Dog Care 101: All About Paw Cleaning

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Dogs are cute and that’s a fact. That is why today, they are even more popular than celebrities. You can go on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and even Tik Tok and you will find these adorable creatures raking in thousands of likes and millions in views. 

But these adorable and fuzzy creations that we all have hopelessly fell in love with are also creatures of chaos. They often get into trouble and they always enjoy a good muddy play time. Just like this one who definitely enjoys the mud. Just look at that smile… and also those dirty paws that you need to wash later. (Yikes!)

Paw Cleaning

But of course, things aren’t always as chaotic as this one (although I must say that if this is the chaotic scene I’ll see, then I will welcome it with open arms). Most of the time, just a fun day at the park or a normal walk around the neighborhood can already get our dog’s paws dirty and messy. 

As a fur parent, I am sure that while we love our dogs, cleaning their dirty footprints all over the floor can be more than just a simple task. Especially when we’re exhausted from a day of work. This is why we need something that can help us thoroughly clean their paws and of course easy to use like paw washers or paw cleaners. 

What are paw washers or paw cleaners?

Paw washers or paw cleaners are basically small devices (paw cleaning cups) designed to help thoroughly clean your dog’s feet. Just like any device, manufacturers employ different styles but most use a type of water reservoir equipped with soft bristles to help remove any stubborn bits of dirt and even mud. 

The mechanism of these devices is swishing water around like a washing machine which then engages the bristles. You can opt to add a bit of gentle soap for added cleaning effect but clean water already does a good job at it. 

But paw cleaners are not limited to these devices. There is another type of paw cleaners called waterless shampoo which range from paw wipes to bottles with brushes. This uses a no-rinse technique which can be very advantageous during some situations. 

Is paw cleaning important?

Yes. That is, more than just for the reason of keeping your house (or your car) free of dirty paw-prints. I mean, Blue’s Clues paw print is nice but not so much when it’s muddy and you have to clean it. 

But the more important reason is that the pads on the bottom of a dog’s paw serve a key purpose. According to the ASPCA, the pads “provide extra cushioning to help protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against extreme weather, aid walking on rough ground and protect tissue deep within the paw.”

Paw cleaning should be a part of a dog’s general grooming routine. There’s no specific guideline when it comes to this but you can adjust the schedule depending on the level of exercise as well as the season. Harsh summers and winters can prove to be real tough on the paws. Extra care during these times is definitely needed. 

What should you look for in a good paw cleaner?

Here are some tips that can help you choose the best-fitting paw cleaner for your dog. 

  1. Size: In order to use a paw cleaner, you have to actually dip the paw into the device. That is why size matters. If it’s too small, then the paw won’t fit into the opening. If it’s too large, the bristles inside may not be able to effectively reach and clean the paws. It’s also important to consider the exterior size of the paw cleaner especially when you intend it for outdoor activities. 
  2. Bristles: These are brushes that help remove the dirt and mud on your dog’s feet. While you want something that can effectively do that, you need to remember that you want to irritate or injure your dog’s paw in the process. Generally, soft bristles are recommended as they are gentle. Look for silicone, rubber, or soft plastic materials as they do the job so well. 
  3. Features: One of the most important features that a paw cleaner should have is a water-tight lid. This is mainly helpful when you bring paw cleaners outdoors. You would want to fill it up beforehand and it wouldn’t be real nice to see all the water spilled just because the lid isn’t tight enough. Another helpful feature is a handle which makes paw cleaning easier especially when you have a really chaotic pup. 
  4. Disassembly: Paw cleaners that can be disassembled are generally easier to clean especially the individual components. Nevertheless, you can still clean it without taking it out apart but make sure that you read the guidelines first so that you don’t damage it. 

The Top 3 Best Paw (Print) Cleaners   

Here is a list of paw cleaners that we highly recommend. Let’s get on with the list. 

1. Dexas Petware Mudbuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner

About: The Dexas Petware Mudbuster Paw Cleaner is a definite fan favorite. If you look through recommended paw cleaners, this always makes the list if not the top. It’s simple, compact, and easy to use. Simply fill the cup with water, dip your dog’s paw, spin the cleaner and let the silicone bristles do their job, and then remove the paw, and dry it! It’s very gentle and even sensitive pups would have no discomfort using it. 

It only costs $22.74 (large) on Amazon, available in small, medium, large sizes and in six different colors! It can also be disassembled and is dishwasher-safe. Happy, easy cleaning!

2. Paw Plunger for Dogs

About: Paw Plunger is designed for better control during paw cleaning. And this is also one of the favorites of many fur parents. This has a wide and sturdy base which provides stability plus a built-in handle for control. Aside from that, it’s also equipped with a spill-minimizing opening and a handy lid attached to the cup. This 

The main disadvantage of this cleaner is that it’s heavier than most popular paw cleaners and it’s also a little less portable. You can get it on Amazon in three different sizes and in three different colors: black, pink, and royal blue. 

3. SKI Innovations Paw Boss

About: As you can see, this design of SKI Innovations Paw Boss is unlike the other two we recommended. This one uses a multi-reservoir unit which allows fresh, clean water after every paw use without the need to refill it. You have to simply tilt the device one way to to fill the paw cleaning compartment with clean water. To empty the dirty water, you just have to tilt it in the opposite direction. 

It can be easily set up and stored at any spot where you are most likely to use it without occupying so much space. It can wash up 4 to 8 paws in one filling although the size fits large paws. It’s available on Amazon for $29.99. 

Other Paw Cleaning Solutions

Of course, there are other paw cleaning options that you can use beside paw cleaner devices. 

Dog Gone Smart Dirty Dog Doormat

This is a microfiber doggy mat which can soak up water, dirt, and mud. It helps remove the surface dirt but debris trapped in between the paws would definitely need a paw cleaning device approach. Nevertheless, it’s a good investment and will ensure that you keep dirty paw prints to a minimum. It also has a non-slip backing which prevents it from sliding so rest assured that your energetic pups wouldn’t be able to move it (or not!), Get it for $24.99 on Amazon. 

Pogi’s Grooming Wipes (100-pack)

Looking for the fastest and easiest way to clean those dirty paws? These grooming wipes could be the answer. They’re very portable, gentle infused with aloe vera, vitamin E, and awapuhi, and hypoallergenic. Aside from that, they are also very wide which you can use to wipe not only the paws but also remove dog odor. You can get them unscented or in green tea aroma for only $11.99 on Amazon. 

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