Shedding Season Is Here

March 23, 2015

Shedding Season Is Here

Pete thinks spring is all about pretty songbirds and lazy Sundays. As a pet owner, I know different. The beginning of spring marks the start of shedding season – the time of year when you find stray cat or dog hairs all over your clothes, floors, and furniture. Walk around your house with socks? Expect a thick pile of hair to develop underneath your feet. Nap on the couch in your favorite sweater? Expect to get up in a woolen blend. Heading out in your tough-guy leather jacket and black jeans? Expect wispy cat hair to rob you of your machismo. 

Most dogs and cats shed twice a year: once in the spring, to get rid of their thick winter undercoat, and then once again in the fall, to prepare for a new “grow-in” period. Spring’s shedding season is the worse of the two.

You can manage your pet’s shedding in a number of ways. Some vets recommend that you feed them a nutritionally complete and balanced diet, and perhaps apply a vitamin-rich topical coat to their fur. The theory is that healthy hairs are less likely to shed, but I don’t know – that winter undercoat is pretty thick, and it has to go somewhere when the weather gets warm. 

The best solution I’ve found is to comb and groom your pets more often. I use the FURminator. It’s expensive (for a comb), but trust me: it’s completely worth it. You’ll want to use a wide toothed comb to remove any tangles first, but after five minutes of brushing with The FURminator, you should have enough hair to build yourself a new cat or dog. It’s a pretty heavy-duty tool, however, so you’ll only want to use it once or twice a week. Overdoing it can irritate your furry friend’s skin.

If you still find hair on your clothes – and you will – you can brush them out with a velvet-faced lint brush. I’ve also found rubber dish gloves to be remarkably effective. Only use them on sturdy fabrics, however, not things that can easily pill, such as flannel wools or knits. You’ll feel ridiculous brushing your rugged jackets with bright dish gloves, but better to suffer through two minutes of self-humiliation than go outside covered in cat hair.

(photo via trouble found me)

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