Shedding some light on pet fur: We examine some hacks for getting pet fur off clothes, look at some unusual uses for pet hair and discuss how your pet’s fur can be a sign of how healthy your pet is
According to the ASPCA, it’s estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States.
That’s a lot of loose fur.
It also means a lot of companies are probably making some serious bank from those who are trying to keep that cat or dog (or both) fur off of their furniture, floors and clothing. Indeed, there are a vast array of vacuums, lint rollers, brush/gloves, and gadgets, such as the FURminator deShedding Edge Dog Brush, all either promising to help cut down on shedding and/or make cleaning up from shedding pets easier.
There are also a lot of pet owners offering low-cost hacks.
For example, we read in a couple of places that a dry, or better yet, wet, latex glove rubbed onto clothing or bedding with fur on it will pick up astonishing amounts of loose fur. So, we tried it. Dry or wet, the glove thing did not work for us. We tried rubbing it on one of our lounge chairs (even though the dogs aren’t supposed to go on these chairs, they sometimes sneak up), and no fur showed up on the glove.
So, we tried rubbing the glove on the very fur-covered blanket two of our dogs sleep on. Still, no luck. We didn’t even have any results, other than a few stray hairs on the glove, when we started rubbing our cat and dogs with the glove.
We also tried another recommendation, which is a pumice stone. They are inexpensive and usually used in the bathtub to keep feet smooth. We didn’t have any luck with this either. It picked up a little fur, but hardly enough for us to recommend it.
Yet another recommendation is add white vinegar (one half cup) to the laundry to help loosen fur from clothing during and to also help eliminate pet odors. You can apparently either add the vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or at the beginning of the rinse cycle. We are a bit wary of this suggestion because we have heard that vinegar isn’t good for the rubber seals on appliances. (There is so much back and forth about this on the internet that we don’t know for sure whether it’s true, but it seems prudent to use vinegar on occasion rather than regularly.)
For tried and true fur removal from clothes and furniture, we will stick with lint rollers, which aren’t all the expensive, but pick up fur very easily.
That being said, maybe we shouldn’t want to eliminate loose pet fur altogether. It seems to actually have its uses.
For example, according to an article, Seven Surprising Ways to Use Pet Hair, you can actually add the stuff to your garden soil to help with fertilization or use it to make cat toys (they have a detailed video of how to do this — just click the article link).
And speaking of getting crafty, Etsy also seems to be a place where quite a bit of animal fur is put to practical or, at least, ornamental, use. One seller, for instance, offers a “Pet fur Heart Pendeant,” which will be made once you send them some of your pet’s hair.
Another offers a Custom Keepsake Heart knitted from your pet’s (dog, cat or rabbit) fur.
Finally, pet shedding can also be a sign as to your pet’s health. WebMD notes, for example, that all healthy dogs will normally shed and that regular brushing can help cut down on the amount of loose fur that you have to clean up in your home. But, excessive shedding can be the sign or stress, a diet issue or a medical problem.
Similarly, petinfo notes that cats usually shed all year long, but that excessive shedding can be a sign of disease or food allergies.
And, with rabbits, fur loss might be due to normal moulting or a dominant rabbit deciding to “barber” (pull chunks of fur out of another rabbit), but it can also be due to mites or illness, according to pets4homes.
So, if you notice your pup, cat or rabbit is doing more shedding than normal or has bald patches, consulting a veterinarian is a good idea.
Tags: getting rid of pet fur, surprising uses for pet hair, what to do with pet fur