During winter, your furry friends may risk suffering irritation that comes from walking on the salted sidewalks. During such circumstances, it is especially essential that you clean your dog’s paws every time that you come from a walk.
Maybe your dog is one of those beauties with skin that is extremely sensitive to cold weather as well as different weather elements, which dictates that special attention be paid to how their paws are cleaned.
Cleaning your dog’s paws during all the other seasons will also help you keep your floor clean, but most importantly, it will allow you to make note of any injuries on the paws, bug bites, and check for ticks. When the paws of your dogs are covered in dirt, it may be difficult to take note of any wounds. Additionally, paws that are chronically dirty may end up with inflammation or abrasions.
So let’s learn the best way to keep your dog’s paws clean!
Best Products to use for Cleaning Your Dog’s Paws
To make your dog’s paw cleaning more effective, here are three products that can help you keep your dog’s paws clean.
1. Dexas MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner
The beauty of this paw cleaning product is that you can take it anywhere with you. You don’t have to worry about your furry friend getting dirty while playing away from home. It’s easy to use and perfect for both small and large dogs and comes in three size: small, medium and large. You can also get three different colors: blue, pink and green.
We use this for our 70-pound dog and it makes cleaning her paws so much easier. The portable dog paw cleaner has paw-friendly silicone bristles that remove mud and dirt from your dog’s paws. To use the dog paw cleaner, add a little water in it, and insert the paw. Twist the cleaners, and the dirt shall be brushed away.
2. Paw Plunger
The Paw Plunger is another product similar to the MudBuster that is highly praised by dog owners for cleaning their paws. It has soft, friendly bristles for your dog’s paws and easy to use. The Paw Plunger is a bit more travel-friendly as it comes with a handle (that you can click onto a backpack) and a lid to prevent any dirty water from dripping out. You can carry and use it after playing out in the snow, after a hike or walk in the rain.
3. Pogi’s Grooming Wipes
Wipes are also a very handy product to keep your dog’s paws clean. They can work great when used with one of the above paw washers, or you can simply use them on their own.
These wipes contain Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, and Hawaiian Awapuhi to condition and keep your dog’s fur nice and shiny. They are also hypoallergenic, which is great for dog’s with allergies!
4. Dog Gone Smart Dirty Dog Mat
If your are looking for a way to stop debris from being tracked into your house, leaving this dog mat at your door will trap debris and keep it there!
This mat has a higher absorption rate than most doormats and can help keep your house cleaner.
5. Clean Paws Microfiber Towel Mitt
This antibacterial mitt is another great product for cleaning your dog’s paws after a walk. You can use it alone, or pair it with one of the above paw cleaners for a more thorough wash.
Tip for Cleaning Your Dog’s Paws
Below are some tips on how you can effectively clean your dog’s paws after a walk.
1. Using wet towelettes for a minor cleanup
If after the walk your furry best friend’s paws are only a little dusty, you may just need a few wet towelettes to clean them. Ensure that the wipes that you are using have been labelled to be safe for your pet. Most of the towelettes that we humans use do contain harmful substances and chemicals, including alcohol and fragrance, which may be detrimental to your pet.
In order to be safe when using these towelettes, it is important that you use all-natural grooming wipes that have been approved by veterinarians. Pogi’s Grooming Wipes are perfect for cleaning paws and are pet-safe!
If you want to use a cost-effective approach to the same, you can instead use a washcloth which has been soaked in some warm water to clean your dog’s paws after your walk.
2. Thoroughly washing the dirty paws
If there is some debris or mud that has been stuck on the pads of your dog’s foot, then you may need more than wet towelettes or washcloths. Thorough washing of the paws is essential to ensure that your dog is well cleaned up after the walk.
The easiest way to wash them is by doing so with a sprayer in a sink, or inside the bathtub. If your dog is small, you have the option of either washing their paws in a basin of water by your door or inside of your sink.
If your dog is large or has a lot of fur on both their ankles and feet, you may have to clean them in your tub with the help of a sprayer. Use some dog shampoo to clean the dirty paws and fur well, then completely rinse off the dirt and shampoo with lukewarm water.
If you are taking a trip with your dog and they happen to get their feet muddy, you can use the Dexas MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner, which will be as thorough as an actual wash.
3. Remembering the toes and nails
When cleaning their paws, don’t forget about your dog’s toes and nails. Because your dog may have feet that are sensitive to elements such as salt or ice melts in winter, it is important that you wipe in between their claws and pads. If you don’t, your dog will end up licking these areas in order to get them clean, and may actually end up contracting infections.
The infections may be caused by bacteria and viruses which may accumulate and thrive in between the toes and pads after a long period of not being cleaned well. When cleaning, ensure that you separate each claw for better efficiency. After cleaning the paws, pat them with a dry towel to ensure that your dog doesn’t leave wet tracks all over your floor or worse, slip and injure themselves.
4. Trim foot hair
Some breeds of dogs have longer hair than others. If your dog falls under the longer-haired kinds, you need to be keen on trimming the hair found in between the pads of their feet as well as the hair on the sides of their feet. This is in order to prevent debris from accumulating there. It is recommended that you take your dog to a professional for this trimming because the skin on the footpads is delicate.
If your dog is compliant to being trimmed around the rest of the leg, you can be the one to do. While shaving, ensure that you do not shave too close to the pads and toes in order to keep them safe from direct exposure to the elements of the weather.
5. Use dog boots when necessary
If your dog embraces dog booties, then you are at luck because they are a great solution for preventing salt and other debris such as mud from getting into those paws. However, when the snow cover is more than an inch deep, snowballs will form on top of the booties in which case soapy water will come in play.
If the snow outside is deep, it is important that you remember to remove the booties as soon as you get back from the walk, so that your dog’s fur can dry up. Having more than one pair of boots is important, especially when one pair becomes buried inside the snow.
Our favorite dog boots are the Muttluks. They are durable and stay on our dog’s feet as she runs.
6. Clean any cuts
When you come back from your walk, be sure to check your furry friend’s paws for any abrasions, blisters, or cuts. Although they may start as minor injuries that your dog got from a walk, they are potentially dangerous because an infection can develop from them quite fast. If the injury appears to be infected or looks severe, consult your vet.
If it is a minor wound that can be managed at home, begin by washing that paw with warm water to make sure that all debris on the wound is removed. Follow that up with a diluted antiseptic. After that, you can dry the affected area and apply a good amount of antibacterial lotion or antiseptic that is approved for pets. You may cover this wound with a pad, although they may come off as soon as your dog begins to run and walk around again.
These tips will enable you to clean up your dog well after your walks. When your dog is clean, they will be happier and more active!
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About the Author:
Dana is a Sheepadoodle owner and expat in Germany. While living in Europe, Dana and her husband always make sure that when they go on road trips, their pup Kaya gets to come along. Dana loves to highlight dog-friendly places you can travel to with your pooch so that your entire family can have fun together!