Why do you need a dog paw cleaner?
Cleaning, of course!
But also for keeping your dog’s paws healthy and injury-free.
Winter can present a unique challenge to our domesticated pets. Though many dogs can endure the cold temperatures for a time, their paws simply aren’t accustomed to either our human city streets or the chemicals we use to clean them.
List of 9 Dog Paw Cleaner Products
You want to take good care of your dog. We’ve researched many dog paw cleaner products and selected the best options for you. You can read a review on each item below with the pros and cons. If you know what you need, go directly to products.
- CHOOSEEN Dog Paw Cleaner
- Serendipity& Upgrade Dog Paw Cleaner
- Foneeus Dog Shampoo Brush 2.7oz/80ml, Dog Bath Brush
- Natural Plant-Based Waterless Dog Paw Cleaner Shampoo Rinse
- MASTERPETZ Dog Paw Cleaner Portable with Towel
- Petpost | Paw Wipes for Dogs
- 100% Natural Vet Formulated Paw and Nose Balm Wax for Dogs
- Portable Waterless Cleaning Shampoo for Dogs Foot
- Protex PawZ SaniPaw Dog Paw Wipes
Most dogs don’t have any problems with clean snow. Here are our two Chihuahuas in fresh snow.
The Dangers of Paw Infections
Consider the salt we use to de-ice our roads or backdoor steps, for example. The chemical compounds used in de-icing salt, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride (Houska, CSI.), which can dry out a dog’s paws, causing them to crack and bleed.
Open paw injuries can become especially dangerous because they allow millions of microbes, picked up from the ground, to gain access to a dog’s bloodstream. This can lead to infections, which only become worse the more a dog is forced to walk on them, even on the grass. “If damage occurs to one paw, a dog can still get around, but it will limp. Damage more than one paw and the animal is severely handicapped (Cowing, DVM.)”
Dry, cracked, or injured dog paws are painful for any dog, especially since they are forced to walk on them. However, the true danger is in those injured paws alone. In some cases, infections have grown so extreme the limb required amputation. In others, severe infection can lead to sepsis (infection of the blood- the equivalent of blood poisoning), which is often fatal if not quickly treated.
Dog Paw Cleaner DIY
Don’t worry. It’s easy to clean your dog’s paws at home by yourself (barring any existing injury). If your dog’s paws are injured, you must contact a veterinarian.
To create a do it yourself dog paw cleaner, follow the simple directions listed below. After creating a solution, all you’ll need is paper towels! Some owners prefer to use actual towels.
Make sure to wipe between any pads, and remove any debris (especially road salt) that might become stuck in between your dog’s paw pads.
You can create at-home wipes by sticking a half roll of paper towels (cardboard center removed) into a container or jar. Add your solution (see below) to the container. Make sure you cover the container after removing any wipes to avoid them drying out!
Dog Paw Cleaner Solution
Creating a dog paw cleaning solution at home is probably much easier than you’ve previously thought! There are many ways to do this, but all you’ll really need is three cups of distilled water, a tablespoon of Dawn Dish Soap (safe for dogs), and preferably two tablespoons of coconut oil.
You can also add two tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your solution. Combine this into a mixing bowl, whisking until well mixed. Then add your solution into a spray bottle.
What can I use to clean my dog’s paws?
You can use a washcloth and water to clean your dog’s paws (or most like it), or any of the cleaning products listed below. Most balms formulated for dogs are made entirely with organic or natural products, unlike many human beauty products we use.
Remember, your dog will probably try to lick (ingest) whatever you do use! ‘What can’t I use?’ is a better question since anything you put on those paws needs to be safe for your pet’s mouth. You need to automatically assume it will end up there.
For example, we can’t use the same types of antibiotic gels or topical ointments we would use on a human child, and any bandaging can both be torn at or end up wet. Wet bandaging creates a warm, damp environment for bacteria to fester, which can be much worse than no bandaging at all. Of course, you can have a dog chain collar to avoid the dog unexpectedly running into the muddy patches.
What is the fastest way to clean a dog’s paws?
The easiest or fastest way to clean a dog’s paws is to teach them to walk in dog booties, so they don’t get dirty in the first place. They will seem unnatural at first but protect your dog’s feet from sharp ice, road salt, and anything else that might injure them.
