An Easy Way To Clean Dirty Dog Paws

clean muddy dog pawsThere’s nothing like a rainy day to make letting the dog back in the house an annoying and time consuming task.

Before you know it, Fido bolts past you to leave a long trail of muddy prints all the way through your house. It doesn’t matter if you have carpet, hardwood, tile or anything else because dirt and mud are not fun to clean off of any of them. When mud gets deposited deep into rugs it’s annoyingly difficult to clean off,  but dirty smears on hard flooring can be just as big of a disaster. For pets that are allowed on furniture, you may find the animal resting comfortably on the couch, surrounded by dirty paw marks before you realize that it rained last night, and this can make things even worse.

The best way to prevent floors and other stuff from getting coated with dirt is to avoid the grime from touching it in the first place, but most dogs have little patience, so whatever you use to clean their paws has to be quick and effective if its going to work.

Prevention Is Key

If you don’t stop the grime at your back steps, you will end up having to shampoo or mop to get things clean. Not only is this an avoidable step, it is also a much bigger and more time consuming task. If cleaned right away, as your dog enters the house, you can capture all of the grime before it gets inside.

There are several ways to go about this, but as with anything, some methods are better than others, and there are certain downsides to be aware of.

Constant cleaning of carpets can reduce fluffiness, and force replacement sooner, and mopping costs time and money that nobody wants to spend. Add to that the fact that neither of these are really practical to do each time your dog has to pee, and you’re almost forced to have another option available if you don’t want a dirty home. You could also make your pet wear booties each time they step outside, but this can be time consuming for you, and not everyone wants the neighbors to see their silly looking dog prancing around the yard with doggie shoes on.

Why So Much Mud?

Dogs don’t like to poop unless there is grass involved, and all grass needs dirt to survive. When rain or snow starts to fall, this dirt becomes mud, and it sticks like glue to pads, nails and other parts of your pet.

Many dogs have instinctual tendencies to cover their scent after dropping a deuce, or draining their bladder, and although no bobcat is actually tracking them, they have an innate need to  make their trail hard to follow. For this reason, each number one or number two is covered up after much kicking and scratching, and this digging at the ground helps to collect loads of mud that travels with them inside.

Other animals like to run and dig when the ground gets soft, and they end up with dirt all the way up to their elbows. Puppies can’t resist puddles, and older dogs often run back and forth trying to catch squirrels and other fast moving varmints, and they tear up the ground in the process. The bottom line is that your dog never thinks about dirt or your carpet, so they make no effort to remain clean when playing or relieving themselves outside.

Clean Paws = Clean Floors

Use A Runner

Placing a long throw rug right inside the door can greatly reduce the amount of dirt that makes it all the way in. This method is not fool proof, and will never really get mud that is deep in between claws, but it’s quite effective as a first line of defense. A specialized mat made for absorbing dirt can improve upon this idea, but even then, you would probably want both because it’s extremely difficult to train dogs to stand still and wipe each foot. Longer runners will allow for walking, and therefore less training, but there’s no way to ensure cleanliness, so it may not be the best option for everyone. When combined with other methods, a rug or mat can add extra protection and either help to dry or clean as your dog comes in from outside. Once in place, there’s nothing to worry about or do until it needs washing, so if you have the room, lay down a rug to absorb dirt from pet paws as they walk in.

Rugs with longer fibers will grab and hold more debris, but absorption is also important because moisture is part of the problem. A series of surfaces will most likely produce the best results, and training your pet will be necessary to ensure these surfaces are utilized properly. A microfiber bath mat is actually an effective primary mat because it does not slip, and it has long soft fibers designed for cleaning and soaking up moisture, but any other heavy duty mat that is similar will work as well.

Choose a good mat for right inside the door, and then follow with a longer rug made from durable material that is easily washable. To train your dog, just use a leash for a short time, and walk them along the path for several days until they do so naturally themselves. Once set up and training is complete, this technique can eliminate most dirt in many cases. Eventually the rug or mat will need washing, and this takes time, money and effort, but having the grime concentrated in one location is far better than having it spread all over.

