As dogs walk, run, and play, their paws pick up fungus, bacteria, dirt, grime, feces, and grease. When they come inside, they bring it with them, tracking it over carpets, floors, and furniture.
What are paw cleaners for?
Smart owners wash their pet’s paws the same way they remove their shoes before coming into the house, protecting their pets, their homes, and themselves from harmful germs. Some veterinarians recommend washing paws every day, regardless of whether they look dirty, to remove allergens and other harmful substances.
Cleaning dog paws on a regular basis also gives owners the opportunity to examine the condition of their pet’s paws, noting sores, cuts, or dry spots. The salt used to de-ice roads in many places can be especially detrimental to dog paws, causing chemical burns on the paws as well as the mouth and stomach if ingested.
Salt can also get wedged between their toes or around the pads, causing irritation, cuts, and dryness. Pet owners should be especially careful to clean their pets’ paws during winter months.
Pet product companies have heard dog owners’ cries for safe, effective, and convenient paw cleaners for dogs, producing a variety of paw cleaners, including plungers, wipes, pools, tubs, and clothes. Which products are the best?
6 Highest Reviewed Paw Cleaners for Dogs
To see the six best paw cleaners on the market today, read further!
Paw Wash Brushless by Wild Heart
Wild Heart offers pet owners a uniquely powerful and effective paw washing tool in its brushless hourglass design. It’s fast, efficient, portable, and comes with a microfiber drying mitt. It works by creating a cleaning solution vortex inside the hourglass that scrubs away dirt, mud, bacteria, and allergens in a breeze. Another thing this product could be used for is soaking your dogs injured or ailing paw with medications.
The founder developed the original product for her sixth-grade science project, and the rest they say is history. Not only did she get an “A” on the project, but it led to many happy owners and even more clean paws ever since. As well as features in the DIY Network, Pets Insider, BuzzFeed, The Early Show, Forbes, and more.
How to use:
Easy as 1, 2, 3.
Repeat for each dirty paw, typically all four paws can be washed with one filling.
- Step 1
Simply remove the center cap that says “Lift.” Then proceed to fill the inside of the Paw Wash with a few drops of pet soap, then fill with water to the fill line (note: be sure to leave the yellow ring ON, it holds the black squeegee in place).
- Step 2
Place your pup’s paw into the product to create the water bursting suction action by moving the Paw Wash up and down their paw.
- Step 3
Remove the paw and pat dry with the included microfiber mitt. (note: don’t worry, the squeegee top will help keep the water droplets inside as you remove the paw.)
- Very user friendly.
- It comes with a quick-drying microfiber mitt.
- Removable lid for easy cleaning
- Comes in 2 sizes for large paws and small paws
- Meant for medium & large breed dogs primarily.
Paw Plunger for Dogs by Pet Product Innovations
Pet Product Innovations developed the Paw Plunger, a cup designed for cleaning dog paws quickly, conveniently, and without making a mess. Since its inception, the Paw Plunger has won numerous awards, including the Best Dog Product of 2012 by the Global Pet Expo and the Winner of the Pet Category for 2012 by The Next Big Zing.
The Paw Plunger comes in three colors and sizes, allowing dogs from ten to 100 pounds to experience the benefits. Owners insert each paw into the bath, then move the plunger up and down, allowing the gentle bristles to remove dirt, grime, salt, and sand.
- The product is small and easily portable.
- It does not use chemicals, detergents, or soaps.
- It keeps the floor dry.
- Owners must dry their dogs’ paws after using.
Dexas Petware Mudbuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner
The Dexas Petware Mudbuster is a portable dog paw cleaner. Gentle and thick silicone bristles gently massage each paw, removing mud and dirt. With three sizes, the product is designed to accommodate dogs with paw widths of one to 3.5 inches. Pet owners simply add water and insert their dog’s paw into the Mudbuster, then pump and twist the product until their dog’s paw is clean. The mess stays contained in the product, protecting carpets, floors, and furniture from muddy paws. The Mudbuster is BPA free and safe to use.
- It is easy to disassemble and clean, and dishwasher safe.
- The nib pattern makes it easy to grip and handle with one hand.
- It does not require chemicals, detergents, or soaps.
- The water gets dirty quickly and must be changed to wash additional paws.
SKI Innovations Paw Boss Wash for Dogs
The Paw Boss Wash for Dogs by SKI Innovations lets dog owners wash each of their pet’s paws in clean, soapy water without dumping and refilling between paws. The product features multiple clean water reservoirs that allow up to eight paws to be washed before the Paw Boss must be emptied and refilled.
The paw wash cup has soft silicone fingers that massage and loosen dirt, bacteria, and fungi from the dog’s paws, washing them away for a safer, cleaner home. After washing each paw, owners simply tilt the product to remove dirty water and refill with clean water.
- The product is low to the ground, allowing pets to simply step into it.
- According to lab tests, the product removes 99.5 percent of bacteria and 99.9 percent of the fungi from a dog’s paws.
- The water is contained in the product, keeping owners and floors dry.
- Some owners claimed the product took too long to use.
American Kennel Club Microfiber Paw Cleaners
Microfiber Paw Cleaners remove dirt, water, and bacteria using microfiber fingers to get between the toes and around the pads. The pads measure 4.5 by three inches, and they are bacteria and odor-free, even after use. Microfiber is an ideal cleaning product for removing bacteria, dirt, and grime.
