It never fails. You spend hours sweeping, mopping and vacuuming, then seconds after you’re done, your dog tracks muddy pawprints all over your floors. It’s infuriating — especially since you can’t stay mad at that face.
You can avoid the situation entirely with a paw washer and cleaner, though. You simply stick your dog’s feet in one of these devices and rinse off his paws; all it takes is a few seconds and you have spotless puppy feet running through your house.
However, some are more trouble than they’re worth. In the reviews below, we’ll show you which cleaners we feel are worth spending money on, as well as which ones are better off left in the junk pile.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 9 Best Dog Paw Cleaners – 2020
1. Paw Plunger Portable Dog Paw Cleaner – Best Overall
Although you may mistake it for an oversized coffee mug, the Paw Plunger is actually an excellent tool for keeping your pup’s paws clean and shiny. All you have to do is add a little soap, some water, and at least one puppy paw.
The handle on the side is extremely useful, and in more ways than one. Not only does it enable you to carry the thing around with ease, but it also gives you a nice grip when it’s time to actually use it — and you’ll need all the leverage you can get if you have a skittish dog.
Another easily-overlooked feature is the lid. You can pop that sucker on after you’re done washing up, and then you can toss the whole thing in your car or backpack and not have to worry about muddy water getting everywhere. It’s not high-tech, but it is a little bit of genius.
The bristles are soft and gentle on paws, but they offer enough resistance to knock off any dirt or grime that’s stuck to your pup’s fur. It comes in three sizes as well, so you can find one that gives your pooch plenty of room without it being too big to do any good.
If there’s one thing we would change about the Paw Plunger, it’s the fact that it’s so bulky. While that gives you more to hold onto while you’re working, it definitely takes up a lot of space.
That’s not much of a downside, though, and it’s certainly not enough to keep the Paw Plunger from earning our gold medal.
2. Dexas MudBuster Dog Paw Cleaner – Best Value
If the Paw Plunger is a big mug, the Dexas MudBuster is like a tall cup. As a result, it’s more unobtrusive, but it’s a little bit harder to maneuver, especially if you have soapy hands and a wriggly pup to deal with.
The design is simple, as it’s a plastic cup with silicone bristles wrapped inside, and a plastic ring holding everything in place. You can easily break it down to clean it, which also cuts down on smells.
Despite the simplicity, it’s extremely effective. All you have to do is plunge it over your mutt’s paws a few times. It doesn’t take a lot of elbow grease, either, as the bristles do all the work for you.
In addition to being effective, it’s also cost-effective, as it’s one of the least-expensive models on the market. In fact, we consider it the best dog paw cleaner for the money.
Its biggest drawback besides the lack of a handle is the fact that it’s not very deep, so it will only clean up to about the ankle or so.
While that’s not ideal, it’s also not enough to knock this cleaner down more than a single spot, which is why it lives at #2 here.
If you’re absolutely fanatical about keeping your carpet clean, you may want to reconsider getting a dog. If you’re fanatical about clean carpets and unwilling to take Fido to the pound, you’ll probably have to spring for the Villke Electric.
It’s not cheap, and using an electric paw cleaner is probably overkill. However, it’s extremely effective, and actually cleans your dog’s paws on a microbial level, thanks to its anti-bacterial light.
Other than the light, this is basically a machine that does the work of swishing the bristles for you. It may not be worth the added cost to save a few seconds of effort, but you may also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing the job is being done right.
The machine can turn the bristles 260 times a minute, which is a pace you probably can’t hold for long. Despite that, it’s remarkable gentle, and your dog shouldn’t feel any discomfort (if you can convince him to use it, that is).
Ultimately, the Villke Electric is probably a very unnecessary contraption. That doesn’t mean it’s not capable of doing the job it’s built for, though, and it does it well enough to earn a spot in our top three.
4. PETRIBE Portable Dog Paw Cleaner
You don’t need any water at all to run the PETRIBE Portable, as it comes with its own bottle of waterless paw shampoo. That makes it one of the least-messy options on this entire list.
Despite its cleanliness, it’s still a remarkably effective cleaner. The brush has firm-yet-forgiving bristles that do a good job of working their way in between your dog’s toes, helping to clear out all sorts of dirt and debris. You will have to do more work with this device than others, however.
The pump is very well-made and responsive, so you should get a nice dollop of shampoo with every press. The shampoo has a very distinctive odor that you’ll either love or hate, but either way, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to ignore it.
Since your dog won’t actually put his paw inside this thing, it’s suitable for breeds of all sizes (but it may take forever to clean off a Great Dane foot). It’s easy to stash in your car or travel bag, too, making it painless to travel with.
While it may not be as hands-off as other washers on this list, the PETRIBE Portable is a fine product that’s worth adding to your grooming rotation.
5. Anipaw 2-in-1 Silicone Dog Paw Washer
Your pooch will probably love it when he sees you take out the Anipaw 2-in-1, as it provides a soothing massage disguised as a grooming session.
The silicone bristle pad is removable, and many dogs enjoy laying on it or being massaged with it (they also enjoy chewing it up, though, so be careful). Once they see how good it feels, they’ll be much less likely to fight you when it’s time for a quick touch-up.
The manufacturer throws a free towel in with the washer, which is perfect for drying your pup’s feet. You can also use it to give him something to stand on with all the paws you haven’t gotten to yet.
