Mud is a consistent pain point for dog daycares and other pet businesses. Dogs love it, humans generally hate it. (There are exceptions. We don’t judge.) Outdoor dog yards are particularly susceptible to becoming mud pits due to high foot and paw traffic as well as dogs’ propensity to dig.
Mud isn’t just ugly, it’s a significant risk to your business. While it may seem like an everyday nuisance, mud is an insidious enemy to any pet business. In this article, we’ll outline just a few of the ways mud can affect your bottom line.
Mud is ugly!
Okay, mud isn’t just ugly, but it’s certainly ugly! This isn’t an abstract point of aesthetics: customers are less likely to patronize a business they perceive to be sloppy or poorly maintained. This is particularly difficult for dog daycares and similar pet businesses because (as far as we can tell) dogs don’t mind playing in the mud and they certainly don’t mind where that mud ends up, be it the floors and walls of a pet business or your nicest blouse.
It can seem like a vicious cycle: you clean up your pet business to attract new customers; those customers bring in more dogs; the dogs track mud all over your business; customers shy away from your business, so you clean again. As you know, owning and operating a dog daycare is a lot of work, and if you’re stuck in the mud cycle a significant portion of your valuable time is wasted trying to keep up with your customers’ expectations of a clean dog daycare atmosphere.
Mud can undo expensive and time-consuming grooming work
Let’s say a client brings in their dog fresh from the groomer. They’re all dolled up and cute for all of about 20 minutes until they step outside and play in the mud and rub up against other muddy dogs—so the only options you have are keeping every single dog out of the mud, or keeping every single dog separate. As you know, neither option is typically feasible in this business.
No pet owner is happy when their expensive grooming job ends up ruined over the course of a day in a dog daycare—that’s an expensive day for any pet owner. The bottom line is, if that happens to a client just once, they’re significantly less likely to frequent your pet business again.
Mud is doubly problematic for pet businesses that provide grooming services. Not only are clients unsatisfied when their dog gets muddy, you’re the one who has to spend time grooming, watching the dog, then re-doing grooming services like baths when that dog gets into mud. Again, your time is valuable and it’s simply unacceptable to double up on grooming and bathing services when you’re only being paid for the first bath and grooming.
Mud can be a health hazard
Mud isn’t as harmless as dogs seem to think it is. According to the United States Geological Survey, certain harmful bacteria inhabit the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals and have the potential to cause sickness and disease. One of the more dangerous forms of bacteria present in mammal feces is the E. Coli bacteria. E. Coli can be fatal in some cases, and highly distressing and uncomfortable in any case. When dogs track mud into your pet business, it’s no secret that they bring fecal matter in with it, potentially causing a hazard for you, your staff, and clients alike. At best, an E. Coli infection means one of your staff members will be MIA for a period while you’re left scrambling. At worst, tragedy can strike with your business at the epicenter.
Bacteria isn’t just harmful for humans. Despite many dogs’ apparent penchant for feces, unsanitary environments can harm their health. Pregnant dogs are particularly sensitive to diseases such as E. Coli, potentially endangering theirs and their offspring’s lives. This too can turn into a vicious cycle, as dogs infected with diseases such as E. Coli are more likely to have uncontrolled intestinal problems, thereby spreading the disease even more.
It’s not just E. Coli humans and dogs have to worry about. Viruses, parasites, and other toxins are commonly found in feces, and if your dog yard is muddy everything gets mixed together and tracked inside so it’s impossible to completely avoid contact with those contaminants.
Mud increases landscaping costs
It’s tough for a pet business to keep their yard looking tidy. Dogs dig and run back and forth, and let’s be honest, their energy is a big reason we love the silly furballs—but all that wear and tear can wreak havoc on a dog yard.
If you want to avoid some of the problems listed above, be prepared to pay out the nose. Since labor is at such a premium now, on-going landscaping work can quickly add up. It can seem like an impossible task to keep up with landscaping when dogs tend to ruin that hard work weekly.
Alternatively, let’s say you’re so sick of mud that you decide to redo your entire yard with another surface. Concrete, gravel, and artificial turf all vary in price but they each require significant material and labor costs.
We understand the value of reducing mud, that’s a big reason we created Natura. Our innovative hybrid turf separates paws and shoes from mud while preventing digging and wear spots. Unlike other turfs or ground covers, Natura still allows natural grass to grow through so you can have a green and lush yard without the headache of mud. You can make a big change to your pet business for less money, labor, and disruption to your day-to-day schedule than other options on the market. Why do more than you have to?
You can have an outdoor dog yard that looks great and retains all the benefits of a natural grass yard. Best of all, Natura is a fraction of the cost of traditional artificial turfs. Installation can be completed by your staff or landscaping crews in just a short time with minimal tools. Natura addresses all the problems mud poses to your pet business and looks good doing it.
Visit our Gallery Page to see Natura in action on other dog yards across the country and contact us directly to talk about your, unique, muddy problem.