PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – We love our dogs. They are part of the family – just ask the Stalders.This time of year, some of Melissa’s favorite days are spent with her three sons and her puppy, a Newfoundland named Norman, romping through the woods.

“When it’s muddy out, he finds the mud and then it gets into my house and everywhere else,” Melissa, of Upper St. Clair, said.

Mother-in-law Judy Stalder has two golden retrievers.

“They’re in and out all the time and on rainy days they get muddy and I have to wipe their feet off,” she said.

“I’m ready for a product that’ll help me out and give me a little bit more easier time cleaning him off,” Melissa said.

The Paw Plunger claims to make cleaning dirty dog paws easy and has been getting a lot of attention lately. Everyone seems to agree it sounds like a good idea.

“Conceptually it sounds good,” Judy said.

But does it really do that?

Norman agrees to help us find out. Now, we didn’t have any mud on testing day, so we made our own.

Norman quickly figures out his part.

A squirt of liquid detergent and water is all you need to get Paw Plunger ready to use.

Paw Plunger is a three-part product. There’s a plunge pot, bristle holder and a lid. Put it together and you are ready to go.

The bristles are said to be the secret behind the Paw Plunger’s success. They are soft bristles that gently scrub the mud off your pet’s paw.

We put Norman’s paws into the Paw Plunger and plunged it up and down. The product comes in three sizes. Norman’s using the medium size but the large size would be the best size for his paws.

It’s not size that’s the problem though. It looks like Norman doesn’t like any of it but directions make it clear some dogs need desensitizing.

And some owners take a while to catch on.

We tried a different technique on a back paw.

Zanos: “Is this easier?”

Melissa: “No, it’s not. It’s more hassle than not. … Because I normally just use a towel anyway and I have to end up doing it [anyway]. So I’m doing both.”

But Paw Plunger is getting off the dirt. While Norman dries off, we try a different dog. Seamus, Judy’s dog, is a little older and a little more laid back.

The Paw Plunger is no big deal, but then again, Judy doesn’t think the Paw Plunger is any big deal either.

“It worked alright but I think for the price I could just get a pail of water, stick its foot in it and dry it off,” she said.

Although, they all agree the Paw Plunger really does what it promises.

And when it comes to buying it, Melissa’s not taking the plunge.

“I don’t think so because of the mess it makes on the floor. I don’t see that much better results than when I just use a towel,” she said.

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