Did your pup get some lovely sap stuck to their fur? Safely and easily remove sap from your pup’s hair with our tips below!
Do you love walking or hiking in the woods with your precious pup, just enjoying the beautiful trees and leaves? But then, all of a sudden, you noticed your dog limping a little because there’s something stuck to their foot. In fact, there’s multiple things stuck to their foot because they stepped in sap. And now every little pebble, leaf, and tiny piece of nature is stuck to their foot.
Or maybe your dog took a break by sitting or laying down near a pine tree, and now they have pine sap stuck in their fur. How in the world do you get this sticky stuff out? And is the sap harmful at all to a dog’s skin? Or what if a dog eats a little tree sap? Is that poisonous?
Can Tree Sap Hurt Dogs?
Typically getting some sap stuck to your dog’s paws or fur won’t hurt them. It will just be frustrating for a while as other things get stuck to them. And it may hurt your dog to walk on if they get things like rocks and sticks stuck to their paw pads.
However, there are occasions where certain types of sap can cause skin irritations, so it’s best to remove the sap as soon as possible. The most concerning part about sap being stuck to your dog is that they might consume some of it by trying to lick it or bite it off.
The ASPCA warns us to “be advised that the consumption of any plant material may cause vomiting and gastrointestinal upset for dogs and cats. Plants listed as either non-toxic, or potentially toxic [can cause] mild GI upset as their symptoms are not expected to be life-threatening to your pets.” If you think your dog did consume some of the sap, pine needles, or any other plant materials, you can contact your veterinarian for advice. Or call the APCC 24-hour emergency poison hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
House Pine Poisoning in Dogs
Speaking of potentially toxic plants for your dog… Please make sure to watch out for any houseplants you have sitting low or on the ground. If your dog can reach it, they can eat it.
For example, there is something called “house pine poisoning” from a plant in the Araucariaceae family. And oddly enough, it’s not actually a pine tree. It just has some similarities to one.
When ingested, house pines can be mildly toxic to dogs and other pets. It’s sap can cause various stomach and skin issues like:
- Red and/or itchy skin
- Mild gastrointestinal problems
So please be careful to keep all house plants elevated and out of reach of your dogs and cats. It’s best to try to prevent these issues from happening in the first place.
Removing Sap from Fur and Paws
When removing sap or other sticky substances from your dog’s fur or paws, there are a few different things that can help. You can use olive oil, mineral oil, or smooth peanut butter. One veterinarian’s blog even recommends using butter, mayonnaise, or Vodka. If you’re ready to remove the sap from your pet’s fur, here are the steps you can take:
1. Hair dryer on low
If the sap is hard by the time you get home, you’ll want to loosen it up. To do this, just use your hair dryer on the lowest setting. And make sure to hold it at a safe distance, so you don’t risk overheating your dog’s fur and skin. The warm air will help make the sap soft again.
2. Use olive oil, mineral oil, or smooth peanut butter
Put some olive oil, mineral oil, or smooth peanut butter on the sap, and massage it in. Then let it sit for a few minutes. And make sure that the product you use is safe for pets to ingest because your dog is likely to try to lick at it. Some peanut butters may contain xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs. So make sure yours does not contain that ingredient.
3. Use your fingers and a wide-toothed comb
With your fingers and a wide-toothed comb, try to slowly and gently work the sap out of your dog’s fur.
4. Use a washcloth or paper towel
You can even try putting some of your oily product on a washcloth or paper towel, and rubbing that into the sap as you attempt to wipe it off.
5. Carefully trim with scissors
There may be some parts of the sap that are especially stubborn. Or they may have pieces of nature stuck in them—making it harder to rub the sap out. In that case, very carefully use your scissors to trim out a little bit at a time.
6. Wash with dog shampoo and warm water
Once it is all, or almost all removed, use your pet-friendly shampoo and some warm water to wash out the rest. This will also help to wash off the oily product you used.
Pet Sap Remover
Another handy product to have at home is a pet sap remover or dog and cat degreaser. If your dog is the type that loves to run and get dirty in the woods, this could be a helpful product to have on hand.
And if all else fails, you can always schedule an appointment with a professional groomer. They have more than enough experience with this sort of thing, and they’ll be able to quickly and easily remove all sap and debris from your pup’s fur and paws.
For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
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