The Downside of Owning a Pet

DownsideIt gets everywhere ~ on your sofa, collecting in balls and rolling around on your floor, on your clothes, in your dinner… Yes, I’m talking about pet hair, of course! Sure, we all adore our four-legged friends but sometimes their coats can be the bane of our existence!

Many people choose the breed of their pet based on temperament, size, tolerance for children, appearance and demeanor, but not many of us have the forethought to consider whether Fluffy or Fido will leave half of her coat against the fabric of the sofa when she gets up. Not to mention, there’s the wonderful process of moulting; that blessed seasonal event when, depending if it’s early autumn or late spring, the coat is shed to make way for a more seasonally appropriate one.

Yes, dealing with your pet’s hair can be quite a chore. Between the vacuuming, sweeping, lint-rolling and dust-busting, you can’t help but wonder why your pet isn’t completely bald with all the hair you find. So, is there anything you can do to keep your canine or kitty companion’s hair where it’s supposed to be – on his body? As disappointing as it may be, there is no way to stop a healthy pet from shedding. However, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of hair that makes its way from your pet to your furniture, countertops, favorite pair of pants, inside the refrigerator (Yes! It gets everywhere!).

  • While shedding is normal, excessive shedding may be the cause of an underlying issue, including stress, a poor diet, or a medical problem. An examination by your veterinarian can best determine if your pet’s hair loss is normal or not.
  •  Give Fido or Fluffy a good brushing regularly to reduce the tumbleweeds of fur rolling across your kitchen floor. Brushing is the best thing you can do to keep your home free from loose hair, and it will also make your pet’s coat softer, cleaner, and less likely to shed.
  • Invest in a specialty grooming tool like the FURminator. The tool helps to thin out the coats of both dogs and cats, reaching both the top coat and the undercoat, which is the major source of shedding. A pet’s coat is often a reflection of what they eat. Feed your four-legged friend high quality food with good digestible protein sources. Not sure what to buy? Ask your veterinarian for suggestions.
  • Washing your pet’s coat is a great way to loosen fur so it collects in a nice pile in the tub, rather than all over your carpet and furniture. Give a good brushing before and after the bath, and don’t use heat to dry your pet’s coat.
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your pet’s food daily. The omega-3 fatty acids it contains will condition the skin and coat, minimizing shedding.
  • Shortening your pet’s hair can reduce the volume of shedding. Either invest in hand-held clippers, or make a regular grooming appointment. Don’t cut it too short since it’s your pet’s only form of UV protection, but in reducing the length of his fur, you’ll make shedding easier to manage 



Sure, shedding is a downside of having a pet, but it in no way overshadows all the upsides, including the constant companionship, devotion, entertainment and love they bring to our lives.

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