by Krystal Torres

How to get the sticky and the prickly out of your pet’s fur

With the warm weather still lingering, chances are your favorite four legged friend is still roaming the yard and with that comes all kinds of fun things that can get stuck in his or her fur. Do burrs, brambles, tree sap, or tar sound familiar to you? When something gets caught in your pet’s coat it’s important to get it out as quickly as you can. Otherwise, the fur will mat which can lead to skin infection and discomfort for your pet. Luckily, there are a couple of common household items that can be used to help!

For the Sticky Stuff

Tip: any oily substance is great for getting the sticky stuff out of your pet’s fur. Feel free to bust out the peanut butter. Not only is it oily, but it’s also great for when your pet decides to help your removal efforts.

TOOLS: a blow-dryer, peanut butter, olive or coconut oil, a medium to wide-toothed comb, scissors, Dawn dish soap, and a slicker brush.


  1. Put the blow-dryer on low heat and hold it over the substance until it becomes soft
  2. Cover the area in the peanut butter or oil and massage it into the fur. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Using the comb, work out the pieces, break them apart with your fingers, and scrape the bits off of the fur shaft.
  4. If the fur is badly matted, snip the mat into vertical strips and work one section at a time.
  5. When everything is completely removed, wash the area with the dish soap.
  6. Finish off with the slicker brush.
For the Prickly Plants

Tip: if you feel that your pet will be a repeat offender, you can always just shave the coat. If you do, leave some fur around the paws and ears. That way if your dog comes in contact with the prickly stuff again the plant will get caught in the fur instead of becoming wedged into the feet or ears where it can cause some damage… ouch!

TOOLS: leather gloves, heavy conditioner, needle-nose pliers or a slicker brush, medium to wide-toothed comb, dog shampoo.


  1. Don’t wash or brush your dog before you start the removal process. This will cause burrs to swell, making it harder to remove.
  2. Put on your leather gloves to help protect your hands.
  3. Coat the surrounding area with conditioner.
  4. If the burr is large use the needle-nose pliers to break it into pieces. Pick out as many pieces as you can starting from the outside and working in. Remove the rest with the comb.
  5. If the burr is flat, like nettle or bramble, apply conditioner to the area and then work the burr out with the slicker brush or comb.
  6. Shampoo and rinse your pet well.

We hope this information will help you and your pet survive the remaining summer months! For more information check out the original article which appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of AKC Family Dog Magazine.