Unitasker Wednesday: Paw plunger

paw-plungerAll Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Having a dog guarantees certain things in one’s home. Hair being vacuumed nearly every other day, collecting chew toys from around the house, and having to clean off paws before entering the house are among these guarantees.

Apparently, someone has become tired of only wiping their dog’s paws, so they decided to introduce the Paw Plunger to the dog-owning public. The “invention” looks like a coffee mug that you fill with water. It also employs the help of soft deep-cleaning bristles to clean off the dirty paws. And, since your dog’s paws are wet after being plunged into the device, you still have to wipe down your dog’s feet afterward to dry them.

For all the times that I used to wipe off my parent’s black lab’s paws with a towel, I never imagined a better way to do such a chore. It was hard enough to hold the black lab still long enough to wipe her paws. Wrestling with her to get each paw into a liquid-filled Paw Plunger probably would have been a nightmare. 

Thanks to reader Christine for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

33 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Paw plunger”

  1. posted by Bobbi on

    Aw… The link is broken/bad and I can’t find the site, but it is at this site: http://www.pawplunger.com/about.php.

    Being a dog owner, I think this is a horrible waste of time. Thankfully, my dog park and backyard are grass thus preventing the whole muddy paws situation. Also, I bought furniture that was “dog” friend.

  2. posted by Matt on

    @ Bobbi – Thanks for the heads up. The prior linked site no longer carries the product. It must be really popular. I changed the link. Thanks again.

  3. posted by Peter (a different one) on

    Wow, I can’t even imagine trying to get my dog’s paws in that. I have on occassion used an old margarine or sherbet container to clean off my dog’s ears (Bassett Hound) – but it is always finished by using a towel.

  4. posted by Ruth Hansell on

    Sheesh, I’ve had 3 very active dogs for years, and I’d never in my life consider something as useless as that.

    You not only have to towel dry anyway, but my dogs flat wouldn’t allow me to tickle their feet that way. And then, of course, you have to somehow clean the silly thing.

    And of course, the dog has to wait patiently while you find the thing and fill it with water. Yep.


  5. posted by Courtney on

    As someone with two dogs currently and having had 3 dogs previous to my current ones, I have to admit I have thought about getting this unitasker in the past. Then I came to my senses.

    Assuming you can catch the dogs as they barrel their way into the house, it’s just as easy to towel off muddy feet as it is to dip each one into a coffee mug. Also, if their feet are just dusty and not muddy, dipping them in water would make it worse!

    My approach is simply to have hardwood floors and sweep or mop frequently. Have a mud room “airlock” to catch crazy dogs from running into the house, and do damage control there. There isn’t much else you can do.

  6. posted by Lily on

    I have a similar thing by the backdoor that I use to wash the dogs’ muddy feet that works when I’m desperate – their water bowl!

    Then I wash the water bowl.

  7. posted by maxie on

    Want to know how to get a Lab to submit to drying off? All we did was get really excited (yay! You’re all wet! Whoopie!) wipe down the dog and give her a cookie. We’ve caught her rubbing herself all over the bushes after a rain to get wet.

  8. posted by Cynthia on

    Wow, what a wonderful idea. I can imagine all the clean up of the water spilling every where after I’ve wrestled with my 110 lb lab to put his paws in the mugs.

    We usually just put him in the garage for a bit and then wipe him down with a towel.

  9. posted by Annette on

    We use the watering can and keep it and the towel at the door during the muddy season. Sometimes toweling off the paws just doesn’t do it. But a coffee mug sized thing wouldn’t work for our dog’s paws either since they are on the large side.

  10. posted by infmom on

    And just imagine the fun when someone mistakes this for a coffee mug!

    Does the company make a do-it-yourself stomach pump, too> 🙂

  11. posted by Pammyfay on

    Usually a towel works fine on my little cairn terrier. Sometimes I’ll grab a baby wipe and then towel-dry.

    What bothers me about this product is that the top is cut-away plastic, no? I wonder if those triangular points’ edges are smooth, but even if they are, I can’t imagine them feeling good when they brush up against the paw when you pull the paw out. My pup is extremely sensitive about her paws anyway (if you know a cairn terrier, you know that they tuck the top halfs of their front paws underneath them, frequently, to protect them), so this would be unnecessarily stressful on her (I’d rather reserve the stress times for when she’s at the groomers!).

  12. posted by Organize Room on

    I had a black lab growing up as well and that was one strong and strong willed dog. I’m going to pass on this one =), and dogs in general. I have two kids still in diapers. Don’t need anything else to clean up after in my life right now. This years focus…“Keeping it Simple“ Dogs are not on the menu.

  13. posted by The Daily Click on

    As well as wrestling to get the paws in the container you have the fun of stopping your dog from trying to drink out of it at the same time and if you do manage to use it for the intended purpose you then have the fun of your dog mistaking your normal coffee mug for their paw cleaner!!

  14. posted by Rue on

    All things considered, I have to say: Nice idea, but pretty impractical. Like most unitaskers. 😀

  15. posted by Alexis on

    I have found the kirkland brand baby wipes that I use for my son to be just the thing to my dogs feet clean.

  16. posted by Fit Bottomed Girls on

    This one is funny. A towel works fine — they’re dogs, God love ’em! 🙂

  17. posted by Ben on

    And after every use you have a mug-n-brush full of dirty water, hair and bacteria to clean up. Lovely!

