How to Fix a Muddy Backyard Dog Trail. Best Methods For All Budgets

how to fix a muddy backyard dog trail

The most apparent remedy to the muck caused when dogs travel the same trails across the yard is to change the ground cover. Choosing the correct ground cover frequently entails choosing one that is both affordable and safe for the dog.

If owners are unclear where to begin when selecting a ground cover, they should seek advice from a veterinarian, breeder, or even a more experienced dog owner who has dealt with similar issues.

The options are nearly unlimited, but owners must choose one that is comfortable and safe for their dog and produces the aesthetic they desire for their yard.

We’ve compiled a list of the best dog-proof yard solutions to help you solve the problem, so you won’t have to fix a muddy backyard dog trail later on. Let’s get started!

Common Complaints

Every pet owner wants the best for their four-legged baby. However, they don’t want mud or dirt from outside to come inside in the form of muddy paw prints. After all, it’s hard enough keeping your house clean from day-to-day.

Common complaints for pet owners are their fur babies digging, destroying plants or furniture, and tracking mud, dirt, or sand inside. Most of these problems could be solved with obedience classes with the exception of the tracking in mud, dirt, or sand.

Dogs track stuff in without even knowing they do. It’s not their fault, it’s just part of owning a pet. They roll around, lay down, run and play in the yard and sometimes your yard may be muddy or have spots of dirt and sand.

Dogs are notorious for finding just one mud puddle to play in.  It’s adorable while they are doing it but then there’s the cleanup, which is never fun.

Let’s go over the ways to prevent them from bringing the outside in with them.

How to fix a muddy backyard dog trail according to your budget

Before you go out and get the supplies, look at your budget since how you recover your muddy backyard is determined by how much money you have or are prepared to spend. This includes considering the size of your lawn as well as the adjacent regions that require “dogscaping.”

You’ll also have to determine if you want to leave the muddy yard to the professionals or do the house upgrades yourself.
There are a variety of remedies available to fit your economic and lifestyle demands, including interim tweaks, as well as simple or permanent repairs.

Quick fixes for muddy backyard problems

As the name indicates, quick fixes will ultimately need to be replaced, although they are effective for a limited time. There are various items you may use to assist limit the amount of mud transported into your home while also helping to rejuvenate your dug-up or ruined grass, ranging from mulch and straw to pea-gravel.


Straw is commonly used to shield growing grass seeds from digging dogs and as a temporary covering against mud.

One disadvantage of using straw to cover the ground is that it must be replenished regularly for the reasons listed below.

Straw absorbs moisture, which is beneficial for grass cultivation but results in a lawn that never fully dries.

You should be concerned about germs and fungi in addition to standing on damp ground and wetting your shoes everywhere you walk outside (which is aggravating). These species reproduce over time, particularly in humid regions, posing a threat to your children and canines.

On the other hand, the straw will not withstand the test of time, especially with dogs frequenting the walkway daily and in inclement weather. Straw can not absorb urine, resulting in a foul odor if old hay is not removed.


Sand is another low-cost solution for a muddy yard. Sand, on the other hand, isn’t a popular alternative for amending wet and muddy grass when it comes to muddy backyard remedies.

Sand covers up muck, but it also causes another issue: sand goes everywhere, exacerbated by a dog’s natural need to roll about in it.

Sand not only finds its way inside, but it also transmits heat, which can be good in the winter but can also burn your dog’s feet in the summer, mainly if the walk is in direct sunlight.


Mud may be easily covered with straws. This could be a simple fix for your issue.
Hay bales can be purchased at a feed store or from a farm. The amount of grass you need will be determined by the size of your lawn.
Your dog will be able to run about without bringing muck into your home.
You shouldn’t be concerned about your dog’s paws because hay is comfier for him.
Because of its small weight, hay has the disadvantage of being easily transported by the wind.
As a result, even if the dog doesn’t drag the muck in, the area around it will appear untidy.
Hay also has a propensity towards retaining water. As a result, it can take longer for your backyard to dry.
On the other hand, using hay is a quick and temporary repair while you wait for a more permanent option.


Like pine flakes for muddy yards, mulch is popular among homeowners because it includes organic matter good for the soil and is a quick remedy for a muddy yard.

When mulch is spread over the soil’s surface, it protects the earth from dogs prone to ripping up anything in their path.

We already analyzed the safety and the best mulch types for dogs to be around.

