How to Wash Muddy and Dirty Dog Paws

If you have dogs, battling with dirty dog paws is probably not one of your favorite activities.  You know you don't want all that dirt and grime in your house.  Here, we show you how we like to wash Cody and Sierra's paws.  It takes a little time and effort but it's well worth it in the end.

With all the extra time you are NOT wiping muddy paw prints off your floors and furniture you can sit and read that great novel you started.  Or maybe take a nap.

When Cody and Sierra come inside after playing outside, their dog paws can be pretty filthy.    We say, “Wash your feet!” in a happy voice  and they know to come in and not go beyond the small area just inside the back door.

dog washing

You don't need to buy any special gadget to wash muddy dog paws.  Gather the following materials:

-A “tall” transparent plastic Starbucks cup or other large cup, like Royal Farms.  For a very large dog you might need a “grande” or “vente” cup.  (Of course opaque cups are fine too…I just like to see how dirty the water is getting)

Two plastic painters buckets: one for the clean warm water and one for the dirty water.

Microfiber cloths: which can be easily handwashed after every use.  You can use regular towels or washcloths too, but these work better.  We got ours at Home Depot but these from Amazon should work fine.

Note: We buy full size and we cut them into smaller washcloth sizes.

Dog Treats:  Optional but highly recommended.  We like to tell our dogs, “Wash your feet, get a treat!” (We store our dog treats in little wild rice containers in case you didn't notice.)

Step 1 – Fill Buckets with Water

Fill one bucket with warm clean water. (See red bucket)  Put the warm water bucket next to the empty dirty water bucket (yellow) and grab the plastic cup.

Step 2 – Fill the Plastic Cup

Fill the plastic cup up to the top line (about 2/3 full).

Step 3 – Dip Dirty Dog Paws

With a calm, happy voice pick up your dog's paw (we like to start with the front paws) and dip her or his dog paw into the warm water.  Remember the water should be warm and not really hot or it will be uncomfortable for your dog.

Hold your dog's paw just above the joint of her foot and tilt the cup at an angle if necessary.

Step 4 – Massage the Paws

Now your dog paws get a massage. Only if dogs could massage our feet. 🙂

Gently massage the dirt off her dog feet while it is dipped in the plastic cup. This helps release more dirt rather than just dipping it. You will definitely notice a difference and depending on how dirty your dog's feet are you might need to repeat doing this 2-3 times.

Sometimes with dog paws is really muddy and dirty under the claws, so you can gently massage under the claws too.

Step 5 – Empty the Plastic Cup

When the water in the cup gets really dirty pour it into the second (yellow) bucket.

Step 6- Refill

Refill your plastic cup and continue washing since if one dog paws is dirty your still have three others that are. We usually like to do other front paw, then both back paws as these are harder.

Remember to praise lavishly and give your dog some treats during the washing process.  Handle her or his dog paws gently and carefully.

For extremely muddy paws, do all four paws a second time.  You'll know when you've done enough when the water in the plastic cup is pretty clean after dipping and washing the dog paws.

Step 7 – Wipe Your Dog's Feet

Wipe your dog's feet off with the Quickie microfiber cloths. We use small washcloth sized ones which makes drying and wiping the feet easier.

Voila! You are all done and hopefully should have clean dog feet that won't track dirty and mud into the house. The dogs paws at this point might still be wet bu Iif the floor gets wet we use larger cloths and just wipe the floor with our feet.

Step 8 – Muddy Water Disposal

Your not quite done, as you still have a bucket of dirty water. Pour the dirty water into the kitchen drain carefully into the drain so it doesn't splash everywhere. Alternatively you can use a bathroom toilet and make sure to flush after you've poured in down. Probably the best used of the dirty water though is on any plants in your yard, if you have any plants. They don't mind dirty water since they live in dirt.

After you are finished washing your dogs' paws you can take one of the empty buckets and hand wash the dirty microfiber cloths with this Washboard you can use in a sink. You will need a bucket to clean the washcloths in with the washboard.  Once in awhile we will throw them into the washing machine if there are enough dirty clothes but handwashing is ideal for one or two clothes.

Wring them out, hang to dry, and you and your dog are READY for your next Muddy-Dog-Paw Adventure.

Hope you find this post useful and helpful.  If you did please leave a comment below and let us know.  If you have any other suggestions and tips for cleaning and washing muddy and dirty dog paws please share with the community.

4 thoughts on “How to Wash Muddy and Dirty Dog Paws”

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I tried it and my puppy was very cooperative! She did not mind putting her paw in a small plastic glass where she has resisted putting it in a basin or bucket. Loved the microfiber cloth vs traditional towels. She did not try to chew it and they clean up and dry so quickly!

  2. Amazing post! Very informative!
    Thanks so much for sharing, I look forward to reading your future posts!

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