Dog booties are very common among dog sled mushers. In fact, you might have a hard time finding any endurance sled dogs not wearing booties of some kind over their paws. “One of the easiest ways to protect your dog’s paws from the elements is investing in a pair of dog booties (AKC).”
Baby wipes or any other moist wipes labeled safe for animals (like any listed below) offer a swift dog paw cleaning alternative.
Can I soak my dog’s paw in saltwater?
You’ve probably seen several recommendations for saltwater littered through the internet! Unfortunately, this leads to many ‘do-it-yourselfers’ trying to treat their dog’s injured paws at home with saltwater. Sometimes this is the right treatment, but not when your goal is to keep those paws moisturized.
Saltwater can offer a great cleaning benefit but will also dry out your dog’s paws. Your solution is as simple as asking your veterinarian if saltwater is an appropriate cleaning method for this time of year and your pet’s particular situation.
When it comes to cleaning an animal wound at home, not knowing exactly what you’re doing can cause a problem to become worse.
Why does my dog keep licking one paw?
That paw could be injured!
Many things can cause your dog to lick his paws, like skin inflammation, allergies, parasites, things stuck between those pads, or injuries, and he may tend to bite due to irritability. Your biggest concern with frequent paw licking, when it comes to one particular paw, is an injury. Your dog might be licking due to the pain from an injury.
“The first step to take, especially if the licking begins very suddenly and is focused on one paw, is to examine the paws to make certain there is not an injury such as a cut, torn nail, growth, or perhaps a stone, thorn, or ice ball stuck between the pads (AKC).”
Wolves will lick their injuries, an instinct in most canine species, and passed on to our dogs. Licking a wound or injury is a natural behavior. In fact, a dog’s saliva offers some anti-bacterial properties.
Unfortunately, wound-licking often causes more harm than it helps, especially when it comes to wounds that a veterinarian has already treated. Not only do dogs often damage their own sutures by licking (which is one reason why cones are recommended after surgery), they can re-introduce bacteria to a previously clean wound.
Note on Frost Bite
At a certain point, after too much exposure to extreme cold, your dog’s body will direct blood flow toward internal organs at the core in an attempt to keep them warm and him alive. Lacking oxygen, exposed tissues farthest from the heart (like a dog’s paw pads or tail) will begin to die. Frostbitten skin will begin to appear grey or bluish, and surrounding tissues can become painful to the touch. Your dog might begin to limp or refuse to bear weight on the limb.
If frostbite is suspected, saving as much tissue as possible will depend on how quickly you can get to a veterinarian. This is extremely important and will likely end in some form of amputation if too much tissue dies.
Do not attempt to wash or rub these areas. You can try slowly warming the area by running warm water over it, but again, your first step should be contacting a veterinarian (Hunter, Tammy. DVM.).
In some cases, you want to use dog clippers to trim the fur that gets especially muddy.
Dog Paw Cleaner Review
What dog paw cleaning article would be complete without a list of recommended paw cleaners? We’ve specifically selected several high-quality dog paw cleaners below for all of those muddy problems!
Sized perfectly for medium dogs, this dog paw cleaner is created with non-slip, water-resistant material for intense durability. On top of cleaning dog paws, you can use this for bathing and grooming alike!
The effective, gentle silicone brush helps remove any dirt or debris from dirty dog paws. Though it is made best for medium breeds, the CHOOSEEN dog paw cleaner is suitable for dogs of any size!
- Separate silicone lid
- 12-side polygonal cylinder
- 360 all-around cleaning
- Bonus towel included
- Easy to remove, risible brush
- Money-back guarantee
- The product description is written in poor English
Offering both a paw pusher and grooming brush in one, softer silicone bristles help dislodge stubborn dirt and debris from your dog’s paws while supplying a superior clean your pup will love. If that weren’t enough, high-quality bristles are specifically designed never to harm your dog’s paw pads!
- ‘Paw pusher’ and grooming brush
- Silicone bristles
- Available in ‘Baby pink or blue’
- Able to use with dogs and cats
- Available in either large or small sizes
- No guarantee
Unique compared to the others here. You’ll have a tough time finding a better or easier to use dog brush! This is both a shampoo dispenser and dog bathing brush, easily able to get well beyond those regular dog brushes. With this, you can easily handle both those dirty paw pads and general bathing tasks like a pro!
