I Tried This Popular Paw Cleaner, and 10,000 Amazon Reviewers Aren’t Wrong

updated Nov 13, 2020
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Credit: Anna Spaller

You and your dog are best friends right? Practically inseparable, joined at the hip. And commercial and dining establishment rules permitting, you go everywhere together–a real modern day Thelma and Louise. Sure it’s all walks and licks and cuddles most of the time, that is, until your pup walks through a questionable puddle and tracks mud, dirt, who-knows-what into the house. All over the floor. Then on to the couch. And eventually on to your bed.

Winter walks with my dog in New York City were daily treks through snow, salted sidewalks, and dirty winter slush. Or as I liked to call it: Germs, colder germs, and freezing cold germs. The relief of coming home to a warm apartment and thawing by the radiators was often short-lived and quickly replaced with me cringing as I watched her leave a trail of dirty footprints all over the floor and furniture.

Dog booties may work for smaller dogs, but try wrestling a dog over 50 lbs. into anything—let alone four times—and you’re in for a workout before you even head out the door. Many older dogs like mine rely heavily on their paw pads for balance and stability, and may find booties uncomfortable because they may interfere with some of the paw’s functionality. Dog paws are a surprisingly intricate system of parts that work together to give your dog stability, traction, and shock absorption through the broad range of activities that a single day calls for. And between fur, nails, digits, and paw pads, a lot can get trapped in there. 

I needed an easy way to rinse my dog’s paws clean after walks without having to throw her in the tub for a full bath. I came across the MudBuster on Amazon. It has over 10,000 5-star reviews and was under $25. The MudBuster is a plastic cup with soft, silicone bristles. All you do is fill the cup with water, insert the dirty paw, twist it a few times, and out comes a clean paw.

I decided to give it a shot, and it turned out to be a lifesaver. I tried it one day after a walk when there were no visible traces of mud or dirt on her paws. I filled the MudBuster with some warm water and dunked her paws in one by one. She didn’t go running for the hills like she does when I pull out booties, so that was already a win. The end result was surprisingly good. I couldn’t believe how dirty the water was just from a quick dip! It removed all kinds of debris, and rinsed away any salt or chemicals that could potentially irritate her skin. I now use the MudBuster year ‘round. My dog loves the warm water rinse after walking on pavement in the colder months, and cool water on hot summer days.

The MudBuster comes in a variety of colors and three different sizes. It’s easy to clean and super portable. Just throw it in your dog’s sleepover bag (because she definitely has one right?) or keep it in your car to use after trips to the park or beach. No more dog booties or muddy paw prints around the house!