  18. posted by Julia on

    Everyone here has missed the point! You don’t need to wrestle so much with your dog to get paws in the paw plunger! Buy four and it will cut your paw wrestling time by 75%!!

    Do they have 4 kitty sized paw plungers as well? My kitty brings the most paw prints into the house. (No dog here.)

  19. posted by Debbie Harris on

    We taught our dog to lie on the floor and stick all four paws straight up in the air when we say, “look at those feet.” Much easier to clean the paws when they’re like that!

  20. posted by Alice on

    It’s not advisable to use baby wipes on any part of your pet. Baby wipes contain chemicals (e.g., synthetic cleansing agents) which your pet will ingest when it licks the body part that was cleaned.

    A dog or cat is very likely to lick off the chemicals because they’ll feel odd (e.g., some cats don’t like having foreign substances or wetness on them) or will taste nice (some dogs love the taste of some cleansers, but that doesn’t make it good for them).

  21. posted by A.D.D Organizing on

    My Portuguese Water Dog (pup) has white paws, so I’m constantly having to wipe her up when she comes in from the backyard. Are there baby wipes that are safe to use on dogs?

  22. posted by Alice on

    @A.D.D Organizing: Use a damp cloth instead of baby wipes. It’s cheaper (no need to keep buying wipes) and better for the environment. You might find it helpful to keep a small bottle of water near the door for re-dampening the cloth. If you want to use something other than plain water, add a little dog shampoo.

    For those that want to use warm water on their dogs after a walk, but know that the dog won’t stay put while they get the water, try putting out a bowl of hot water just before the walk, and perhaps also leave out some cold water in case it’s still too hot when you get back.

  23. posted by Michele on

    Doggie booties are becoming more popular among dog owners I know…especially since the towns seem to be going completely ape with the rock salt this winter. If you can actually get the dog to tolerate it, prevention is probably easier than clean-up. With IF in giant bold letters, or course.

  24. posted by shahnnen on

    living in portland (which right now, after 20 inches of rain in the past week or so– feels like the rain capital of the world) we run into this problem frequently.
    yeah, my squirrelly 130 lb lab would NOT like this all. neither would my greased-lightning boston terrier. i use a towel, or mrs meyers pet friendly wipes. they have no gross stuff in them like most baby wipes, and they smell great. they can be found here:

    we also keep a swiffer wet jet loaded and ready by the back door during the monsoon season. we don’t use the swiffer cleaning solution that comes with it– we punch a hole in the top of it, and use our own organic, non-toxic cleaner mix–it’s much cheaper, and it doesnt have yucky stuff in it. and there’s less packaging waste, since we use a big bottle of concentrate and mix that with water directly in the swiffer cleaner holder.i highly recommend this for pet owners.

  25. posted by shahnnen on

    @debbie harris
    what an awesome idea. and i just lol’d. 🙂

  26. posted by Amanda on

    The Paw Plunger would be expensive for me, my Cocker Spaniel hates having his feet touched, and if I was wrestling four feet into the PP it would just give him extra time to bite me. With the towel I’m in and out quick.

    Who thinks up these things?

  27. posted by John on

    This seems like an even sillier version of the disposable paw wipes they sell at pet stores. I opted for a neatly folded stack of towels by the back door. My pup (60 pounds of rambunctious lab mix) loves getting toweled off so after cleaning the paws he gets wiped all over, even if he’s dry.

    If you’re wresting your dog to clean off his paws, you don’t need a paw plunger, you need some help with dog training. If you have a puppy, get him used to you handling his paws, ears, etc. from an early age. A properly trained dog will allow you to touch any part of his body because he knows you’re the one in charge of the house and he’s learned you will never hurt him.

  28. posted by JC on

    We have had labs and bullmastiffs. Both breeds were trained to stand by the door when let into the house for paw wiping with a damp towel. My mother had actually trained her basset/lab mix to wipe its own paws, which worked well when they were just a bit dusty. She would do extra cleaning on the paws when needed.

    We sold a bullmastiff puppy to a man who later trained the dog to stand by its water bowl after drinking to get its jowls wiped so it wouldn’t drag water all over his house.

  29. posted by Steve-O on

    imagine if someone mistook a dirty mug for a cup of cocoa? Then it would be worth every penny!

  30. posted by consumerq on

    I use the “paw monster” cleaning tool (www.pawmonster.com) that I found on sale at a local shoppe. It does a good job quickly getting out the mud from between the claws and wiping the belly. But I have a towel for when my dog’s body is splashed with mud.I have an enclosed stairway between the kitchen and backyard door. My dog will wait at the top of the stairs and then lift her paws up one at a time on command for cleaning. I cannot imagine having to struggle with a wet and muddy dog.

  31. posted by devBear on

    We actually HAVE one of these! We got it as a gift from someone who bought one for themselves already. We do use it from time to time — we wipe the dog’s paws off nearly every time he comes in the house, so this is just an extra step when he’s been walking a lot of mud or whatever. Helps get that stuff off that just toweling wouldn’t do. Bellodawg does do a good job of standing still and letting us put his paw in this thing.

    On the other hand, I personally think it’s a very funny tool. If noone had given it to me, I definitely wouldn’t have spent the money.

  32. posted by Tiffany on

    I just taught my dog a command for when we got to the doormat: “Wipe your feet!”

  33. posted by Kathryn Fenner on

    Maybe for when you take them to the woods, before they get back in the car?

    We just gave up on keeping our dogmobile beater car clean…

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