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Dear Tabby: Creative Uses For Your Pet’s Fur | Community

Dear Tabby,

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

Frustrated with fur in Forest West

Dear frustrated with fur,

Summer is a common time for many pets. Your dog is probably still shedding his winter coat and getting ready for a new coat for the cooler weather ahead. Here are a few ways to reduce the amount of fur shedding and (perhaps) reduce your balayage as well.

Tips to reduce losses

It is important to take good care of your dog’s coat, even when he is actively shedding it. Regular baths and brushing will help loosen old fur and make way for shiny new things. By monitoring your dog’s grooming, you can help minimize loose fur floating around your home and help his coat look shiny and soft throughout the shedding season.

Now what to do with that fur?

Although 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 that can benefit the environment. Naturally, anything you can keep out of your garbage bags will help lighten the load on our landfills, so let’s explore other ways to dispose of your pet’s lint.

Compost it

Animal hair is full of nitrogen, which makes it good for composting. Although it takes a while to break down, it can absolutely go in the compost bin and help you create rich soil for your garden.

Use it to ward off pests

Put the stray fur in your flower beds or other places where pests like deer or rabbits might eat your plants. The smell of your pet’s fur will deter other animals from approaching the area.

give it away

No, it’s not like a Locks of Love situation, but you CAN donate your pet’s fur to organizations that help clean up oil spills. For example, Matter of Trust accepts donations of pets and human hair for use in cleaning up oil spills on our shores. 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 is not treated with medicated flea shampoos and topical treatments, you can leave your pet’s fur outside for birds to use as nesting material. Especially when grass and foliage are at a minimum, birds appreciate the use of fur 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 we expect when we own pets, but it’s comforting to know that not all lost fur should be wasted.

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