- Dog bathing brush & shampoo dispenser
- Soft silicone material
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Dispenses all kinds of liquids used
- Gentle with dog’s paws
- 2.7fl.oz/80ml capacity
- Liquid not included
An advanced yet gentle, waterless dog paw cleaner will leave your dog’s paws not just clean but soft and moisturized at the same time! A built-in head-brush pump makes cleaning a breeze, while that plant-based solution itself contains vitamin E to keep those dirty dog paws moisturized and healthy.
- Waterless paw cleaner
- Built-in brush-head pump
- Foaming paw wash
- Made in the USA
- Contains Vitamin E and Aloe Vera
- alcohol and fragrance-free
- No money-back guarantee
- Citrus- Mint
Offering an alternative to these other standard designs, a long and soft brush will provide a complete clean all over those muddy dog paws. On top of that, you are given a unique, bristled brush-type towel to better knock out any extra dirt or debris stuck in between those toes.
The towel you’re provided isn’t just unique. It’s easily cleanable and machine washable!
- Uniquely shaped towel with bristles
- Designed for medium breeds
- Absorbent towel made from microfibers
- Simple design, easy to use
- The towel is machine washable.
- No money-back guarantee
Not only are they very effective for dogs with allergies, but these dog paw wipes will also easily knock out any dirt, grime, road salt, or anything else on those paw pads. Containing Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, and Aloe, they will also help moisturize your dog’s dirty paw pads at the same time. The wipes themselves are large and easily encompass your pet’s entire paw pad.
If all of that wasn’t enough, these paw wipes for dogs are made with natural ingredients right in the USA and don’t contain any of the harmful metals many products made elsewhere do!
- Made in the USA
- Contains natural products
- Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, and Aloe
- Large size for any dog breed
- Gentle wipes
- Money-back guarantee
- Contains vitamin E
- Moisturizes well
- Can cause health problems if consumed
- Keep out of reach of young children.
100% all-natural ingredients combine to provide a hypoallergenic balm, oil-rich to keep those sensitive dog paws clean and moisturized. This dog paw pad cleaner is especially unique because it wasn’t created just by any dog enthusiast, but by a skilled veterinarian with many years in the field!
Unlike many other dog paw pad cleaners here, balms like this one are meant to continuously provide a moisturizing effect after the paws themselves have been wiped down and cleaned.
- 100% all-natural
- Formulated by veterinarian
- Made in the USA
- Money-back guarantee
- Meant for moisturizing, not cleaning
This shampoo container utilizes a brush to clean your dog’s paws, unlike some of the other suggested alternative treatments here. You only need to squeeze the bottle and won’t have to assemble anything! Silicone bristles are soothing and comfortable, creating a pleasant cleaning experience!
- Silicone Grooming Brush
- Soft, gentle bristles
- 100% non-toxic
- Waterless cleaning shampoo
- Created for all sizes
- All-natural ingredients
- No directions to refill solution
These environmentally friendly wipes offer another fantastic paw pad cleaning alternative and help eliminate pet odor as well! They are anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Utilizing Chlorine Dioxide (used to sanitize drinking water), these dog paw wipes may possibly offer the best ‘clean’ of any product on our list!
- Eliminate pet odor
- Chlorine Dioxide
- Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal
- Wipes are hypoallergenic
- Exceeding recommended dosages can become dangerous (don’t drink)
Prepare Your Pup this Winter with a Dog Paw Cleaner
Both you and your four-legged friend are ready for the cold winter months to come, now that you know what to look out for while having achieved a firm grasp of both the dangers of dog paw injuries and solid cleaning techniques! The information concerning paw injuries above is just as useful during the summer months, and any of this can be helpful no matter what part of the world you live in.
Sometimes it’s the simple mistakes or light signs we overlook that cause the most harm, like a dog persistently licking at a slightly discolored paw. If it isn’t bleeding, very few dog parents would even consider something like frostbite!
One more thing that may make your life easier during the wet and muddy seasons is a waterproof dog bed. Durable and easy to clean.
Cover image Alan Levine