Disposable Wipes

Just like the ones used to wipe baby buns, they actually make some specifically for use on pets. Using them is easy, but you will probably need several to get the job done, and they are not at all reusable. This means that you will have to buy more when they run out, and you will also have to have a trash can close to the door in order to dispose of the muddy ones. They do come out of the dispenser wet, so they clean pretty well, but the small, thin and disposable material will not be durable, so you can easily rip them as you wipe to cause problems or get your hands dirty.

Depending upon the ingredients in the liquid, certain pets may have sensitivities that could cause irritation, but most animals should be fine with products like this. Although there is enough moisture to make them effective, your pets paws should dry pretty quickly after using one. As a downside, if you leave the container open, the wipes will dry out, and they will no longer work as well. This technique is expensive in the long run, but many people may enjoy the convenience that disposable wipes offer. It is a pretty fast method, but the thin material will not keep your hands clean in all cases, so you may need to wash your own skin a bit before you finish.

Paw Washer

A dog paw washer can work well to get paws clean, but they are not the best when you think about speed and ease of use. For super dirty feet that would normally require a bath, this tool can save time, but fro regular dirt on paws it can actually take longer. Essentially you are submerging your dog’s paw into a mini bath, one leg at a time, so it will certainly get the mud off. You sort of stick it in and then plunge up and down to scrub, and all of the dirt should mix with the water inside as it washes off your pet. Each paw should be left clean as it is removed, but you will have to dry each one after you finish. Also , depending upon amount, you may have to dump out the dirty water and get fresh stuff to clean all for legs.

Some pets may be too small  or too large for one of these, and many may flat out refuse to use one. After some training, most dogs should be fine sticking their foot in, but patience and practice may be required before everyone is comfortable using it. Whenever you are finished with it, the brown water will have to be poured out somewhere, and further washing may be required. In order to be ready for use again, fresh water will need to be added. Because it is not safe, and probably less effective, you will not want to leave it full until the next use, so many people will find themselves running to fill it up as the dog is barking at the door.

This is one of the most thorough techniques outside of a full bath, but it may not be the quickest or most convenient. Because you will have to touch the muddy fur in order to stick it in the bucket, you may have to wash yourself afterward, and due to soggy hair when finished, and additional towel is required.

paw cleaner mittPaw Cleaning Mitt – An Easy Way

An easy and effective way to quickly get paws clean is to  use a Paw Cleaning Mitt. This tool completely surrounds your hand to keep it clean, and this same feature also makes it easy to use. The large, microfiber mitt has long, fluffy material on the underside so digging up and locking in mud is as easy as shaking your dog’s paw. The microfiber is also highly absorbent, so fur will dry as the dirt is eliminated. You can use it dry for light build up, get it wet for times when mud is severe, or add soap to really get fur clean.

If Fido decides to roll around and get his whole body dirty, you can even use it in the tub to gently scrub away dirt on any dirty part. As you grab the paw with this mitt, the chenille material gets between claws and under nails to remove dirt that a quick wipe would normally leave behind. The material scrapes up grime and locks it into the fibers in one quick motion, so a single grab will clean most paws in a matter of seconds.

You can either teach your dog to sit still and wait for cleaning after they enter, or you can quickly grab feet as they walk inside. Because a single swipe removes more dirt than other methods, this will be sufficient for most occasions. This tool is totally washable and reusable so when it gets too dirty just machine wash for reuse. With this mitt you will have one of the fastest and most effective ways to clean paws and prevent dirty tracks in your house. It is highly affordable and totally reusable, so one small purchase will solve this problem for years to come.

