Tree sap is known to be thick, sticky, and highly adherent. The sap is difficult to remove from clothing and human hair; for pets, the experience can actually be painful. Because pet parents always want their furbabies clean and happy, you would want to know exactly how to get sap out of dog fur in the event this sticky material gets there.
When a dog or cat somehow gets sap in its fur, not only will the animal’s fur stick together and mat up, but the sap can also cause debris such as pine needles, rocks, and leaves to stick to the fur as well. This can result in pain for your pet, and the sticky sap will need to be removed in order to protect one’s pet.
The sap is so adhesive that pet parents often have great difficulty removing the sticky material. It may seem that you remove sap from one area only to have it affect a different area of your pet’s fur. It can even get on your pet’s paws.
There are some fairly easy ways to remove sap from your dog’s hair, fortunately.
First, you’ll need to determine if the sap has hardened. If so, you’ll need to get a hairdryer in order to heat and soften the sap up so you can remove it. If you must use a hairdryer, keep a couple of things in mind. If your dog has never been around a hairdryer, you may want to introduce him to the device so that he doesn’t balk when you turn it on. You’ll also need to operate the dryer on the lowest setting. Finally, you’ll need to keep the dryer far enough away from the dog’s body so that the air is warm but not hot on Fido’s tender skin.
Sap can be loosened from the dog’s fur with one of many items. Olive oil, mineral oil, or smooth peanut butter can be effective in loosening the sap from Fido’s fur. You’ll need to rub the medium into your dog’s fur and let it sit for a few minutes in order for the item to do its work. Now, it is extremely important that pet parents use a medium that is safe if digested. It’s very possible that your dog may lick the sticky area in an effort to groom himself.
You’ll need a wide-tooth comb which will make removing the sap less painful. You’ll use both the comb and your fingers to begin carefully working the sap from your dog’s fur. You can use a dry washcloth or a paper towel to wipe away the sap and oiliness from your dog’s fur.
Once you are able to remove the sap in its entirety, then you’ll need to bathe your dog. Be sure to use the best dog shampoos that are all-natural and contains no fragrances, no additives, no artificial ingredients to wash your dog. Remember to use only warm water, not hot water as dogs can’t regulate their temperatures and could overheat in very hot water.
You may need to shampoo the affected area multiple times in order to remove all the sap residue and the oily medium you used to loosen the sap.
How Do I Remove Sap from Paws?
When a dog gets sap on its paws, this is not only irritating for Fido but it can be painful too. Your dog may end up getting all types of items stuck to his paws when he gets sap on the bottom of his feet. If not treated in a timely manner, this could make your dog develop a limp and/or bruises on the bottom of his paws .
You’ll use olive oil, mineral oil, or smooth peanut butter once again to soften and loosen any sap on the paws. Of course, it is more difficult to allow the oily medium to “sit” on your pup’s paws, and she is more likely to try to lick the area. Also, if your dog is not accustomed to having his paws handled, he may resist this part of getting sap out of his fur and from his paws. Utilize extra patience and be sure to speak soothingly to him as you carry out this part of his care.
There may be some stubborn areas on the paw areas. You can use scissors to cut sap out of the furry parts of your dog’s fur. If you can’t get the sap completely out of the paw area, you may need to schedule an appointment with your vet or with a trusted groomer.
Tips for Removing Sap No Matter the Location
When removing sap from your dog’s fur, it’s in your dog’s best interest that you work quickly. The longer sap is allowed to sit in your dog’s fur, the more likely it is to harden and become more troublesome in removing.
Is it possible the sap could be toxic to my dog?
Pine tree sap can be mildly toxic to dogs. It can cause the dog to experience some mild symptoms of digestive upset, such as a runny stool or possible vomiting. It can also cause a mild allergic reaction to the dog’s skin.
On a different note, be careful about allowing your dog to eat the leaves from maple and oak trees; both of these trees’ leaves contain materials that could be toxic to dogs.
Is it possible to use alcohol such as vodka to remove the sap from my dog’s fur?
Yes, vodka is actually a great tool for removing sap from your dog’s fur. Now, keep in mind that you must not allow your dog to lick the sticky area as alcohol should never be ingested by your dog. This means that any amount of vodka could be harmful to your dog, so you’ll need to sit with and observe Fido during this time to ensure he does not ingest the vodka.
The vodka will completely dissolve the tree sap whereas the peanut butter and oil mentioned previously may simply loosen it for removal. Although it may be tempting (and it will work), it is best not to try isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) in order to remove the sap. If your dog does ingest rubbing alcohol, he could become very sick.
One should also note that mayonnaise or regular butter will also serve to loosen tree sap. Both, of course, are safe for Fido to digest if the dog licks the area.
Should I just shave the affected area or cut it out?
This is actually very painful for your pet, and it is not recommended. Of course, you may have no other choice than to cut the affected fur down even with the skin, but you’ll have aesthetic effects to deal with as well as it does hurt the dog when you have to pinch the area in order to shave or cut it.
Furthermore, if you’re not careful, you could accidentally cut your dog’s skin. This is the most dangerous issue with cutting or shaving a place on your dog.
What if my dog has short hair?
You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to rub into the affected area, allow it to sit, then work the sap from the dog’s fur. Of course, you’ll need to bathe your dog after you remove the bulk of the sap from your dog’s fur.
If your dog has short hair, it may be tempting to simply cut the affected area out of your dog’s fur. Keep in mind you could accidentally cut your dog’s skin when doing so.
What are some commercial products I can use to remove sap from my dog’s fur?
You’ll find several commercial products that are specially formulated to remove items such as sap from your dog’s fur. Go to your local pet store; the items here have been tested and deemed safe for pets.
1. Is pine sap toxic to dogs?
Yes, it can be mildly toxic to dogs. Dogs that ingest pine sap may experience mild stomach or digestive issues, including vomiting and loose stool or diarrhea. It can also irritate the skin the longer it is allowed to stay in the fur.
2. How do you get the sticky stuff off dog fur?
You’ll need to use an oil-based product to get the sap out of fur. You’ll need to work the product—creamy peanut butter, olive or mineral oil, or mayonnaise—into the affected area, and then allow it to sit for a few minutes in order to loosen the sap. Work quickly with your fingers and a wide-tooth comb in order to remove the sap.
3. How do you remove tree sap from hair?
One can use a home remedy (an oil-based product such as creamy peanut butter) to loosen the sap for removal; pet parents may also use a pet-safe product found at pet stores.