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The little fenced dog yard (to go in and out the house) looks like a moonscape after the summer. It cannot be rescued with two healthy dogs. The nursery recommended putting in wood chips, which seems like a good idea. Question is what kind, from which trees? Our area has many firs and I am worried about splinters getting in these 8 feet.
Input welcome. Thanks!
 

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I got rid of the grass in my backyard and put down wood chips. I opted for hard wood chips. I want to say the last batch was oak. Make sure you get playground grade or at least make sure the chips haven’t been treated with anything. I wouldn’t go for anything too finely ground, as it will not help with mud or dirt. Be prepared to do frequent raking if your dogs run around in the yard at all!
 

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I am not sure how big of an area you are talking about. My latest attempt at a fix was to use some pine pellet horse bedding which runs about $5 a 40# bag at Tractor Supply. It kind of turns into sawdust when it gets wet. It will pack down over a very short period of time. It has a pleasant, woodsy smell to it. It also helps control urine odors and makes for easy clean up of all dog waste, including urine if you want to scoop it up. Kind of think of it as a big litter box. LOL! I initially laid down several bags and then as I clean up and remove some of the wet matter, I add more in its place. Oh, and a side bonus was that it is much cleaner in wet weather. Good bye mud! My long term goal is to be able to periodically remove and replace so that the area stays fresh.
 

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I am not sure how big of an area you are talking about. My latest attempt at a fix was to use some pine pellet horse bedding which runs about $5 a 40# bag at Tractor Supply. It kind of turns into sawdust when it gets wet. It will pack down over a very short period of time. It has a pleasant, woodsy smell to it. It also helps control urine odors and makes for easy clean up of all dog waste, including urine if you want to scoop it up. Kind of think of it as a big litter box. LOL! I initially laid down several bags and then as I clean up and remove some of the wet matter, I add more in its place. Oh, and a side bonus was that it is much cleaner in wet weather. Good bye mud! My long term goal is to be able to periodically remove and replace so that the area stays fresh.
How big is your area? Mine is about 1000 sq. ft. AFter these pellets pack down by rain, how do they hold up when they dry up? Dusty?
 

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I am not sure how big the area is but it does encompass part of my yard and three outdoor kennels. My kennels have rubber stall mats in the front near the gates and I use the bedding in the back half. Surprisingly, it is not dusty at all even when dry. I was worried about that as well. It did take a bit to lay on the two first layers after that I have only added to it. Maybe you can buy 4-6 bags and play around with it in one corner of your area to see if you like it.
 

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Not sure how feasible this is for you, but in our area we live under a lot of trees. I take all the leaves off the pavers and will put them around the muddy dirt spots, sometimes I even take the neighbors bags of leaves (got this idea from my one neighbor she does it too lol now we share). Have had no trouble with mud getting in the house and didn't have to spend anything on mulch...
 

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The little fenced dog yard (to go in and out the house) looks like a moonscape after the summer. It cannot be rescued with two healthy dogs. The nursery recommended putting in wood chips, which seems like a good idea. Question is what kind, from which trees? Our area has many firs and I am worried about splinters getting in these 8 feet.
Input welcome. Thanks!
rubber mulch???
 

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I went with pond stone. I tried wood chips but they were tracking in the house, and it was impossible to see fresh poops. I did not use playground grade though.

I also have 3 kids that track mud. So one day I was like..that is it! 1200 dollars in pond stone/river rock later ...looks great! Drains great! Easy to see poops! Way less mud! ....but, wait for it...smaller pit mix started eating the rocks. Ugh. I dont know what else can be done except always be out there with him when he is here, which can be difficult with 3 kids.

The moral of my story is try a small area of something, make sure there is no weirdness, before you invest and cover 1000 sq feet lol
 

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I also use the pine pellets in my dog yard. I just dump the pellets out and rake it. Sometimes I cut the bags open, spray them down with water, and spread the sawdust. Either way works great. No mud. As for being a giant kitty litter box, well, I use the same pellets in my litter boxes.
 

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I also use the pine pellets in my dog yard. I just dump the pellets out and rake it. Sometimes I cut the bags open, spray them down with water, and spread the sawdust. Either way works great. No mud. As for being a giant kitty litter box, well, I use the same pellets in my litter boxes.
That is where I first learned about it. A cat rescue I know of uses it and claims they have no odor problems with it as long as you scoop, stir, and replace when it all turns to dust. My cats weren't real happy with it so I don't use it for them anymore but did like it when I did.
 

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So my concern would be when it dries out and they start racing around, bring it in in their coat, in their feet, flea breeding ground? etc. I like the idea though.
 

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I’ve never had fleas here, so it’s not an issue. I love this stuff. Sometimes it flies around when it gets super windy, but it’s worth it. I just sweep it off the patio and dump it back in the yard. I have a mat inside the dog door that catches most of the sawdust.

My Siamese cat breeder recommends the pine pellets, so that’s all my cats have ever known.
 

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My experience is that it gets packed down pretty good but I have several dogs using the area. I am keeping an eye out for bugs too but so far have not had a problem. I do find it likes to stick to my shoes but not to their feet. I have not had a problem with it tracking into the house. Everything has been so much cleaner.
 

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I use a combination of straw\cedar mulch\cedar bedding.The bedding is from US and sold in compacted bricks.Cedar keeps the bugs away and smells wonderful.
 
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