We all know the struggle of seeing dirty paw prints across the floor. Although these prints may lead a cute path directly to your pet’s favorite snuggle spot, you are not exactly pleased with having to clean up this trek for what seems like the hundredth time today. When your dog tends to trek dirt or sand into the house, or if it is a rainy day, having a paw cleaner can save you from having to get the mop out once again.
Imagine if you went barefoot every time you went outside. Do you dare to think of how dirty your feet would be or what you could have picked up? Remnants of car exhaust, waste from other animals, trash, and lawn maintenance chemicals could be mixed into the ground that we walk on. Not to mention just the dirt itself, which may contain bacteria and other germs lurking about.
This is the daily life for your dog, as they walk and play with bare paws and then come into the house and walk on the floors. Then you walk on the floors, you may have children who crawl on these floors, and you can easily see how far germs and dirt can travel.
Keeping your dog’s paws clean helps you keep your dog and floors clean.
Health Risks Associated with Dirty Paws
It is also beneficial to your dogs as they may pick up outside substances that can hurt their paws as they go on walks or play. If you live in a snowy area, road salt can irritate your dog’s pads. If your pup is a paw-licker, ingesting road salt may prove fatal. At the very least, it could cause vomiting and diarrhea.
In the spring, lawn maintenance is on full time as neighbors prepare their lawns for flowers, grass, and additional landscaping. If your pet licks their paws and then ingests these chemicals, they are at risk for serious health concerns.
If your dog has allergies, it is crucial to keep their paws clean so that you can reduce any irritants that they may be allergic to. This dirt and dampness can get into the little crevices of their paws and can be uncomfortable. You may notice an unpleasant smell and a possible infection as well.
Keeping your pet’s paws clean also allows you to inspect their paws for any irritation or cuts they may have received while outside. If your dog does have any cuts on their paws, be sure to touch base with your veterinarian for any tips on assisting the healing process.
How Do You Clean Your Dog’s Paws?
It can become cumbersome to wash your dog’s paws with a bowl of soapy water or a towel every time they come into the house. Luckily, there are various solutions to the dirty paws problem.
Let’s take a look at different types of dog paw cleaners that will help keep your pet’s feet (and your floor) sparkling.
Pet wipes are fantastic for spot cleaning — especially if your dog was on a dry road or in the yard when it has not been raining. The paws don’t need a full rinse off, but perhaps they still need a little something to clean off their paws. Wipes are the perfect product for this type of scenario.
Baby wipes may have fragrances or other substances made for cleaning human skin that may be irritating to your dog’s skin and paw pads. Baby wipes are also not made for ingesting. If your dog is a paw-licker, they may ingest some of the fragrances or chemicals that are not intended for ingestion.
Although dog wipes may closely resemble baby wipes, be sure to use wipes specially formulated for your dog. Dog wipes are often thicker and larger to cover more area. These wipes are able to be used on your dog’s body as well as their paws. As you are well aware, if there’s dirt on your dog’s paws, it is likely to be on their body as well.
Wipes specially designed for your dog’s paws are also specially formulated with deodorizers and enzymes that can help neutralize any odorous remnants that may be on your dog’s paws. For those of us who snuggle with our pets on our couches or beds, this is a necessary essential.
For pet parents who have concerns about the environmental implications of disposable wipes, there are options for you. Look for dog wipes made from recyclable and sustainable materials. This can certainly help you feel better about keeping Fido’s paws squeaky clean.
Dog Paw Washers
Dog paw washers are great to have when washing your dog’s paws is a daily chore. These washers resemble a cup, are made from durable plastics, and have soft bristles on the inside. You can put a splash of warm water and a tiny drop of soap in the paw washer. Then, you insert your dog’s paw and use the bristles to clean the paw.
Depending on how dirty your dog’s paws are, you may need to empty and refill the paw washer so they can have fresh, clean water to get those paws sparkly clean.
When you are looking for a paw washer, look for one that can be easily taken apart and cleaned. If the paw washer is a chore to clean, you’ll be less likely to want to use it. Washers with heavy-duty lids also keep extra water from splashing around and giving you a bath too.
Portability is a great option to have when looking for a dog paw washer. This allows you to keep one at home and one in your car. You can wash your dog’s paws off after a trip to the dog park to keep your car clean.
Skin Inflammation and Bacteria
Dog paw washers come in a variety of sizes, which is perfect as we know that dogs also come in a multitude of sizes. Remember to dry your pup’s paws thoroughly after washing them.
Although clean, wet paw prints on the floor are better than dirty ones, you want to make sure their paws are nice and dry so that the spaces in between their toes do not stay damp for too long. This can cause irritation to that area of the paw. In general, the skin of the paw is often prone to inflammation known as canine pododermatitis.
You can also prevent any contaminants that may come from the other dogs at the park from entering your home through your dog’s paws. This is particularly important if you have children in the home. Parasites have the potential to thrive in the dog park, and you wouldn’t want anything like that to travel to your home via your dog’s paws.
If you do travel with a paw washer in your car, keeping a few water bottles and a microfiber towel can help make washing your dog’s paws an easy job. Remember, it is vital to keep those paws nice and dry after you wash them.
Suppose your dog seems like a tennis ball with their ‘“in and out” routine. Then, having a kiddie pool by the door is an easy way to keep your dog’s paws clean when they want to come inside for the umpteenth time. This prevents you from having to keep refilling portable paw washers or using up your stash of pet wipes in one day.
Keeping a dry towel close by allows you to quickly dry off your dog’s paws as they exit the pool to come inside. If your pup enjoys water, the pool may also end up being a place for them to cool off on those dog days of summer.
Waterless Paw Cleaners
If convenience is what you are looking for, waterless paw cleaners will have your dog’s paws clean in no time. Waterless paw cleaners have a brush attached to a bottle of cleaner. The brush can be easily loaded with the cleaner and then applied directly to your dog’s paws: no rinsing required.
The best thing about these types of cleaners is that you won’t have to worry about emptying and refilling a paw washer or looking for a trash can to throw away any dog wipes. Waterless paw cleaners are perfect for tossing in a bag when you are on the go and need a quick way to clean your dog’s paws.
Pause To Clean Paws
Your dog’s paws touch your heart… and your floor. Keeping them clean is not only important for the visual cleanliness of your home but also as a preventative health measure. Especially in the days of pandemic worries, cleanliness has become a running forethought for many.
Taking your dog for walks and playing outside is the best part of your furry friend’s day, and probably yours too! As your dog wanders and sniffs through the parks, grass, dirt, and sidewalks of their daily walk, you can ensure that the end of their walk is met with clean paws.
If you do happen to see that your pet’s paws are irritated, you can contact one of our AskVet veterinarians for their expert opinion. They are available all day, every day, for your pet’s needs. No appointment is required.
Getting your dog back on all paws and ready to keep exploring the world is our top priority.
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