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DIY Muddy Dog Paw Wash Station

DIY Muddy Dog Paw Wash Station

Last year, as with the past 11 years, I became I bit overwhelmed with the muddy paws that were taking place in the Spring/Winter/Mud season.

I had a collapsed lung that was preventing me from bending over or from doing any type of manual labor.

The thought had crossed my mind just to forget about cleaning muddy paws and buy new floors after mud season was over.

My husband didn’t agree with my thought so I was left trying to find the easiest way possible to clean 8 paws caked in mud several times a day for the next 3 months, or until my lung came back.

Normally I use a bucket but that requires a lot of bending over which just wasn’t happening so I moved to the hose.

The hose, which is the easiest way to clean a muddy dog in my experience, was just created a mess because the way the Ohio weather was going.

Snow one day, rain the next was making my patio an ice skating rink creating an unsafe area for the dogs to walk on.

Not to mention the pipes kept freezing and thawing resulted in me calling my husband screaming “The pipes burst! How do I shut the water off?”

DIY Muddy Dog Paw Wash Station

Then one day I found myself in the container section of Target and it hit me like a Newfie, that storage container would be perfect for the dogs to walk into and clean their feet.

It’s low, it’s long and I can train them to walk right in it, stand there for a bit and walk out!

So I bought it and I tried it and it worked.

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The is the most simple DIY you’ll probably ever do :

All you need is (1) large storage container. The size will be based on your dog.

The one I bought was a 40 x 20 x 6.125 in.

Fill it with water

Have your dog walk into it and watch the mud appear!

Now, because I was having trouble bending over, I put a drain in mine to make things even easier.

DIY Muddy Dog Paw Wash Station

Alright, I didn’t put the drain in but my husband did and here’s what he says you’ll need for that:



(1) 1/2 inch male 1/4 turn boiler drain

(1) 5/8 inch metal washer

(1) 5/8 inch rubber or silicone washer.


Drill a 1/2 inch hole, place in the drain, add the rubber washer and then add the metal washer to the backside of the drain and then screw on a lockdown nut.


The hardest part for me was getting Leroy to walk in the right way and then to stand there for more than 1/2 second to let the mud melt off. 

It should go without saying that for REALLY muddy paws you might have to get in there with your hands and help some of the mud releases.

For me, this has been a much easier way to tackle their muddy paws and decrease the amount of mud and dirt being tracked through the house.

If your dog has allergies and your vet recommends a medicated shampoo or some type of soak to use on irritated red paws, this would be an easy way to do that with big dogs.

clean muddy dog paws

And the muddy paw wash station is a great way to combat snowballs on dog paws during the winter months. 

If you don’t want to get something this big you can also try a large, empty plastic coffee container or the dollar store has plain round containers that would fit a giant paw!

Related posts: Simple Solutions To Reduce Dog Mud In Your Yard

UPDATE 11/2021

Sherman and Leroy have passed away since the writing of this post but we still use the same muddy paw wash system with Odin, Lou and Finn.

In fact, over the weekend I bought a new storage container because we had to throw the original one out due to multiple uses.

DIY muddy paw wash station

I haven’t had the time to put a drain in the new one yet but Lou was introduced to it the other day!

3 years later and this is still my favorite and easiest way to clean muddy paws!



DIY Muddy Dog Paw Wash Station

DIY Muddy Dog Paw Wash Station

Yield: 1 Muddy Dog Paw Wash Station
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

An easy way to clean muddy dogs is to use a plastic container with a drain and teach them to walk through it. This will work well on removing snowballs and ice balls from dog paws in the winter too.


  • (1) Large plastic storage container (40 x 20 x 6.125)
  • For the Drain:
  • (1) 1/2 inch male 1/4 turn boiler drain
  • 1) 5/8 inch metal washer
  • (1) 5/8 inch rubber or silicone washer.


  • Drill


  1. Drill a 1/2 inch hole in front of the container
  2. Place in the drain
  3. Add the rubber washer
  4. Add the metal washer to the backside of the drain
  5. Screw on the lockdown nut
  6. Fill with water


The size of the container will be based on your dog. I have a giant breed dog so I bought the largest container I could. I purchased the container at Target

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Wednesday 27th of March 2024

Thanks for the suggested solution. Was looking for a low-tech dog paw wash set-up. Kudos to you, your Newfies and the Ohio weather that forced it.

Regards from Georgia!


Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Lookout for oil drip trays. They tend to be heavier duty that the sort of storage tray in your picture. Mine was 640x490x120mm.


Wednesday 9th of March 2022

I like it. I probably will not use the drain. Just dump it.

Budget-Savvy, Earth-Friendly Housekeeping Tips for Dog Owners | One Planet Thriving

Wednesday 10th of October 2018

[…] use disposable wipes or paper towels for keeping up with his feet. However, you can simply create a paw washing station by your door, either right inside the mudroom or on a covered porch. Set up a long, low plastic […]

Alisa Charnley

Friday 9th of March 2018

Such a clever idea! Hilarious that even here Leroy tries to be different ? Hope, you already recovered from this scary lung collapse...

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