At long last we’re happy to bring you a fun product review that involves both of man’s best friends: His Dog and His Car!
If you’re a dog owner you’re no doubt all too familiar with taking the dog out to the park or the beach, only to return to the car with four very muddy or sandy paws – and heaven forbid if you have more than one dog!
In the heat of the summer it’s not much of a problem – unless it’s been raining – but it’s a completely different story when you go walkies during the other three seasons of the year. Winter is always problematic with snow, salt and sand. When temperatures begin to rise and spring is upon us, the thawing process reduces our yards and parks to mud and frustrations abound as your dog naturally takes to running through the puddles and squishes through the mud. It wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t so blatant about loving every mucky minute of it with his tongue hanging out of his head and that goofy, evil grin! No matter how hard you try to discourage him, Rover has a mind of his own and an eye on every puddle of mud! If you’re really fortunate, Rover isn’t one of those dogs that likes to roll in the mud – but is happy just to gallop through it.
Returning to the car, or home – you are now left with a problem – filthy feet! As sure as the sun will
rise tomorrow, you’ve just cleaned the car before taking Rover on his muddy excursion. We always keep a blanket for the car seats and a couple of towels and water bottles to clean off the dog before putting him in the car, but somehow it’s never enough and we wind up wet and muddier than the dog was in the first place! Is that image in your head ringing a few bells!? Happily we’re here to tell you that there’s a fantastic solution to this age-old problem!
A New Solution to The Problem
Until now the only the only option we had was taking cleaning supplies with us whenever we took the dog for a walk – ranging anywhere from a towel to spray bottles, wash buckets and baby-wipes! While walking through our local mega-pet store not too long ago we stumbled upon a product that stopped us in our tracks. We looked at each other and in unison said: “What a Perfect Product!!”
Why hadn’t anyone thought of this before? Simply Genius!! It’s so perfectly simple and easy to use – every dog owner should have at least one, probably more! One for the car and one at home at the door for when your dog returns from doing his business.
So what is this product? The “Paw Plunger” [www.snipurl.com/pawplunger] The name pretty much says it all! It’s a container that looks like a mini beer keg – so even us guys won’t feel stupid toting this along in the car or using it at home. My wife aptly describes it as a “portable car was for your dog!” Since a picture is worth a thousand words, these images should explain it:
Simply fill the keg with warm soapy water (if your dogs’ legs are short – make sure you fill ‘er up to the top so he doesn’t have to reach too far to hit the suds) and plunge Rover’s paws up and down a couple of times – presto – clean paws. Then simply dry off his feet and you’re done! How easy is that? The multitudes of gentle bristles inside are safe and won’t harm even the most sensitive paws. The specially designed flap at the top opening prevents splashes and spills. The lid screws on tightly so that you don’t spill if you’re off to the park in the car.
Okay – I hear the skepticism in your voice – there are too many products out there that make big claims and you don’t believe it can be that simple! Does it really work as expected? Is it just a good idea that doesn’t live up to its potential? After procuring one, I set about putting it to the test.
First Test Subject: My mother-in-laws Boston Terrier. This is going to be the biggest challenge of all. Archie is the kind of dog that only a special human could love. First of all, he’s butt-ugly. Added to that, he is completely devoid of manners or training and he’s completely wired. “Calm” and “settle down” are not in his vocabulary. If he had sticky feet like spider man, he’d run up the walls! You get the idea.
Filling the Paw Plunger with warm soapy water, I put it on the floor and my wife brings Archie over to take the plunge. Surprisingly he calms down and allows us to clean all four paws! It helps that he is so small because he can be suspended while dipping each paw. Drying the paws turned into the real challenge – his attention was gone and we only got two dried before he wiggled and scrambled off. All in all it was very successful. The bristles inside the Paw Plunger seemed to have a calming effect on him, allowing us to clean all four paws. He didn’t struggle and yelp like he usually does when being restrained.
Next Test Subject: Kodiak and Klondike. Our friends have just gotten two new puppies – several months apart. Both are Pomeranians and unlike Archie, they are cute as a button, well behaved and more like dogs than the Tasmanian Devil we call Archie! These little guys love to be outside just to play, and of course with the potty training still going on during the messiest part of spring, you can just imagine what they’d look like with all that fur on their legs and paws (I wish I’d thought to take the “before pictures”) – the Paw Plunger would have to be good to impress our friends.
Klondike (the youngest) was more receptive than Kodiak. He was more than willing put his paws into the Paw Plunger to be cleaned. He was very fascinated with the whole experience and was constantly sniffing the Paw Plunger to the extent that he even stuck his face right inside it!! That proved beyond a doubt that a 10-week old puppy can’t be easily scared by the Paw Plunger. Kodiak was less than enthusiastic with it, but he didn’t fear it or run away. The only issue we encountered was that the puppies ran off before getting their feet completely dry. Frankly I think that’s more to do with them still being young and rambunctious than an issue with the Paw Plunger. It’s all what they get used to and the training process – so don’t be afraid to use a few treats when getting your pup used to the Paw Plunger and the drying of the feet.
So, all-in-all the Paw Plunger proved to be a success. While we haven’t had a chance to test it with larger breed dogs, we believe it will actually be EASIER to use. The Paw Plunger is a terrific product that is very reasonably priced, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find families purchasing more than one – one for home and one for the car. With the tightly sealed lid there’s no fear of the soapy water spilling in the house or your vehicle. We tried knocking it over for the test, but it’s actually pretty tip-resistant! When we put it on its side there was no mess – the water stayed inside. The soft brushes inside the Paw Plunger didn’t spook the dogs or make them uncomfortable; it seemed to have a calming effect, so that’s a bonus too!
Road Test & Beyond Conclusion
The Paw Plunger is fantastic! A necessity for any family with a dog! The perfect gift for a car owner with a dog! This is one affordable car accessory that will save you time and money in your car and your house! Don’t dread taking Fido to the park – enjoy the time you have with your companion and let him enjoy his time at the park – because there’s no worries when it’s time to go home – the Paw Plunger has you, your carpet, your furniture and your car seats covered!
The Paw Plunger is currently available in two sizes with a new Paw Plunger Petit scheduled to become available in January 2009 for those tiny little fur-balls out there.
Copyright © 2008 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text / Images: Iain Shankland
Also Published at: PaddockTalk.com