A healthy dog needs to go for walks and to engage in exercise, and we all know that dogs are little (or big) over-excited creatures. During the winter, it is very likely that things will get messy, especially in the paw department.
And if your dog’s paws are dirty, this means your whole house might get dirty as well. With that in mind, we bring you a list of alternatives on how to clean your dog’s paws or simply on how to maintain your dog’s hygiene by preventing dirty paws. If you want a fully clean dog, keep reading!
1. Get them some cute booties
If you don’t want to worry about having to learn how to wash dirty paws, there is a stylish and practical solution – purchase a “pair” of dog booties instead.
Dog boots will not only keep their paws clean, but it will also protect them against the dangers of snow or even excessive heat in the Summer. They might not appreciate the idea of wearing boots at first, but with a little patience, you can train them and avoid dirty dog paws.
2. Know how to remove snowballs
If you live somewhere where there is snow, you should definitively invest in boots. But if that doesn’t sound like a solution, you should be aware that snow will stick between your dog’s feet pads, and it will turn into little balls of ice that will cause discomfort to your dog.
If you don’t remove them, they will try to pull them out, which can be dangerous, since they might hurt themselves doing it, or even end up ingesting harmful chemicals, like road salt for example. Take on the job of removing the ice balls using a cloth soaked in warm water.
Proceed to gently rub their paws until the ice is melted or gets loose. For dog breeds with long hair, dog paw grooming is recommended to prevent snowballs. If you don’t know how to trim your dog’s paw hair, have a professional do it.
3. Buy some antimicrobial wipes
This is a practical solution since you can always carry the wipes with you wherever you go. You can use baby wipes or any other type of moist wipes that are safe for pets, and you can find that information on the label.
However, if their paws are too messy, you will have to take dog paw cleaning to the next level and use a soapy towel to get rid of all the dirt.
4. Give them a bath
This is the most basic, but at the same, the most effective method on how to disinfect your dog’s paws – give them a proper bath. If you don’t want them to get completely soaked, get them in the shower, or the sink, if you have a smaller dog, and wash their paws only.
A little bit of dog shampoo or anti-bacterial lotion and warm water will do the trick, and you will easily get rid of all the dirt, debris, and bacteria they carry around.
5. Check their pads carefully
Your dog has little toes of their own, and between them, dirt, snow, and even salt can accumulate. We know it’s not the most practical and convenient thing, but you should always check between their pads to make sure you got all the dirt off because if you didn’t, their skin might get irritated and cause further issues. Be gentle, remove every single bit of debris you can find, check their nails as well, and always make sure to dry their paws properly.
6. Always keep a clean towel at hand
If your dog decided to run in the snow joyfully and came back with paws that are not dirty, but wet, having a handful of paper towels by the door is a great way to make sure that your house won’t be filled with dog footprints, and it will keep your furry friend from slipping if your floors are hardwood.
However, a towel is the best option because it’s waste-free.
7. Don’t forget to always check for cuts
Cleaning your dog’s paws is not only a matter of hygiene, but it is also about maintaining your dog’s health. There might be scrapes on their cushions or even cuts, and it’s your job as a pet parent to check that out, as this might be causing all sorts of discomfort to your dog.
Plus, if the air inside your house is too dry and the air outside is too cold, this can lead to cracks on the paws, which will also cause discomfort. If the cuts seem to be a little bit more serious and you don’t feel capable of handling it, take your pet to the vet.