Burrs in Furrrrs

And NO 
I’m not talking about the cold! 

Have you ever
spent an invigorating morning
on the trails
then get in the car
just to be confronted
with THIS?

It may look bad, but these are the EASY ones!

I never travel without a brush in the car for just this kind of thing! These small burrs come right out with a brush as long as you catch them before they become too entangled in the fur. If they DO get entangled in the fur, just brush sections at a time without pushing the brush too deeply into the fur until the surface burrs are out. Start at the ends, work to the roots.
Just brush!

In case you are caught off guard, these small burrs can be removed by holding them GENTLY with the nails of your thumb and pointer finger and pulling slowly. But again, you have to get to them quickly before the fur gets too entangled. If you get resistance, try separating out a bit of fur at a time.

Our favored brush is a self cleaning slicker brush with rubber tipped metal bristles, like the one here. Frequently clearing the brush makes the job much easier!

And then we have…

The dreaded BURDOCK

These plants can get to be taller than I am. The leaves range from small at the ends of branches to double basketball size near the bottom of more established stalks. Each seed pod can grow as big as my thumb. They stick to almost everything and they can HURT so be careful! If you are unlucky enough to find one growing on your property, dig deep and wide and get as much of the root as possible. They spread by the roots traveling underground, so just cutting the stalk will not kill it. I have been battling these plants for years on my property and have been unable to totally eradicate it. I try to avoid using poisons, but these have me seriously considering it!

a full size burdock plant

How to remove a burdock seed pod from your dog’s fur:

Green burdock seed pods:

If you see them right away, hold the pod gently and carefully pull the fur away from the pod a tiny bit at a time.
If the fur is tangled on the seed pod, there is not much that can be done without a pair of scissors. I have been told that you can cut the fingers of the seed pod instead of cutting the dog’s fur and the fingers can then be brushed out but I have not tried this approach yet. If anyone does try it, let us know!

Brown burdock seed pods (in the fall):

Once the pods dry out, they are easy to remove! Dig your thumbs into the middle of the pod (any side) and break the pod in two. It falls apart and stops sticking to the fur. Magic! Even if the fur is matted around the pod, this method works. Just use a brush to brush out the pieces. I recommend NOT doing this outdoors, as the seeds fall out and scatter.
FYI, if you try this method with a green pod, it will not work. They open but do not break apart and the inside is sticky, which just spreads to the dog’s fur.

Not so bad!

Toss a brush and a pair of scissors in the car and take your dogs for a hike!

Enjoy your time with your best friends!