The towel is very small, though, so don’t expect it to offer much protection. The washer also doesn’t hold much water, so whatever liquid you put in there will get dirty and disgusting after the first paw. You then have to choose between replacing the water every time or washing with gross liquid.
The other issue we have with it is the fact that the lid doesn’t screw on very well. If you have an overeager pup, it won’t be unusual for him to pull the whole brush out with every paw.
None of that is enough to be a deal-breaker, but those little annoyances add up to knock the Anipaw 2-in-1 down a few spots here.
6. Pawley & Woof Dog Paw Washer
You get more than just a plunger to clean your dog’s feet with this set from Pawley & Woof — you get a whole cleaning system.
The washer is a basic cleaning cup that you fill with soap and water. Once you’re done cleaning his paws, you can use the included towel glove to dry him off. The rest of the set includes a travel water bottle, a mesh travel bag, and a doggie seatbelt.
While all that other gear is a nice touch, it’s all fairly irrelevant to the problem of cleaning a dog’s paws. And to that end, the plunger is…fine. It’s not bad, but it’s also nothing special, and the lack of a lid can cause a real mess if you’re not careful.
The towel is the real superstar here, and it’s almost worth buying the kit just to get the towel. It fits well and absorbs quite a bit of liquid without also trapping odors.
While we appreciate all the gear you get with this kit from Pawley & Woof, most of it is unnecessary, and the most important piece feels like an afterthought. Until they improve that, they shouldn’t expect to move up much on these rankings.
7. MASTERPETZ Portable 2 in 1 Dog Paw Cleaner
The MASTERPETZ Portable is completely collapsible, so you can easily stash it in a glove compartment for cleaning up after a trip to the dog park. You can also turn it inside-out so that the bristles are on the exterior, making it easy to round up stray gunk or simply to massage your dog.
In addition to the washer, you also get a microfiber towel to help soak up any leftover water once bath time is over. Both the towel and washer are easy to keep clean between uses.
They’re also massive, so if you have a toy breed, you might worry about him falling inside the cup. The towel takes up a lot of space, too, so you may want to go with something less bulky.
The big hole in the side was probably put there so you could loop it to your belt for walks, but its ultimate purpose seems to be ensuring that water splashes on you while you use it. It’s also a great way to snag your dog’s dewclaw if you’re not careful (so be careful).
The MASTERPETZ Portable definitely has its charms, but it has its fair share of shortcomings, too. Until those are addressed, the bottom half of this list feels like a good place for it.
8. Idepet Cup Dog Paw Cleaner
The Idepet Cup is another 2-in-1 solution, but this one has quite a few kinks that need to be worked out before it’s worthy of a full-throated recommendation.
The rounded bottom is the biggest issue by far. If you try to set it down while it has water in it, it will tip over — and please believe us when we say that’s incredibly annoying.
Even if you could put it down, it’s so collapsible that it would easily fold over on itself. That makes it messy to hold while you use it, so there’s no way around the fact that you’re going to get wet.
The bristles are very short, too, and any mud that gets deep between your mutt’s toes is likely to stay there, especially if he’s a larger breed.
The good news about the round bottom is that it enables the cup to conform to your pooch’s entire paw, but that’s hardly enough to warrant ranking the Idepet any higher than 8th on this list.
9. SKI Innovations Paw Boss Wash
The SKI Innovations Paw Boss is designed to be given a permanent place in your home, like by the back door, as it’s too large and bulky to transport easily. It has separate reservoirs for dirty and clean water, letting you wash up to eight paws at a time before you need to change out the liquid.
It’s a neat idea, but the execution is lacking. The bottom isn’t completely flat, so if your dog presses down with all his weight, he can easily tip it over or cause water to slosh out. The paw hole is very tight and shallow, too, so anything bigger than a toy breed will have trouble getting their feet in and out (and that can cause many dogs to panic).
Once all the water is dirty, it’s incredibly difficult to completely drain it, and you’ll likely have to settle for leaving a little bit inside. And forget about trying to clean the washer itself — it’s pretty much impossible to get mud out of every nook and cranny.
We definitely like the idea of setting up a permanent paw-washing station and having separate water reservoirs is a nice touch. Until they fix all the other flaws with the SKI Innovations Paw Boss, though, this machine won’t be worth your time or money.
The Paw Plunger has a built-in handle that makes it easy to transport and use. It may sound simple, but it’s something as small as that which separates it from the competition (the fact that it comes in three sizes and has a lid to prevent messes doesn’t hurt, either).
While we would never argue that a paw cleaner is an essential item, they’re undoubtedly convenient — provided you get the right one, that is. Hopefully, these reviews have made it possible for you to do just that, and you’ll soon be enjoying clean puppy feet in your home and car.
Then again, there is something unbelievably adorable about the sight of a muddy puppy pawprint…
Featured Image: Paw Boss Wash for Dogs/SKI Innovations, Amazon
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 9 Best Dog Paw Cleaners – 2020
- 1. Paw Plunger Portable Dog Paw Cleaner – Best Overall
- 2. Dexas MudBuster Dog Paw Cleaner – Best Value
- 3. Villke Electric Pet Paw Cleaner – Premium Choice
- 4. PETRIBE Portable Dog Paw Cleaner
- 5. Anipaw 2-in-1 Silicone Dog Paw Washer
- 6. Pawley & Woof Dog Paw Washer
- 7. MASTERPETZ Portable 2 in 1 Dog Paw Cleaner
- 8. Idepet Cup Dog Paw Cleaner
- 9. SKI Innovations Paw Boss Wash