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How to Keep Dogs From Tracking in Dirt Through the House: 8 Simple Tips

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Dogster Team

dirty dog on carpet

How to Keep Dogs From Tracking in Dirt Through the House: 8 Simple Tips

Your dog probably loves to run around in the rain, dirt, and mud. It’s an absolute blast for them and an absolute mess for us. While we don’t mind our pups getting messy from time to time, we’d like to keep the mess outside instead of needing to clean your home from top to bottom every time they step foot indoors.

We understand the frustration it causes, and it’s why we took the time to highlight some tried and true methods to keep your dog from tracking dirt throughout your home, no matter how messy they get while they’re outside.

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Before You Start

If you’re looking to keep your pup from tracking dirt throughout your home, there are a few things you’ll want to do before you try any of our tips. Begin by teaching your dog some basic commands like “leave it,” “sit,” and “come.”

Simply teaching your dog these basic commands will make it much easier to train them to follow all the tips on our list without them running amok all over your home. Finally, get a towel you’ll dedicate to cleaning off their paws. It’s something that will get dirty quite a bit, so it doesn’t need to be new. If you prefer not to dirty your towels, though, then you could try out pet specific wipes that are safe for sensitive paws.

The 8 Tips for Keeping Dogs From Tracking Dirt Through the House

Nobody wants their dog tracking dirt throughout their home. But unfortunately, Fido likely doesn’t think twice about it. That’s why we took the time to highlight eight tips you can follow to help you put those dirty paw prints behind you once and for all!

1. Get a Doggie Doormat

Having a doormat your dog has to go over before coming inside can make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your home. There are dog-specific doormats to help with this very issue, and when you pair them with a doormat both inside and outside the door, it can get at least some of the dirt off their paws.

microfiber doormat
Image Credit: MIA Studio, Shutterstock

2. Wipe Off Their Paws

This might sound obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning. Dogs track dirt and mud into your home primarily with their paws, so taking the time to wipe them off before they come inside can make a big difference.

We recommend using two towels. The first towel should be a little damp to get the bulk of the grime and gunk off, and the second one should be dry to finish cleaning up and dry off their paws.

3. Keep Them Groomed

If your dog has longer hair, you know all about the struggle that comes with them tracking in dirt and mud on their fur. The solution to this is simple, though: keep their coat short. Shorter fur is less likely to collect muck and grime, making it less likely you’ll need to give them a bath when they come inside.

female groomer drying and brushing the hair of bernese mountain dog
Image Credit: Helen Sushitskaya, Shutterstock

4. Have a Cleaning Station

If your dog is a habitual muddy outdoor player, having a dedicated cleaning station they need to go through before coming inside can be a lifesaver. Something as simple as a tub with a hose might be all you need, but just have something to dry them off with at the station too so that they don’t get all your furniture wet.

5. Train Them to Wipe Their Paws

This might seem impossible or silly, but the truth is that some pet owners have actually trained their dogs to wipe their paws before going inside! It’s a simple yet effective trick you can use to get at least some of the dirt and mud off their paws.

Just keep in mind that this isn’t a 100% effective solution, so you’ll still need to wipe their paws a bit yourself—if you can even successfully teach them this trick, that is.

female hands cleaning dog's paw with wipes
Image Credit: 220 Selfmade studio, Shuhtterstock

6. Fix Muddy Spots in the Yard

If you can keep your pup’s paws from getting muddy in the first place, they won’t have anything to track into your home! We understand you’ll never be 100% effective at removing all the muddy spots in your yard, but even tackling a few of the bigger problem areas can make a huge difference.

7. Consider Turf

This isn’t the most affordable solution out there, but it is one of the more effective options. Artificial turf is material that your dog can safely and comfortably relieve themselves on, but since it doesn’t have any of the mud or dirt that comes with real grass, it won’t leave your dog’s paws super dirty.

You’ll need to keep your dog solely on the turf area, but there are multiple ways you can go about this. But you’ll still need to have another solution in mind for walks and when they go out in different areas!

Friendly man deciding on artificial turf from assortment in garden equipment shop
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

8. Teach Them to Wait

This is one of the most effective things you can do to keep your dog from tracking dirt in your home. Train your dog to sit at the door and wait for a command before going in. Ideally, you want to teach this to them before they have dirty paws, but even after they know the trick, you need to enforce it all the time.

Having them wait ensures you’ll get a chance to clean off their paws before they go into your home, which is a huge help!

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Final Thoughts

Now that you know a few tips and tricks for getting your pup clean before they come into your home, you can let them head out and enjoy the great outdoors a bit more, even if it means more dirt and mud. It’s a little prep work for you, but once you have it down, your dog can go out and enjoy themselves more and you don’t have to spend all day cleaning up the house when they come back in.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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