If someone says the word “WALK” it is complete pandemonium in our house. We have to get the dogs settled down enough to get their gear on and get control of them before we head out the door. With three of them that is an even greater challenge. To dial down the stress we created a little DIY organized dog-walking station or pop-up mudroom.
Anyone can do this. All you need is an empty wall with a couple of feet of space. It would be easy to do in an apartment or an entryway. We decided to convert an underused space near the back entrance of the house. There is a little more room out there to get everyone harnessed up and calmed down before heading out the back gate. In our smaller entryway, with all the excitement the dogs can bump into each other and cause some drama. Putting it outdoors also makes it a little easier to contain the dirt and mud picked up on their walks. The area we used is covered, but you can do this in a non-covered area by selecting waterproof items.
How to Create an Organized Dog Walking Station
Step one: A Place For Leashes
We started by creating a place for the leashes with command clips. They are easy to apply, have great hold, and typically don’t harm the wall when removed. There are a lot of varieties and even some stylish ones. We used the version with two prongs, one for the harness and the other for the actual leash. We attach the pouch with the poo bags to the leash, but you could also hang a separate command hook for those.
If you have multiple dogs who wear harnesses or gentle leaders, it helps to quickly identify which harness fits each dog, so you don’t have to make adjustments before each walk. I got these superhero patches on Etsy to make it easier and they are so darn cute.
Step Two: Washable Rug
We put an outdoor rug down in addition to our welcome mat to catch the mud and debris from our boots and paws. It’s easy to rinse off with a hose if it gets too messy. Outdoor rugs with tassels seem to be trending lately. My dogs like them as well. They make it so much easier to pull the entire rug into the yard and play with it like it’s parachute time in the gymnasium. Maybe avoid that style if your dog is prone to chewing or parachutes.
Step Three: Shoe Organization
To create a space for our shoes, we added this shoe rack. A boot tray would be another great option. If your dog likes to chew shoes, you can put them up on a floating shelf or an organizer with cubbies to keep them away from K-9 curiosity.
Four Paw Tip: Designated slip-on dog walking shoes can make getting out the door a little easier. Keeping the three dogs calm while I tie my shoes is never going to happen.
Step Four: A Place to sit
We added this little stool so we had a place to sit down and remove our boots after returning from the walk. You could also use a bench and combine the sitting area and shoe storage. Just tuck your boots right under the bench.
Step Five: Rain Gear
I can never figure out where the umbrella is. Did we leave it in the car? I love this old garden stool so we flipped it upside down and made an umbrella stand. You could also add a hook for a small umbrella or raincoat.
Step Six: Micro-Fiber Towels
We use microfiber towels to wipe off the pups when they get wet or muddy on the walk. This basket keeps them handy by the door. This is another item you can put on a shelf or in a cubby if your dog is prone to chewing. We use large towels for rainy days but also keep some smaller ones for quick paw clean-up.
Step Seven: Accessorize
You can add clickers, dog toy storage, flashlights, and any other accessories you use to walk your dog. If your space is indoors you could add a canister of treats. We keep dog toys here in a bin. If your space is uncovered, drilling a couple of holes in the bottom of the bin will prevent water from collecting and creating a mosquito breeding ground.
I added this wipe your paws sign to cover up a plate from a vent we moved. It’s a printout that I framed and then used a command clip to attach it to the wall.
Download a checklist to create your own DIY Dog Walking Station and a printable version of the Wipe Your Paws sign here.
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