10 right ways to clean your dog paws

Whether it is rainy, snowy, and dusty outside, we have to take our dogs for walks. In winter, this can mean the risk of irritation from salted sidewalks, so cleaning up their paws appropriately after you return from a walk is a must. Some dog’s feet are very sensitive to the cold, to the salt, and all the elements. During the rest of the year, cleaning up paws will not protect your floors but also will allow you to see any paw issues that can need attention and prevent others from developing. Caked on dirt can hide wounds and chronically dirty feet can cause inflammation or abrasions. You know your dog needs to be groomed regularly, but did you know that cleaning your paws of a dog is an important part of their grooming routine? On daily walks in the yard, your dog’s feet are exposed to rough surfaces, wet ground, dirt, etc. And the pads on the bottom of your puppy's paws serve an essential purpose. They help to protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against weather, and protect tissue deep in the paw.

How often should you clean your dog's paws?

Unlike bathing your dog, which the ASPCA recommends you do a minimum every 3 months, there are no specific guidelines for how frequently dog paw cleaning should occur. However, consider checking your paws of the dog weekly. Depending on their level of exercise and the season (harsh summers and winters may be tough on your pet's paws), you can adjust the schedule to fit your pup's requirements. If you often take your dog hiking, for instance, you may need to check and wash their paws after every trip to the trails. On the other hand, a pooch who spends most of their time indoors and just goes on light neighborhood walks can need a dog paw cleaning each other week.

Here are some ways to help make cleaning your dog’s paws easier and more efficient.

Trim hair

Hair grows on feet and in between paw pads. Hairs can cause damage to the dog’s paws if they are left unkempt. Excessive hair can pick up debris and dirt, which can lead to infection. Trim paw hair on a regular basis to avoid issues. 

Use wipes

There’re plenty of wipes available to select from that are used precisely for dogs. They resemble baby wipes and are simple to use. Place a pack near the front and back door. As your dog enters your house from the outdoors stop for a moment and wipe off his paws. You will be surprised as you notice the foul things that come off your dog’s paws in just one outing.

Keep nails trimmed

Click-clack this familiar sound comes in handy when you want to know where your dog is, but it is a sign that his nails are too long. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed and filed to a comfortable length.

Use a wet towelette for minor cleanups

If your dog's paws are just a small dusty, a wet towelette can be all you need to clean them up as long as you are using a wipe that is labeled as safe for pet care. Several of these wipes and towelettes that humans use contain harmful chemicals, such as alcohol, petrochemicals, perfumes, and fragrances, all of which may be detrimental to your pet’s health. To be safe, it is recommended to use all-natural and veterinarian-approved grooming wipes for wiping away dirt between baths. For a no-frills and price-effective approach, a paper towel and washcloth soaked in warm water is the best way to clean your pet’s feet after a walk. For more dirty paws, you can use a dab of dog shampoo on the washcloth and ensure to wipe off thoroughly."


One of the easy ways to protect your dog’s paws from the elements is investing in a pair of dog booties. Northern breeds such as Siberian huskies wear these though mushing on the trail to protect their feet from ice and snow, and they can keep your dog’s paws safe too. It can take a small time for your dog to get used to wearing booties, but with patience and rewards, most dogs adapt just fine.

Snowball removal

Snow rapidly turns to balls of ice between the pads of your dog’s feet. Snowballs are uncomfortable for your dog, or put her at risk of harming herself when she pulls them out, she can lose hair, but she can consume harmful chemicals such as deicer or road salt.

Rather than pulling the ice balls out yourself, soak a cloth in warm water and massage the icy pad gently for melting and loosen the ice. If you have got a long-haired dog breed, you can help prevent snowballs from forming by having a professional carefully trim the hair between your dog’s pads. 


A bath can make your dog’s paws cleaner. While you do not have to entirely soak your dog, washing their paws thoroughly to eliminate dirt or harmful substances such as road salt is sometimes the good or only option. If you have a small dog, you can be able to do this over a sink rather than a tub. And you can try bathing your dog’s paws in the tub having a detachable showerhead. Just ensure you dry the paws thoroughly before letting your dog back outside.

Check between the pads

It’s tempting to give paws a fast rinse and dry so that you can move on to the next thing on your schedule. However, salt and dirt might accumulate between your dog’s toes, about and between their pads, and underneath the nail, leading to irritation. Gently part your dog’s toes as you clean to check for debris or irritation, and dry thoroughly. 

Dry paws with a towel

If your pet's feet get wet, but no dirt, salt, and chemicals come in contact with the foot, you can just dry the foot with a towel. Ensure you get the pad place of the foot dry. Just squeeze every foot a couple of times with a clean towel for getting most of the water off if your pet comes in wet from the winter weather. Usage a towel to dry off the feet after a rainy walk or after bathing as well.

Check for cuts

Cleaning your dog’s paws is a better opportunity to check for cuts, scrapes, dry and cracking pads. The dry air in your house and the cold air outside can cause dogs' paws to crack, which is uncomfortable. Icy situations can lead to cuts and scrapes, please visit  your veterinarian who can help your dog with such situations.

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