Seasons happen whether we like it or not, it can rain or snow, but we somehow still need to walk our dogs outdoors. The rough conditions outside, like for example when it’s wintertime and there’s salt on the sidewalks, it can irritate the paws of our dogs so it’s necessary to clean it for them after a walk. There are actually a lot of advantages to cleaning your dog’s paws, it can, for example, protect your floors, and also it would be good for your dog because it will reveal problems on their paws that might need attention and prevent them from happening in the first place. Dirt that has settled on your dog’s paws could conceal wounds and if you don’t clean them often enough, it could cause abrasions and infections. In this article, we have compiled simple ways to clean your dog’s paws and keep it that way.
Use Wet Wipes For Minor Cleaning
If your dog’s paws gather a slight dusting, using wet wipes could actually accomplish the job just fine, just make sure that the particular wet wipe you’d use doesn’t say something like “don’t use on pets”. This is because these wet wipes contain several chemicals that are safe for use on humans but are actually harmful to our pets. If you want to save a bit of cash, you can make some by yourself, just take some ordinary paper towels, soak it in lukewarm water, and if your dog’s paws are a little extra dirty, you can add a smear of dog shampoo for a much more effective wipe.
Thoroughly Hose Down Their Paws
If there are bits and mud that’s stuck on your dog’s paws, wet wipes might not actually cut it, when this happens you would actually need to wash them with running water. Pet grooming experts suggest washing their paws in the bathtub using a sprayer, this might be especially necessary if they happen to tread on some tar-like substances which might even need a little scrubbing action. For smaller dogs, putting them in a sink can actually accomplish the job just fine, but for larger dogs, a bathtub might really be necessary, you need to use shampoo if the dirt proves to be really stubborn.
Clean in And Around Toes And Nails
Of course, to be able to perform a thorough cleaning of their paws, you shouldn’t forget their nails and toes. A lot of dogs out there have feet that are really sensitive when exposed to the elements, especially in the wintertime. You wouldn’t want to have your dog licking melted ice and salt off their paws. When you finish washing their paws, just finish drying it off using just a plain old towel, because you shouldn’t let your dog roam around with wet feet that can cause slippages.
Dry Their Paws Properly
If you can assure that your dog didn’t get wet and stepped on to some salt, dirt, or chemicals, you can just use a regular towel to simply dry them off, make sure their entire foot is dry, you may try squeezing each on of the feet several times to completely get the water off of their feet that’s caused by the winter weather. Again, drying them off completely ensures that they don’t roam around spreading sprinkling of water around the floor.
Keep Their Foot Hair Short Enough
This is especially necessary for dog breeds with long hair, it’s because their hair can accumulate dirt and other bits that can be hard to remove if neglected and it could cause more serious problems in the future. Experts don’t recommend you trim our own dog’s foot hair as the skin under it is very delicate and sensitive and you might risk poking into them, but if owners are experienced and confident enough and their dog seems compliant, they could go ahead and do it on their own, but on things you are not sure about, it’s better to just leave it to the professionals. Just a warning though, close shaving around the pads and toes isn’t recommended, because shaved paws will directly expose the dog’s skin to salt and chemicals that would cause irritation and be very uncomfortable for the dog. They can also have the tendency to lick clean their paws when it gets irritated causing them to ingest the salt, chemicals, and dirt they might have picked up along the way.
Use Dog Shoes When Necessary
If your dog is comfortable with wearing dog shoes, there can’t be better protection for their paws, because dog shoes would ensure that there would be zero salt, dirt, or any chemicals that would get stuck on their paws. However, there can be a problem when snowfalls more than an inch thick, because their dog shoes would accumulate snow that would turn into a ball forming just above the dog shoe, a simple solution to this would be wiping it with a soapy water solution. If the snow is really thick, don’t forget to immediately remove their dog shoes as soon as you’re back in the house so their paws can dry out quickly.
Clean up Paw Cuts
Every after each time you take your dog for a walk, make it a habit to check their paws and look for abrasions, cuts, and blisters because according to experts they can start out as minor wounds but they have a huge potential of quickly developing into an infection if not treated immediately. If you notice a would that is quite severe and also appear to be infected, it is a good idea to immediately consult a veterinarian. But if the would is minor enough and you think can be handled at home, just begin by rinsing the paw with lukewarm water to make sure that all dirt and bits are removed, this would also allow you to clearly see wounds and abrasion, and this is now your opportunity to apply diluted antiseptic.