Oh, how I drool over photos of fancy dog friendly mudroom ideas on Pinterest.
But the problem is, every house I have lived in had no space for me to build a mudroom.
Not having one causes a problem for me when I come home from a rainy walk or muddy hike with my dogs and they are caked with dirt.
If I let my dogs go right inside, they track dirt all over the house.
UPDATED: December 30, 2022
So I’ve had to get creative when it comes to making a space where I can clean up my dogs when we come home.
Below, I share some of my “mudroom” entryway ideas.
My Goals for a Dog Friendly Entryway
A mudroom is a space set iside in a house where people and pets can take off their dirty clothes and clean up before entering the rest of the house.
I started with a list of what I wanted in a “mud entryway”.
I needed a space where I could:
- Hang a towel that I could grab quickly to dry my dogs off
- Keep dog grooming wipes handy so I could easily clean off feet, faces, and, knock on wood, remove a little dog poop.
- Hang wet dog jackets, leashes, and harnesses to dry
- Store the most-used, season appropriate items
- Store other small items I may need like paw balm and poop bags
My problem I haven’t had a separate room to designate for this purpose in the houses I’ve lived in.
The available space in my entryways have also been very limited.
I had to get creative.
Where You Can Create a Mudroom if Your House Doesn’t Have a Space
If your house does not have space for a traditional mudroom, there are still ways to create a dog-friendly area for your furry friend.
Here are a few options you could consider:
1) Use an entryway bench or shoe rack
You can put hooks on the wall right inside your door and use a small bench or cabinet with drawers or organize shoes, jackets, and other pet supplies.
2) Utilize a small closet or pantry
If you have a small closet or pantry near your front door, you could convert it into a dog-friendly space.
YOu can add some shelves, or put a small dresser in it, to create storage for leashes and other supplies.
You can hang dog jackets and a towel on the inside wall using hooks.
3) Set up a mudroom area in the garage
This one is especially relevant if you have an attached garage with a door that enters into the house.
However, it’s possible to do that even if your garage is detached. It just might not be as useful because you will have to take your dog outdoors again before going inside.
Choose a corner by the garage door to place a storage cabinet and hooks for your supplies.
4) Create a designated area outside
If you don’t have any indoor space for a mudroom, you could create a designated area for your dog outside.
How I’ve Created a Cleanup Space in My House for My Dogs
In all cases, I’ve opted for versions of option 1 above – creating a front entry mudroom.
My first house
The first house where I attempted to create a dog cleanup space was and old house in Seattle.
There were stairs leading up to a very small covered porch and then our front door opened up directly into the livingroom.
I started with the porch. The porch is my first line of defense for my house against a muddy dog.
I bought a cute metal pail and put towels in it. Now when we come home all muddy, my dogs get toweled off here before they are allowed in the house.
Inside the door, I placed a small dresser and some hooks on the wall.
If my dog’s jacket and harness were really dirty, I took them off and left them on the porch until I could throw them in the washing machine.
If the jackets were just a little wet or dirty, I wiped the dirt off with the towel and hung them inside on the hooks to dry.
I placed a boot tray filled with “sea glass” inside the door for me so that air could circulate around my shoes and dry them faster.
I repurposed my little green dresser as a storage space for dog jackets, dog supplies, my headlamp, gloves and earmuffs, etc.
The area that I repurposed was a total mess when I started.
Check out my transformation of this space. I’m so proud!
Our current house
I thought space was limited before, but it was a new shock and challenge when we moved into a 650 square foot “small house”.
Again, our front door opens up directly into our livingroom, which is about half the size of our old one so there was even less space.
However, in this house, instead of walking through the livingroom to get anywhere else in the house, there is a pathway where I can walk past the livingroom and directly into the kitchen.
The livingroom is carpeted but that path, and the kitchen, are not.
Also, there is a covered porch leading up to the back door.
So even though our house is less than 1/4 the size of our old one, I actually have more options for a dog cleanup “mudroom”.
In this house, I placed hooks and the small green dresser in the little entry path adjacent to the livingroom.
This area works great in the summer when the dogs don’t get as dirty on walks and hikes.
The back door enters into the kitchen but it’s fairly large so I was able to put a boot tray and hooks behind the door.
In the winter when it’s wet, we go out the front door – the door where all the jackets, leashes, and supplies are – but come back in through the back door.
I hang a towel near the back door under the covered portion of the deck so it stays dry (warm is another story).
When we return to the house, I lead the dogs through the back yard, stop at the back door, and dry them off and try to brush off as much dirt and mud as I can.
If the dog jackets are wet, which they usually are, I hang them just inside the back door instead of the front door so any drips are caught by the boot tray.
I still dream about my perfect dog mudroom.
I still save pictures and articles on Pinterest for the one day we might live in a house with a small entry room I can convert to a mudroom for the dogs.
But the setup I created is really pretty good at preventing the dogs from tracking dirt, mud, and snow into the house.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.