside the house.
In this post, we’ll share with you how to fix a muddy backyard so you no longer need to clean, chase, and be stressed with the muddy pawprints.
We’ll be sharing some quick-fix for covering small spaces, eco-friendly backyard covers, and permanent solutions for a muddy backyard dog trail.
Different Ways To Fix a Muddy Dog Trail
Fixing mud in your backyard doesn’t have to a major renovation project. Either you own a small backyard or huge lawn, the easiest way to deal with a muddy backyard dog trail is to fix your drainage system.
Unless the muddy patch is in a low terrain part of your property, you can identify the source of the problem by:
- Extending the rain drain pipe to connect it to the ground drainage system
- Installing a french drain
Aside from fixing the drainage system, you may also try the following solutions for a muddy dog trail at home.
Quick Fix For Muddy Dog Trail in Small Spaces
Due to the small perimeter where your dog can run, the grass won’t grow much since the dogs will maximize the space as much as they could. Thus, resulting in muddy dog trails.
So, here are some easy solutions for small spaces:
1. Artificial Grass or Turf
The small perimeter of a yard is an advantage when it comes to backyard covers like artificial grass.
Artificial grass is made up of synthetic fibers that resemble grass. It is commonly used in football arenas but is now used in residential homes.
Artificial grass has a lot of advantages to your backyard. These include:
- It covers up the muddy dog trail.
- It will serve as a landscape design in your yard.
- It will remain evergreen even if you don’t trim, water, and thatch the grass.
- It ranges from $5 to $20 per square foot but serves as a long-term investment since it doesn’t have to be maintained like real grass.
2. Kennel Decking or Deck Tiles
Another long-term solution for small spaces is a kennel decking. Kennel decking is a ground cover for dog cages and backyards with 2-4 inches elevation from the ground surface or base of the cage.
Kennel decking is designed to be comfortable enough to sleep in and to let the urine pass through the holes without causing mud.
It’s a perfect cover for the muddy dog trail on your property since you’ll only need a piece or two and voila! No more muddy pawprints!
3. Pea Gravel
Another good option to cover the muddy dog trails is pea gravel because of its smooth surface. Regular gravel can hurt the paws of your dogs and might not be the best solution for your muddy dog trail.
Pea gravel on the other hand is small in size and has soft edges that will just slip through the paws of your beloved dogs.
The price of pea gravel for a ton is $10 to $50 which is enough to cover muddy dog trails in small yards.
Best Solutions To Cover Muddy Dog Trail in Huge Backyards
If you’re going to use artificial grass to cover a wide backyard, you might end up spending a lot of money.
So, we separated the following options since they’re more cost-efficient for huge backyards.
While the granules of sand may also serve as dirt, once it settled in the ground it will no longer be slippery and muddy. Sand helps drain water from the surface and prevents the water from being stagnant.
The ideal amount of sand is 3 to 5 inches but 8 to 10 inches would help drain water faster.
You may only apply the sand on the dog trails to make it thicker than spreading the sand all over your yard. It will be dusty for the first few weeks but sand tends to harden over time and become more compact.
2. Hay or Straw
A few inches of straw or hay also helps provide good drainage for water and prevent it from pooling on the surface. However, this is only a temporary solution since hay is an organic matter and decomposes over time.
Hay is sold in bales which makes it a perfect temporary solution for huge backyards. You can choose to cover the whole yard with hay or you can make a hay walkway for your dogs. The price per bale depends on your location.
3. Concrete Paths or Area
Some backyard has a low terrain or lives in zones where they receive more rainfall than sunny weather.
So, no matter how much sand or lawn cover, the lawn still ends up being muddy. For these cases, it’s better to cover the area with concrete.
You can play around with some ideas when it comes to concrete. You can plainly make it as a walkway or turn it into a patio or a meditation area. Of all the muddy backyard solutions, concrete is probably the most versatile one.
4. Flagstone Paths
Aside from concrete, you may also place flagstone paths over the muddy dog trail. It’s not only saving your mud problem but also adds to the aesthetic design of your backyard.
You can either hire a professional to place the flagstone for you or you can turn it into your DIY project.
