The best dog paw cleaner
You love your dog but you don't love all the muddy paw prints she trails through your house and over your car seats. With a dog paw cleaner, it's as simple as filling the reservoir with water, popping each paw in, and twisting the cup around a little -- then your floors will be safe from muddy paws.
Keep reading for more information on dog paw cleaners and our recommendations. Our number one pick is the Dexas MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner. Not only is it sturdy and easy to use, but also both the cup and bristles are dishwasher safe.
Considerations when choosing dog paw cleaners
Silicone bristles are the most common option in dog paw cleaners. They're extremely soft and flexible, so they won't scratch your dog's paws or make them feel uncomfortable. They're also extremely easy to clean. The downside is that they don't work deep into longer fur, so some mud may get missed.
You'll also find dog paw cleaners with finer, denser brush-like bristles. These are better at getting through long fur, so they generally provide a deeper clean for medium-and long-coated dogs. They should also feel soft to the touch so as not to cause your dog discomfort. These types of bristles are harder to clean, however.
It's vital you choose a dog paw cleaner that's large enough to fit your dog's paws. If it's too small, your pooch's paws simply won't fit through the opening, rendering the paw cleaner useless. On the other hand, the bristles in a too-large paw cleaner might not reach your dog's paws to clean them effectively. Also consider the exterior size of your chosen paw cleaner, particularly if you plan to take it on hikes or generally use it out and about.
Some dog paw cleaners can be disassembled, which makes it easier to clean the individual components, such as the bristles and the interior of the cup. Once taken apart, some pieces of a dog paw cleaner may even be dishwasher safe but check first. If you can't disassemble your chosen paw cleaner, you'll only be able to rinse it out. You may, however, be able to pour boiling water inside to sanitize it, but this can damage some materials, so check the instructions before going ahead.
Dog paw cleaners sometimes come with lids. Occasionally, these lids are completely watertight, so you can fill the reservoir ahead of time to take with you on walks.
It can be tough to wrangle your dog while also attempting to plunge her paws into a paw cleaner. When a dog paw cleaner has a handle, it's a little easier to keep hold of.
Sure, it's not the most important feature of a dog paw cleaner, but if your chosen model is available in several colors, it makes sense to choose the color you like best.
You can find small, basic dog paw cleaners for as little as $10, but high-end options cost around $20 to $30.
Q. Can I get my dog's paws clean with water alone?
A. Yes, absolutely. It's most effective when the mud is wet, but a quick dip and twist in a dog paw cleaner should remove all mud. We'd recommend drying your dog's paws afterward to remove any last remnants of mud or dirty water. Of course, you could add a small amount of canine shampoo to the reservoir to remove stubborn stains then rinse your dog's paws afterward, but you shouldn't need to do so.
Q. Can I clean all four paws with the same water?
A. For the most part, yes. However, when your dog has extremely muddy paws, you may find it necessary to empty and refill the reservoir after every paw or two.
Dog paw cleaners we recommend
Best of the best: Dexas' MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner
Our take: A rugged dog paw cleaner that's safe to clean on the top rack of the dishwasher.
What we like: Available in three sizes and colors. Soft silicone bristles clean paws effectively. BPA-free.
What we dislike: Sizes run a little small.
Best bang for your buck: Anipaw Dog Paw Cleaner
Our take: This basic paw cleaner is affordably priced but isn't as durable as high-end models.
What we like: Features a hanging strap for easier storage. Includes a bonus towel for drying your dog's paws after cleaning. Silicone bristles are gentle on paws.
What we dislike: One size only.
Choice 3: Paw Plunger for Dogs
Our take: Thanks to its fine bristles, this option more effectively cleans longer-coated dogs (though it works on short coats, too).
What we like: Includes a lid so may be filled in advance. Wide opening suits large paws, but smaller sizes are also available.
What we dislike: Bulkier than other similar options.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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