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Muddy & Dirty Dog Paws: 15 Effective Ways To Deal With Them

Written by: Cassidy Sutton

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

A happy dog in mud.

Muddy & Dirty Dog Paws: 15 Effective Ways To Deal With Them

Muddy days are the worst. The floors and furniture are streaked with muck and it seems impossible to keep up with unless you barricade everyone inside until the mud dries. But what can you do? The dog has to go potty at some point.

Actually, there are a lot of things you can do. Fifteen in fact. We’re explaining each one in this post. By the end, you’ll feel much more at ease and your home will be cleaner in no time.

But first, let’s briefly discuss one important element: paw touching.

dogster paw divider

Condition Your Dog to Paw Touching

Many dogs don’t care for people touching their paws, so cleaning them (and the rest of your house) becomes challenging.

During puppyhood, it’s wise to handle your dog’s feet so he becomes accustomed to having his paws touched. Adult dogs will need more time since they’re more set in their ways, but even an old dog can learn new tricks. Use treats, encouragement, positive reinforcement, and the key: repetition.

The 15 Ways To Deal With Muddy & Dirty Paws

1. Use potty pads

dog smelling diaper on the floor
Image Crediut: pets and foods, Shutterstock

Potty pads aren’t just for potty accidents. They’re great temporary rugs, soaking up most of the water and mud before reaching the carpet. Many come with sticky sides so you can press them into the floor to prevent sliding.

2. Try dog booties

Dog booties protect your dog’s feet and keep the mud outside the house. There’s no cleanup, either. Simply take the booties off and set aside until the next potty break. The trick is getting your pup used to wearing booties!

3. A good old-fashioned wipe down, with wipes

woman wiping dog paw
Image Credit: Alena Lom, Shutterstock

Non-toxic baby wipes—or pet wipes—clean messes quickly and efficiently. You don’t need any mops, baths, or buckets. Plus, you can take them to the dog park. We’re big fans of Hepper’s Wash Wipes, which are great for deep cleaning between paw pads.

4. Pet shampoo

A simple water bottle and pet shampoo can do the job in no time while giving your dog a deep cleanse between the paw pads. Plus, you can wash other areas on your dog if needed, like the underbelly.
Our favorite shampoo:

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
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At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!

5. Try dog socks

dog wearing socks
Image Credit: RaffMaster, Shutterstock

If you don’t want to deal with wipes and shampoo, try dog socks. They’re cozy and keep muddy paws off of the furniture so you won’t have to deal with furniture covers either. Plus, they’re adorable!

6. Cover the furniture

It’s not particularly stylish, but do yourself a favor and cover the furniture with an old sheet or furniture cover. A sheet is much easier to wash than a couch or chair. Do this before you let your dog outside, otherwise he might run and jump on the furniture when he comes back inside.

7. Set up a mudroom

dog with dirty paws
Image Credit: Thicha6327, Shutterstock

A mudroom is an additional entrance where you can shed boots, coats, bags, and additional dirt-ridden items. Mudrooms don’t have to be entire structures, either. Many people turn a part of their garage into a mudroom. It sure comes in handy when you’re dealing with dirt-filled paws and crusty fur.

8. Make a dog wash station

If a mudroom isn’t ideal, try a dog wash station instead. Dog wash stations don’t have to be fancy. A simple hose and towel will do. Whatever gets the pooch clean!

9. Carry a microfiber cloth

woman cleaning dog paw
Image Credit: algae, Shutterstock

Microfiber cloths absorb more dirt and use less water and chemicals to clean the affected area. With a tiny squirt bottle, you can get those toe beans squeaky clean, at home or the dog park.

10. Use wax

Originally for musher dogs in the Iditarod, paw wax helps keep paws soft, hydrated, and protected from ice. It’ll also protect paws from salt irritation. Plus, wiping mud off with soft paws is much easier than digging it out of dry, cracked skin.

11. Try a MudBuster

owner washes dog dirty paw
Image Credit: algae, Shutterstock

The MudBuster is a portable dog paw cleaner. It acts like a washing machine but for your dog’s paws and is about the size of a to-go cup of coffee. Simply place your dog’s paws inside the cup and the gentle silicone bristles scrub away the dirt. Dog owners swear by it, and it will save you money in the long run.

12. Have dog towels ready to go

Have some old towels ready to go when you walk inside. That way your dog doesn’t run away tracking mud throughout the house.

13. Trim the fur around the paws

person trimming dog's paw
Image Credit: BY-_-BY, Shutterstock

Mud likes to stick to everything, especially fur and carpet. To make the job easier, trim the excess fur around your dog’s paws.

14. Try the Doggie Lawn

How about skipping the outside potty breaks and bringing the outdoors to your dog? The Doggie Lawn uses pesticide-free fresh grass to offer dogs an indoor potty area with the outdoor experience. It’s great for apartments and busy owners, but it’s also great for bad weather and muddy days.

15. Address the mud

man paving garden path
Image Credit: Virrage Images, Shuttersrock

Don’t stress over your dog’s muddy paws—go to the source. Build a path, or add rocks or wood chips to the ground to cover the mud. You can even use outdoor rugs to temporarily cover the mud zone.

dogster paw divider

Pro Cleaning Tips for Muddy Floors

One of the worst things about cleaning floors? It takes way too long. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Combined with our tips above, cleaning floors can take as little as two minutes with these helpful habits:

  • Use a Swiffer or electric mop for easy access
  • Have a mop bucket ready to go
  • Use a squirt bottle with floor cleaner in it for quick clean-up jobs
  • Sweep first, then mop
  • On the carpet, let the mud dry first before cleaning. Vacuum first, then blot with a damp rag. DON’T SCRUB.
  • Invest in a steam cleaner

dogster paw divider


Muddy floors, dirt streaks on the couch, crunchy mud pieces in the carpet- these are all the unfortunate truths of rainy days for dog owners. Dealing with muddy paws is a pain in the rear. It’s a never-ending chore for some and it seems to multiply all over the house. But you don’t have to let it take over your home.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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