Muddy Yards and Muddy Paws
What is up with the mud this year?!? Mild winter weather has allowed us to get outdoors with our pets to frolic in the sunshine. But the warm days and cold nights, combined with precipitation have also created a perfect storm for nasty mud in our yard, and of course, the inevitable muddy paws that come back inside. So, what to do about this?
First, let’s come clean (pun intended) about fixing your winter mud problems— unfortunately, winter is not the time to permanently repair the muddy areas in your yard. It’s just too cold to get new grass or cover crops to grow. As a band-aid, people sometimes try to use straw to cover the mud, but straw can poke and injure your animals’ paws and often makes an even bigger mess when combined with mud. Covering small muddy areas with old carpet or peat moss can be helpful, but mud is generally pervasive so covering every place in your yard isn’t very practical. For most people, the answer is to mitigate the mess of the muddy paws right now, then address the muddy areas in their yard later in the year when they can be more successful.
What can I do to deal with muddy paws right now?
The biggest issue with muddy paws is obviously that they track dirt throughout the house, so you find yourself chasing your dogs to wipe their paws, then mopping your floors 8 times a day, and washing dog beds until they fall apart! At Zamzows, we have a couple of fantastic solutions that address these issues well. For your floors, we have a doormat that soaks up seven times its weight in water, mud, and dirt! These mats come in various sizes and colors, are soft on pets’ paws, are machine washable, and dry five times faster than ordinary doormats. They truly are a game changer! If you have washed your dog's beds so much that the stuffing is falling out, Zamzows carries a large selection of replacement beds in all sizes and colors.
How do I fix the muddy areas in my yard so I don’t have this issue next year?
The long-term fix for mud is a multi-layered question because mud can be caused by various circumstances. For instance, if you have large trees in your yard, the grass that grows in the shady areas beneath them tends to be thinner. This may require over-seeding and fortifying the grass so the soil is less exposed in the winter months. Sometimes mud is created when animals run over the same areas in your yard, trampling grass to create mud paths. This problem is solved by planting a more resilient type of grass that can handle high-traffic. Animals who pick up mud from flower beds that are bare in the winter may need cover crops to reduce mud.
Muddy paws are a common issue in winter, so know that you’re not alone. The good news is that there are solutions! Come into any of our 13 Treasure Valley Zamzows stores and ask about our super-absorbent doormats, as well as some long-term solutions that will help you address the mud (and muddy paws) at your house.