If you use mulch, keep in mind that it decomposes fast and will need to be replaced eventually. The matter might persist for up to a year, depending on the mulch you choose. You may slow down the decomposition process by sowing peat moss or sand in the soil before the mulch.

Wood chips are a popular resource that can be purchased from nurseries or ordered online and delivered to your yard for $15 a bag. Using a rake, spread the chips into place.

Mulch is widely used and highly absorbent, but it can cause choking in dogs that prefer to chew if consumed. Worse, if ingested, cocoa mulch may be poisonous to dogs.

Not only are tiny pieces of flint that break off wood chips inedible and possibly hazardous to dogs, but they can also inflict painful splinters on their paws.

It may be wiser to look for other muddy yard solutions unless you have time to stand guard, watch your dogs play, urinate in the backyard, and ensure they don’t do anything they shouldn’t.

How to fix a yard with semi-permanent and quick methods


Rocks offer diversity to your yard while also eliminating muddy pawprints in your living rooms after a rainy stroll, and they’re not too pricey.

A mound of pebbles on top of dirt, on the other hand, might be kryptonite for your dog, who may confuse the hard substance for a new chew toy, causing damage to their teeth and internal organs.

On the other hand, Rocks may cause injury to your dog’s paws when they walk over them.

Pea gravel

Using pea gravel to cover the places that your pet walks through is a simple and cost-effective way to keep the muck out of your home.

Pea-gravel is not only inexpensive, but it also remains there and does not become muddy, even when it rains. While the gravel absorbs urine, it’s still necessary to hose clean the area now and again.

In addition to being incredibly effective, the round edges of gravel stones are lovely to walk on and forgiving on your dog’s paws. Dogs will not ingest the gravel owing to its tiny size.

Rubber mat

Rubber mats are an inexpensive and quick solution for a muddy garden track. These mats can also be used to protect the dog’s paws when walking on a concrete walkway.

Rubber mats, unlike concrete, are only a band-aid for a muddy route.

They’re also sanitary since they can be washed with soap, water, and disinfectant.

Rubber mats are also constructed of a substance that makes it easy for urine to travel through.
You also don’t have to be concerned about the dogs because the mats are anti-slip.

Rubber mats aren’t designed to be used for lengthy periods, so you’ll want to think about more permanent options.

Artificial grass

Another temporary solution to the muddy trail issue is artificial grass. At first glance, the grass can appear to be typical grass; however, it is far softer and more pleasant.

Artificial grass, unlike natural grass, can resist a digging dog, which is especially useful if your garden space is limited.

There’s no need to be concerned about pee seeping through the carpeting or generating a pool. The fake grass is designed to allow urine to travel through.

You can choose natural grass if the price is too high for your budget. It would be preferable if you kept in mind that grass takes time to grow.

For a larger backyard where dogs may run about, natural grass is ideal, and will have more area to piss on.

How to permanently repair a muddy backyard dog trail

We’ve given a number of interim fixes, but it’s worth the extra money if you have the funds to address the problem correctly. Furthermore, resolving the issue with hardscaping and long-term solutions may be less expensive in the long run.


Concrete is one of the greatest solutions to cover dirt that lasts if you have the funds. You’re also providing a clean route for your children to ride their bikes and play without getting coated in mud by paving the ground with cement.

However, while concrete has many advantages, it also has certain drawbacks. Dogs, for example, enjoy running around and chasing things. Moving quickly on hard asphalt can cause damage in dogs because it puts stress on their legs, paws, and paw pads. Concrete slabs, on the other hand, are uncomfortable for hounds to lay on.

It’s also vital to note that shoes give extra protection for your feet when you’re outside. When dogs go outside, they do so barefoot. Their paws will be burned if they run over hot concrete.

If you’re going to utilize concrete, think about putting soft, comfy materials on top of it.


Some of the greatest materials for making dog walks are flagstones or pavers.

Flagstones are attractive garden elements, but they are also a permanent muddy dog yard solution for keeping rubbish outside.

The bigger flagstones usually have flat surfaces, making digging up a problem for any opportunistic dog.
If you’re putting the flagstones, make sure they’re close together or that the holes between them are filled with sand; otherwise, your dog’s claws can become trapped.

Prefabricated pavements

Prefab pavers may be purchased at your local nursery or home improvement store and placed in sections of the garden that your dogs are destroying and you can arrange them however you like.

Kennel decking

Kennel decking might be the ultimate answer for cleaning up a muddy dog yard.

Kennel decking may be a choice for you if stones, wood, or natural materials aren’t an option.