A study by the University of California showed that the number of bacteria picked up by a microfiber towel was 99 percent compared to the 30 percent picked up by a cotton towel. It can absorb up to seven times its weight in water, making it an excellent paw cleaner for muddy dogs.
- The product dries paws after cleaning.
- It is machine washable and dries easily
- The product is odor-free, even after use.
- Some reviewers commented that the pads were too small for large dogs.
Petkin Paw Wipes
Petkin’s Paw Wipes come in packages of 100 and are specifically designed to be safe and effective for dogs, even dogs who lick and teeth. The wipes are coated with a simple mixture of cleanser, Aloe vera, vitamin D, and a deodorizing fragrance.
The Aloe vera and vitamin D soothe and condition dry or cracked paws, and the cleanser removes bacteria and dirt. Petkin’s Paw Wipes differ from other formulas in that each wipe is stronger and more absorbent than similar products. Each wipe contains a generous amount of cleanser, allowing owners to clean paws quickly and effectively.
- The product is veterinarian approved.
- The aroma is pleasant.
- It is extra absorbent compared to similar products.
- It contains cleaners.
Brief Guide to Buying a Dog Paw Cleaner
What Are They?
Dog paw cleaners are devices that will make it a lot easier to wash your dog’s paws when they come back from a walk. Many experts recommend that dog’s paws are washed after every walk, especially in the winter months.
Some paw cleaners are a bit like foot spas, which they can walk up to and put their paws in. They are square boxes that you can put water into, and they have an opening big enough to put your dog’s paws into, one at a time. The openings have a soft cleaning pad inside, and you would usually add some soap to the water to help with cleaning. These types also have dirty and clean reservoirs so that you can tip the dirty water one way and replace it with clean.
There are others that are handheld and shaped like large cups – you fill them up with water to the top row of bristles when needed. Then you simply put one paw in at a time, letting the bristles clean it. You will need to pull his paw up and down to scrub it with the water and bristles.
With these types of cleaners, you shouldn’t need any chemicals or detergents since the bristles and water do the cleaning. The paw cleaners just need to be rinsed in order to be cleaned for next time.
You can also find wash mitts and cleaning gloves. There are some that you can put on your fingers and others that fit over your whole hand. Some are intended to be used dry, whereas others you can simply wet and add a bit of shampoo. Then you can clean their paws with your hands. There are also simple pet wipes available that are a bit like baby wipes – already wet and soapy. These you can just wipe and clean.
Who Can Benefit?
Unfortunately, dogs don’t wipe their feet on the doormat when they come into the house. Instead, they happily run everywhere, taking their dirt and mud with them. So having a way of cleaning their muddy paws is essential if you want to keep your house clean.
It is also important for their health. Paws can get hurt from dirt, and from chemicals such as are in salt that is added to snow in winter. They can also ingest a lot of dirt and bacteria if they lick their paws with all the dirt still on them. 50% of dogs’ chewing and licking their feet can be alleviated by cleaning their paws manually. So it is much better if we can help them get their paws clean as soon as they come back from a walk.
The traditional method is to leave a rag or towel by the door – but this often doesn’t do that great of a job. On the other hand, many of these paw cleaners introduce bristles or cleaning pads to help with the cleaning process. They also often have a water container as an integral part of the paw cleaner, so you can easily leave it by the door and give your dog’s paws a nice clean bath when they get home.
Paw cleaners are especially good if your dog has very dirty feet that would normally need a bath. Instead of going through the hassle of a bath, just wash his paws with the paw cleaner and he should be good to go for a while.
If you like to take your dogs out hiking on trails, you might want to get a paw cleaner to keep in the car. Then you can wash their paws before letting them back into the car, so they don’t get mud and dirt everywhere.
If your dog has allergies you should definitely look at one of these too. Regularly cleaning his paws should really help against the allergies.
What To Look For?
To get debris off your dog’s paws, such as grass or dirt, you really need to have some kind of object which will rub against the debris to move it. So look for a paw cleaner that has some kind of soft bristles to help dislodge any stubborn clumps of dirt. Do make sure they are soft, though, so they don’t hurt your dog. Good materials include silicone, rubber or soft plastic.
Look for a spill-proof design for a paw cleaner that contains water. You want to be able to leave it by the door without worrying about it tipping over.
You also want to look for something that is easy to use for you and your dog. Some paw cleaners have different sizes so that if you have a larger dog you can get a bigger size.
What To Avoid?
Some designs are sealed closed and impossible to get inside and scrub clean, so you may want to avoid these if you know you will want to scrub the insides.
Are there other ways to help my dog’s paws stay healthy in winter?
You can trim the hair between their toes so ice balls are less likely to form. You can also put on paw wax, or little booties if they are likely to be walking on some slippery surfaces. Then clean them immediately when they come home after their walk.
Why do dogs lick their paws?
There are quite a few reasons that dogs lick their paws. They do it to clean their paws of course, but sometimes it seems more obsessive. Sometimes it’s an allergy, such as a grass allergy. It could also be a food allergy, as sometimes this causes irritation. They might have also had a skin disease. You can see your vet if you’re worried about it, and they will give your dog a thorough look over.
Do you need to change the water for every paw?
Some directions do advise you to change the water every paw, but most people don’t. Some users change it every two paws and others keep the same water in there for all four.
With all the dog products on the market, it can be hard to determine which will work best. The products above are tested and approved to withstand the rigors of dog ownership. Pet owners will enjoy the convenience and effectiveness of these products as they seek to keep their homes clean and their pets healthy.