You love your dog but probably don’t love the muddy paw prints they leave across your clean floors after getting dirty outside. While dirty paws come with the territory of pet ownership, there are ways you can prevent them from happening. When you’re inevitably faced with dirty paws, there are ways on preventing and cleaning muddy dog paws with minimal hassle.
Why Should You Clean Muddy Dog Paws?
The most obvious reason to clean dogs’ paws is to keep your home cleaner. However, your dog will benefit from clean paws, too. Muddy paws can hide small debris that can injure your pet’s feet. If your canine has a habit of chewing on its feet, the mud and dirt could hide harmful bacteria that might make your pet sick. Keeping your dog’s paws clean and tidy the same way you would your feet is crucial to its overall health.
Preventing Muddy Paws
There’s no way to completely prevent your pup’s paws from occasionally getting muddy. However, you can take a few preventive steps to help decrease how often it occurs.
Avoid Mud When Possible
If you know an area has a lot of mud, try avoiding it whenever possible. Keep your pet’s paws clean by sticking to areas with a lot of grass or dry sand instead. If you can’t avoid mud, you can clean your dog’s dirty paws with one of the methods described in the section below.
Use Dog Booties
Training your pet to wear dog boots can help avoid dirty dog paws when mud can’t be avoided. Of course, not every pet will take having its paws covered in something at first. But, with training, your pet will get used to having its feet covered when going outside.
Keep Paw Pads Trimmed
Untrimmed paw pads naturally attract more mud, dirt and debris than tidy ones. You should be regularly trimming your dog’s feet and legs, as well as between your dog’s toes. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can take your dog to a professional groomer to have it done. Not only will a groomer tidy your dog’s coat, but they can also clip your dog’s nails.
Cleaning Muddy Dog Paws
Dogs’ feet will inevitably get dirty at some point, no matter how hard you work to prevent it. Thankfully, there are a few simple paw cleaning methods you can use to get those feet clean again. However, you should get your dog used to having its feet handled as early as possible to make paw cleaning easier.
Invest in a Dog Paw Washer
Dog paw washers come in various forms, but one of the most popular options is portable and resembles to-go cups or glasses. A portable paw washer uses a dog-safe cleaning solution and built-in wipers to remove mud, dirt and debris. These are perfect for quick cleanups before getting into the car after an outing, but we recommend bringing a clean towel to get wet paws dry afterward.
There are larger paw cleaner options available you can set up at home when necessary. Larger options may be a good idea for people living in rural neighborhoods where sections of your property may become muddy.
Use a Bucket of Warm Water
If you don’t feel like investing in a paw wash station (or need an immediate solution), a bucket of warm water can do a great job of getting your pet’s feet clean. Mix a small amount of dog-safe soap and warm water for cleaning paws in a large bucket or bowl. Dip your dog’s feet into the solution and gently wipe them dry. Depending on how dirty your dog’s paws are, you may need to repeat several times on each foot.
Keep a Spray Bottle in Your Car
A spray bottle doesn’t work as effectively as a dedicated paw washer. Still, when paired with a cloth of microfiber material, it can help get a lot of mud and dirt off. You can keep it in your car for emergencies, but remember to wash the cloth after each use for best results. A better alternative to a spray bottle and fabric would be disposable baby or dog wipes.
Baby Wipes Work in a Pinch
In a pinch, baby wipes can be safely used on your dog’s feet, coat, face and bottom. However, you’ll want to ensure the wipes don’t contain any added scents that might irritate your furry friend’s skin. If preferred, there are dog-specific paw wipes you can keep in your vehicle or around your home. You may want to keep paw wipes in your car in addition to a spray bottle and clean towel for outings with your pet.
Tips for Keeping the House Clean
Most dogs will leave dirty paw prints throughout the house sometimes, no matter how much you try to avoid it. To decrease the amount of mud, dirt and debris your dogs leave around the home, you can use the following quick cleaning tips:
- If possible, consider swapping carpets for hardwood floors, which are much easier to clean
- Create a regular washing schedule for your dogs
- Wash your dog beds at least once a month since they can trap a lot of dirt inside them
- Keep a dedicated absorbent towel near the door for rainy, muddy days (to use on your pup or the floors in your entrance)
- Train your pup to stay off expensive rugs
- Invest in a powerful vacuum to remove dirt from both carpets and hardwood floors
- Add a baby gate to the room your front or back door enters into to limit dog messes
Learn More About Basic Dog Care
Still have questions about caring for dirty feet and other basic dog care? Check out our informative blog today to find the answers to some of your most pressing dog-related questions. You can also reach out using our online contact form today.