Owning a dog or cat is a tremendously rewarding endeavour. A member of either species will offer its owner a sizeable portion of joy, companionship and mental stimulation throughout its life. That said, there are a few downsides to ownership, and one of them comes in the form of shedding. Being furry mammals, both cats and dogs will invariably leave a trail of stray hairs in their wake wherever they go. This is particularly so at times of year where shedding occurs – such as during spring and late summer.
This can not only be an annoyance – it can be a health problem too, as fur (and the microscopic proteins that come with it) might set off an allergic reaction. In this article, we’ll examine some of the ways this problem might be guarded against.
Get an animal that doesn’t shed much
Prevention, as the saying goes, is far better than cure. And so it proves here: it’s far easier to select a pet that doesn’t shed much than it is to try to manage one that does. Naturally, furry breeds of dog and cat, like the Samoyed and Persian, will shed more than their short-haired cousins.
If someone in your household is allergic to fur, then you might understandably be in search of an animal that doesn’t shed at all. Now, it’s worth considering that evidence of allergy-proof pets is scarce – some sufferers report that their symptoms are much reduced around some animals, but this is hardly a basis for a broad recommendation of one breed of cat or dog over another.
While a search for a ‘hypoallergenic’ cat might prove fruitless, it’s worth looking into a few different breeds, and spending time with a prospective pet before committing to a purchase. That way there won’t be any nasty surprises later on, when it’s too late to turn back.
Get a lint roller
One popular weapon in the battle against shedding is the humble lint roller. These devices are extremely simple, consisting of little more than a roll of sticky paper attached to a plastic handle. But they’re also extremely effective, and will rapidly rid a fabric surface of all of those stray dog and cat hairs. If you’ve just had your cat or dog on your lap, and had them shed heavily all over your nice new jumper, then a lint roller is an ideal solution.
Brush your pet
If you’re the owner of an especially fluffy cat or dog, then you might notice that much of the hair that they shed is already loose in their fur coat – and a brushing session will lift it out. This means that all of the loose fur will be on your brush, and not spread across your upholstery. Regular brushing sessions, particularly during malting season, will therefore go a long way toward keeping your house free from loose hair.
Get a boot liner
If you’re the owner of a dog, then the chances are that you’ll need to occasionally transport it in the back of your car. If you’re looking to go on holiday with the dog, or to move house, then this is almost unavoidable. But even if you’re just going to pop ten minutes down the road to the local nature reserve for a long walk at the weekend, then you’ll need to do so with your dog in the boot.
This proposition is troubling not only because of stray hair – once your dog has been for a walk through the countryside, they’ll likely be covered in all manner of mud and debris, which they’ll delight in distributing across your boot. Fortunately, there’s a way of protecting your car, and that’s with a boot liner.
Boot liners come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most inexpensive are little more than sheets of fabric which will loosely fit within your boot. In terms of protection, these are little better than blankets. All of that loose hair and dirt will quickly find its way through the cracks and onto your car.
Boot protectors which are specially made to fit a given model of car are invariably far more effective. They provide a tight seal through which stray hair and dirt cannot penetrate. What’s more, they’re invariably far more durable than their cheaper counterparts, and represent an economy in the long run. Hatchbag boot mats and liners are a great means of protecting your boot against stray hair; the range includes BMW, Ford and Land Rover boot liners.