How to Clean Dog Paws and Feet After a Walk

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Going for a walk with your pet is always a good way to exercise. But, pets rarely stay on the path and are magnets to puddles and mud. Take a look at these methods and products that can help when you are learning how to clean dog paws after a walk.

​How to Clean Dog Paws After a Walk

The most basic method you can use to clean dog paws after a walk is the tried and true towel-by-the-door approach. Before you go out walking, set a towel by the front door so you can wipe the paws when you return.

To boost its effectiveness, make your own doggie paw wash with water and Dawn. Fill a spray bottle and spray your dog’s paws, or the towel if they are skittish, and then wipe.

Make sure you are getting between the toes and all around the paw. Dirt and debris can get lodged into your pet’s paws. Believe it or not, this is where most of the dirt is that will eventually work its way off and onto your carpets.

​If your dog will let you, spray the soap into the hard-to-reach areas to help dislodge any gunk.

Obviously, a vacuum ​focused on pet hair will be able to handle the majority of debris and dander that gets dropped. But, you don’t want to have to vacuum every time your pet comes back from a walk. We’ll share three ways to clean their paws to help make your life easier.

​Three Types of Pet Paw Cleaners

​Paw Washes

Paw washes are simply cups that have grooves in them to dunk your pet’s feet in one at a time. Most paw washer cups come in small, medium, and large paw size. You can find your pet’s perfect fit. This could be an issue if your pet does not like their feet being held. To use a paw wash you will:

  • ​Fill the device with water and soap
  • ​Gently take your pup’s paw and dip it in
  • ​Move the paw up and down in the cup
  • ​Pull the paw out and wipe dry with a towel
  • Repeat with each paw

The ​Paw Plunger For Dogs is a portable paw washing cup that offers an ease of use handle on the side. Inside the cup are soft bristles that will wipe away dirt and mud while you dip.

Paw Plunger for Medium Dogs – Portable Dog Paw...
  • DOG FOOT WASHER – the Paw Plunger removes mud, dirt, salt, sand and more from your pet’s paws...
  • THE EVERYDAY MUDDY PAWS CLEANER – this portable pet paw cleaner is designed with you and your fur...
  • HOW TO USE – perfect for a quick paw wash. Add warm water to the top row of bristles and insert a...
  • LET THE PAW CLEANER DO THE WORK – the ultimate in dog gadgets with soft bristles to easily remove...

​Paw Wipes

Just as handy as wet wipes for babies, paw wipes were designed with four legged babies in mind. Regular wet wipes have added ingredients in them that can be harmful to dogs if ingested. While you may not think of that as an issue, usually when dogs have dirty paws and they get wet, they lick their paws to help clean.

Petkin Paw Wipes are strong enough to remove dirt, kill germs, and neutralize odor while being gentle and soothing on dry, cracked paws. These wipes also come with a veterinarian approval.

Petkin Paw Wipes Plus, 100 Orange Scented Wipes -...
  • Petkins Paw Wipes for Dogs and Cats - these premium dog wipes/cat wipes make removing even the...
  • Keep Your Pet's Paws Clean and Healthy - the extra-absorbent pet paw wipes are gentle enough to use...
  • Veterinarian Approved - the easy to use Petkins paw wipes are moistened with aloe, lanolin, vitamin...
  • Safely Remove Daily Dirt and Odor From Your Paw-tner - heavy duty pet grooming wipes enriched with a...

​Microfiber Towel

Stop using your nice towels or old smelly rags on your pet. Instead, opt for a microfiber based body towel like the Soggy Doggy Super Shammy Microfiber Chenille Dog Towel. This towel is super absorbent and soaks up water like a sponge. Dogs love its playful shag appearance and are eager to play with it as you dry them from head to toe.

Soggy Doggy Super Shammy Dog Towel, Washable...
  • Superabsorbent Microfiber Dog Towel — Ditch those ratty dog towels for this ultra-absorbent dog...
  • With Handy Side Pockets for Easy Drying — Who knew drying your dog could be more fun? This shammy...
  • Dries Quickly with No Wet Doggy Smell — Fuss no more about your dog’s soaking wet pet towel...
  • Designed For Long-Term Use — Crafted with durable microfiber chenille, our Soggy Doggy towels for...

​Ways to Keep Paws Cleaner

Even if you don’t go for a walk, take the time to inspect your pet’s paws. Dirt, debris, and small pebbles can become wedged between their toes and cause discomfort. Checking your pet’s paws also keeps you aware of their foot health.

Keep Up On Baths, House Cleaning, & Pest Control

As they say, the first step is prevention. ​Keeping on top of your dog’s hygiene will help to keep the dirt and debris on the paws to a minimum, among other things.

It isn’t uncommon during busy phases of our life to let a pet’s bathing for a little longer than we should. However, that only allows the dirt and dander to build, which makes keeping everything clean that much harder.

​Additionally, a dirty home will only make your pet dirtier. Keep your house cleaned and your dog will stay cleaner.

Lastly, during the warmer months, your dog can and will attract pets such as fleas. Keeping these little mites at bay will help to ensure that they don’t bring more home during their walk. ​If it gets bad, using flea control products can reset things and keep your pet from having to deal with these pests.

​Keep Hair and Nails Trimmed

Long hair will catch and trap excess dirt and other outdoor debris. Cut down on how much of the outside your dog bring inside by keeping hair that grows between the paws trimmed. As a rule of thumb, the hair should be trimmed evenly with the foot pad.

Nails will also trap dirt underneath them when they become too long. Whenever you hear the click clack of toenails across the floor, you know it is time for a nail trim. ​Keeping dog’s nails shor​t makes walking easier and more enjoyable for them.

​Use Pet Footwear

While it can look funny the first time a dog tries on shoes, ​using dog boots or socks are a great way to keep their feet clean and safe. You don’t have to put their shoes on every time they leave the house. Pet shoes can offer protection during harsher conditions such as:

  • ​Hot pavement
  • Cold ice and snow
  • ​Wounded paws
  • Rough environments that need better traction, like hiking

Try on the shoes and make sure they are snug around the ankle without being too tight, have space at the toes, and allow good support. Also make sure there is some wiggle room for dog’s feet to flex inside for better gripping.

daw paws dirty clean wash dog paws after walk


Knowing how to clean dog paws after a walk is great for keeping your pet healthy and your home clean. Try out these products and cleaning methods to pamper your pet after a long walk.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.