How to Remove Burrs From Dog Hair

by Jon Mohrman
    Burrs can be considerable irritants on your dog.

    Burrs can be considerable irritants on your dog.

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    Even a brief romp outside can mean hours of tedious work removing burrs from your dog's coat. There's no magic shortcut; it takes time and patience, both on your part and your pet's. Tend to burrs promptly, though, as they cause matting that irritatingly pulls on your dog's hair and skin.

    Start by combing out the loosest burrs and those closest to the surface of your dog's fur. Use a metal or hard-wire comb, not a brush. With your free hand, press the base of the hairs you're combing to avoid pulling them and causing your dog discomfort. Offer reassuring words, praise and an occasional treat to keep your pet cooperative.

    Some burrs in your dog's coat will probably be entwined in mats, which develop around the sticky seeds. Use your fingers or the end of the comb to gently pull mats apart, then comb the burrs out. Remember to put your hand over the base of the matted area so you don't pull your dog's hair. Lubricate hair in problem areas to facilitate burr removal by applying a little vegetable oil with your fingers.

    Sometimes, you just can't get all the burrs out. Rather than spend hours working the stubborn ones and exhausting your dog's patience, see your groomer. A professional groomer can cut the hair where burrs are too matted in. It's always safer in such instances to let a professional handle the potentially dangerous scissor work.

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    About the Author

    Jon Mohrman has been a writer and editor for more than seven years. He specializes in food, travel and health topics. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for English literature and San Francisco State University for creative writing.

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