Getting Stickers Out Of Your Pets Fur
If you have a pet then most likely you know about those small, prickly thorns found on sticker burrs that love to attach themselves to fur (especially with dogs). Not to mention the tedious chore of getting them out. Even a brief romp outside can mean hours of tedious work removing burrs from your dog’s coat. There is no magic shortcut; it takes time and patience, both on your part and your pet’s. However there are ways to get the stickers off without hurting your pet or your fingers.
Step One: Finding the buggers.
Inspect your doggy’s entire body for stickers when he comes in from the great outdoors. Examine the areas first (by patting gently) that might be more painful and uncomfortable, such as the belly, face and between the toes. Make sure to inspect the small crevices (stickers often burrow there), such as in the ears and armpits, between his toes and around the genitalia. Don’t forget to check both the outside and the inside of the ears. If you can, pull them free using your fingers. You might have to use one hand to push the skin down (so you don’t pull it while you try to pull the sticker out) and remove the sticker with the other hand.
Step Two: Comb out the loose ones.
Use a metal dog comb to pull any loose stickers from your dog’s fur. Gently comb the affected hair from above the sticker. The burr slides down the hair shaft where you can remove it a bit more easily.
Step Three: Remove by hand the difficult ones.
To protect your fingers put on a pair of leather work gloves before carefully removing stubborn stickers by hand. Avoid hurting your pet by holding down the roots of your dog’s hair with one hand and gently pull the sticker burrs out with the other. You may need to untangle sticker burrs that are deeply caught in your dog’s fur. Pull the matted hair apart with your fingers, starting at the tips of his fur and working your way down to the roots. Once the fur is untangled, extract the sticker by hand.
If this does not work then try applying some oil (any cooking oil or even baby oil will do) in your fingers and then rub it over the sticker or even pour it around the severely tangled stickers. The oil helps loosen and lubricate the fur around the burr so you can slide it out with your fingers. . Add more oil as needed. You might need to wait a few seconds after applying so the sticker softens and it’s easier to untangle. Afterward, give your doggy a bath using warm water and dog shampoo to remove the vegetable oil.
Step Four: Cut extremely stubborn stickers out only as a last resort.
Use small blunt-tipped scissors to prevent injuring the skin (such as the kind you can find in a manicure set). Only do this for stickers that are too tangled, especially in the case of long-haired dogs, where trying to pull stickers out might cause more pain than necessary. Angle the scissor blades perpendicular to your dog’s skin instead of parallel to it so any resulting bald spots aren’t quite so noticeable. Gently work your way around the sticker, cutting as little hair as possible. You can also try cutting the sticker in half using the scissors. Once it’s broken, it should be a lot easier to untangle the pieces. Don’t try this if you have a jumpy dog that might stab himself trying to get away from the scissors.
Scissors are best in areas that are “hidden,” such as the belly, the toes or inside the ears. If you start cutting away on the back or neck, you might end up with lots of bald spots, so avoid it unless you have no other choice.
Step Five: Last but not least…
Groom your dog with a slicker brush after removing all of the stickers. This helps smooth out his fur and ensures that you removed all of the burrs.
The downside of outdoor fun is that your Doggie may end up covered in stickers. These stickers if not removed, can borrow into the skin and cause a lot of pain and irritation. Long-haired dogs in particular might be in for a world of trouble, as stickers can get caught in their legs, between the toes and in the hair of the ears. Tend to burrs promptly, though, as they cause matting that irritatingly pulls on your dog’s hair and skin.
If the skin is irritated or bleeding after you remove the stickers, wash it gently using a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide and a soft sponge or cotton pads. Pad — rather than rub — softly. This will prevent skin infections and ease the pain and discomfort.
Take your dog to a veterinarian or groomer if his sticker problem is too much for you to handle.