How to Remove Sap/Pitch from Dog Paws: Technical Solution

Dogs like to stroll around, play, and have some fun. But what happens when your dog comes back covered in sap while playing near the tree sap? Every dog owner understands their dog better. You will notice any unusual behavior in your dog. When your dog comes back limping, you will automatically know there is something wrong with the paws.

The Sap is sticky. When it gets stuck on the fur of dogs, removing it might be a little tricky. Removing sap from the paws of your pooch needs time and patience since the feet of dogs are very sensitive. When they are hurt, they will either resist or bite you if you don’t handle them correctly.

How to Remove Sap from Dog Paws

Things you will need

  • Small Pet clippers
  • Vegetable/olive oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Shampoo
  • Paper towels

Prepare your dog

Calming your dog before removing the sap is very important. The feet are sensitive, and your dog will resist if you don’t make them comfortable for the process. You need to prepare it for what to expect psychologically. Make the dog comfortable with the tools you want to use on him.

Let him get used to the feeling of being touched on his feet and the sound of clippers. That way, he or she will stay at ease as you remove the sap. Reward your dog in every step you are doing while you are attempting to remove the sap. He won’t bite when you touch its feet or use clippers to trim down as the treats will motivate him to sit still. Let your dog be comfortable with touch and handling.

Steps to remove sap on dog’s paw

Step 1

When your dog comes back with a sap stuck on his paws, put him in a comfortable position, and check its leg to locate where precisely it is. If you have a hairdryer, set it on the lowest heat possible and fun the affected area for a few seconds. Do not fan directly and too close to the affected area to avoid burning the skin accidentally. Your dog will lose confidence in him and make him resistant.

Step 2

If the area where the pine is stuck is covered with fur, then you need to get some clippers to trim the hair. Put the dog in a lying position. When the dog is comfortable enough, take the leg and spread its toes apart. Use the clippers to gently trim the hair till you reach the pads. You should not go beyond this point as you might accidentally cut your dog, and it won’t like that. The padding protects the paws and feet of the dog.

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Step 3

Now that the area is visible, take a little oil, preferable olive oil, or use vegetable oil as an alternative to massage the paw. If you don’t have any of these, you can use peanut butter to soften the place. Rub the oil gently on its pad and paw. A gentle massage will ensure proper circulation and remove the fear and anxiety of being touched on the paws. The olive oil should lubricate and loosen the sap for easy removal.

Step 4

When the oil has soaked and lubricated the area with the sap, get a paper towel and pull the sap slowly from the paws. Be very careful not to pull it so hard when it is not yet soft enough to come out. In case it does not come out with ease, lubricate it more with the oil and continue massaging the area. Pull it softly until it comes out and throw it in the trash.

Step 5

When the sap has come out, prepare warm water and mix with a little shampoo to clean the area where the sap has been removed. Take a clean towel to wipe away the remaining oil on the feet. Alternatively, buy commercial sap remover from the pet store.

Step 6

Rinse the affected area and if any sap is remaining, take another paper towel and wipe it. When nothing is left, check the other parts of the dog if there could be more. Use a soft pet brush to brush the fur. In case of slight irritation, apply a soothing cream on the paws to make it feel better. Avoid harsh or toxic products as dogs like to lick their bodies a lot.

Step 7

Reward your dog. Dogs love anything that ends up with treats. Reward your dog with anything he loves. The next time he/she accidentally gets sap again on his fur, it won’t resist the process of removing it. Reward him immediately to make it not forget what the reward is for.

Why you should remove the sap as soon as possible?

There are types of sap that are very toxic. Dogs lick their feet, and it can be dangerous for the health of the dog if the dog gets to eat it.

The more the sap remains in the paws, the harder it is to remove. It is recommended to work on it when it is still easy to remove and not too sticky.

Protect your dog from sap

If you are tired of removing sap now and then, you have to put some measures. The best thing to do is to prevent your dog from going near the sap tree or fence the area. Let your dogs’ outdoor activities be anywhere else but not closer to the sap tree. You can do this by training your dog and finding some other activities to engage your dog.


Dogs are sensitive to touch. When your dog resists, wait until it sleeps. Remove the sap when it is asleep. If there’s a sap tree nearby, make it a habit of checking your dog fur every time it comes from outside.

Groom the hair that grows in between the pads. To protect the dog’s paws from more sap getting into it, get him dog boots. It will not only protect the pads but the entire feet to avoid more injuries. Let him put on boots for outdoor activities.

Last update on 2022-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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