How can I reuse or recycle … shedded animal hair?

Dogs and their fluffOne of the ways we ask for suggestions of items to feature here is for people to send in clever things they’ve done. Wendy Brodie did just that and sent in some great ideas:

I have 2 long haired dogs and the hair when they moult is quite substantial. I used to do some spinning and weaving and it could be used for this.

I also hoover it up and put it straight in the compost heap. However this spring I bent some chicken wire into a cylindrical container, hung it in a handy place in the garden and each time I brush the dogs I put the combings into it.

It is lovely watching the small birds coming for bits of fur to line their nests.

We do the bird nest thing too – using the ivy up the front of our house to hold the wares instead of chicken wire – and if you want to go the other way, there are a couple of companies about the web which will spin the fluff for you (this one gives instructions but has stopped taking in work at the moment).

Animal fluff (like human hair) can also be composted or used around plants to keep slimy things at bay (slugs and snails don’t like the rough texture so are less likely to climb over it to get to your seedlings).

Any other suggestions for ways it can be reused?

(Photos of the lovely Kookie and Rosie, and the chicken wire fluff holder, by Wendy)

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25 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … shedded animal hair?”

  1. Nichola says:

    Spin it into yarn!
    Check out these sites i found by googling ‘Spinning dog hair’

    Juat imagine, you could WEAR your dog!

  2. Rosalind says:

    I wonder if it would make good stuffing for toys and cushions? You’d need quite a lot for a cushion. I remember in spinning classes that you have to wash dog hair wool very well or it will always have that doggy tang! I suspect that Dreft is probably best. You can also use cat hair from the long-haired breeds but it takes longer to collect enough.

  3. I spin dog hair, too!

  4. anonymous says:

    you can disperse it into your garden so raccoons and skunks won’t dig… they recognize both human and dog hair,it deters them

  5. G. Ross says:

    All of these sound totally nasty.

    You know, we don’t need to recycle EVERYTHING.

    • Amber says:

      No, it’s really not nasty at all! I never understood why people were so freaked out by hair and fingernails. They really are not gross. Think about it: is it gross to pet your dog? Is it gross to run your fingers through your hair? How about holding someone’s hand? There are fingernails on that hand. It seems like as soon as one of these items leaves the body, people start freaking out and screeching “eww OMG!! It’s a HAIR!!” or “ewww nasty! A fingernail!!”

      You wear wool and angora, right? That’s hair from sheep, goats, rabbits, and alpaca. How is cat or dog hair more disgusting? :)

    • Anonymous says:

      At this point in global warming we DO need to recycle everything. Don’t be a stubborn fool, give back to the world as much as you take away!

  6. Andrew Needham says:

    we could recycle everything though, huh? wouldn’t that be interesting?

  7. Suzi says:

    I’ve got 5 cats, 3 of which I could make 100 other cats out of their fur! I don’t want to weave, nor do I have the time to, but, I’d like to know someone that does. One of the cats is a British Shorhair with short, but, VERY DENSE hair, along with a DSH with the same type of fur & a Main Coon mix. The other 2 have very fine hair. Please let me know if someone can weave a sweater, scarf or something out of all this hair! Thanx!

    • sarah says:

      I have a semi long haired moggie that I comb with a metal flea comb once or twice a day depending on the time of year. She loves being combed and as a result there is hardly any of her fur around the house and she hardly get fur balls to cough up. Her coat is very soft and shiny. I have noted that the saved hair makes a very very dense ball. I think you could make felt with it. In my case grey felt. Its very hard to pull apart a ball of this cat hair. I am sure if you keep small rodents that they would love to line their sleeping quarters with the stuff. A case of “snug as a bug”.

  8. I have a AKC German Shepherd, Defendore Guardian Von Nahm, and he sheds so much, but by grooming him everyday, keeps him looking great but I have loads of molted hair.

    It sounds great about recycling molted hair.

    If anyone needs any, email me.

    author of: A Trilogy to Die for
    available at, Pay Pal or at my website,

  9. daniel says:

    !!!compost it!!!

  10. Katiiieee x says:

    ii Havv Readd Aboutt Recycliinngg Dogg Furr Butt Doess Eny1 No Enythiinngg Boutt Recyclinngg Cat Fur ?? x

  11. I am a groomer in Texas and am looking for a way to do it greener. I want to donate some of the trashbags full of dog hair I cut off everyday. It’s already clean too! If anyone wants to spin this stuff or make bird nest filler (very cool idea btw). I would be happy to donate as much or as little as you need. Email me!

    • tarnya saiz says:

      hi im doing a dog grooming course at collage in the uk and i need to know how you dispose of the dog hair and chemicals and faeces i cant find it any where on the net would you please help me :D:D:D:D thanks

      • karena says:

        your local county council shuld be able to help-it will need “yellow bagging” and collecting by them seperatly to be incinerated like human waste too i would think.

  12. Sue Edwards says:

    Dog and cat hair can be felted. Put a few layers on a J-cloth, one layer horizontal, one vertical, etc., and build up till a fluffy thick heap, then cover with another J-cloth. Sprinkle with hot water with some detergent added, then slowly rub away at the heap so that the fur squashes down, once this happens you can roll the J-cloth/fur/J-cloth ‘sandwich’ in a small bamboo table mat/window blind, like a swiss roll, tie it all round with string, and roll back and forth like a rolling pin. Be quite rough, do it for a few minutes. Undo everything and see if the fur has felted, if it has, take out the felt, wash it and dry it and use it for something – if not do it up again and work on it a bit longer. Use it as felt, or make insoles to put in your winter boots – anything!

  13. susan says:

    I have a sheltie and SO MUCH fur! I want to learn how to spin & weave her tons of shedding into clothing :) already i give it to the birds & use it to try and deter the deer. Like the idea of felting it for boot liners too!

  14. Chrys says:

    You can make felted beads. See the tutorial here:

  15. Kinsey says:

    I don’t know if anyone in the UK is doing this, but there’s a program in the US that turns human and pet hair into mats to soak up oil spills.

  16. Olia says:

    Make stuffed pet toy or pet cushion.

  17. Melinda says:

    Is there any advantage to putting carnivore hair around the garden to discourage mice, squirrels (does ANYTHING discourage squirrels or ground hogs?) etc. I’ve read of spreading human hair on lawns to discourage deer.

  18. alex says:

    Hi all, I am going to try out felting some dog blankies out of fur, am all excited :) .
    Any tips or fleece donations (Manchester area) will be gratefully received,

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