Reuse Pet Hair

Posted on May 2, 2008 by Allie

cat-vs-hairball1

The above photograph is of the fur I brushed off of my dog yesterday (shown with cat to illustrate scale). This happens twice a year, every year, and it’s just par for the course when you have a 95lb German Shepherd (aptly nicknamed German Shedders) with a long stock coat.

But the sheer magnitude of said sheddings made me think twice about just tossing it in the trash. Apparently, I’m not alone.

This lady made a dog collar out of her dog’s hair.

This man thinks that dog hair could be used to end our energy crisis.

Some people make sweaters out of their dog’s hair. There’s even a book about knitting with hair from your dog. If you don’t want to spin your own yarn, you can send it out to be spun.

You can leave it out for the birds to make a nest of, or spread throughout your garden to ward off pests (which is what I plan to do with my latest fur pile). Or compost it.

This all goes to show that you can find a way to reuse almost anything, even if it seems a little ridiculous.

No Comments +

  1. Until March 7th, we had a 70lb Siberian Husky so I understand the shedding. We used to say “Jaxsun sheds twice a year: the first half and the second half.”

    I brushed him outside and let the fur fly to the wind. Often I saw birds and rodents gather it up for nest building.

    May 2nd, 2008 at 2:08 pm
    Comment by Howling Hill
  2. i wonder if you could use it for pillow stuffing too?

    May 2nd, 2008 at 2:17 pm
    Comment by erikka
  3. I’m sure you could, but I know which end of my dog that all came off of, and I’m not sure I want to rest my head on it.

    HH — I think it’s those “cold weather” dogs with the double coat that just shed like crazy.

    May 2nd, 2008 at 2:28 pm
    Comment by Allie
  4. i have a friend whose mom turned their dogs fur into yarn and made warm fuzzy hats, scarves, and mittens out of it! even though the dog passed away the family still has those items to bring back the fond memories! i think that’s such a great idea : ) .

    May 2nd, 2008 at 2:31 pm
    Comment by Danielle
  5. Danielle — that’s a really nice idea. Very sweet. I was just joking about which end of my dog the fur came off of. Really, it’s no different from sheep.

    May 2nd, 2008 at 3:07 pm
    Comment by Allie
  6. Just looking at that picture is sending me into a tizzy of allergies.

    Maybe I should let the birds into my house so they can pick up the cat hair for me. I’ll let you know how that turns out…

    May 2nd, 2008 at 3:26 pm
    Comment by Noelle
  7. Wow. That’s a ridiculous amount of hair!

    May 2nd, 2008 at 4:58 pm
    Comment by Jenn
  8. Noelle — maybe they’ll wash your dishes and help you get dressed and make you a ball gown too.

    Jenn — yes. Yes, it is.

    May 2nd, 2008 at 5:32 pm
    Comment by Allie
  9. Wow, that’s crazy stuff! My dog sheds, but her hair is so fine that it doesn’t amount to much other than turning our black clothing brown.

    May 2nd, 2008 at 8:54 pm
    Comment by The Modern Gal
  10. It is crazy! German Shepherds have a double coat, and the undercoat is ridiculous.

    May 2nd, 2008 at 10:01 pm
    Comment by Allie
  11. You can also felt it… to make felt. I don’t know if dog hair felts on it’s own, but know that it is easily felted when mixed with wool or is felted onto wool.
    Do a search for “dry felting” or “wet felting” or “needle felting” to get an idea of this awesome, ancient craft.
    Felting animal fur was the original way to make fabric, and id a cool way to make clothing, hats, shoes, toys, and art objects.

    May 4th, 2008 at 12:03 am
    Comment by dust
  12. That’s a great idea, dust! Thanks!

