Friday, March 15, 2013

Blowin' In The Wind; Five Tips For Coping With Coat Blowing

"The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind"  or so  says Bob Dylan. Well, around ourhouse right now the answer isn't the only thing blowin' in the wind!

It's coat blowing season - you know, that time of year when  dogs shed their undercoat in a mass explosion of fur and dander.

We dogs tend to shed extra during Spring and Fall; or as you humans call it; coat blowing season. Dogs are double-coated, meaning we have undercoats. Somewhere I read this science - y sounding explanation of all of this; double coated means there are secondary hairs that occur around the primary hairs. Hence double coated. The secondary hairs  tend to be shorter and softer. Seasonal shedding occurs as a result of temperature change, thus the term "coat blowing season". When it starts warming up outside, we shed our old winter undercoats to make way for a new lighter summer undercoat. Works the same way in the fall -  when it begins to get cool again, we shed our lighter undercoats in order to grow a thicker, warmer coat for winter.  We duck dogs NEED that heavier winter undercoat since you humans keep sending us out in freezing water, snow and ice to haul back ducks and geese. ( you humans are such lazy bones sometimes!)  

The crazy lady I live with  is under the impression that yella dogs have a different coat blowing season than others; she's gone so far as to opine that it runs from January to December. Ahem. I think not. I say that is a mere myth. A total misconception.

I also think just by the looks of things swirling across the hardwood floor, my big pal Buddy is the absolute worst  coat blower on the planet. There are just big chunks of fur dropping off when he ambles by. Of course, Queen Dolly, Madam Perfect; she barely drops a wisp here and there. Naturally! It's because she's special. ACK.

I have no idea why there's so much caterwauling and wailing and gnashing of teeth around here. It's only a little dog hair, and it's easy enough to cope with! I'm just a dog, and one with questionable intellect if you ask my humans, and even I know how to handle it!

TIP 1: Brush me! Brush me often, brush me regularly, and try one of those fancy FURminator contraptions. The FURminator has done more to restore order and cheerfulness to this household than most anything. It feels good, it gets all that deep down stuff up and out. The more I get brushed, the more the hair stays outside, the happier the humans are.

TIP 2: Bathe me! Well trust me,  nobody has to convince the bath happy broad this is good thing. I swear she tosses me in the tub willy nilly at the slightest provocation. Please. I am a dog. I get muddy. I get stinky. That's what we do. However thankfully the bath obsessed broad always uses  great shampoo so my skin doesn't get dried out, I don't stink of blue mud, and I am such shiny coated fool I am surprised Clairol hasn't called me to be in a commercial. The two shampoos that stay on the bathtub shelf in our house are RFC Labs Hydrocept and Marsh Mutt. Both are terrific and I give them a five PAW rating.

The Hydrocept has been a real help for Queen Dolly - she's so special and so sensitive that every little thing makes her scratch and itch and oh goodness - we can't be having Dolly  uncomfortable now can we? The RFC Labs Hydrocept is Dolly 's favorite bath time treat. She says yep it's five paw winner!

TIP 3: Feed me well! For heaven's sake stomp scrimping on the dog food! Feed the best you can resonantly afford. Scout around for some of the formulas that address skin and coat needs. There's many good brands out there. . Put a fish oil capsule in with each feeding and your four footed friend will always have a  shiny silky coat. Toss a raw egg in once or twice week. I'm a Lab for God's sake - FEED ME!

TIP 4: Alrighty, this is just for you humans. You are the ones that get all buggy about the coat blowing to begin with. You know, we dogs would be happy to just go roll in the mud, scrape on tree and carry on. Alas, since you all seem to be such neatnics and fur-a phobes , I figured I should at least give you a heads up. Stop Sweeping. Brooms will only frustrate you and send the fur flying. You'll still be chasing fur next Friday. Now, I didn't say stop picking up fur now did I? Use a vacuum, one of those pad style swiffery things, or you can try my lazy humans trick - turn the ceiling fans on high - ALL OF THEM ; it blows the fur into neat piles that the vacuum can just suck right on up. Another product we like our house  is the Bounce Dryer Bar. Any hair that is still sticking to clothes that make it to the dryer somehow gets magically removed if a Bounce Bar is in there. Don't ask me how it works - I climbed into the dryer to fully investigate this new miracle, but all that spinning made me so dizzy I had to bail before I finished the investigation. And do I really have to explain that all the aforementioned brushing should be done OUTSIDE? Preferably wheen there's a swift breeze?

TIP 5: Lastly, think of others. Goodness there's a so much fur flying there has to be good use for it. While I still haven't found anyone to spin it into yarn, I do make sure it gets recycled for all my bird and small creature friends. Toss it about the yard, hang it from the bushes, hide it under the bushes or if you are obsessively  neat and tidy, stuff it in  suet feeders for the birdies to have for their nests. THEY love shed fur.

Coat blwing season doesn't have to be a trial, just consider all the extra time you ge to spend with the furry creatures in your life. Brush, Bathe, Bond.

Later Gators... gotta run! The human is after me with a brush and bath towel!

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