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How To Get Sap Out Of Dog Fur

February 24, 2023 | 3 min read

Updated February 24, 2023

By Sarah Milton


Published: February 25, 2023 

Summary: Sugary tree sap can be a dog owner’s worst nightmare. In this blog, we’ll find out how to remove and get sap off dog fur... 


Sap is very tricky to remove from a dog’s fur, so if you’ve taken your pup out for a woodland stroll and they’ve come back greasy, sticky, and matted with the stuff, you may be panicking at what to do with them.  

It’s important you act with haste, as matting can be very uncomfortable for a dog and some tree saps can even be toxic to dogs (like pine sap). Sap can cause skin irritations and if left for a reasonable amount of time, may even result in a stronger reaction from your pup. You also want to be sure your dog doesn’t have the opportunity to attempt cleaning themselves, as it may become an even more problematic situation if your dog ingests the sap.  

Unfortunately, even the most thorough of doggy baths will probably not suffice. So, here’s how to effectively get sap out of dog fur (just make sure you’re armed with plenty of doggy treats!) 

A dark brown spaniel, wearing a dark blue collar with light blue polka dots, looks onward to a blurred, coat-wearing white person who is turned toward them in brown woodland

How To Get Sap Out of Dog Fur 

PetLab Co. Pro Tip: During this process, make sure to resist the temptation of using chemical detergents, petroleum-based products, alcohol, or astringent solvents. These will be very harsh on your dog’s skin and won’t always have the desired effect.  

Step One 
You’ll need to soften the sap. Rewarding your dog with treats and using soothing language and vocal tones, attempt to blow dry them on the lowest temperature setting (making sure you’re not too close to their skin) to help loosen the sap. This will make it easier to separate from the fur.  

Step Two 
Grab some olive or vegetable oil, or even xylitol-free peanut butter, soft butter, or mayonnaise, and thoroughly work generous amounts of it through the sapped fur. Massage it in, while continuing to praise your dog for good behavior while this takes place. Then, slowly and gently work the sap out with either a wide-toothed comb or your fingers, paying particular attention to any affected paws. Be mindful not to tug any stubborn sap as this could hurt or scare your pup.  

If there are particular areas of sticky sap that simply won’t dislodge from your dog’s fur, you may need to cut these out using scissors. If you’re under-confident with doing this, it may be time to contact a local dog groomer or your vet for their support.  

PetLab Co. Pro Tip: Got a dog with extremely sensitive skin? You could look to specifically formulated tree sap removal products for sticky pets instead. 

a brown and white sheep dog half mounts a mossy, leafy edge in dark woodland while panting

Step Three 
After all the sap seems to be gone, it’s time to get them in the tub where you can tackle the residual grease with dog shampoo and warm water. This may take several shampoos and rinses to be sure the oily leftovers are gone.  

How To Get Sap Off Dog Fur 

To prevent this from happening again, consider keeping your dog on a leash during the Spring/Summer tree-sap season, keep their fur trimmed and groomed to a shorter length regularly to prevent sap from matting and if you have a sappy tree in your yard, consider fencing it off to stop them from getting too close.


Author Johnstone, Gemma “Avoid A Sticky Situation: How To Get Sap Out Of Dog Fur” American Kennel Club, 04 Oct. 2022  

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Sarah Milton

Authored By

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!


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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
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