What can I do to prevent and remove sap from my dog’s paws and fur?

Original Question: Ruby is a Chihuahua/Rat Terrier cross. She is a rescue from Texas and has very thin fur. You can see her skin spots through the fur. There is a tree near my yard that is dropping leaves and/or evergreen needles that have very sticky sap on them into my yard. Ruby is getting this sap in her paws and on her fur. When on her fur it gets stuck to her skin as well as to the fur. Do you have any suggestions on removing the sap? So far I have some luck with Dawn soap in cleaning her paws. It does not work as well in the fur. - Michelle

What can I do to prevent and remove sap from my dog’s paws and fur? May 30, 2018

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your question.

I think you are doing the right thing using the Dawn soap. There are not a lot of options here for ‘treatment’. I think the plan would be prevention and I see 2 ways you can deal with this that are pretty straightforward.

Restricting access to the area under the tree would be ideal and you could do this with fencing. Restricting access to the entire backyard could be considered as well and replace it with more walks out the front door.

The other idea is a little more adventurous. You could consider shaving your dog’s hair significantly so that washing the sap off is really easy. You could have a groomer perform a ‘lion’s cut’ which many animals really like having done in the summertime. I would do this with my cats so that we didn’t have hair in the house and on the furniture. I quite liked it but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too many people’s taste.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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