I know many people who think that it’s not essential to wash dog’s paws after each walk unless they are covered in mud.
Well, my pups get a paw wash or rinse as soon as we get indoors. Funnily enough, they love it and often refuse to do anything else until the paws are clean and dry.
I am not a germophobe. But I do have my reasons. And here are the three main ones…
Actual mud and dirt. Even if the paws don’t look soaked in mud, they are still dirty. Having dogs running around the house and sleeping in my bed is the same as me sleeping in my bed with my shoes on. Not particularly hygienic.
Parasites & harmful bacteria. Some larvae, viruses and bacteria that are harmful to dogs can survive in the soil for months and stick to dog’s paws once walked on. If the dog licks his paws afterwards he is at higher risk of ingesting these and developing anything from intestinal parasites to infectious diseases.
Toxic substances. In spring and summer the grass may be covered with pesticide residue that is toxic to dogs and can be lethal. In autumn and winter the path is often sprinkled with salts that can cause irritation, cracked paws and, if the dog licks it off, upset stomach, vomiting and even death.
What about do? Do you wash your dog’s paws or leave it au naturel?