Looking for easy and cheap ways to make your yard less muddy or cover the mud up and deal with it later?
We’ve got you covered!
There’s nothing more beautiful than watching a Newfie run through the yard flinging mud with every step that they take.
You can’t help but focus on each paw as it digs deep into the land where lush green grass once grew.
I’m kidding about the beautiful part but not so much about everything else.
We had a beautiful backyard up until we had 2 adult Newfs
1 spring with 2 grown Newfies, 1 of which was a wild child, and the yard was trashed.
We spent a few years trying to come up with quick fixes so we could cut down on the amount of mud and dirt that they were tracking into the house, but eventually, we gave in and poured a stamped concrete patio.
It didn’t take away all the dog mud but it took away the worst area and it was well worth the investment.
Quick and Cheap Ways To Temporarily Reduce Dog Mud In Your Yard
Straw was our go-to cheap and easy fix for many seasons.
I would get a bag of it from a local feed store and spread it out in the deepest mud areas.
The pros of straw are that it’s cheap and easy to put down.
The cons are that, depending on how muddy your yard is, it won’t last long and it gets tracked into the house.
Straw is also is known to harbor bacteria and smells when urinated on regularly.
You’ll have to rake it up and throw down new straw throughout the muddy season.
And don’t let your dog eat it as a snack because if a dog ingests large amounts of straw it can lead to an intestinal blockage and no one wants that!
Another alternative to straw is pine bedding.
I’ve been told that pine bedding absorbs wetness well and turns into sawdust.
Someone also mentioned horse bedding but I couldn’t tell you if that works well or not.
Create a Different Path
We bought some cheap plastic fencing and every few days would re-route the main path that leads out to the yard.
The dogs still got muddy but not as bad as if they were taking the same path day after day.
It also saved us from having to replant grass.
This is not a choice that I would personally use for a dog like the Newfoundland but for dogs with shorter hair sand may be a temporary way to cover up the mud.
Just be careful that if it’s in the direct sun that it doesn’t get too hot in the summer and be prepared for it to get tracked into your house.
Since Sherman was attracted to eating mulch, this wasn’t an option for our yard but many have said they used it and it worked well.
Mulch is a great temporary solution but it tends to harbor bacteria and fungus so it isn’t a great permanent solution for areas of your yard that a dog will use frequently.
Another substance that wasn’t allowed in our yard due to Leroy being obsessed with eating rocks, but it’s a great option for a big or small muddy yard.
A friend once told me that they fenced off an area of their yard and used crushed limestone chips.
Limestone chips are used in many dog parks.
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Limestone helps to keep down the smell of urine and feces due to its natural lime properties.
It also drains well and is easy to hose down.
If you have a fenced yard, this is also a great way to reduce mud around the perimeter where your dog most likely walks the most to patrol the yard.
Rubber mats are another quick and temporary solution to help with dog mud.
A plus of using rubber mats is that they can easily be cleaned as needed.
Permanent Ways To Reduce Dog Mud In Your Yard
Lawn Grids can be temporary or permanent.
They are designed to reinforce lawns and other grassy areas to prevent mud and damage to the ground.
You can fill the grids with stone, dirt or seed them for grass to grow.
Once the grass has grown, the grid becomes invisible but it resists wear and compression.
They are often used outside of horse stables, driveways or as a storage pad for a boat, RV or small shed.
My dad used a type of grid for a small area in his yard several years ago and it worked great.
We used to always joke that if we had the money we would just concrete the whole backyard.
Not always practical with dogs because it will get hot in the summer and icy in the winter but when you’re knee-deep in mud, you’re searching for a way out.
Eventually, we compromised and added a large stamped concrete patio.
This was the answer for us and our backyard layout because it eliminated the mud pit that was always right in front of the entrance.
That was our worst offending area and now the dogs walk out onto a concrete patio that is 30 feet long and they can go in any direction that they please.
Don’t get me wrong, we still have mud in our yard but we no longer have a mud pit.
We looked into this many times and it just wasn’t in our budget due to the size of our yard.
Our yard isn’t big but it’s also not small.
The design of artificial grass allows for water and urine to pass through, so it does not puddle.
It is a soft surface, similar to natural grass
Kennel decking typically comes in sections that lock together to fit the size of your dog run.
The decking is designed to sit above the ground and allows for drainage and easy cleaning.
Most brands are chew-proof, weatherproof and resist bacteria and insects.
Kennel decking is not ideal for an entire backyard but may work for a specific muddy spot.
Is It Possible To Have Grass And Not Mud When You Have Dogs?
When you have a large dog like a Newfoundland, mud is inevitable no matter what you do
Somewhere in the backyard, there will be muddy spots and the dogs will find them and bring the mud in the house.
When we removed our pool deck, much to my surprise, we were able to grow grass.
We had to section off that area of the yard for a full year so that the dogs couldn’t walk on it but 2 years later the grass has held up.
The boys still find mud but we follow a few fun tips on dealing with muddy dog paws and know that the mud while annoying at times, will not last forever.
Muddy paw season has arrived ? #newfiesoftiktok #muddypaws
We put sod down last spring and it came in beautifully.
It’s now March and that area is a mess.
I had to buy 2 compressed bales of straw to cover it.
It’s the first time that I’ve had to buy straw in a few years but we also got Lou so that’s a total of 16 paws walking on the grass.
Plus we had a lot of snow this year.
Not looking to put that much work into your yard but also don’t want your dog a muddy mess?
You can always try a pair of dog pants.
Related Posts: DIY Muddy Paw Wash Station
6 Easy Ways To Keep Your Dog From Tracking Mud And Dirt In The House
Sunday 29th of March 2020
Thanks for the ideas! I have a Leonberger, enough said, right? They have the same Newfie paws and feathers. It has been so rainy here. Seamus came in last night, dripping mud from his belly down. As you know, you just can't 'dry' it off. We just moved to a half acre which is slopey, so there are big puddles (small lakes) all around. Those turn to mud. Were going to have to lay the limestone but I also love those pants for the meantime! I also have a Sheltie but I could put him in the tub. He tries to avoid walking in mud where Seamus looks for it to lay in. But thanks again!
Friday 15th of March 2019
We have a nature-made path of mud that flows downhill from the neighbor's yard and in front of our back porch. In long-lasting heavy downpours, the water comes under the door into the porch and often under the inside door. Luckily we have indoor/outdoor carpeting downstairs. Maybe the limestone chips would help that area drain better and keep the water outside where it belongs? It's worth a try. But not today. We already have a lake out there from the rain of the last couple of hours.
Sunday 10th of March 2019
We have a pretty decent lawn, but there are always going to be areas that get muddy. Luke loves to dig holes under the bushes. Luckily we have a wood deck at one door, and a brick patio at the other, so that does help with the tracking in. We need to connect the two though, because there is a muddy area inbetween. You have some good ideas to hold us over until we get that landscaping done. I bug hubby about it every year, and maybe someday we'll actually do it. We're thinking cement pavers which can be a good solution too.
Tails Around the Ranch
Thursday 7th of March 2019
Mud and dirt are just part of dog ownership. I looked into artificial turf and found that even if I could have afforded it, it was hot in the intense sunlight in the Mile High City. The worst places in my yard have flagstone walkways where the dogs frequently travel. Not perfect but tolerable. It just means I only have to wash the hardwood and tile floors 50% of the time instead of daily. ?