How to Clean Tar off a Dog’s Paws

How to Clean Tar off a Dog’s Paws

By Jane K - 25 of May, 2021

Kate said, “How can I get rid of tar off of my dogs paws? He stepped in some tar that washed up on the road and it really dirty.”

Table of Contents:

  1. You Will Need
  2. Removing the Tar
  3. Additional Tips

Dogs are just as likely as humans to step in tar, possibly even more so because they don’t know to avoid it. It's worse than it gets into the fur and between their paw pads, making it more difficult to remove. And in this post, I will give some special tips with a few household items that are all you need to quickly remove the tar.

1. You Will Need

  • Dawn dish liquid
  • A towel
  • Margarine
  • sandwich
  • A cloth
  • Mayonnaise
  • A trash bag
  • A plastic scraper
  • Cooking oil
  • A bag
  • Baking soda
  • Water

2. Steps to Remove the Stain:

1. You can go outside or lay a plastic trash bag on the floor indoors and take your dog lay on the trash bag while you work on getting rid of the tar to avoid spreading it. For more tips, cut the trash bag open to create more surface area.


2. Scrape the tar off by using a plastic scraper or something that can either be easily cleaned or thrown away afterward. Remove the tar from the surface of the paw first, then remove it from between the paw pads to protect the paw away from the tar pushing further into the paw pads, making it more difficult to remove

3. Once you have removed off all you can put cooking oil into the remaining tar. Put the paw in Leakproof Bagsto prevent your dog from licking it. Allow the oil to sit on the paw for several hours or overnight. If you do not have any cooking oil, margarine or mayonnaise can be used instead. However, as these items are more attractive for your dog to eat

4. Wipe the oil and tar out of your dog’s paw with a dry cloth.

5. Wash the paw with the dog's shampoo or Dawn dish liquid to remove any remaining oil.

6. Rinse the paw thoroughly, rubbing your fingers between the paw pads to remove any soap residue.

7. Pat the paw dry with a towel.

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Additional Tips and Ideas

  • If you are not able to clean off the tar immediately, tie Leakproof Bags onto the paw to prevent your dog from licking the tar. However, do not use a rubber band to hold the bag in place as this can cut off your dog’s circulation.

  • It is important to get rid of all of the tar immediately as dogs will try to clean it off themselves if given the chance and likely will end up ingesting it.


  • Strong chemicals should never be used on your dog to remove the tar as they could poison your dog or damage their skin.

  • Do not start by trying to use water to remove the tar. Water will usually help the tar to set, making it more difficult to remove. Only use water after removing as much of the tar as possible.


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