We all know how important it is to maintain our dog’s hygiene by regularly bathing and grooming them. But how many of us have paid attention to their paws? Many dog owners can get flustered wondering, “how to clean my dog’s paws?”
Given their daily walks, playing around the yard, and blitzing through the park, your dog’s paws are exposed to a lot of dirt, mud, and debris. This not only means muddy paw prints trailing through the house but also a risk of your dog’s paws getting infected or your dog developing other health concerns.
While you don’t have to bathe your dog after every walk outside, there are various ways to ensure its paws are clean.
Tips to Keeping Your Dog’s Paws Clean
When you’re thinking of keeping your dog’s paws clean, you may find yourself thinking, is it OK to wash dogs’ paws everyday? Yes, it is. But make sure you only use room temperature or warm water. Using soap or shampoo every day can harm your dog’s delicate paws.
Apart from a quick rinse, however, you also need to ensure that you clean your dog more thoroughly on a regular basis. Here’s how.
This goes without saying, but if your dog has had a wild day of fun outside and is now coated in mud and dirt, you need to give it a bath. A quick wipe down will no longer do as you won’t be able to clean its paws thoroughly.
A proper bath will help get rid of any dirt, dust, or mud that may have gathered between its claws after a messy game outdoors.
Use a gentle shampoo and be delicate yet thorough when cleaning its paws.
You want to spread your dog’s toes and wash in between them to remove any clumps of debris or dirt. This is also the time to examine its paws for signs of rashes, cuts, or wounds.
If you find any microscopic particles like glass fragments or tiny stones lodged in the area between ist toes or nails, use a tweezer to gently remove them.
Many dog breeds have long coats because of which dust and dirt can get trapped in their furry paws. So, make sure you regularly trim the hair around its paws to avoid matting and keep its toenails trimmed too.
In case you find any wounds, take your dog to the vet for a proper examination. You don’t want to risk infections or more severe damage.
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Now, should you wash your dog’s paws after a walk? You can, but you don’t always have to.
Perhaps you and your pup simply went for a quick stroll outside, in which case your dog’s paws wouldn’t have gotten too dirty. Mild messes can be cleared away using damp wipes. A simple sweep of your dog’s paws will leave your dog’s paws clean again within moments.
You can keep a pack of pet wipes with you when you take your dog to the park. Pet wipes are very handy for easy cleaning, especially with the smallest dog breeds as a quick clean will most likely be all they need.
Opt for alcohol-free wipes as they are gentler. Or you can even use baby wipes or moist kitchen towels.
Check Between The Pads
Your dog’s paw pads can easily get injured if it steps on sharp pebbles or shattered glass. It’s a good idea to check the area between its paw pads every time you give your dog a bath as well as when you wipe its paws.
Often, debris and other dirt can get accumulated between the paw pads. If not cleaned regularly, it can give rise to a whole host of infections and bad odor. You should also check for splinters and debris lodged in its toenails.
The act of inspection might not be an easy task if your pet isn’t one of the friendliest dog breeds. But you need to get the work done.
Look For Any Cuts
If your dog has a long coat, you may not always be able to tell if their paws are injured in any way.
When cleaning your dog’s paws, do a quick check to look for any scrapes or cuts. Since dogs are constantly barefoot, often outside, they are more susceptible to minor wounds.
In the winter, look for any dry areas or cracks on your dog’s paw pads and keep your dog’s paws moisturized.
If you do come across any scrapes or cuts, use an antiseptic or antibacterial solution to clean the area. And take your dog to the vet if the wound looks too bad.
Keep A Towel Handy
Wondering, “how to clean my dog’s paws?” Keeping a towel in your car or near your door is the best way to ensure that you keep your dog’s paws clean.
This way, every time you come home from outside, you won’t have to go looking for something to clean your dog’s paws with. You can make sure that you have easy access to something to quickly wipe off your dog’s paws.
Sometimes, your dog’s paws may not even be dirty but they could get wet outside. With a towel at hand, you can easily dry off its paws and keep it clean before bringing your dog inside.
What Happens If I Don’t Clean My Dog’s Paws?
Cleaning your dog’s paws is not optional.
If you’ve been thinking, “do dog paws get dirty,” they absolutely do! Besides, a dog’s paw pads are quite delicate. As they are constantly exposed to external factors, they are also highly susceptible to injuries and infections.
If you neglect cleaning your dog’s paws, you not only risk a mess at home but also your dog’s health.
What starts with minor problems can turn into something much more serious.
If you’re wondering, how do I stop my dog’s paws from getting dirty, here are a few tips to help you out:
- Clean your dog’s paws every time it comes home from outside.
- Keep a doormat at the entrance where you can encourage your dog to shuffle around a little to shake off any dirt, dust, and debris before entering the house.
- Do a quick check of your dog’s paws for bruises, cuts, or scrapes every couple of days.
- Trim the hair on your dog’s paws but don’t trim too close to the skin as this can expose them to dirt and harsh objects against their naked skin and cause discomfort.
- If you’re struggling to give your dog baths or clean its paws, take your dog to a professional dog groomer.
- Use doggy boots, especially during winter to protect your dog against the cold and snow. They’re also useful for other outdoor activities like hiking.
- If you find your dog wincing or whining when it walks, visit your vet immediately.
As is the case with most dogs that love being outdoors, your dog’s paws are bound to get dirty. But now that you have your answer to “how to clean my dog’s paws,” you can make sure that your dog’s paws are never neglected. With regular grooming and paw cleaning, you can keep your dog healthy and happy!