6 Easy Ways to Clean Your Dog's Paws After a Walk
- 10 Nov, 2020
Are you planning to take your dog for a walk outside? Taking your dog for a morning stroll or for some exercise is a fun bonding activity! It keeps your dog healthy and active and let them explore the world outside your home. However, as a fur parent you should also be aware that cleaning their paws afterwards is an important routine to keep them safe from infection. This allows you to assess their paw and to check their paw pads for possible wounds, inflammation or allergy. Plus, it keeps your home free from mud, dirt and dirty paw prints! Here are 6 easy ways to clean your dog’s paw after a walk:
1. Minor clean-ups
Maybe you and your dog just took a stroll in the mall or you took them for a walk in a dry concrete. You may not really need to “wash” your dog’s paw to remove dusts or debris. Use wet wipes for minor clean-ups. Make sure that you’re using wet wipes that are dog-friendly. There are several dog wipes available in the market now and you should probably stock up and leave some in your car, on your pet stroller or in your bag for emergency. Buy an all-natural, no alcohol, dog-safe wet wipes or ask your veterinarian for a recommendation if your dog has sensitive paws.
Can you use baby wipes? The answer is no. Baby wipes are gentle and made with safe chemicals however, these are not manufactured for canine use. Also, they are formulated for ph level of human skin and will have a different effect on dog’s fur and skin. Remember that dogs lick their fur and they may ingest some chemical residue that could upset their stomach. Moreover, propylene glycol is a chemical that can be found on some baby wipes that can be uncomfortable for your dog. If you have been using baby wipes for a minor clean-up, don’t panic. It really doesn’t pose a risk however it’s still not the best solution for a day-to-day paw cleaning.
2. Use a portable paw washer
Paw washer is an alternative solution for a quick paw clean-up. The best thing about paw washer is that they are portable, so you can bring it anywhere. Say you’re finish jogging with your dog and you need to bring them in the car. Get the paw washer, add some water in, twist the washer and it’ll brush the dirt right away. Now, you’re dog is ready to hop in the car! We recommend using an automatic paw washer with extra soft silicone like the SMARTPAWLite - Dog Automatic Paw Washer. The extra soft silicone bristles swirl gently on your dog’s paws to scrub away any dirt, sand, mud or debris accumulated from outdoor activities. It simultaneously cleans and massages your dog’s paw for a comfortable and relaxing experience. SMARTPAWLite Pet Automatic Paw Washer is suitable for small, medium and even large breeds as long as they weigh 25kg and below (paw width measures 7cm and below).
2. Thorough Dirt
For muddy paws and thorough dirt, wipes or paw washer is not enough. You may need to bring your dog to a sink with sprayer or a tray of water. If you have larger dogs, bring them in a tub with a sprayer and start cleaning the knees and paws. After a muddy play, a lot of debris and dirt have accumulated between their toes. Turn their paws toward you and carefully scrub the paw pads. Don’t forget to separate the toes and scrub in between for thorough cleaning. This is your chance to touch and feel if there’s any blisters, wound or cuts. If you found minuscule pebbles, broken pieces of glass, shells or other materials, remove it carefully. Use a friendly tone when speaking to your dog so that they remain calm and comfortable. Rinse with warm water and wash up with a dry towel. Let their paws dry first to avoid slipping on the floor.
For serious wounds and inflammation, bring your dog to a vet for a check-up and professional treatment. Don’t ignore your dog’s paw because it may cause bacterial infection if left untreated.
3. Dry Paws
If your dog’s paw is mostly dry, has little to no dirt, just use a dry towel to remove the excess dirt. Scrub in between toes to further check and remove hidden debris and sand. Squeeze both paws to get most of the water.
4. Trim the excess fur
Some dogs have longer fur than others. Long-haired dogs have furry toes that dirt and debris can stuck into. Get a high quality grooming set like the SMARTPAWLite Pet Shaver Grooming Clipper For Dogs & Cats, to safely trim fur beneath the paw pads and on the sides as well. Invest in a good pair of grooming set so that you avoid hurting your furry friend. You can use a groomer with low-vibration so that they don’t get anxious with the noise. On the other hand, use the scissors for extra hair sticking out at the sides. Trimming the extra har on their paws not only prevent the dirt from accumulating but it allows you to inspect your dog’s paw for wounds and inflammation. A word of caution: don’t overdo the shaving because shaved paws allows direct exposure to debris and corrosive salt against bare skin and may cause irritation. Make sure that they are comfortable and have a stress-free paw trimming experience. If they’re not compliant, bring them to a professional groomer instead.
5. DIY Wipes
Can you make your own wipes that are safe for dogs? Yes, you do! If you’re unsure which brand to get or just wanna save money on the go, you can make DIY wipes that is surely safe for your dogs. Get a paper towel or a clean cloth damped in warm water then use a drop of your dog’s shampoo and wrinkle it to spread the shampoo. Use it to gently wipe off dirt from your dog’s knees, paws or tail. Rinse with warm water and make sure that their paws are completely dry before letting them on the floor.
6. Use boots for extra protection
One of the best preventive measure to protect your dog’s paws is using dog boots! Before doing this, let them try the boots at home and feel them first so that they can get used to it. When they’re ready to strut, bring them outside using a good pair of boots. Make sure that it fits nicely to their feet, not so tight and not so loose. Walking will not only be fun and exciting, but less hassle to clean up after wards.
Cleaning up after a muddy walk doesn’t have to be stressful and time-consuming. With the right tools and patience, you can give them a comfortable and relaxing paw grooming. Make sure that you are using dog-safe wipes, dog shampoo, a safe grooming set, or you can invest in a handy dandy paw washer and boots. Paw care is not only important for their health but it keeps your furniture and floor free from dirty paw prints! Have patience, use a friendly-tone, and reward them with treats afterwards to make it even more exciting.