- Alicia Betz/Business Insider
- It’s important to clean dogs’ paws to avoid parasites, infections, allergies, and more. For dogs who are sensitive to handling, this can be a stressful process.
- The MudBuster is a cup lined with soft silicone bristles that makes cleaning my dog’s paws easier and more efficient. It’s available in three sizes and colors with prices starting at $11.99.
- I use the MudBuster to clean my dog’s paws after winter walks through salt and de-icing chemicals, after playtime in the yard, and to regularly rinse his feet to help keep his allergies at bay.
If your dogs are anything like mine, they hate having their paws touched. When my German shepherd Silas comes in from playing in our perpetually muddy yard, he becomes very anxious and hangs his head low as I clean off his muddy paws.
In the past, cleaning his paws meant dirtying towel after towel as I tried to wrangle him. Now that we have a Dexas MudBuster Gentle Paw Washer, cleaning his paws is so much easier – for him and for me.
Other than the fact that it’s important for my floors that Silas’ paws stay clean, it’s important for him as well. “Dog paws can be magnets for intestinal parasites, viruses, and other little nasties as they play in the dog park or even just walk through a field, the yard, or any place dogs [go to the bathroom]. This can lead to an intestinal infection with worms or even parvo when they lick or chew their paws. What better reason to wash your dogs’ paws regularly,” Dr. Jason Nicholas, BVMS, of Preventative Vet told Insider Picks.
In Silas’ case, he is prone to allergies, especially in the summer and fall, and regularly cleaning his paws is our best defense against them. It also saves us from buying costly allergy medication. Dr. Nichols also emphasized the importance of clean paws for dogs with allergies like Silas. “Keeping them clean can decrease the allergen load, which can irritate the skin or even be ingested by licking or chewing on their paws,” he said.
With the MudBuster, I’m more likely to clean Silas’ paws, and it gets his paws cleaner than I get them with a towel.
How the MudBuster works
The MudBuster looks like a cup but has soft silicone bristles inside to gently clean a dog’s paws. When you’re ready to use it, fill it with warm or cool water. Then, put your dog’s paws in the MudBuster one at a time, gently twisting the container and moving it up and down.
Every dog will react to this product differently, so it’s a good idea to introduce it to them without water in case they try to kick it off. It’s also worth noting that there are techniques for making your dog more comfortable being handled. Silas hates to have his paws touched, but he tolerates the MudBuster pretty well.
If you’re dealing with extremely dirty paws, you’ll want to change out the water between paws, or clean all four and then do a second pass with clean water. If your dog stands on a towel while you’re cleaning their paws, you’ll barely even need to dry them when you’re done.
When you’re finished, just dump out the dirty water and rinse the MudBuster with clean water. If your dog’s paws were especially dirty or you’ve been using the MudBuster for a while, you can also take it apart to clean it more thoroughly. Simply take off the lid, pull the silicone bristles out, and clean each piece with soap and water.
The MudBuster isn’t only for cleaning muddy paws. When we take Silas on walks in the winter, the roads and sidewalks are always covered with salt and de-icing chemicals, which dry his pads out. We’ve even dealt with cracked and bleeding paw pads in the past (read more about how to care for dry and cracked paw pads here). Now, we always use the MudBuster after winter walks.
The MudBuster comes in three sizes. Silas is a 95-pound German shepherd, and we use the large size for him. MudBuster recommends the medium for medium breeds such as Australian shepherds, boxers, and English bulldogs, and the small for breeds like dachshunds, Pomeranians, and Yorkies. All three sizes are available in blue, green, or pink.
The MudBuster has made paw cleaning less stressful for me and my dog
The MudBuster never ceases to amaze me, first and most importantly because Silas actually lets me clean his feet with it. When I used to clean his feet with a towel, he jerked and squirmed, and corralling a 95-pound dog isn’t easy.
Now that I use the MudBuster, I can still tell that Silas isn’t completely comfortable, but he doesn’t try to wrestle away from me. It makes coming in from outside less stressful for both of us.
The other way the MudBuster amazes me is simply how well it works. Even when I don’t think his paws are that dirty, the water is always very brown, and there’s often sediment left at the bottom of the container.
The bottom line
If you have a dog that likes to spend time outside, the MudBuster is a worthwhile investment. Even if your dog doesn’t mind having their paws touched, this product still makes cleaning them easier and does a better job than a damp cloth.
As Dr. Nichols said, neglecting your dog’s paws leaves them vulnerable to parasites, viruses, damage from foreign objects, and more. By keeping their paws clean, you’re also protecting your family and keeping your home clean. If this is something you struggle to keep up with, the MudBuster will make this arduous task easier and more convenient.