In the old days, most homes had a mud room – a transition space that helped prevent bringing the outdoors all the way indoors on your feet. Unfortunately, modern homes in Northern California don’t often have this luxury. So when you or your pet come in from your yard, you can track muddy foot prints and debris all over your floors. Charming.
If you’re lucky, and it’s your kitchen, at least your pet’s muddy offering is easy to clean up. You just get out the mop, or get down on your hands and knees and wipe up the floor. If your pet enters directly into a carpeted room, grrrrr (that’s the sound of you gnashing your teeth). Not so easy to clean up. And mud can stain carpet.
Even if your home does have a mud room, an excited dog can quickly zip through and into the rest of your home. All bets are off, when it comes to muddy paw prints on your floors. The bottom line is simple: no one wants mud or debris on the floor, in any room.
But what’s a house-proud pet parent to do?
Create an outdoor foot bath
You could put a pot of water just outside the door. When your dog or cat is ready to come in, you can bathe their feet in the water to cleanse them, then wipe them dry. Then your pet is ready to enter.
Of course there are downsides to this scenario. You have to put a pot of (clean) water next to each exterior door your pet uses. And you have to keep a clean, dry towel handy just inside the door. It’s not pretty, especially once the towel becomes wet and muddy itself. (Just how many “dog towels” do you own, anyway? You don’t want to use your good bath or dish towels, because you’ll never get them clean again.)
Invest in washable throw rugs for each entry point
Your pet is likely to rub off some of the mud on the rug, but that’s not really the point. To make this plan work well, you’ll want the same foot bath set-up as outlined above. At least this way, you can stay indoors out of the elements while cleaning your pet’s feet. However, the pot of water won’t do much to enhance your interior décor, and an excitable pup could knock it over, causing a new problem.
You could forego the pot of water and use a wet towel instead. (Again, how many dog towels did you say you have on hand?) Or invest in a special “dog doormat.”
Invest in rain booties for your pet
Rain boots are quite cute, and they come in all pet sizes. Nonetheless, your dog may take exception to this concept and be disinclined to cooperate. After a knock-down-drag-out struggle worthy of a YouTube video, you may be disinclined to cooperate yourself. Not to mention you’ll have to do this dance every time your pup wants to go out. Washing your pet’s feet at the door is looking better and better.
Your cat? Forget it. You’ll need first aid. Maybe even a visit to the emergency room.
Switch to artificial turf
Now this is something that makes perfect sense. It’s a one-time, long-term solution that offers numerous benefits beyond avoiding muddy paw prints on your floors. Artificial grass has it all over natural lawns:
- It’s pet-durable.
- It’s porous, so rain and urine drain right through.
- Dog poop is each to clean up.
- You don’t have to maintain it!
It’s gorgeous, and it always looks perfect – never any brown spots, bare spots, holes, uneven color, etc.
When was the last time you could say that about your real grass lawn?