Is dog hair biodegradable? (5 uses of dog hair) 

The article will explain and give a stance on the biodegradability of dog hair. Other covered aspects would include:

  • Can you compost dog hair? 
  • How to compost dog hair?
  • What to do with dog hair?

Is dog hair biodegradable?

Yes, dog hair or dog fur is indeed biodegradable because it is made from natural and organic content that can be degraded by the action of microbes. 

Biodegradation is the breakdown that is caused by microbes such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and other decomposers. That is where the name comes from (bio and degradation). 

The rule of thumb is that only those materials can be degraded that are natural and organic and usually there is a positive relationship if something is biodegradable and something being eco-friendly too. 

As regards dog hair, it is completely biodegradable. As per studies, it may require about one month for dog hair to degrade in a way that it can become a part of nature again. 

Can you compost dog hair? 

Many people ask this question, “Okay so, I know that dog hair is biodegradable. What next? What benefit can I get from dog hair?” 

When it comes to the utilisation of dog hair or other biodegradable waste, composting is one of the top candidates because composting has a lot to offer and has almost no negative impacts on the environment or on the soil. 

The compost can be used as a source of organic content and therefore, can act as a natural fertiliser. This can replace synthetic fertilisers made from chemicals that have a lot of negative and degradative effects on the environment. 

When the organic content of the soil is improved, other benefits also follow such as water conservation, better production, and increased yield – to name a few. 

How to compost dog hair?

Since we have built a stance that dog hair can be composted, let us also discuss what are the steps and ways to actually do that. 

Many people think that composting can only be done by professionals. However, it is not the case. 

Composting can also be done at home provided you know the way and have the essential green mindset of composting. 

Therefore, let us explore some steps that one can follow to compost dog hair at home. It must be said here that there are two important sources necessary for composting. One is the carbon source and the other is the nitrogen source. 

When dog hair is added to the compost pile, the dog hair will work and act as a nitrogen source. The steps include:

  • Find a suitable location in your home that is distant from your indoors but decently accessible 
  • You can compost either openly (compost piles) or in a compost bin. Both are fine. 
  • To initiate the process, make a heap made from compostable material (including natural cellophane) 
  • Make sure to place the heap in a cool and dry place. Be sure to continuously and regularly mix it. 
  • Make sure that there is a decent ratio of brown and green matter. The brown matter will be the source of carbon whereas the green matter will be the source of nitrogen. Many suggest making the ratio 4:1. 
  • It is clear that dog hair will work as a nitrogen source whereas, you will need to add something as a carbon source 
  • Wait and let external conditions and microbes do the work 
  • The compost must be ready in 4-8 months 
  • Once the compost is ready, be sure to utilise it well and improve the soil conditions, produce, and fertility of your backyard or field. 

What to do with dog hair? (5 uses)

You may be wondering why dog hair has no use for anyone. However, this is not the case. There are several reasons or ways through which you can utilise dog hair instead of simply throwing it in the trash bins. 

When this is made happen, there is a better utilisation of resources and less production of waste even though dog hair is biodegradable in nature. 

Therefore, let us explore some ways through which you can use and utilise the dog hair in a way that resources are sanely utilised and waste production is reduced:

  • Knitting of clothes
  • Making birdhouses & dog bedding 
  • Making crafts 
  • Use as a pest repellant 
  • Use to clean oil spills 

Knitting of clothes

Dog fur can be used to knot clothes just as you can knit clothes with sheep’s wool. However, you need to know that not all dogs’ fur can be knitted. There are only a select few. To know about it better, it is always better to look up if your dog’s fur can be knitted or not. 

Knitting clothes is a good thing because the common counterpart is cotton, which is also termed a thirsty crop as it requires a large amount of water to grow. Also, the use of pesticides and fertilisers in the growth of cotton can not be ignored. 

Therefore, when you knit clothes from dog fur, you do the environment a lot of favour in terms of better utilisation, water conservation, and avoidance of fertilisers and pesticides. 

Making birdhouses & dog bedding 

Some people take it as a hobby while others take it as an obligation. Regardless of the motive or use, it is a good way to utilise dog fur to make birdhouses. The dog fur will provide comfort and insulation to the birds which can be effective and even life-saving in extreme scenarios. 

Subsequently, dogs’ hair can also be used to stuff the bed or pillows of your pets such as dogs and the dogs’ fur will provide insulation and comfort. 

Making crafts 

Dog hair can also be used to make felted crafts. There are two felting approaches that exist out there. One is wet felting and the other is needle felting. 

Both approaches require some sort of fibre and you can use your dog hair or dog fur for the purpose. It will be an efficient utilisation of dog fur. 

Use as a pest repellant 

Dog fur can also be used as a bug repellent because it is seen that many insects and bugs are actually drawn away from the smell of dog fur. 

This utilisation will also free you from the use of harmful chemical-based pesticides that may cause harm and havoc to the soil, groundwater, and associated life. 

Use for oil spills

Due to the texture and material that entails dogs’ fur, dogs’ fur can be used to clean oil spills. In fact, this concept is not just a fathom of the mind as there are actually companies doing this work. 

What companies like (Matter of Trust & Clean Wave program) do is that they collect dogs’ fur from households and use it for the cleaning and controlling of oil spills. 

Conclusion

It is concluded that dog hair is biodegradable because it is natural and organic in nature and therefore can be degraded by the action of microbes. 

The article also discussed the possibility of composting dog hair and what are the steps to be followed to compost dog hair at home. 

Lastly, the article explained various ways in which dog hair can be reused and repurposed that included knitting clothes, animal bedding, birdhouses, and making crafts. 

References

  • (September 12, 2022). 7 things you can do with dog’s fur. Retrieved from: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/things-you-can-do-with-dog-fur/

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