It was raining all morning today and as a result, the dog pen was seriously muddy in certain spots. Those spots have no grass because the dogs tend to spend most of their time there, or have started digging in those spots.
Well, both dogs had their bath and grooming session a few days ago, and I like to try and keep them clean for as long as possible. They were inside all morning during the thunder and lightning, but it wast time for them to go outside.
Luckily, I had planned ahead and purchased a fresh bale of hay from our local Co-Op earlier this week. At my old house I used pine straw to cover muddy spots. This was largely because it was readily available in our yard – I had to rake up many bag-fulls of pine straw each year. However, it isn’t as soft or cover the ground as easily as hay. Hay will eventually decompose and you will need to continue to add it, as needed. But the dogs seem to really like it, and often lay down in the hay-covered area, especially when the rest of the grass is wet.
It only takes a little hay in one area. I will shake it apart and spread it somewhat thinly on the mud.
It is really important that you get hay that is fresh and not moldy. If you wouldn’t want it around you, odds are your dog wouldn’t either. I accidentally left half a hay bale outside unprotected and it quickly molded in our rainy summer weather. There was no way I was using it in the dog pen. It went into the mulch pile instead.
Also, if your dogs are allergic to hay, then obviously, this isn’t a good short-term solution for you.
Long term, we are considering things like artificial grass (just in the front of the pen) or pavers. I tried to replant the grass, but with the dogs coming and going (this is where the gate is), it was impossible to get it to grow.