Instructions For Use:

  • This mitt is one size fits all, but due to orientation of the longer, chenille fibers, it is best used on your right hand.
  • Place the mitt on and use dry for most situations.
  • Simply grab and wipe to clean. As you apply pressure to hold the paw, the fibers will get deep into fur, under nails and between pads. Increased surface area and advanced material will attract and absorb dirt so it separates from fur and removes easily.
  • For tougher grime, get the mitt wet. Just place under faucet to saturate and then wring out until it no longer drips. This added moisture will cut through stubborn grime and help to remove heavier build up. If extremely dirty, you can also rinse out the mitt to keep cleaning.
  • For use in the tub, simply wash and scrub like normal while wearing it. The material will provide a gentle scrubbing action that reduces time and improves results when washing any animal.
  • When finished, hang to dry if wet, machine wash if dirty, or simply hang for convenient reuse if only used lightly.

Many folks use an old rag or dirty towel to wipe pets as they come inside from using the bathroom. This is a great idea because it keeps your house clean, but using the Paw Cleaning Mitt can take this same idea, and make it even faster and easier. You will still be doing the same thing, but each time you wipe, more dirt will be removed, and because it completely covers you hand, there is no chance that dirt and mud will touch your skin. Cotton towels and rags are good for wiping, but they will never clean as well, or hold as much dirt. They are also far less absorbent, and they take much longer to dry if you get them wet.

Why use an inferior product that only ends up costing you time and effort? This one offers an easy way to get the job done, and because it does not require intense training or tons of effort on your part, it will be easier to guarantee usage. One thing is for sure, if you remove mud before those paws hit your carpet, it will be way easier to keep things clean. This simple and effective mitt slips on in a flash, and eliminates dirt with very little effort. Give it a try because your floors, and the person that cleans them will thank you when you do.

Dirty Paws = Dirty Floors

If you were too late, neglected to heed our warning, or missed a foot, then you’re probably staring at a trail of mud all over your floors, and wondering how to clean it. Lucky for you, it is easily cleanable, but it will take some time and effort to get rid of all those brown spots. It’s not quick, fun or simple to clean this mess, and that is why prevention is key. The method you use will depend upon the surface that was coated, but the instructions that follow will fix the problem and prevent you from locking the dog outside in a fit of rage.

Carpets, Throw Rugs and Upholstery:

For all over cleaning, a shampooer will work best, but most times you will just be spot cleaning for this job. A similar method can be used for carpeting, throw rugs, runners and even couches and chairs. Other products may work too, but Quick N Brite has proven to eliminate this type of staining with little effort, and the results are basically guaranteed. To complete the chore, you will need this cleaner and a couple of terry cloth towels.

  • For most spots, a heavy solution will be perfect. Some jobs may need full strength cleaner, but this will be rare. To make your heavy solution, add hot water and 3 Tbs of QB to a quart spray bottle and shake to mix.
  • To prepare, pick up any large chunks by hand, and throw them away.
  • Spray on a liberal amount to completely cover the brown spot. If using full strength, pour on the liquid and work in, or use a damp towel to apply paste and work in afterward.
  • Continue covering spots until you have cleaner on all of them. This will allow time for it to break down and free the stain. For heavier soil, allow five to ten minutes of sitting to get he best results.
  • Once the cleaner is on, and it has sat, use a clean terry cloth towel to buff the stain out.
  • A quick back and forth motion will cause the stain to rub out of the fibers as it transfers onto your towel.
  • All dirt should come up with a single application, but reapply if it doesn’t.
  • To remove any excess cleaner, use a clean towel that is slightly wet and rub the area again to rinse and remove anything left behind.

Hard Surfaces Like Tile, Linoleum and Hardwood:

If the tracks are on a hard floor surface then you are in luck. This is way easier to deal with than anything made of fibers, but the correct tools and techniques will help to improve results and make things easy. You will want to have a good mop available, and you may also need a cleaner like Quick N Brite to help remove anything severe.

  • To prepare, sweep or pick up any loose pieces.
  • Spray down cleaner on any spots that look like they will give you trouble.
  • Get your mop ready – this varies by type.
  • Mop back and forth to free and absorb dirt
  • Toss pad, rise head and/or dump dirty water to finish.

Products Mentioned

  • Paw Cleaning Mitt
  • Quick N Brite Cleaner
  • Mopping Equipment
  • Paw Washers
  • Baby Wipes
  • Rugs and Runners




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