Cats may be pets with a reputation for curiosity, but dogs are not slackers when getting into trouble. If your dog steps into a sticky situation, you might wonder how to clean up the mess. In this article, we’ll give you five expert tips on how to get gum out of a dog paw.
Keep reading for all the details and a quick warning about how some gum could be dangerous if your dog tries to chew it out on their own.
Before You Get Started
Before you start removing gum from your dog’s paw, read the label to find out if the sticky treat is sugar-free. Sugar-free gum is typically sweetened by a substance called xylitol, which is toxic to dogs if ingested. Unless you catch your dog right as they step in the gum, there’s a decent chance your pup will try to chew the mess out on their own.
If the gum contains xylitol and you’re worried your dog may have swallowed some, call your vet immediately. The signs of xylitol poisoning can appear in as little as 20 minutes and can be life-threatening if not treated.
Xylitol causes a dangerous drop in blood sugar, which can lead to seizures and weakness. It also impacts the dog’s liver. Quick veterinary care is essential if your dog eats xylitol.
Removing sticky gum from your dog’s paw can be tricky, so if there is a lot of gum stuck or your dog is very sensitive to having their paws touched, it may be best to contact your vet for help before attempting to remove it at home.
Preparation to Get Gum Out of Your Dogs Paw
Once you determine that your dog is safe from xylitol poisoning, you can get started removing the gum from its paw. Gather the following supplies:
You may also need a human assistant to hold your dog still while you get the gum out of its paw.
The 5 Ways to Get Gum Out of a Dog Paw
1. Rub the Area with Something Oily
The best way to break down the gum in your dog’s paw is usually to cover it with something oily. Peanut butter is commonly suggested to remove gum from human children’s hair and may also work on your dog. Just make sure you use xylitol-free peanut butter.
Mineral oil, olive oil, or even mayonnaise may also work. The key is to use an oily substance that is safe for your dog to ingest if they lick it. Rub the stuck gum in your dog’s paw with your oily substance of choice and allow it to sit for several minutes. Distract your dog with treats if necessary to keep them from licking the paw.
2. Use a Comb
After the oily substance and gum have been in contact for a few minutes, use a wide-toothed comb to work the stuck treat loose from your dog’s paw. Work slowly and gently to avoid pulling your dog’s hair.
If the gum is mostly stuck to your dog’s paw pad rather than the hair, you may need to use your fingers to pry it loose rather than a comb.
3. Wipe the Paw with a Cloth
If the gum is stubborn, try using a cloth or rag to work it loose. You could soak the cloth in more of the oily substance to make removal more effective. Rub steadily but gently to avoid harming or irritating your dog’s paw.
4. Use Mini Clippers
If you can access a pair of miniature electric clippers, you could use them to trim off the stuck gum in your dog’s paw hair. Don’t use scissors for this task because it is easy to accidentally cut your dog’s skin or paw pads with them. Also, only try the clippers if you’re comfortable using them and know how to do it safely. Sometimes using ice cubes on the gum to harden it before clipping it out can be helpful.
5. Wash the Paw
Once the gum is removed from your dog’s paw, wash off the oily remnants with warm water and pet-safe shampoo. Dry your dog’s paw thoroughly and reward your pup with treats for surviving the whole sticky ordeal!
Because gum frequently contains xylitol, it’s best to keep the sticky substance safely away from your dog. If your dog accidentally steps in gum, use our expert tips to remove the substance quickly and safely to avoid ingestion. Contact your vet for help if you need it and if there’s any chance your dog has swallowed sugar-free gum with xylitol, head to the vet as soon as possible. Even a small amount of xylitol can be toxic to your dog, so you don’t want to delay treatment.