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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Staying clean: ground mats

This year, as we do most every year, Peter and I went to the dog show at the Bloomsburg Fair grounds to see all the beautiful show dogs. While Newfy’s were the object of our desire, there were quite a few Great Danes and Bernese Mountain dogs that also captured our hearts. Of course, what is a dog show without vendors and we would be remiss if we did not stop and check out each one!

All the vendors were outside this year rather than inside the building so I was not sure if it was just because the day was nice or if for some reason there wasn’t any room for them inside. It was a warm sunny day so we stopped at each booth to browse and noticed that most of the booths had floor mats that covered the grass under their tents. The mats came in a variety of colors and designs and since I am not into showing dogs, but more into dog gazing, I was a bit perplexed but interested in these mats. So what does one do when they are perplexed about an item? Why they buy it of course! Well actually, they whine and pine over it until their significant other buys it for them!

So that was our big purchase for the day. We thought it would be a good idea to try it out at the upcoming Bloomsburg Fair event that Chance and Steeler would be a part of. Generally you can’t escape fair week without at least one day of rain and our hope was that the dogs could lie on the mat keeping their fur free from dirt and debris. The mat was encased in a handy carry case which was long and slim but not bulky at all.
When we got home from the dog show I unfolded the 6 x 9 mat which is made out of plastic, and laid it partially on top of the carpet and partially on top of the hardwood floor in my bedroom where the dogs and I spend most of our day. Yes, yes, picture them all nestled at my feet as I slave over my computer working and sipping coffee.

My thoughts on this mat? I love it! Not only does it keep the dog smell and hair off the carpet but it also protects my wood floors from dirty wet dogs! In fact I think I would like to get more of them for the other rooms in my home where the dogs and I spend time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to take the doggie smell off of your dog, only a bath will do that, but it should keep the odor from oozing into the weaves of your carpet.

I must admit, I was still unaware of what these mats were normally used for and why I never thought to ask the vendor I bought it from I don’t know, or maybe I did ask the vendor but just don’t remember, either scenario is possible! Aside from seeing the vendors using them under their tents that very day, I don’t think I ever noticed them anywhere else. So I asked my friend and co- worker Nancy, who knows much more about showing dogs than I do, what they were used for. She explained that they are laid on the ground under the x pens to keep show dogs free from not only dirt, but also broken glass, cigarette butts ( I guess a lot of show people smoke), and anything that may get caught up in the coat or paws. She also told me that while the mats were good for that purpose, many show dogs have been on them since they were pups and so the dogs also get used to eliminating on them. This can be a problem later when trying to house break the pups. Essentially the pups are learning to eliminate on floor covering so when pups are in the home, how are they to discern that mat from other floor coverings? This is a perfect example of people who potty train their older puppies on wee, wee pads or newspaper laid on the floor. To the pup, the carpet in the home then becomes just another floor covering to pee on. This is not to be confused with laying down papers when you are caring for a very young litter of pups as it is more sanitary to dispose of the waste in this manner. What I am talking about is when someone buys an eight week old pup and is too lazy to take the pup out every two hours so instead they lay down pads, then wonder why the dog has started eliminating on the carpet. An eight week old puppy is old enough to learn that the grass outside is for potty purposes.

Anyway, I digress, and lucky for me my dogs are already potty trained so here’s the message I mean to bring. This is a great mat to place over your carpet or hardwood floors. It keeps the carpet a bit cleaner, the hardwood floors a bit drier, it is light weight so it folds up fairly flat and easy when you need to put it away, and it can be used for any event where you need to keep the dog off of dirty ground. It rinses off with the hose and you can bleach it as well to get off any germs or viruses. Looking at the website I see it can be used for more than just a dog carpet. If you don’t have dogs, you can use it for picnics, camping, or the beach! I’m sure if you’re imaginative and like clean areas you can think of more uses!

After a week on the fairgrounds this mat got a heavy workout from fair foot traffic, and we’re talking hundreds of people walking on it, and it is still in good shape. Once the fair was over I hosed the mat down, let it dry, and back in my bedroom it went.

You can find these mats in dog catalogs and possibly at other dog events where there are vendors. I do believe I will be getting another one in the future! And yes this is a hint to my significant other or a shout out to my kids!

This product gets four paws up from me, until of course some study comes out saying that the plastic can cause cancer!
Mats for x pens

1 comment:

  1. Find more uses for dog products at