The Mudbuster

A great tool for cleaning muddy feet, treating dogs with yeasty feet, or rinsing salt or other ice-melting chemicals off your dog's paws.

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I first saw the Mudbuster at a pet products trade show a couple of years ago. I was intrigued by the vaguely medical, playful look of the device: a deep plastic tumbler, lined with soft silicone bristles. “What the heck is that?” I asked, and the guy in the booth said, “It’s the Mudbuster! It’s for cleaning your dog’s feet!”

It took me only a moment to dismiss the product’s intended use as ridiculous. Who needs a special device just to clean a dog’s paws?

Recently, though, I saw one on display in my favorite local pet supply store and made a scoffing noise, the manager told me, “Don’t laugh! You know what it’s great for? Dogs who have a yeast infection in their feet. It’s a perfect way to soak their feet in a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half water, and lightly debride the funky tissue. I’ve recommended it as a solution to a number of clients and everyone who has tried it has had very good results!” she said.

mudbuster paw cleanerI immediately bought one. Neither of my dogs have yeasty feet, but I’ve heard of many dogs that do and this seemed like the perfect tool and an effective treatment for the chronic condition. I told the manager that I would recommend the product for this purpose in WDJ.

Easily Cleaning Your Dog’s Feet

Before I had a chance to do this, however, I ended up finding a non-medical use for the product after all. I recently moved to a new house, one with white tile floors in the entry and kitchen. And the property, it turns out, is absolutely infested with gophers; new gopher hills appear on the front lawn and in the back field daily. And Woody, my two-year-old pit/Lab-mix, has become obsessed with digging up the gopher holes. He runs to each new mound, gives each one a few quick swipes of his paws, and shoves his whole head down into the gopher hole, absolutely huffing the the gopher scent. He hasn’t seen a gopher yet, but I am hopeful that when he does, he will figure out a way to dig up, catch, and kill some of the pests, so I don’t have to resort to setting traps or other elaborate ways to save the lawn and garden.

dog digging in yardSignificantly, the prevalence of new gopher mounds and my dog’s interest in them has meant that I do have to clean his feet every time he goes outdoors and then comes back inside, at least five times a day – that is, unless I don’t mind looking at dirt-red footprints all over my white floors. For the first few weeks after I moved, I used my old “dog towels” to wipe Woody’s feet clean every time he came inside – and ended up washing an insane number of dog towels; there were some in every load of laundry I did! Then I realized I had the Mudbuster in my office and brought it home to try.

Using this tool to clean Woody’s feet has dramatically cut down the number of towels I go through. Instead of needing a separate towel each time I have to clean all four feet (but especially his front/digging feet), I half-fill the Mudbuster with water and dunk each paw into the device a few times. Then I can use the same towel all day to quickly and simply dry his freshly cleaned feet. To finish, just pour out the muddy water and rinse the Mudbuster in the sink. (It can be run through the dishwasher for a more complete cleaning.)

mudbuster test reviewI think this would also be a great tool for people who live in areas where salt and other chemicals are used to melt ice and snow on sidewalks. The Mudbuster would rinse the harsh chemicals off dogs’ feet much more thoroughly and much more easily than trying to hose or wipe them off.

The Mudbuster comes in three sizes; the “Medium” is shown here. It’s available for $15 to $23 from many pet supply stores, online retailers, Target, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond stores.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I cant imagine you dont have to change the water for every paw or at least every 2 paws… othetwise youre rinsing in dirty water!

  2. Be careful letting your dog dig at animal holes!!! When his nose is bitten by one of your varmints you will then have a potential infection with which to deal, or an eye injury, or rabies if your dog is not vaccinated properly.
    How about dealing with varmints humanely? There are humane traps you can use (catch and release).

  3. I wanted to like your article Nancy, I really did, but you lost me the second you said, “. . . I am hopeful that when he does, he will figure out a way to dig up, catch, and kill some of the pests.” WHAT? You’re hoping your dog kills gophers so your lawn looks pretty? How incredibly awful and inhumane. Whilst gophers can certainly do some damage to the lawn which is super-aggravating (I know, I have them too), I’d never set out to murder these precious little critters, the very thought of it is outrageous. PLEASE reach out for help and guidance when it comes to humane coexistence. You may have purchased a home on paper, but in reality you’re just a colonist. The gopher was there first. The mentality of destroying wildlife for aesthetics is disgusting and shameful. Surely there are humane solutions, you just need to seek them out. How about alternative landscaping, e.g., rock, stones, and pebbles for a Zen garden?

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