The Best Dog Paw Washers For Cleaning Dirty Paws Fast
No matter how big the dog (Great Danes, we're looking at you), their paws couldn't be cuter … until they track a yard's worth of mud into your home or car. However, a clean floor isn't the only reason to clear away dirt and debris after outdoor adventures. Dirt, salt, gravel, and sand can be seriously irritating to paw pads and could lead to dryness and cracks.
There's also a lot more that can be hiding in between toes. "After long walks, examine the paw thoroughly including between toes and pads to look for burrs, debris, ticks, and injury that can be caused by rough terrain or extreme temperatures," says Bonnie Bragdon, DVM, MS and co-founder and president of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association. "Dogs with allergies will benefit from having paws wiped clean from microscopic allergens such as pollen."
That's where dog paw washers come in.
What Are Dog Paw Washers?
These grooming gadgets generally look like travel coffee mugs that are lined with bristles to basically create a portable dog paw washing station.
To use the dog paw washer, fill the cup with water, then place a paw inside. Depending on your dog's comfort level, you can then either agitate the cup or your dog's paw to make sure the brushes get every bit of dirt out. Afterward, dump out the dirty water, disassemble the cup, and clean it.
What to Look for in a Dog Paw Washer
Bristle materials matter, too. Most dog paw washers have silicone bristles that are flexible for comfort yet sturdy enough to contend with mud. Some have stiff nylon bristles, which are better for dogs with long coats or those who encounter seriously dirty situations.
How to Keep Your Dog's Paws Clean
Whether you opt for a dog paw washer cup, a spray bottle, brush, or towel, pay attention to areas in-between toes where irritants can hide. A little bit of paw-safe pet shampoo can help loosen mud—just make sure that it's completely rinsed out to prevent overdrying.
The most important step of cleaning your dog's paws, however, is actually after you're finished. "When cleaning paws, be sure to dry between toes and pads to prevent moisture build up, which can lead to infection with yeast and bacteria," Bragdon says.