Dog fur can be a real annoyance for those of us who own canine companions. It gets on our clothes and furniture, forms giant dust bunnies under the bed, and sometimes even finds its way into our food. But have you ever thought about putting all that hair to good use? Here are seven things you can do with your dog’s fur.
Just like you can spin and knit sheep’s wool, you can do the same thing with dog fur. From mittens to a sweater, a piece of clothing knit from your dog’s fur is a special memento. But not all dog hair can be spun into chiengora, the official term for wool spun from dog fur. The best fur for spinning is the undercoat of longhaired, rough-coated dogs, such as the Golden Retriever or Newfoundland. The longer the undercoat, the better it spins. For those dogs with shorter undercoats, the fur can be blended with a longer fiber, for example sheep wool or alpaca fleece, to make wool. And for dogs with short strands, like the Rottweiler, the fur can be sprinkled into a longer fiber during the spinning process. But be warned: sprinkled fur can fall out of a garment over time.
It should be noted that you can only spin fur that has been brushed out of your dog. Clippings from the groomer or a shedding blade won’t cut it, because the entire hair shaft is needed. Once you gather your fur pile, you can card and spin it yourself, or take advantage of companies, such as Knit Your Dog, that will make the wool for you and even knit a garment of your choosing.
Give It to the Birds
Birds love a cozy nest and will happily line the inside of their home with dog fur. You can wrap tufts around the tops of bushes and fence posts, or for a tidier option, put the fur in a suet cage or small paper bag and let your feathered friends pick out what they need. Although your dog might love barking at the neighborhood birds, you can feel good about providing them with some insulation.