Regularly grooming your dog is a must, but did you know that cleaning your dog’s paws is also an essential part of their grooming routine? On daily walks and romps in the backyard, your dog’s feet are exposed to rough surfaces, wet ground, debris, and dirt.
The pads on the bottom of your dog’s paws serve an essential purpose. As the ASPCA says, these pads provide extra cushioning to help protect bones and joints from shock, aid walking on rough ground, provide insulation against extreme weather, and protect tissues deep within the paw. If you aren’t aware of how to keep dogs’ paws clean, here’s how to get started.
What Equipment is Required to Keep Your Dog’s Paws Clean?
Dog Paw Cleaning Tablets
Paw Cleaning Mitt
Dog Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Spray
Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Dogs Paws Clean
Hair grows on your dog’s feet and in between their paw pads. If left messy, hair can become matted and cause damage to its paws. Excessive hair can also pick up dirt and debris, leading to infection. Trim paw hair regularly to avoid problems. Generally, you should trim paw hair evenly with the pads.
There are plenty of wipes specifically designed for dogs available in the market. They resemble baby wipes and are easy to use. Stop your dog for a moment as soon as he enters the home from the outdoors. Then, make him sit and clean his paws with the help of wipes. You’ll be surprised as you notice the foul things that come off your dog’s paws in just one outing.
Clean Between the Pads
Always clean between your dog’s toes and check for dirt, debris, pebbles, small particles, and other particles that can get lodged.
Keep Nails Trimmed
The click-clack sound comes in handy when you need to know where your dog is, but it also indicates that his nails are too long. So keep your dog’s nails trimmed or filed to a comfortable length to make your dog’s paws look neat.
Use Dog Boots
Watching a dog walk in dog boots can be amusing, but these cute little boots are beneficial to keep your dog’s paws protected from dirt and sharp objects.
Moisturize the Pads
When excessively exposed to various elements, your dog’s paws become dry and cracked. Use a quality canine moisturizer, lotion, or butter specifically made to protect dog pads.
Apply First Aid
There are possibilities for your dog to accidentally step on sharp objects that cause cuts, wounds, and bleeding. Quickly apply first aid to the wound with an antibacterial wash and a light bandage. Visit the veterinarian immediately for treatment if the cut is intenser than half an inch in diameter.
Wash with Warm Water
Remembering washing your dog’s paws with warm water all year long can be especially useful when your furry friend has been in the snow. Salt particles and toxic chemicals from ice melters can get lodged between the dog’s foot pads and lead to blistering, sores, and infection. Cleaning your dog’s paws with warm water will help remove harmful chemicals.
Use a Disinfectant
When bacteria and fungus get lodged on your dog’s feet, it can cause irritation, itching, or infection. You can overcome this by using an antibacterial and antifungal spray after cleaning your dog’s paws.
Use a Doormat
Using a doormat is the easiest way to clean your dog’s paws. First, place a doormat in place at all doors leading outside. Then, encourage your dog to step on the mat and shuffle around on it. Doing so can remove the debris and dirt from their paws.
Give Your Dog a Bath
If your dog has heavy mud or dirt accumulations or harmful substances, such as road salt, on his paws, the best option may be to bathe your dog. You can try washing the paws with soap and warm water if your dog’s paws are the only dirty thing. If your dog is small, you may be able to do this by holding your dog over the sink. For larger dogs, a tub with a detachable showerhead may work.
Purchase a pup tub to avoid pet hair and debris in your sink or bathtub. Next, take your dog to a groomer for a bath or use a canine foot bath. Finally, dry your dog’s paws entirely before you let your dog outside again.
Home Remedies for Cleaning Dog Paws
Using white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, you can keep your pet’s paws away from yeast and bacterial infections. The antifungal property of vinegar rids the smelly foot of your pet. Soak your pet’s foot in the vinegar and water mixture (2:1 measure).
Mix coconut oil and apple cider vinegar to fight infections and shield your dog’s paws. Coconut oil’s antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties quickly heal your pet’s wounds and comfort the cracked feet and dry paw pads.
Note: Your pet may love the taste of coconut oil and continue licking them. Do not be worried. It’s highly beneficial for your pet’s overall health.
- Clean your dog’s paws after every outdoor visit by making it a routine.
- Besides wipes, towels, and boots, you can wash your pet’s paws using lukewarm water and a dog-friendly soap.
- Paw cleaning mitts can be a great option to clean your pet’s paws from bacteria and fungi. You can also use it as an alternative for towels to dry your dog’s fur.
- Teaching your pet “paw” commands can significantly help the cleaning process.
Keeping your dog’s paws clean is integral to protecting your dog’s health and preventing messes in your home. Follow the tips and tricks above-mentioned to avoid those muddy footprints and keep your dog’s feet in good condition year-round.