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Woof Wednesday: A Big Hairy Deal

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The fur flies this time of year at my house. With an off-white carpet (when it’s clean, that is!), the Siamese wannabe’s shedding isn’t such a problem unless I wear black. But the Magical-dawg might as well be Go-Dawg-Van-Gogh using hair as his artistic medium to swirl interesting fuzzy logic patterns on the floor. See, when he sheds he itches, and when he itches, he chews–different than the Ask Amy puppy chew answers from yesterday, too. He’s got the “don’t cares & cain’t hep its” cuz he’s a German Shepherd fella. Chewing fur could lead to doggy hairballs–and boy, would the cat laugh!

Now, if he was a Puli, like the lovely fellow up above, the shed fur would simply get caught into dreadlocks. This breed looks sort of like scrubbing bubbles as they move. I could trade in the carpet for hardwood floors, and he’d take care of the mopping for me.

Yorkie in papers
Or I could trade Magic in on a Yorkie. They have hair–not fur–and require papers to stay tangle-free. Heck, I don’t spend that much time on my own hair. Guess I’ll stick with my Magical-Marker.

The majority of doggies (and cats) shed. Floating fur increases the challenge of keeping just-washed apparel a Fido-free zone. Unless you’re a passionate pet lover who considers pet hair to be a condiment, understanding how to tame the hairy mess will keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy and simplify housecleaning.

Don’t blame warmer weather. It’s light exposure, either to sun or artificial light, determines the amount and timing. More hair is shed during the greatest exposure to light. You can find out more about shedding and how to manage your fur challenges with these 6 Shedding Tips in my latest Paw Nation article.


Or you could trade in your fur-maniac for a lovely Chinese Crested beauty, like the fellow above. Hey, don’t bark at the messenger, I don’t want to split hairs. Just dishing up the naked truth. *ducking*

So do y’all have a “big hairy deal” with pet shedding? How do you corral all the drifts of fur? Do you knit dog fur hats? Provide nesting material for area flocks? Doing nothing can lead to hot spots, hair mats, or hairballs (stay tuned for a Feline Friday hairballs feature). Please share your fur care tips.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

13 responses »

  1. Nice dogs, love the one you can’t see where the nose is, but I would go for wooden floors without any mats 🙂 If it wasn’t for my rabbit Pelle I wouldn’t have many rugs/mats.

    Rabbits do also shed, and a lot, and even more when it is that season. Would be interresting to hear of some works done with fur from rabbits and cats and dogs. I know it can be done, but I haven’t tried. Maybe I will some day. I read that much depends on the quality of the hair of the animal.


  2. Hi Lotta,

    My colleague Cheryl Smith has spun dog hair into dog wool and made a hat, I think–she said it was so hot to wear! By the way, Cheryl is the Mixed Breed dog blogger in my “favorite links” so check out her columns–probably could ask her about that.

    Just did a review of the FURminator (not posted yet) and they have them sized for rabbits and other critters. I’d be interested how well others like them. Bunnies are kewl–we had one when I was a kid for a while. And I fear it’s “bunny season” with Easter upon us, so hope folks get good info before they adopt!

    • Agree, let’s hope they do. Keeping a rabbit as a pet might seem easy, but they do need a lot of care and attention.

      Interresting, then I can read about the FURminator in your next(?) newsletter.


  3. Um, shedding? Remember Mark, the Husky/German Sheppard/Wolf cross? Huskies have an undercoat. A thick undercoat. This means that they are quite comfortable prancing around in Minus 40 temperatures before the wind chill factor is taken into account, and they don’t mind the wind chill either.

    The undercoat falls out. And out. And out. It piles up. In corners. Against doors. It clogs the lint trap in the clothes dryer. Dad used to run the air conditioning unit on the house he bought in town during the summer just for Mark. He would have never run it for himself.

    After Mark died, it was over a week before we could bring ourselves to vacuum and do the clothes washing. Because not having to pull bits of Mark out of the lint trap and unclog the vacuum cleaner hose would just be too painful.

    We’re mostly over it now. Mark sits in his urn, watching over us. And yes, we got some of his fur clipped, and a paw print taken. The fur and the paw print are in a box next to the urn. There’s a tear going down my face as I type this. I miss the big goof.


    • Which reminds me. He’s got to get a staring role in the second and third parts of the trilogy. The first part was too far along when he died for me to write him in.

      Damn, there’s another tear.


  4. Wayne, it’s been over a decade since I lost my first heart-dog and I still get teary thinking of him. He’s the reason I’m a pet writer…

    Aw dang it…see what you started? *sniff*

    • I did also get a tear in my eye when I read about Mark. I’ve also lost a special pet, a cat Lady named Mysan, and still miss her. 16 yrs ago.


      • Neighbor who was running a boarding house had an old cat. She was named Whiskers. One of the boarders, who was a few cans short of a six pack had one day decided to cut off all her whiskers. Poor cat. Then one of the boarders got an enormous dog, and the cat, who was tiny, was terrified.

        They asked if we could take her in. We were delighted. Sure, she was about 16, but she was a such a gentle cat. She hid under the couch for the first week.

        After she got used to us, we worked on socializing her. She got really good with us and the kids, but would usually hide when visitors came. She slept on the bed with us, usually on my chest.

        One morning I woke up with the most horrible burning sensation on my head. I had a cat draped over my head. I talked to Heather, my wife about it, and we came to the conclusion that her old bones were feeling the cold (it was October, in Canada). So I toughened it up, and resigned myself to waking up each morning with my brains cooking.

        One day I realized that I’d woken up two mornings in a row without my head cooking. Heather and I went looking for Whiskers. We looked everywhere. She was a house cat. Never went outdoors. So we knew she was inside. We found her under Vicky’s bed (Vicky was 2 then, she’s 19 now), unable to move.

        We got a couple of towels from the closet, used one for a pad under her, and wrapped her in the other one to keep her warm, and sat with her. She didn’t last long.

        We buried her under the rose bush in the garden, wrapped in that towel, with her collar and tags on. I think the kids put some of her toys with her. Some archaeologist may find her some day and know that she was loved.


        PS: Damn, now I’m crying again.

  5. Thank you for sharing this Wayne. She must have been so happy to stay with you, my belife is that a cat knows when it is loved.

    Take care

  6. Pingback: Feline Friday: National Hairball Awareness Day « Amy Shojai's Blog

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