Dogs have been an integral part of human society for centuries. Originally used as hunting partners and soldiers' assistants, dogs have made a transition from working tools to dedicated companions and beloved members of the family in many parts of the world.
Many dogs end up with stained paws as they explore and play, and these spots can be pretty unsightly. Plus, those dirty paws can leave stains around your home too. Removing stains from dog paws is not difficult and will make your dog a much more presentable family companion.
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Give your dog a bath
Bathe your dog to remove any grime that might be coating his paws and the rest of his fur too. Wet him with a generous amount of warm water and apply a couple of handfuls of dog shampoo, scrubbing the shampoo deep into his coat.
Paw special attention to your dog's feet. Pick up each foot and lather the shampoo into his paws and in between his toes, taking care to rinse with plenty of warm water to remove all traces of soap. Dry him thoroughly with clean towels to prevent him from getting chilled.
Spot-clean your dog's feet
Soak a cotton ball in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and gently dab the ball onto any stains you see. The peroxide is antibacterial and a natural bleaching agent that will permanently remove any stains. Make sure you only use the peroxide on white fur to prevent discoloration on darker patches of hair.
To avoid bleaching your dog's fur or to clean your dog's paws while on the go, use a pet cleansing wipe, available at pet supply retailers to wipe down the feet. These pre-moistened wipes are safe for use on your dog's delicate skin and will remove stains and odors from the feet. Or, if you can't find pet cleansing wipes, opt for baby wipes or a wet paper towel instead. Use the wipe to thoroughly clean between the toes and all over the fur of the feet, with no rinsing necessary.
Remember, never use chlorine bleach on your dog. Bleach might remove the stain from his fur, but will also burn his skin and cause extreme pain and discomfort.
Wash grass-stained dog feet
Grass-stained dog feet can be as hard to clean as grass-stained clothing. To deal with them without having to give your dog a full bath, place your dog in a bathtub or a large sink with just an inch or two of water. You want enough water to wet his four feet. Apply a few drops of shampoo to the stains on his feet to lighten and remove them.
For white dogs, whitening shampoo is a good option. This is a very potent shampoo that penetrates the hair and draws out stains, making white hair appear much brighter and dark hair cleaner. Wet the area and rub the shampoo in, allowing it to rest for five minutes before rinsing. Thoroughly dry your dog's feet with a towel. To keep the paw pads moist, you can also apply a dog-specific foot balm.
Only use shampoos designed for pets. Many stain removers and cleansers are available but have not been tested on animals. Plus, products for humans may dry out your dog's skin.
Groom the fur of the feet
Trim away any stubborn stains, like ink, from the fur that refuse to wash out. Use a blunt-nosed pair of pet grooming scissors so you won't injure your dog. Clip just a few hairs at a time, taking care not to cut the skin as you remove the stain. Regular grooming of the paws will also make keeping the feet clean easier after walks and hikes.
If the stained fur is very close to the skin, allow it to grow out for a few days before trimming to prevent injuries. Or, use an electric pet hair trimmer to safely trim the hair close to the skin without harming your dog's paws.
- American Kennel Club: 7 Ways to Clean Your Dog’s Paws
- PetGuide.com: 9 Fresh Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Paws Clean
- New Haven Pet Hospital: Smelly Paws? The True Story About Canine “Frito Feet”
- Hill's Pet Nutrition: Cleaning Your Dog's Paws: Tips for Success
- American Kennel Club: How to Prevent Tear Stains on Your Dog’s Face