    May 4th, 2008 at 9:28 pm
    Comment by Allie
  13. How wonderful that you mentioned spinning the dog hair for a sweater! I do this very thing! I love to spin dog, even cat, hair. It’s super warm, sometimes so warm, it actually is best to blend it a bit with wool, to cut it’s insulating abilities a little. And as Dust mentioned, we also felt it. Yes, some breeds will felt very, very nicely, others do better blended with a bit of wool. Needle felting is my DD’s passion, and she LOVES to work with our Maine Coon’s hair. Really cool!

    Currently I am slowly saving up fiber from my beloved Aussie pup, Loki. I have some saved from his mother as well, but not enough to make much. She passed away 2 years ago now, after suffering from a severe illness the vets could not determine definately the cause, but we suspect poisoning from Ivomectin. I miss her terribly, and wish that I had started to save her fur sooner, for my memorial project. I plan to blend what I have of hers with some of Loki’s, so I have some from both!

    I even have a person sending me fur from his purebred Black Wolf dog to be spun! Now that will be really neat to work on!

    Kudos to you! You are doing an awsome job getting these ideas out to folks who really care about their pets!

    May 13th, 2008 at 4:26 pm
    Comment by Kimberly
  14. How wonderful that you mentioned spinning the dog hair for a sweater! I do this very thing! I love to spin dog, even cat, hair. It’s super warm, sometimes so warm, it actually is best to blend it a bit with wool, to cut it’s insulating abilities a little. And as Dust mentioned, we also felt it. Yes, some breeds will felt very, very nicely, others do better blended with a bit of wool. Needle felting is my DD’s passion, and she LOVES to work with our Maine Coon’s hair. Really cool!

    Currently I am slowly saving up fiber from my beloved Aussie pup, Loki. I have some saved from his mother as well, but not enough to make much. She passed away 2 years ago now, after suffering from a severe illness the vets could not determine definately the cause, but we suspect poisoning from Ivomectin. I miss her terribly, and wish that I had started to save her fur sooner, for my memorial project. I plan to blend what I have of hers with some of Loki’s, so I have some from both!

    I even have a person sending me fur from his purebred Black Wolf dog to be spun! Now that will be really neat to work on!

    Kudos to you!

    May 13th, 2008 at 4:29 pm
    Comment by Kimberly
  15. Thank you so much, Kimberly!

    How cool that you’re making a sweater from two generations of fur! That’s really cool!

    May 13th, 2008 at 4:45 pm
    Comment by Allie
  16. Thanks! Actually, I hope to make not only a sweater, but some socks, too, lol. I LOVE dog hair socks! Very durable, and EXTRA warm! The only thing that worries me, I’ve heard of other dogs not liking the smell of the fibers too well, even after years of wash and wear. Apperently, one man even has had dogs urinate on his feet (socks), and growl at him when he was trying to pet (mittens). Something to keep in mind, lol.

    Kim
    http://www.blessedfarm.com

    May 13th, 2008 at 6:15 pm
    Comment by Kimberly
  17. [...] Pet hair is my nemesis. As soon as I have the house clean, the hair starts collecting again. It weaves into couch cushions, rugs, car seats, and gets stuck in corners. Sure, I can get rid of it, if I spend hours with the vacuum, trying to suck it all up, but it’s not very effective, and leaving the vacuum running that long is not energy efficient. [...]

    May 28th, 2008 at 12:00 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » Works for Me Wednesday: Clean Up Dog Hair
  18. I typically blade my doggy outside, that way the birdies have the option of using it for nesting… I throw dryer lint outside for the same purpose.

    August 14th, 2008 at 9:39 pm
    Comment by Sunshine
  19. One way to help lessen hair shed before vacuuming house is to vacuum the dog first. They have to be comfortable with the noise of the vacuum and keep it away from their face and ears, but my dog gets excited when I get the vacuum out because she knows she will get a nice vacuum massage, and it really does seem to help keep the hair down.

    December 21st, 2008 at 1:24 am
    Comment by Marion
  20. potters can use animal hair for ‘fuming’ pots. a primitive technique for adding color in selective places.

    July 31st, 2009 at 1:04 pm
    Comment by d

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If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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