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Best Mat for Cleaning Dog Paws

The best door mats for stopping those pesky dog footprints

If I had a magical dog-paw cleaning mat, I would be a millionaire! This is certainly an issue that many of my dog-loving customers deal with everyday: How to keep floors clean with a dog running in and out all day.

While there is no one "magic dog" door mat, here are a few keys tips to help minimize dirt and grime coming in with the dogs.

First, like any matting situation, you should determine what kind of dirt is coming in the door on your dogs' paws. Do you have a lot of mud and wet debris? Or is it mostly dust and dry dirt?

If you have wet and muddy dirt coming in the door, you'll need an absorbent mat. My best selling absorbent entry mat is the Waterhog. This product will act as a scraper mat (taking large debris off paws and shoes) as well as an absorbent mat.

If you have mostly dry debris coming in with the dogs, you will want a softer, carpet-like mat. Look for one with a twisted yarn top -- like a shag carpet. A mat with a "shag carpet" type surface will grab small, dry dirt. Then the dirt will be sifted to the bottom of the mat, away from the surface, to avoid the dreaded re-track. The dirt will remain on the bottom of the mat until you vacuum or clean it away. A good example of a soft carpet mat is the Classic Carpets mat.

Lastly, just like their lazy human counterparts, dogs usually do not pause to wipe their paws on the mat. So follow this rule of thumb when choosing your door mat-- the larger the better. A little 18" x 27" door mat is going to be nothing but a chew toy in terms of stopping dirt. Aim for the largest mat your area can accept. That way, there is more matting surface to clean those pesky dog paws.