Here’s an equation no pet parent wants to calculate: Mud-caked paws plus an energetic dog equals a major mess on your kitchen or living room floors. Fortunately, in this age home renovation television shows and do-it-yourselfers, there is a hot trend that caters to canines: mudrooms.
Find out how mudrooms can benefit dog parents, and discover several ways you can create your own personalized mudroom for your pup.
What Are Mudrooms?
By definition, a mudroom is a room with an entrance to the outside of the house (typically the backyard) that can be blocked off from the rest of the house using an interior door, gate, pocket door or sliding barn door. These fantastic rooms can help save your house from tracked-in mud.
Mudrooms typically include shelves, hooks and other storage solutions to keep outdoor gear neat and organized.
Some mudrooms have a large sink for quick washup, which could be great for bathing small dogs. Some might even have a walk-in shower, and those are convenient for hosing down and drying medium to large dogs.
The Benefits of Mudrooms
Mudrooms provide a space where dogs can have their paws cleaned and coats toweled dry before being permitted inside the rest of the house. If you have a sink or shower stall in the room, you can even give your dog a bath after coming inside during a particularly wet, muddy day. Nice, right?
Even on days when it’s nice out, the mudroom can be useful. It can double as a dog grooming area or doggy playroom.
Plus, they are a great place to store your pet supplies, especially those needed for walks, like dog dog leashes and collars, poop bags and doggy jackets.
Professional dog trainer Francine Coughlin and her architect-building contractor husband, Michael, just moved into a home in North Reading, Massachusetts. The dog mudroom they are building will feature a large walk-in and an elevated bathing station for their hard-playing dogs Bettie, Teeny, Nelly and Finnegan.
“Bettie especially loves to roll in poop and other smelly things in our fenced backyard,” says Francine, whose business, Bark n’ Roll, offers dog training, daycare and boarding services. “The bathing station in the mudroom has been on our wishlist for a long time — second only to our remodeled master bathroom.”
The Coughlins are well aware of the challenges of New England weather: snow, ice, mud and muck. The bathing station will feature non-slip flooring and a sturdy staircase for each dog to walk up and into the deep and wide bathtub.
“Our days of sharing our bathtub for our larger dogs and our kitchen sink for our small dog, Teeny, are almost over,” Francine says. “We won’t have to worry about disinfecting our kitchen sink—or a paw getting caught in the drain or be afraid that the garbage disposal will suddenly turn on—once we complete the bathing station in our mudroom.”
The mudroom also will be where the Coughlins brush their dogs’ coats and trim their dogs’ nails.
“Our dogs are a large part of our lives, and they are family,” Francine says. “The mudroom will enable us to keep the rest of our house free from mud and other messes tracked in.”
Mudroom Ideas: What to Put In a Dog Mudroom
Three very athletic and energic Boxers answering to the names of Debbie, Walter and Phoenix share the Bolton, Massachusetts, home of Cara and Gerard Amour. All three pups are dog agility stars, and they never turn down an invitation to romp in the backyard—no matter the weather.
“We bought this house mostly for the ‘dog room’ as we call it,” says Cara Armour, a product manager at ProTrainings and former Pet Sitters International Pet Sitter of the Year. “The mudroom makes keeping the rest of our house clean much easier.”
Besides the Boxer trio, the Armours board other dogs and have used the space to whelp two litters of Boxer pups.
To make your mudroom work for you and your pup, include these items:
To minimize the tracking of rain, snow or mud into your home, pick up a few rugs or mats specifically made for dogs. Dog mats can be placed right by the door to help minimize messy paw prints and reduce water tracking.
Dog Gone Smart’s doormat is designed to trap up to seven times its weight in water, mud and other messes. A rug like this will help soak up all the dirty elements your pet might come across, including dirt, mud and dirt.
Shelves or Wall Hooks
For mudrooms, organization is key. Having shelves or hooks on the wall is a great way to keep all your pet’s gear together, so it doesn’t wind up all over the house.
The SportHooks “Woof” dog leash holder is an adorable way to keep your keys, dog leashes and other pet gear organized. This dog leash holder features a powder-coated steel finish to make a nice accessory any wall, and it includes everything needed to mount it.
A Cleaning Station
Avoid slipping and sliding, back aches from bending over and other challenges of bathing your dog in a bathtub. Install a space-saving Booster Bath elevated dog bathing center in your mudroom. The U-shaped doggy bath center helps make dog washing easy, and it features a three-point safety harness to keep your pup from sprinting out while being bathed.
When your dog just needs his paws cleaned or his coat wiped down in lieu of a full-on dog shower or bath, keep disposable cleaning wipes in stock. Earthbath’s hypo-allergenic wipes are designed to be safe for use on dogs and cats and offer a suds-free bathing experience.
Make sure to have dog towels, like Bone Dry’s microfiber towel, in hand to help dry off wet fur! This one’s made of lightweight, durable material that is super absorbent and big enough to dry any breed.
Whether you’re looking for a spot to keep your pup’s outdoor gear organized or need a whole room dedicated to keep your furry four-legged friend clean, mudrooms are useful for every dog parent.
Arden Moore happily wears many “collars” in the pet world: best-selling author, host of the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio, a master certified pet first aid/CPR instructor and in-demand speaker. She travels the country teaching pet first aid and pet behavior classes with Pet Safety Cat Casey and Pet Safety Dog Kona. She lives in Dallas with a Furry Brady Bunch of three dogs and three cats. Learn more at www.ardenmoore.com.
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