Whether your dog likes to jump into puddles or dig holes in the mud, cleaning his paws thoroughly is a must.
In fact, you may even want to refresh your dog’s feet after a good old walk in the neighborhood, especially if he goes up on carpets, beds, or gets into your car.
The truth is:
No matter the case, you really should brush those paws after each visit outside.
Not only to keep Fido squeaky clean or protect your furniture but also to avoid long-term exposure to skin irritants such as ice melt products, which can be toxic when ingested.
But don’t worry because there are a few simple ways to make sure your dog’s feet are in check before coming into the house.
In this post, I’ll teach you how to clean dog paws after a walk, as well as how to stop your dog from being covered in mud.
How To Deal With Muddy Dog Paws
You can avoid dirty paws to some extent by trimming your dog’s feet hair to reduce the amount of debris that can get stuck in between the paw pads.
In long-haired dogs, you should also consider cutting around the paw and remove any knots that might catch dirt. If you’re not comfortable doing all of this by yourself, pay a groomer to do it for you.
Related: Best Dog Clippers For Matted Hair
Dog Shoes Or Booties
Another preventive measure for muddy or sandy paws and one that will keep your dog’s feet safe when the ground is hot, wet, or piled with snow is a good pair of dog boots.
Some dogs may take time to get used to wearing shoes so you need to find ones that are convenient fit tight to help with the transition. What I recommend for daily walks, as well as for camping with your dog, are these booties by My Busy Dog.
Don’t Forget To Protect Your Dog’s Paws
Cleaning your dog’s foot pads is the perfect time to check them for cuts or dryness, and while dog boots do a fine job protecting Fido’s feet, natural balms should be used regularly to avoid rough, chapped, cracked, or peeling dog paws.
If you’re feeling creative, look for a DIY protective paw balm or get an organic pet soother that’s already been tested by other pet parents.
How To Clean Dog Paws After A Walk (6 Simple Hacks)
1. Waterproof Doormat
This dog paw cleaning station is your first line of defense against nasty paws.
Clearly, you’ll need to train your dog to rub his paws on the mat in order to clean them off, this can be done by hiding a few treats or kibbles under the mat so Fido will learn to paw the mat to get to his food.
The mat itself should absorb excess water without seeping through and needs to be easy to clean, this isn’t only an ideal solution for messy feet, but you can also use it as a feeding mat, and a play area for messy chew toys.
2. Baby Wipes Or A Towel
No need for special paws wipes, just make sure the ones you use doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or fragrance. You can also use a wet washcloth or a towel, and add a bit of dog shampoo for extra dirty paws.
Whatever you decide, don’t forget to clean in between the toes and nails when you wipe your dog’s feet as these are areas where a lot of grime tends to accumulate.
While you’re at it — see if your dog’s nails aren’t too long and need cutting.
3. Dog Paw Plunger
In cases where you need to wash your dog’s legs, you can always opt for a bucket of water or better yet, a portable dog paw cleaner you can even take with you on the go.
This cleaning cup has multiple silicone bristles that loosen dirt and mud as you twist the paw inside, but you have to fill it with a bit of clean water for each paw separately.
If your dog doesn’t have a problem with you holding his feet, then you should give this product a whirl. Also, make sure to keep a towel by the door to soak up any excess water.
4. Quality Dog Towel
If you’re looking for something more absorbent than a plain cotton bath towel, then nothing beats microfiber as it can hold up to seven times its weight in water. You can use this thing to dry your dog off after a bath or wipe his paws down after a walk, and even as a doormat.
The Soggy Doggy is one of the best dog paw cleaning solutions out there, and it has two hand pockets which make it easier to clean between the paw pads. In my opinion, this towel is a must for dogs who love to get wet and muddy and if you’re using a Paw Plunger, then it should complete the job nicely.
5. Dry Dog Shampoo
A dry dog shampoo is a quick way to freshen your dog’s paws between baths without using water or rinsing. Additionally, dog paws are pretty sensitive, so you may want to avoid washing them too frequently anyway.
For the same reason, you want to avoid products that contain harsh chemicals (such as SLS or alcohol), and instead pick a gentle cleanser you can use daily.
6. DIY Dog Paw Cleaner
If you don’t have wipes or dog shampoo lying around, you can mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar with water and store it in a small bottle for easy use.
Beside having antimicrobial properties, vinegar will also help to remove any bad odor that your dog might have picked up.