POTW 8-6

Meet Leilani! This three year old boxer-mix was found wandering the streets and is so grateful to be safe now that she will likely never leave your lap! Leilani is sweet, affectionate and is working hard to learn basic commands. She would be a wonderful family dog and will do beautifully in a home with lots of love, patience and warm laps to share. To learn more, go to: www.cap4pets.org.

Dear Tabby,

Our dog is doing her seasonal shed and there are tumbleweeds of fur rolling through our house! I’m sweeping as often as I can, but I was wondering if there was something I could be doing to help manage the shed and also, something else to do with the fur that is all over my house. Aside from knitting a sweater with it, I’m open to any ideas!

Frustrated with Fur in Forest West

Dear Frustrated with Fur,

Summer is a common time for many pets to shed. Your dog is probably still sloughing off her winter coat and preparing for a new coat for the upcoming cooler weather. Here are some ways to reduce the amount of fur that is coming off of her and (maybe) reduce your sweeping, too.

Tips to reduce shedding

It’s important to take good care of your dog’s coat--even when she’s actively shedding it. Regular baths and brushing will help to loosen the old fur and make way for the shiny new stuff. By staying on top of your dog’s grooming, you’ll be able to help minimize the loose fur floating around in your house and help her coat to be shiny and soft throughout the shedding season.

Now, what to do with that fur?

While the most common way to dispose of your pet’s fur is to throw it away, there are actually other ways to dispose of it which can be helpful to the environment. Naturally, anything that you can keep out of your garbage bags will help lighten the load on our landfills, so let’s explore some alternative ways of disposing of your pet’s fluff.

Compost it

Pet hair is full of nitrogen, so that makes it good for composting. While it does take some time to break down, it can absolutely go in the compost bin and help you to create rich soil for your garden.

Use it to keep pests away

Put the shedded fur in your flower beds or other places where pests like deer or rabbits might be eating your plants. The scent from your pet’s fur will deter other animals from going near the area.

Donate it

No, this isn’t like a Locks of Love situation, but you CAN donate your pet’s fur to organizations that help to clean up oil spills. For instance, Matter of Trust accepts pet and human hair donations to use when cleaning up oil spills on our coastlines. Hair is very absorbent, so it’s a great natural way to keep oil out of our waters. 

For the birds

As long as your pet’s fur isn’t treated with medicated flea shampoos and topical treatments, you can leave your pet’s fur out for the birds to use as nesting material. Especially when grass and foliage is at a minimum, birds appreciate fur to use to help build their nests. 

Getting a little creative with your pet’s fur can, not only help keep your home tidy, but also potentially help the environment. Fur is something that we come to expect when we’re pet owners, but it’s comforting to know that all of the shedded fur doesn’t have to go to waste.

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