My 10 month old German Shepard puppy Natasha likes to dig. And it just so happens that one of her favorite places to dig is next to a pine tree. She has a pretty good hole going, exposing several of the tree’s roots. This in itself probably wouldn’t have been a problem, except in the process of digging she damaged the roots.
A few days ago, I let her inside from a session of digging in the back yard. I made her sit so I could get the dirt out of her paws before she tracked it all over. That’s when I noticed my sleeve sticking to her fur. The entire right side of her leg and shoulder were covered in sap plus the top of her head and right ear. At this point, I was starting to worry I was going to have to give her a haircut.
After I banished that thought, my next thought was: “Gasoline!” I knew that would remove the sap. When I was a kid and working on my families dairy farm, gas was pretty much the solvent we used to remove just about anything. Since ‘Tasha is an inside dog I didn’t want the whole house to smell like gasoline. Then I thought, “I bet rubbing alcohol would work.”
I figured I’d still take a look and see what the internet had to say first. It was pretty much a waste of time, because most places I looked either said to use a cooking oil or peanut butter. I’ve heard of peanut butter for removing gum and I think it’s one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard, especially for dogs. Why would you put something that’s going to be just as hard or harder to clean out of their fur as the sap?
What most of the sites did say was that using harsh chemical was probably not a good idea, I could get behind that until I saw that things like Goo Gone and rubbing alcohol were included in the harsh chemicals group. I did find a forum where somebody said to try rubbing alcohol, but it was 8th or 9th down the search results list.
So I grabbed the rubbing alcohol and a bunch of paper towels. I dumped the alcohol on a folded sheet of paper towel and then started rubbing it over her fur in the direction it lay — I didn’t want to rub the sap deeper into her fur. Almost immediately the places I rubbed were less sticky, so I continued rubbing going deeper and in different directions. I’d switch to a new paper towel every minute or so until I stopped discoloring the paper towel.
After a little more than 5 minutes all of the sap was gone and just a few minutes after that all of ‘Tasha’s fur was dry. I do have to admit the smell was getting pretty strong for a while, but it didn’t seem to have any ill effect at all on ‘Tasha, who I’m sure if she had a voice would say not to cut her hair.
So don’t waste your time with oils or peanut butter, rubbing alcohol removes sap beautifully.