How to Keep Your Dog's Paws Clean
Imagine you've been out walking, and your shoes are caked in mud. What's the first thing you do when you arrive home? Wipe your feet and take your shoes off, of course! So why let your dog run through the house with dirty paws? Follow these simple steps to keep your dog's paws clean - and save your floors from constant mopping.
Should You Clean Your Dog's Paws After Every Walk?
It's a good idea! Even if your dog's paws don't look dirty, they can be covered in fungus, bacteria, pollen, and even parasites.
Although studies have found that their paws are actually cleaner than the soles of your shoes, you probably take your shoes off when you get home. Your dog, on the other hand, is running through your house and jumping on the furniture. Definitely worth a clean before letting them inside!
Plus, during the winter, your dog's paws can form uncomfortable ice balls, trap road salt, and come into contact with poisonous deicing chemicals. Giving your pet's paws a quick clean after a walk is a good habit to get into. It only takes a few minutes to help keep them safe and healthy, and it gives you chance to check their paws for any injuries or irritation.
Wiping Your Dog's Paws
If the weather is warm and dry, your dog's paws might look pretty clean after a walk! In that case, a quick wipe might be all they need. If you don't want to splash out on specialty pet wipes, you could use a wet paper towel instead. We don't recommend baby wipes, which can contain chemicals that are harmful to your dog.
Of course, your dog's paws can look clean, but that doesn't mean they aren't carrying harmful bacteria or fungi. A quick spritz of Leucillin antiseptic spray to each paw will kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi, without irritating sensitive or even injured skin.
How to Clean Muddy Paws
Of course, most dogs won't keep their paws clean if they can help it! If it's raining on your dog's walk, or if your dog has been in the mud (or worse), their paws will need more thorough cleaning when you get home.
A squirt of gentle, pH-balanced dog shampoo plus warm water is the best way to get even the filthiest paws clean. Using a water bottle or hose pipe, simply dampen your dog's paws, massage in the shampoo, and rinse them off again.
An easy way to clean your dog's paws after a walk is with a paw cleaning cup, like our new Wash'Em Paw Cleaners. Just fill one of these sturdy plastic cups with warm water before your walk, and place your dog's paw inside. The gentle silicone bristles help brush dirt and mud away, leaving your dog with squeaky clean paws.
Remember to towel dry your dog's feet after washing, so they don't slip.
Stop Your Dog's Paws Getting Dirty
Can you completely bypass the need to clean your dog's paws? Paw covers and boots can be a great option - sometimes. They're especially recommended at times when your dog's sensitive feet need extra protection - like during snowy weather, summer heat, or on rough hikes. And of course, if your dog has a paw injury, covering their paws will help keep it clean.
However, we've all seen the Youtube videos of dogs doing silly walks in their new boots - there are many dogs that won't tolerate paw covers. Dogs' paws naturally have a texture that helps them grip, so paw covers can feel uncomfortably slippery. That's why we recommend using them when they're really necessary, rather than every time your dog goes outside.