Better way to clean muddy dog paws?
December 11, 2006 10:08 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to easily (or more easily) clean my dog's paws when she comes in from our rain soaked yard and they are all muddy?

When my dog (a 90 pound mix) comes back inside now, during our lovely wet California winter, her paws are, more often than not, caked thick with clay mud. She tolerates me wiping them off but its a pain in the butt and I'd love to find a better way to do this. And we end up going through alot of towels too.

Any insights would be welcome.

Some thoughts I've had or tried. I've used a bucket of water just outside the door to swish her paws in before I wipe them and it cuts down on the muddiness alot but is also a pain in the butt. I've considered astroturf from the edge of the deck to the door to help clean her paws out too but would like feedback on that first.
posted by fenriq to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
We use a "poochie pan" constructed of a large basin filled with about an inch of water that we make our dog stand in for a few seconds. Then, we towel off the paws.
posted by fvox13 at 10:21 PM on December 11, 2006

Astroturf won't work that well and is a bigger pita to clean than dog paws.

I can't really think of any solution to this.

I've got a 60 lbs puppy that doesn't like having her paws touched, and we've just trained her to wait to come in on command, lay down on the towel that's right inside the door, and play 'the quiet game' until we tell her she can get up (after we've cleaned the paws). We just keep a stack of big bath towels next to the door and end up cycling through them as we do laundry during the week.

She also doesn't get to stay out when it's raining any more than neccessary, which is easy because she goes potty on command and then comes back to get her praise and we can lead her inside.
posted by SpecialK at 10:22 PM on December 11, 2006

Maybe prevention would be best. Will your pup tolerate wearing boots?
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:22 AM on December 12, 2006

Pretty much like fvox13: a bucket of warm water to remove the worst of the mud (massage the paws one at a time in it) and then an old towel to dry them off and remove most of the rest. Then get her to lie on an old sheet while the rest of the water evaporates off.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 5:00 AM on December 12, 2006

We live in a cold and snowy climate and use Muttluks (dog boots). Takes a little getting used to putting on for dog and owner, but our Boston Terriers adapted quickly. When they come in the Muttluks come off easy. The muttluks clean up easy too.

Good luck.
posted by terrapin at 6:50 AM on December 12, 2006

It is a pain, but I haven't found a better way than the bucket of warm water and then toweling them off. It is a pain but doesn't take too, too long.

If it makes you feel better, we live out in the country and occasionally have our dogs come back wearing their "perfume" (deer or cow poop) or covered in creek sludge. Warm buckets of water don't even come close to a fix on those occasions. Nothing like an unplanned dog bath right after you get home from work to kick the evening off nicely.
posted by MrToad at 11:00 AM on December 12, 2006

Best answer: I've never used one of these Paw Plungers but it might be worth checking out.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:21 PM on December 12, 2006

Response by poster: BoscosMom, that might just be perfect for us!

I forgot to mention that I have a two and a half year old child who loves to play with water which makes a tray out of the question.

The muttluks might work but, knowing my hound, she'd grab them when no one was looking and shred them.

Thanks everyone!
posted by fenriq at 10:22 PM on December 12, 2006

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