How to Clean Puppy Feet

Easy
5 - 10 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Your puppy’s feet are either tiny or huge if they are going to hold the weight of a large breed dog one day. Sometimes your little guy doesn't even seem to know how his feet work as they slip and slide across the floor. He probably falls and gets right back up. But most of all, your puppy’s feet visit more of the world than the rest of his body. They walk on dirty ground outdoors in the elements and come inside and walk all over your carpets, his bedding, and maybe even your furniture. Keeping your puppy’s feet cleaned will keep your whole house clean as well as improve his overall cleanliness and health.

Dog's Perspective

Your little pup might not enjoy having his feet wiped every time he comes inside the house, but consider this paw cleaning as an opportunity to check for any injuries on his paw pads or between his toes. Your biggest challenge might be keeping him still long enough to get clean.

The Starting Young Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Examine
Get your puppy used to paw cleaning by doing it often. This way your little guy will be used to being handled and the routine of cleaning his paws after he's been outside playing for much of the day. To get him used to paw cleaning, give him treats every time he comes in and you clean his paws.
Step
2
Rinse
If the weather is nice, use a gardening watering can or a hose to rinse your little guy's paws off while he is still outside. Be sure to have a towel nearby to dry so he doesn’t get anything in the house wet.
Step
3
Wipe off
Use a wet washcloth or wet wipe to wipe down each paw. Be sure to get in between the toes and paw pads. While you are wiping these little feet, inspect them to ensure there are no injuries.
Step
4
Lots of dirt
Have a bowl or a bin nearby, and before your puppy comes inside, fill it with warm water and soap. Use this puppy paw bath to get your pup's paws nice and clean. Be sure you lift each paw one at a time for cleaning while the others soak. It's ideal if you have a washcloth nearby to help get caked-on dirt and mud out from between his toes and paw pads.
Step
5
Dry
No matter how you decide to clean your puppy's paws after he's been outside, be sure to dry them thoroughly with a warm towel. This will help ensure he is not tracking water into your house as well as keep him nice and warm.
Step
6
Treat
Just as with any other grooming task, be sure to end the grooming session with a tasty treat to reward your little guy for getting clean after some fun playtime. Be sure you are wiping your puppy's paws each time he goes outside and cleaning them when they are filthy. Starting your little guy young will help him tolerate this grooming task when he's much older.
Recommend grooming method?

The Bathing Paws Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Warm water
Set up a bin or even a tub with warm water. You don't need to fill it any higher than a few inches to get your pup's paws nice and clean.
Step
2
Set in puppy
Set your puppy into the warm water and let his paws soak. While you're letting dirt soak off of the paws you can give your little guy a tasty treat to pass the time.
Step
3
One paw at a time
Lift each paw after it has been soaking and wash it with dog shampoo, rinsing with the warm water in the tub.
Step
4
Scrub and inspect
Bend the pup's paw at the joint so you can see the bottom of it. Be sure to scrub gently with warm soapy water to remove all of the dirt and debris. While you have your little guy's paw up, inspect it for any cuts, scrapes, and dry paw pads with cracks or injuries.
Step
5
Out of water
Take your little guy out of the water and dry off his paws one at a time. You may consider setting him on a towel so all four paws can drip while you dry one.
Step
6
Reward
Be sure to give your puppy a reward for tolerating a short paw bath. This will set him up for being good and tolerant each time he get those paws dirty.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Some dog owners clean their puppy's feet every time the dog comes back into the house. This is the sure-fire way to keep your house clean and your carpet smelling fresh.
  • Anytime you are cleaning your puppy's feet be sure to inspect them closely for cuts and scrapes.
  • Though you don't have to do your puppy's nails every time you clean his feet, do take advantage of the cleaning and every now and then get those nails trimmed and filed so they aren't snagging and pulling, causing breakage.
  • Also, while you're cleaning your puppy's feet, every so often it might be a good idea to get a pair of scissors and trim the fur between his paw pads and between his toes. 
  • Keep a bin your pup can stand in outdoors for a quick wash each time he goes inside.
  • Keeping wet wipes near the door is a handy way to wipe his paws before coming inside. 
  • You can also consider training your dog to wipe his paws on a mat before he comes indoors. This would require some time and training, but it is something you can teach your dog to do.
  • Teaching your puppy to wipe his paws or tolerate a paw cleaning now will stay with him when he is older.  

Conclusion

Whether you train your puppy to wipe his paws or your clean them yourself, keeping clean paws will help keep your pup's bedding and your home clean. Your little guy might be licking his paws each time he comes inside because of irritants. Wipe those tired paws down at the end of each day or after playtime outside.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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