7 Unexpected Uses For Dog Hair

Did you know that there’s multiple uses for dog hair? I’d heard that some people use dog hair for compost, but that’s about it. I certainly didn’t know dog hair is being used to help clean up oil spills.

Cleaning up dog hair isn’t fun, but it’s a part of our daily routine – and most of the time it ends up in the garbage. But before you throw it away check out this list; maybe you can find a way to use all that dog hair after all.

Cleaning Up Oil Spills

You can send your excess dog hair clippings to the California based non profit Matteroftrust. They use human and dog hair alike to make oil spill hair booms made from recycled pantyhose. Hair is very efficient at collecting oil from the water and it’s very adsorbent – meaning it clings to; unlike absorbent which soaks up.

In 2010 they sent 400,000 pounds of these booms to the Gulf Coast to help aid in the BP oil spill cleanup.

Currently their warehouse is full thanks to many generous donations but you can sign up to get on their mailing list. They’ll keep you updated the next time they’re in need of dog and human hair.

gulf spill fiber booms

Gulf Spill Hair Booms – Orange Beach, AL – June 2010

Dog Hair as a Pest Repellent

Dog hair can act as a natural repellent to pests. If you have a garden sprinkle some dog fur around to keep rabbits, deer, gophers and other unwanted garden visitors away.

Using Dog Hair For Compost

You can also use dog hair (or any hair for that matter since it all works the same way) as compost. Spread it around evenly so it will break down easier.

Dog Hair For The Birds

If you like birds in the springtime you can leave some dog hair in an easily accessible place; they’ll use it to construct nests. To keep the dog hair from blowing around you can place it into an orange onion bag, mesh bag, or nylon sack. You can try draping it directly onto branches. Make sure you don’t use pet fur that’s been treated with flea or tick chemicals.

Knitting With Dog Hair

There’s a book called Knitting With Dog Hair, I haven’t read it but Jay on Goodreads left a pretty raving review: “I love this book! I knitted a sweater for my dog out of her own hair! I knitted myself some socks from the dog next door!”

uses of dog hair

Knitting With Dog Hair Back Cover

Making Yarn

You can also make your own yarn or hire someone to spin it for you. There’s a lot of companies that make custom made dog yarn. If you’re going to make your own yard I imagine the options are limitless; gloves, dreamcatchers, scarves, matching jumpers.

Using Dog Hair for Stuffing

If you make pillows guess what makes a great stuffing – yep, it’s dog hair. You can also use it to stuff toys. If you’re making toys for your dog from their own hair they might be confused; or they might love it even more. I’m not sure how dogs think about these sorts of things. If you want to mess with the cat make her a toy from your dogs hair.

Next time your emptying your vacuum consider leaving a bit out for the birds, knitting yourself a sweater, or sending it off to help cleanup an oil spill.

Photo credit – Brian Clayton

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