How to Remove Tree Sap From Dog Hair

Tree sap in your dog's coat does not necessarily mean a trip to the groomer is necessary.
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Dogs have a natural talent for getting as sticky and dirty as possible, and rolling around in tree sap is a favorite activity for many. If your pooch comes inside sticky and matted, it's going to take a lot more than a quick shampoo to remove the sap from his hair. The good news is that shaving your dog's coat is rarely necessary. A little time and elbow grease will have your dog's coat looking and smelling great again in no time.

Step 1

Remove the sap as soon as you notice it. If you wait, more of your dog's hair will stick to the sap, creating more mess and tangles. You may be able to pick out very small bits of sap with your fingers.

Step 2

Cut away small patches of hair or trim your dog's coat if the sap is near the ends. Use only blunt-tip scissors in case your dog moves, and avoid cutting too close to the skin. If your pooch has multiple patches of sap on his coat, cutting it out may not work.

Step 3

Apply olive oil or mineral oil to your dog's coat wherever you find sap. Allow the oil to sit for several minutes and then slide the sap away from your pup's skin to remove it. If it won't budge, add more oil and wait 10 minutes for the sap to soften.

Step 4

Rub peanut butter into the patches of sap if the oil does not work. Work the peanut butter all around and under the sap to soften and loosen it. Grab the sap and gently pull it away from your dog's body.

Step 5

Use a commercial tree sap remover to remove stubborn sap from your pooch's coat. These products are available in most major retailers and online. Check that any product you use is safe for pets and non-toxic.

Step 6

Wash away the oil, peanut butter, sap remover and/or tree sap with lukewarm water and a gentle dog shampoo. It may take several shampooings to remove all the oil and sap. Towel dry.

Step 7

Examine his coat and skin for remaining sap once he's fully dry. If you are unable to remove all the sap from your dog's hair, call your vet for advice. Even a small amount of sap left behind can cause skin irritation, chewing and other problems.


  • If the sap is already completely hard when you discover it, try softening it with a blow dryer set on low heat. Be very careful not to burn your dog's skin and never aim the dryer at his face.

Items You Will Need

  • Scissors
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Commercial tree sap remover