Cleaning Your Dog’s Paws After Walks

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Since I have a lot of dog parents who read this blog, I decided to accept this guest post about the proper way to clean your pooch’s paws post walk. Let the walking and paw polishing begin! Cheers to man’s best friend and to their precious paws.

Today guest writer, Charmaine Miller says:

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How Do You Clean Your Dog’s Paws After Walks?

One of the best parts of being a dog owner is taking your precious pooch out for regular walks. Walks are a great way to bond with your pup and meet fellow pet owners around your neighborhood. Furthermore, they’re immensely beneficial for your pet’s physical and mental well-being as well as your own.

Getting enough exercise each day not only helps your pet stay in good shape, but also serves as a healthy outlet for their energy and provides them with necessary mental stimulation. Of course, depending on where you live, you may find it more challenging to walk your dog at certain times of the year. Long stretches of rainy, snowy, or dusty weather mean that your dog will likely be exposed to more dirt and moisture when you take them out for walks. Some dogs’ paws are also very sensitive to extreme temperatures. You’ll have to take extra care to protect their feet if you live in an area that’s frequently either very hot or very cold.

Even if you’re not contending with adverse weather, it’s never a bad idea to clean your dog’s paws thoroughly after every walk. This will help you spot any paw problems that you might need to address
and keep others from arising. Dogs whose feet are constantly dirty, for example, may eventually experience abrasions or inflammation. Dirt caked on the paws can also hide scratches, scrapes, and other wounds, which may become infected over time.

Protecting Your Dog’s Paws Before Heading Out

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your pup’s paws clean before heading out for a walk. Try the following preventative tips:

*Invest in Some Dog Booties – Doting pet owners are likely to purchase all sorts of equipment to make walks safer and more comfortable for their dogs. These might include personalized dog collars with ID tags, dog harnesses, portable drinking bowls, and other items. One less common item that nonetheless might be good to invest in is a snug, sturdy pair of dog booties. If your dog is willing to wear them, booties are the best way to protect their paws from snow, ice, and the salt from salted sidewalks.

*Trim Foot Hair for Long-Haired Dogs – Dirt and debris can accumulate easily on the fur around the feet of long-haired dogs. To avoid this, experts generally recommend trimming the hair at the sides of the foot and around the paw pads. While you can trim around the legs and feet yourself if you and your dog are both comfortable with it, it’s probably best to leave the task of trimming pad hair to a professional groomer. The skin on your dog’s paw pad is very delicate, and you want to make sure it doesn’t get accidentally nicked, scratched, or cut during trimming.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Paws After a Walk

Unfortunately, there may still be times when your pup will come home with dirty feet, despite your best efforts.  The good news is that cleaning them off shouldn’t be too much trouble. Try the following easy but effective ways of cleaning your dog’s paws:

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*Dry Wet Paws Immediately – A grooming towel may be all you need if your dog’s paws are wet but still clean after your walk. You’ll want to dry them off as soon as you get back in the house to keep your dog from slipping and possibly injuring themselves on your floor. Microfiber towels are a good compact, super-absorbent option that will get the job done efficiently.

*Wipe with a Pet Wipe or Moist Towelette – When your dog’s paws only have a little dust or dirt clinging to them after your walk, it’s enough to simply wipe them down with a wet towelette. Just make sure to use a pet-safe wipe that’s free of alcohol, fragrances, petrochemicals, and any other substances that might be harmful to your dog’s health. All-natural, veterinarian-approved pet wipes are probably your safest bet for cleaning dirty paws, but you can also soak a washcloth or paper towel in some warm water for a more cost-efficient option.

*Give Their Feet a Thorough Washing – If you find any debris or mud stuck to your dog’s feet or between their paw pads, then you may need to wash their paws completely to get rid of it. A thorough wash is also a must for dogs that have walked over tar and other sticky substances. You’ll want to wash your dog’s feet as soon as you get home to prevent them from licking any ice melt, salt, or harmful chemicals off their paws. You can clean small dogs’ paws in a sink with a sprayer. Medium-sized or larger dogs, meanwhile, will probably need to be washed off in a bathtub. To clean your dog’s dirty paws, simply wet them
thoroughly, apply a dollop of dog shampoo, and scrub. Use lukewarm water to rinse away the shampoo and any debris that you’ve dislodged from their feet.

*Clean around Their Nails and Toes – Don’t be tempted to just rinse off your dog’s paws with water, dry them, and call it a day. Dirt and debris can accumulate around and between the paw pads, between the toes, and under the nails. To clean your dog’s paws more thoroughly, gently turn each paw toward you so you can see them as you work. Carefully scrub and wash between the pads and between each toe, then finish off by drying your dog’s feet thoroughly with a towel.

Though it may add some extra time and effort to your pet care routine, keeping your dog’s paws clean is a must to preserve their health and well-being. Dogs with spotless, well-cared-for paws will definitely be
able to enjoy their walks to the fullest.


About today’s guest writer:

Charmaine Miller is a life-long pet lover and animal rights advocate. She works as a pet sitter and dog walker by day and volunteers at a local animal shelter by night. In her spare time, she loves to bake, write, and sing to her favorite Beyonce songs.



This helpful and informative pooch post is a collaborative post.