How to Clean Muddy Dog Paws Before Coming In

Clean paws lead to a clean floor.
i grey dog feet image by Paul Retherford from

The bigger the paws, the more mud your pup will sling through the house after a rainstorm. While paw cleaning might not be on your dog's list of enjoyable activities, it keeps your floors and furniture nice and clean. Treats make the process a bit more tolerable for your pup.

Step 1

Fill a bucket with lukewarm water. Any size bucket will do, but a larger bucket means less trips to the sink to dump it out and refill it. Throw an old rag in the bucket after its filled, and drop four tiny treats in your pocket. Bring a dry rag with you too.

Step 2

Greet your pup outside on a landing or deck. If you have grass immediately outside your door or only steps leading up to your door, place an absorbent mat inside your entryway and let your dog inside. It's dangerous to clean his feet on stairs, and wiping his paws clean while he's sitting on the muddy ground won't help anything.

Step 3

Tell your dog to sit or lie down. Sitting is best for pups who sit in peculiar ways with their back feet nearly off the ground or readily accessible, like German shepherds who sit way back on their haunches. For dogs whose back feet are glued to the ground when they sit, it's better to ask them to lie down.

Step 4

Ring out the soaked rag, and lift one of your dog's front feet. Wrap his little paw in the rag, and begin gently scrubbing his foot. Talk to him the entire time to reassure him that everything is fine and dandy. Wet the rag and ring it out again after it becomes covered in mud.

Step 5

After about 15 seconds, unwrap his paw and run the rag in between his paw pads, then in between his nails. Dirt often sneaks in between the pads and goes unnoticed during cleanings. If mud's allowed to stay in between your little guy's nails, it will harden and make it difficult to determine the location of the quick when you trim his nails.

Step 6

Inspect the paw once you're done cleaning to make sure you didn't miss anything, and then wipe it dry with a dry rag. Give your dog a treat, pet him and tell him how good he is. Then move on to the next front paw and then the back ones.

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