How to Clean a Puppy's Paws

5 - 10 Minutes
3 Days


Puppies are well known for getting into the messiest of messes. When your hyperactive little pup decides to go for a stroll in a muddy puddle or step right into some roadkill leftovers, it’s important to know how to clean her paws to make sure she doesn’t track the outdoors into the indoors. Knowing how to clean your puppy’s paws will also prevent things like gravel, ice, snow, or dirt from building up in between her toes and causing pain or discomfort. It takes very little time to give her paws a look and a clean, so doing it regularly should become a good habit.

Dog's Perspective

Puppies aren’t very prone to sitting still, especially if yours isn’t used to having her paws touched and rubbed. It can be a little bit annoying to have to stand or sit somewhere and have someone mess with your paws. Your puppy’s patience and attention span may only be so long. Keep this in mind and try not to get frustrated when she bounces and jumps around, thinking you’re playing a game.

Caution & Considerations

  • Offering something tasty like a treat or a toy to chew on may help distract your puppy and keep her from being too uncomfortable. 
  • If necessary, do some exercises and training to get your pup used to having her paws handled in order to keep her from squirming too much. 
  • If the fur around the paws is especially dirty, use a little bit of puppy shampoo on each paw to get it extra clean.
  • Trim your pup’s nails after the paw has been cleaned. A nail that has just been wet can be softer and a little bit easier to clip than one that is dirty and hard. 
  • Try not to clean your puppy’s paws too often or too roughly, as this can irritate the paw pads or get rid of the oils in the fur that helps protect her paws. Clean them only as often as necessary to get rid of large bits of dirt or other debris.
  • Be cautious when handling your puppy’s toes. They can sometimes be fragile, depending on the breed.


Cleaning your puppy’s paws should be a fairly normal thing. It may take some time for her to get used to you handling her paws, but with enough practice, it can help prevent any later discomfort or stress from having debris or dirt stuck to or trapped in between her toes. With enough practice, you make the process quick and easy for both you and your pup.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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