Dogs love the beach, but sand tends to stick in their coats and on their skin. Especially when it’s mixed with a little salt water or lake water, sand can be difficult to get off your dog. A bit of intensive grooming will be needed to get your dog ready to return to your clean house.
The best way to rid of beach sand is to give your medium- and long-coated dog a good brush-down with a slicker brush before he comes inside. Some groomers prefer a curved-back slicker because it seems to cover more surface with each stroke. If the dog can crate-dry for a while and then be brushed outside, all the better.
To get any remaining grains and to help loosen sand on short-coated dogs, fill a shaker full of cornstarch and sprinkle it on your dog’s coat. Rub it in a bit, then brush the coat. Do this outside, as it may be a bit messy, but the cornstarch adds some slip to the coat and helps remove the sand and grit. A bonus is that it’s inexpensive and nontoxic.
When your dog gets into tree sap, tar, chewing gum, or other sticky objects that seem impossible to remove, try soaking the sticky area with a little bit of vegetable oil, then rubbing it off with your fingers or a towel. Vegetable oil dissolves most sticky substances.
If your dog has picked up some burrs, try picking them out with your fingers, with the help of a metal comb to tease them out. For stubborn burrs, try rubbing a little bit of cornstarch into the area. Let it sit for a few minutes and then remove the burrs.
Originally published in AKC Family Dog.