How To Safely Remove Pine Tree Sap From Dog Hair
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  • Post published:19/04/2021
  • Post last modified:19/04/2021

How To Safely Remove Pine Tree Sap From Your Dog

This weekend we’re going to pick out our Christmas tree.

We always get a real tree and while they can be messy, the smell and beauty of it make up for the mess.

Besides the needles clogging my vacuum cleaner every year, the sap that comes from having a real tree in the house can sometimes result in a big sticky mess too.

Usually, it’s Leroy and me that somehow manage to get pine tree sap on us.

Probably because I’m the one who crawls under the tree to water it and Leroy’s the one who is always snooping under the tree looking for presents.

Leroy usually ends up with it on his head and I usually end up with it in my hair or on my shoulder.

While humans may use rubbing alcohol or WD40 to remove pine tree sap from themselves, that’s not always the safest for dogs who might try to lick the area and accidentally ingest some of the product.

Instead,  it’s recommended to try something a little safer to remove that sticky pine sap from your dog.

Cut it out.

If the pine tree sap hasn’t made it down the skin and it’s just a small area you might be able to just clip it out.

Use scissors, thinning shears or clippers to remove the hair and sap.

Be careful not to get close to the skin and always clean the tool that you used after your finished.

Warm it up.

If you didn’t notice the tree sap right away it will get hard so you’ll need to soften it.

The easiest way to soften pine sap is to apply a little heat with a hairdryer.

Make sure the dryer is on the low heat setting and apply the heat until the sap softens.

This can take several minutes so keep checking to make sure that the hair and skin are not getting too hot.

Loosen it up.

Instead of harsh or toxic chemicals use something with oil in it like olive oil.

Rub the olive oil into the sappy area and let it sit for a few minutes.  

Use a comb (preferably wide toothed) to gently work it out of the hair.

little dog and pine treelittle dog and pine tree

This step can get messy so have a paper towel on stand by to catch some of the oil if you are doing this indoors.  

You can also use peanut butter(smooth NOT chunky) or mineral oil to loosen the sap.

Some people have had success using mayonnaise too… but I’m just not a fan of rubbing mayo on my dog. Olive oil has been my go-to for the past few years.

Clean it up.  

Wash the area with a pet-safe shampoo and some warm water to remove all the oil from the hair and skin.

You might need to do this more than once depending on the size of the area that was covered in sap and how much oily product that you used.

If your dog happens to step in sap  you can follow the same steps above but you might have to omit the dryer part if your dog has super sensitive paws.

In some cases the sap might have to be clipped out, especially if there’s a big gob of it stuck in between the pads.

You might need to ask your veterinarian or groomer for help if your dog won’t you touch their paws.

And done! Now you should have a sap-free dog that is ready to go lay under the tree again!


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