The introduction of kennel decking is causing a stir on the internet, allowing homeowners to enjoy their property without leaving a significant mess while providing their beloved pets with a safe (and enjoyable) room to run about in.

Wooden platforms may be an excellent way to cover muddy sections in the garden, but there are a few things to keep in mind first:

  • If you’re constructing your platform, lay gravel, pebbles, or dirt beneath it so that water can drain rapidly when you clean it.
  • Because wood rots over time, you’ll need to coat it with dog-friendly paint to make it weather-resistant and decay-resistant.
  • We can’t emphasize enough the necessity of buying non-toxic paint because let’s face it, dogs chew. You don’t want to take your dog to the vet right away since it’s been poisoned.

The cost of putting up a kennel decking platform depends on the type of wood used and if you build it yourself.

Fix your drainage

The majority of the time, your home’s inadequate drainage is the source of the muddy backyard.

As you temporarily remedy the muck, you may also correct the drainage to prevent future problems.

Poor drainage will not stop mud from accumulating, no matter how many times you modify the soil.

As a result, a French drain is a good idea to install. Perforated pipes filled with coarse materials like rock and gravel make up a French drain.

As a result, unlike the soil, the water runs significantly faster on the course materials when it rains.

The water runoff from the will gets to the drain considerably faster, without saturating the soil enough to generate mud.

You’ll need to locate the lowest point in your yard to install the drain. If your yard is flat, you can regrade it to help the extra water drain faster.

Drains with a depth of up to 25 inches and a width of 6 inches are always suggested. The 6-inch wide perforated pipe is installed in the drain’s middle. First, a 12-inch layer of course material is applied, followed by a landscape cloth. Then another layer of course material is used.

You’ll soon notice that the dog can play in the yard without dragging muck inside.

How to use natural-looking solutions to cover muddy areas in yard spaces

While embedding rock or wood in the ground may assist with the problem of how to remedy a muddy backyard dog track, it leaves little area for greenery — and what is a garden without a lawn?

It’s common knowledge that if you have a dog, your grass will be spotty and withering in certain parts. Dogs are territorial and will pee in the same spots repeatedly, causing havoc with the pH of the soil.

Synthetic grass may be rather costly, especially if you have a large yard. The benefits of having it placed include the fact that it appears like a genuine lawn but is constructed of materials that cannot be harmed or damaged by your pets or the elements.

On the other hand, Artificial grass is an excellent alternative to organic turf since it’s soft underfoot and drains dog pee the same way water does, so you won’t have to worry about odors or build-up.

If you insist on actual grass, Bermuda, Rye, and Kentucky Blue may have a chance against your adoring but destructive pets.

Landscaping ideas to dry up a muddy yard

You may rescue your house and yard without resorting to harsh and costly measures by using various inventive methods.

Vegetation is one method to tackle this; thick plants will stop a dog from digging. You may either enlarge your plant beds by linking them, minimizing the amount of dirt and sludge your dog can roll about in.

Otherwise, plant new species, using temporary fencing to keep curious dogs away until the plants have established themselves.

Final thoughts

We like dogs, but it may be challenging to keep a place clean and tidy when there are several of them around. Hounds enjoy digging and don’t always clean their paws when they come inside.

Here’s what to apply on muddy yards if you don’t have time to clean your dog every time he or she returns filthy.

The method you use to solve the problem is determined by the financial restrictions you face. There are low-cost interim repairs, rapid remedies, and long-term solutions available.

Mulch, sand, and straw can be used to cover a muddy spot of grass, but they aren’t long-lasting and aren’t foolproof. Before you go on these paths, make a list of the benefits and drawbacks.

Rocks and pea gravel require little work and are simple to install. On the other hand, Rocks should be avoided since they might cause choking in unwary pets and young children.

Concrete is attractive and functional for people, but not so much for dogs. Concrete blocks transmit heat and put a dog’s body under stress. Consider putting something soft on top of the concrete or filling the crevices with sediment. A more practical option may be flagstone.

Kennel decking is a significant hit with animal enthusiasts. Your dogs may enjoy the outside while you have a clean house, thanks to the use of wood to raise them off unfavorable flooring.

What good is a garden if the grass isn’t green? Artificial grass looks natural and won’t be ruined by digging or dog urine.

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Emma Olsen
I’m a gardener and blogger with over 20 years of expertise writing about and cultivating fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. I have extensive experience in organic and sustainable gardening, perennials, annuals, and sustainable and urban farming. I’m a nature freak and I enjoy bird watching and swimming with sea creatures.