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Throughout your fur baby’s life, he is likely to get himself into some pretty sticky situations. You’ve no doubt heard fellow pet parents’ horror stories about Rufus’s run-in with a skunk, Dudley’s endeavor to break into the trash can, or Rover’s rolling in a mud puddle. One of the stickiest situations Fido might find himself in, though, is the misfortune of chewing gum becoming stuck in his fur, whether when out for a walk on a city street or as a result of too much fun with youthful human playmates. The good news? There are several easy remedies for this unfortunate circumstance – and you probably already have many of them in your kitchen, such as ice cubes, peanut butter, vegetable oil, and mayonnaise. So, don’t fret when Clifford comes home in a chewing gum fix – just head for the kitchen.
Freeze it Off: Ice Cube
One of the first methods to attempt is the ice cube method, as it requires few materials and creates little to no mess.
- Simply rub an ice cube over the gum until the gum begins to harden.
- Once hardened, use your fingers to carefully break the crispy gum into fragments, and gently peel it from your dog’s fur, taking care not to pull at his coat.
- Repeat the process if the gum begins to soften again, and as many times as necessary to remove the gum.
Warm it Up: Hair Dryer and Vegetable Oil
If the ice cube method proves futile in your dog’s case, try its opposite: the hair dryer method (as long as Fido doesn’t mind the noise).
- First, isolate the affected area by clipping clean, unaffected hair up to keep it from becoming involved.
- Turn your hair dryer on its low, warm setting and focus the air flow directly onto the gum.
- When the gum becomes pliable, use a warm, wet cloth to massage Fido’s fur, breaking the gum down.
- Next, pour a small amount of vegetable oil onto the gum, and use a comb to gently comb out the gum, which will likely come off in small pieces. Continue until Clifford’s coat is gum-free.
- Finally, give your dog a full bath, concentrating a significant amount of dog shampoo on the area to which you applied vegetable oil to make sure you wash away any residue.
Spread it On: Peanut Butter, Mayonnaise, or Butter
If you find you’re working with a particularly tenacious piece of gum, you can resort to peanut butter, mayonnaise, or butter to beat it. Regardless of which product you pick, the steps to follow are the same:
- Use your fingertips to spread the peanut butter, mayonnaise, or butter onto the chewing gum and affected area.
- Allow your weapon of choice to percolate on Fido’s fur for at least three minutes (just make sure he doesn’t try to lick it off, as the chewing gum underneath can be toxic to dogs!).
- Use your fingertips to gently scrape the peanut butter, mayonnaise, or butter–and the gum–off your dog’s coat.
Cut it Out: A Last Resort
If, after you’ve tried all these methods, some chewing gum still remains stuck in Sadie’s fur, you may opt to use blunt scissors to carefully trim the affected area of her coat, snipping off all fur still sticky with gum. This may leave a small bald spot, but not to worry – Sadie’s coat will grow back.
Wash it Off, Eat it Up
Regardless of which method(s) you use, to remove any lingering stickiness from Rover’s coat, it’s best to follow any and all of them with a warm bath and a thorough towel drying.
After your dog is de-gummed, bathed, and dried, give him a treat for his patience!
Safety: A Final Note
While unexpected mishaps are inevitable, and all pet parents are guaranteed to be caught off guard at some point or another, the best way to keep gum out of Fido’s fur is to keep gum away from Fido in the first place. Not only can gum become stuck in your dog’s coat, but it can also cause very dangerous health concerns if ingested. Xylitol, one of the ingredients in many gums (and other foods!), is toxic to dogs. Keep all gum out of Fido’s reach at all times to protect him from eating it, or from finding it stuck in his coat.