easy fix for a muddy yard when you have dogs

How to fix a muddy yard with dogs – muddy dog yard solutions

What to do for a muddy yard with dogs? If you have dogs, you know the stress a muddy yard brings. Pine flakes by guardian are a great muddy backyard solution for muddy dog paws.  Dogs will track mud into the house and cleaning their paws can become a hassle. Each spring, in the Chicago area, we get a lot of rain, which turns our backyards into mud. This is not a big deal if you never have to venture into your backyard during the winter and spring months, but, if you have a dog, it’s another story. Each time the dogs come in from outside, they have mud on their paws or are excessively wet. Even if the dogs don’t run, just them walking through your mud swamp yard is enough to make you cringe. To solve this issue I pour pine flakes in the yard, covering the muddy areas.

how to fix your muddy yard when you have dogs

Each spring when the rains slow down, my small backyard resembles a pitcher’s mound of hard compacted dirt. I thought about fencing in the muddy area of yard from the dogs but this was a hassle and kind of pricey. CLEANING MUDDY DOG PAWS IS A HASSLE!

The “soil” the contractor used is very poor for growing anything so the grass dies at the end of each year. Once a year I roto til the soil, adding sand and even some cow manure to help the dirt along, before seeding the entire yard again. You would think this entire process would nourish the soil but it does not. After seeding I fence off the area so the dogs don’t walk through the freshly – tilled mud. There is also the risk that birds will eat the seed, and they will. You can buy biodegradable mesh that goes over the seed, to protect it from birds. This is money and time and messy.

I got tired of re-seeding the backyard each year. The yard always looked great until the fall. A friend of mine rolled out some astro turf, like what they use on soccer fields. I thought this was odd but since his yard is really small like mine, it made sense. His backyard was only used for their two large dogs to do their business. Since my backyard is small and I take our german shepherd to the park and walks around the block, I could care less if there is real grass or not.

There are actual companies that lay the fake backyard astro turf backyard but it’s a lot of money! A crew comes in, removes the grass, adds 6″ of level sand, pounds it down to flatten, then rolls out and stretches the fake lawn. It’s around $8,000. I don’t think so.

Here’s what I did to fix the backyard mud issue. Applying pine flakes works great

remedy for a muddy yard with pine flakesGet yourself pine flakes, which are used as horse bedding. I use guardian horse bedding and it lasts around 9 months. One package that is 8 cubic feet will cover a 20′ x 20′ area. I used 14 bags to cover my 800 square foot yard with an average of 3″- 4″ depth. The pine flakes soak up the water on the bottom level with enough to fluff on the top. The dogs never touch water or mud. The dogs also don’t go after the pine…they aren’t interested in eating it. The pine flakes will decompose over time (like 8 months) and are very good for your soil and grass.

Pine flakes also help to keep fleas and ticks away.

A lot of people use pine flakes when planting grass seed in their yards. A layer of pine flakes placed on top of the grass seed protect from the elements and the birds eating the seed. Over time, the decomposing pine flakes will feed the soil, and in turn, help the grass seed you planted.

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I’m very happy with the pine flakes for solving the mud issue in the backyard and it only took about an hour to complete. The dogs now enter the house with clean feet. The pine flakes are flexible and pretty much identical to bedding used for gerbil or hamster tanks. Being that the flakes are flexible and thin, they will not hurt your dog’s paws.

Cleaning the yard of dog waste is actually easier with these pine flakes as bedding. The dog waste doesn’t get caught in the grass…it simply lays on top of the flakes.

If you have any questions let me know. I really recommend this as a fix to your muddy backyard issue, especially if you have dogs. It may sound silly with a backyard full of pine flakes but they smell great and no more mud issues or muddy dog paws to clean!

You can buy pine flakes here from Amazon.

Another product my blog readers have used that works well, also from Amazon.

Pennington SUN and SHADE grass seed I use under the pine flakes. Also from Amazon.

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I’m a video editor of 25 years, audio engineer 20 years, photographer 25 years and guitarist 20 years. I post photography and stop motion animation videos, but mainly guitar playing.

My You Tube channels:

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  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!


  2. Steve our backyard is really muddy right off the patio. We are supposed to get 3 inches of rain Monday. Would you still put it down .


    1. yes i would put it down! the rain will not affect anything. get it down as fast as you can. some areas i put an inch down and most areas i put 3 inches down! no more muddy paws. i went crazy with the stuff but it was worth it. most of my backyard was cedar filled! it dissolves to nothing in about 6 months but it lasts most of that time.


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