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Paw Pointers for Your Pup

We’re dishing the dirt on proper dog paw cleaning.

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No matter the season, your pup’s paws have traveled to all kinds of places where it’s possible they’ve picked up some bacteria and germs along the way.

Regular dog paw cleaning and examination can help keep your pup healthy...while keeping those new rugs safe from paw prints.

PAW CARE 101

First, always start at the source. Is your dog’s constant digging the reason behind all the dirt? We can help your dog channel that energy and cut back on the mess. Or maybe your pup’s idea of a fun time is taking a good ‘ol backyard mud bath? We have solutions for that, too.

Dog playing with hose.

 

Before we get into the specifics, keep in mind that it’s important to always wipe off your dog’s paws after every walk because you never know what they’ve picked up outside and you can spot any cuts or scrapes before they get serious! Unfortunately, critters like ticks also love to hitch a ride between your pup’s toes, so regular cleaning will also help get rid of these unwanted passengers.

SHOWING DIRT THE DOOR

Now that you understand why proper paw care is so important, let’s get into some more paw pointers!

If it’s hard to tell what color your pup’s coat is underneath all that mud, a full-body bath with a gentle pat shampoo is probably your best bet. However, bathing Fido too much can lead to skin dryness or irritation, so check out some other solutions below!

Dog laying in dirt.

 

If your pup isn’t too dirty, simply wipe down their paws with scent-free baby wipes or train them to wipe their paws off on a water absorbent doormat. You can accomplish this by simply hiding some smelly treats underneath the mat that they’ll sniff out and start scratching at. Then, reward any mat scratching with a treat in your hand and, as your dog gets the hang of it, you can add a verbal cue (“wipe”).

Need to rinse your dog’s legs? This is where an outdoor cleaning station by your back door comes in handy! Put a dash of mild soap or dog shampoo into a bucket or baby pool, dip your pup’s lower half into the water and use a wet washcloth or dog brush to then wipe them down—making sure to clean between your dog’s toes and nails.

Dog playing in pool.

 

Finally, finish up by toweling your pup down with an absorbent towel. If it’s too cold for an outdoor cleaning station, give your pup a good wipe-down before bringing them straight to the bathtub or sink.

PAW PROTECTANTS

Good paw care is more just a good cleaning! There are other steps you can take to help your dog live their best life and keep those mitts healthy.

When you’re outside with your pup in the summertime, you can easily determine if it’s too hot for their paws by placing your palm on the pavement. If you can’t leave your hand there for at least 5 seconds, you might want to look into a balm, which is perfect for protecting paws through all sorts of weather.

Many of these balms are made of a thick all-natural wax formula that acts as a barrier to protect your dog’s paw pads from asphalt, ice and rock salt. There are a variety of dog balms on the market, however, check out this DIY balm from the American Kennel Club if you’re the crafty type.

Dog shaking owners hand.

 

Booties are another effective (and adorable) protective method that can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws your way. They can help protect from extreme temperatures as well as prevent dirt buildup and injuries to the paws. It might take your dog a while to warm up to the idea of a shoe, so just be patient! Simply put the booties on your pup when needed and remove them when your dog is ready to come back inside.

Lastly, we recommend keeping the hair around the paws and between the pads of the paws short at all times to avoid dirty paws. By keeping their hair short, you’re helping your dog avoid getting sap or other debris stuck in their hair. For long-haired dogs, you should also remove any knots that could attract dirt.

Dog perched over back seat of car.

 

Congrats, you now know how to show dirty paws the door! (Pro tip: To keep your grass pawsitively fluffy and prevent mud from happening in the first place, check out Good Boy™ in our BarkYard kit.


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