Ever brush a dog and wonder what to do with the bags of hair left behind? Wonder no longer. There are several uses for the left over fur that is considered environmentally friendly. From simple gardening tips to national awareness, dog fur has come a long way.
Dog fur may be used as a natural pest repellent. After brushing, collect the left over fur and make a nest. Fit this nest of fur around the base of a plant either in a pot or on the ground. The fur nest will capture small bugs before they begin to invade. It will also deter larger predators such as rabbits and gophers. They will smell the dog, assume there is one close by and hop along their merry way.
Wrap a small plant cage with an onion sack. Fill it with left over dog hair, dryer lint, shredded paper and twigs. Hang it outside. The birds will love this easy access to nest building.
Bring in a garden snake. Not the normal, slithery kind. This “snake” is a burlap tube filled with left over fuzz and hair. Make it as long as the garden. The dog scent will deter the smallest of pests (rabbits, gophers) and may also discourage deer from munching on the vegetables.
There is an ecological group, A Matter of Trust, that collects dog fur (and human hair) to weave together mats. These mats are put together to create containment booms. Containment booms are used to absorb disastrous oil spills, like the one in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. At the time some communities held “Fur Drives” collecting dog, cat, horse and human hair to donate. It is easiest to donate hair and fur in bulk. For more information on donating try Excess Access.
Dog fur spun into yarn is called Cheingora and is reported to be warmer than sheep’s wool and more repellent to water. Longer haired breeds are choice among spinners who prefer a softer coat (Bichon, Great Pyrenees) to a shorter coated breed. It is easier to spin fur that has been brushed out as opposed to cut. Dog owners hold a great commodity whenever they furliminate their dogs.
Some owners have also created throw pillows and dog beds from the left over fur. Simply fold a piece of fabric in half, sew three quarters of the edges, pull outside in and fill. Stitch the opening closed with thread or glued Velcro. The Velcro option gives an owner the opportunity to refill or fluff when the pillow goes flat.
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