Keeping your pet’s hair-raising issue under control
Pets bring love into your home like no other; the cuddles, the laughs, the playtime, the companionship, and yes his fur around the house too. “For pet parents, the unconditional love and bond between them and their pet is worth every white hair on their black pants or furniture. No outfit or home is complete without it!” says Carla Bath Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s marketing manager.
When it comes to dogs, different breeds shed differently – more or less, shedding during seasonal changes, stress, hormonal changes etc. Despite your best efforts, some dogs will shed, and your pet's hair may be left on the furniture, the floor, and your clothes.
Cats’ fur is more delicate than dogs, meaning it stays airborne for longer, often making it more noticeable than dog hair. Just as with dogs though, it does depend on your cat, and those with longer hair are prone to heavier shedding. Unlike dogs, however, cats may present you with a hairball every now and then. “When it comes to hairballs, it’s important to understand that they form as a result of your cat’s healthy grooming habits. During the efficient grooming process, tiny hook-like structures on your cat’s tongue will catch the loose, dead hairs and swallow them. Most of the hair will pass through the digestive tract problem-free. However, if some of the hair remains in the stomach, it may clump together forming a hairball. This is when your cat will usually vomit the hairball out,” explains Dr Guy Fyvie Hill’s veterinary advisor.
As hair-raising as excess hair and hairballs may be, there are some straightforward ways pet parents can lessen the hair load in their homes.
Aside from the noticeable, heavy-duty vacuum cleaner and lint rollers, that we know you already have, consider these top tips:
- A good place to start is with your pet. Regular grooming and brushing can help eliminate the amount of hair that lands up in the house. Not only will they love it, but you will be getting rid of most of the hair that would have landed up on your furniture or clothes. Plus, it’s excellent pet and pet parent quality time.
- A nifty trick is to wet a rubber glove and run your hand over your furniture. The static created will attract the hairs to the glove and off the furniture. To help stop hairs clinging to your furniture, you can also spray the upholstery with a mix of water and fabric conditioner and wipe off.
- If you’ve got carpeting, sprinkle some baking soda over the carpet before you vacuum. The baking soda will help loosen the hair and deodorise the carpet.
- Add white vinegar to your washing machine; it loosens the hair and makes it more likely to come off in the wash.
- Wash your pet’s bedding regularly in the washing machine. After a clean, remember to check for pet hairs sticking to the inside of the machine and run through a short rinse cycle, if necessary.
Dr Fyvie also speaks to the role your choice of pet food plays in having a healthy skin and coat, shedding and even in keeping all types of furry expulsion under control:
- For dogs, hair shedding is normal, but when it becomes excessive, it can be caused by seasonal change, hormone imbalances, some illnesses, parasites and even allergies. A shift in your dog’s diet can help limit hair shedding. Hill’s Science Plan Sensitive Stomach and Skin for dogs include prebiotic fibre to support healthy digestion, high-quality protein and Vitamin E and Omega 3 & 6 for skin nourishment to promote a beautiful coat and healthy gut.
- Cats enjoy self-grooming for a large portion of the day, which can increase the chances of hairballs in your home. Hill’s Science Plan Hairball Indoor is nutritionally balanced to help avoid the formation of hairballs and includes antioxidants, lean proteins, and Omega 3s. The natural fibre technology will help reduce hairball formation, while essential nutrients will limit shedding.
“A simple solution to changing your pet’s diet to a scientifically formulated food aimed at helping you manage their skin and coat could mean a healthier and happier life for both of you. The change can be profound” concludes Dr Fyvie.
You can now buy your pet’s Hill’s Science Plan food from the comfort of your own home; visit www.hillspet.co.za/shop-online for a list of online retailers. Please note that the Hill’s Prescription Diet range is only available at vet clinics. Contact your vet to find out if they are offering a delivery service today.