How Do I Remove Burrs From My Dog?
While it’s a great time of year to play outside, it’s also a great time of year for burrs. If your dog gets burrs or stickers, it’s important to remove them so they don’t cause mats, or worse, get into the skin causing discomfort, or even infection. Here’s how to remove them safely.
Step 1: Get them right away
If you’ve been in an area that has a lot of burrs, check your dog over before she comes inside or gets in the car. If you can get them before she has a chance to lay on them, bite at them, or otherwise work them into her coat, they will come away much more easily. Be sure to thoroughly check all over her legs, armpits, belly, tail, and between her toes.
If you find burrs and your dog is wet, proceed very carefully. Water can cause the burrs to swell up and hold on even more tightly, and wet hair can be difficult to untangle.
Step 2: Protect yourself
If the burrs are a particularly sharp and spiny variety, you might want to get some gloves.
Step 3: Start at the outside
If your dog has a blob of burrs all together, start with the loosest ones. Gently pull the fur away from the burr to see if it will come out easily.
You can offer treats and praise throughout the process to keep the experience as pleasant as possible for your dog.
Step 4: Comb it
Hold the hair between the burr and the skin so you don’t pull and hurt her. Use a wide-toothed metal comb, or if you don’t have one, a fork, and carefully work the burr free. Repeat as much as possible with the remaining burrs.
Step 5: Crush it
If the blob of burrs is stuck tight, you can try CAREFULLY crushing the burrs with gloved fingers or a pair of pliers – this will help break up the burrs, and bend the spines so they can’t grab the hair as easily. Again, be sure to hold the hair so you don’t pull it, and be really sure you aren’t going to pinch your dog’s skin. Then, repeat Step 4.
Step 6: Get help
If the burrs are really stuck in there and are close to the skin, seek the help of a professional groomer or veterinarian. Getting close to a dog’s skin with scissors can be tricky and dangerous – it is very easy to accidentally cut the skin when burrs are close to the base of the coat.
Removing burrs can be tricky, but it’s important for your dog’s comfort and health. Keep the experience positive with plenty of praise and treats, and you’ll be a pro in no time. And hey, any time you aren’t comfortable with