Eco-Friendly Landscape Solutions To Cover Muddy Backyard Dog Trail
COVID-19 has led most of us to grow plants and build backyard gardens. You can hit two birds with one stone by using organic solutions to deal with the muddy dog trail and spruce up your backyard. First up is planting a tree.
If you have a big backyard, planting a tree can certainly help to prevent muddy patches from building up.
Trees absorb water more than plants and help hold the soil well. Not to mention the relaxing shade and fresh air that it can provide to your home.
Some trees love water like willow and red maple that will prevent water buildup in your yard that causes the mud.
However, you have to prepare the soil first so the tree will grow properly. To prepare the muddy soil for planting, you have to:
- Remove excess water by digging trenches around the muddy patch.
- Add hardwood mulch and dried leaves that will help soak the water from the soil.
- Wait until the soil dries up and start digging.
- Avoid peat moss, manure soil, and potting soil in clay soil or muddy soil because it will hold water and drown the seedlings. Consider using chunky compost material and soil conditioner like pine bark soil conditioner.
- Sprinkle pine straw or hardwood mulch around the newly planted tree to control weeds and let it soak excess water on the surface.
2. Creeper Plants or Sod
Another way to keep water from creating mud in your backyard is by planting grass in your backyard. Sod and creeper plants help absorb water and prevent mud buildup.
You can buy sod in bales and there are a variety of creeper plants that can withstand the weight and continue to survive even if your dog will run over them.
3. Mulch or Wood Chips
Aside from improving the condition of the soil, mulch helps absorb water and keep your backyard free from mud. It helps drain water and keep it from building up the surface.
The best thing about wood chips and mulch is you can have them for free from lumberjacks in your area.
The chunky wood chips might be too painful for your dog’s paws so you may opt for the finer options available.
4. Rain Garden
Another idea to improve the look of your backyard while getting rid of the muddy dog trail is a rain garden. A rain garden is made up of plants that thrive in areas that receive a lot of water and rainfall.
The technique for this option is to place the plants that absorb plenty of water in the lowest area of the muddy dog trail.
Plants like the elephant’s ear not only make your backyard more pleasing to the eyes but also deals with your mud problem.
Tips in Fixing a Muddy Backyard Dog Trail
Having a muddy backyard not only makes your dog spread dirt around the house but also invite unwanted insects like fleas and even mosquitoes.
Now that you’ve decided to fix the mud in your yard, there are some factors that you need to take into consideration. These include:
1. Breed of your dog: Owning dogs like german shepherds and golden retrievers may require will require a more durable choice like concrete paths and pea pebbles to cover the mud in your yard.
2. Budget: One of the deciding factors that you should also consider is your budget. Permanent mud fixes like flagstone paths and kennel decking will cost more than the quick fixes like wood chips or mulch that you can get for free in some locations.
3. Backyard size: Planting a tree in a med-sized backyard may not be suitable especially if won’t have enough room to grow. On the other hand, if you have a wide backyard with a whole stretch of muddy dog trail, a french drain would be the most inexpensive option. Otherwise, you should prepare your budget for a long-term investment in fixing your muddy yard.
Dogs, either they’re trained or not, will always love the dirt and mud. It’s in their nature to be playful and run around like it’s always their first time. After all, that’s what makes them adorable and charming.
The only thing that we can control is the environment around our dogs and prevent them from spreading mud all over the house.
We hope that the ideas we included in our post gave you an AHA! Moment to deal with your mud problem.
Being a dog owner is a responsibility that comes with both good and bad. Dogs are the man’s best friend and will always be out there giving you all the loyalty they can give.
In return, you have to attend to their needs along with the mess that they cause like muddy pawprints.
We hope that knowing how to fix your muddy backyard dog trail will help ease the added stress of cleaning.
By covering the mud with any of the options above, you’ll no longer need to keep them indoors which will make your furbaby happier.
If you find this post helpful and informative, share it with your fellow dog owners or to the community of dog lovers and help ease chores with a permanent solution.
While fixing your yard, landscaping might also grow on you and end up fixing both mud areas and the overall look of your yard which is a big win-win situation for you.